When the Going Gets Tough, B2B Marketers…

…fall back on tried-and-true marketing tactics that they have relied on for years. In the current tough economy, cutting edge and innovative marketing is taking a back seat to proven strategies for lead generation.

B2B companies are spending more of their marketing budgets on channels such as trade shows, Website design, management and optimization and e-mail marketing. Those three marketing channels received the largest allocation of the budget. The trend holds true across the board even though the mix may be different depending on the size of a B2B company.

Smaller companies, those with less than 100 employees, tend to spend more on digital marketing tactics like Website design, e-mail marketing as well as traditional outbound marketing channels like direct mail. Not surprisingly, they tend to spend less on trade shows.

Those are some of the findings from a MarketingSherpa survey of more than 1,700 B2B organizations that were classified as Large, Medium and Small. See chart for details.

B2B marketing Tactics

What about smaller manufacturing companies? They have usually shied away from trade shows because of the cost and the difficulty in getting proper attention due to the sheer size of national/international shows.

I read an interesting article about regional manufacturing shows that bring together engineers and buyers from OEMs and regional sources for design, prototypes, forming, fabricating, machining, finishing, assembly and electronic manufacturing services all under one roof.

These regional manufacturing expos are billed as “serious working shows” because OEMS attending one of these shoes often find multiple sources to take a project from concept or prototype to finished product quickly and at competitive prices.

According to the article, Regional Manufacturing Expos Prove Most Valuable by Thomas R. Cutler (Thanks @BaerMarketing for bringing this to my attention via FB) these manufacturing regional shows are proving to be valuable for many reasons.

Over and above the obvious lower cost advantage, the smaller or the “boutique” nature of these regional expos allows exhibitors and attendees more time to get into the details of a project.

Another advantage is that often, engineering and purchasing people from the same company attend together as a team. This allows them to address cost issues, along with design and quality issues, and to get quality products to market faster at a lower cost.

I know a manufacturing client of mine had tremendous success at a regional show hosted by a local refinery and brought together just the right people, both buyers and sellers.

Does your company exhibit at regional manufacturing expos? What has been your experience with them in terms of finding qualified leads and building strong relationships?

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