Your industrial marketing strategy may have changed recently because of the coronavirus. I don’t think manufacturers have much of a choice because the pandemic has negatively impacted their sales pipelines. There is no getting around that fact.
Some of these changes may be permanent, while others have become necessities at least for the foreseeable future. Either way, your industrial marketing strategies need to adapt to these changes as the economy begins to reopen.
All of my manufacturing clients have taken the appropriate steps at their companies in accordance with CDC and local guidelines to make their workplaces safer for their employees, customers, and suppliers. Still, there are some noticeable changes, especially for industrial marketers.
Impact of COVID-19 on industrial marketers
Over the past few months, IEEE GlobalSpec has been tracking how industrial marketers have been impacted by the coronavirus. They shared some of their findings with me.
Adjusting industrial marketing strategy and plans
What can you do as a manufacturing or industrial marketer to make sure your sales pipeline has the right kind and the quantity of leads for the sales team to work with?
Let’s look at a marketing strategy that have been the mainstay for manufacturers when it comes to filling pipelines with sales-qualified leads. I’m talking about in-person events like tradeshows.
As recently as November 2019, manufacturing marketers reported the following (Source: Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020)
- 24% said that in-person events was their best source for securing leads
- 33% reported they were the best way to convert leads
Now see how things have changed over the past few months. These new stats from the IEE GlobalSpec survey.
To mitigate some of this drop-off in attendance, virtual events and webinars have become very popular lately. Yet, I’ve heard most people say, “It isn’t the same.”
The key takeaway here is that industrial marketers need to adjust their marketing strategies. It can’t be business (marketing) as usual. I’ve published two posts recently that address this issue.
- Is Your Industrial Website Ready for Business After the Coronavirus Pandemic?
- Adapting Your Industrial Content Marketing Strategy for COVID-19
Redistributing marketing budgets for the rest of 2020
It does feel good when some of my recommendations from those two articles are validated by research findings. This chart is also from the same IEEE GlobalSpec survey.
Note the two key stats from the chart below which is also from the same IEEE GlobalSpec survey. They are:
- 27% have shifted funds to content creation
- 36% of the respondents were most confident about Industrial Content Marketing being their most successful channel
While I’ve seen some clients put a temporary hold on marketing and a few did cut their budgets, most have redistributed the same budget with more of the money going to digital marketing efforts.
These research findings should help you modify your own industrial marketing strategy for the second half of 2020.
Stay safe and healthy!