Throughout my career I have continuously run into people who are confused about what marketing is. Let me start by clarifying what marketing is not! It is not simply throwing your logo on a hat. It is not a salesperson piecing together their own powerpoint. And the biggest one – sales is not marketing. If you can’t tell already – this misconception of what marketing entails is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Let me tell you why!
What Is Marketing?
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” See the key word in this definition is “value”. Creating marketing materials that your prospects and customers truly value take more intent, research, strategy, and effort than throwing your logo on a promo item. It is not free, easy or fast. It takes real commitment and yes, investment.
Why Is Marketing Important to Industrial B2B Companies?
Marketing is important because it affects the look, feel, and perception of your company that is portrayed both externally to the market and internally to your employees and stakeholders. It’s knowing what to say, when to say it, how to say it to whom. It’s all of the touch points along the customer journey working in lock step with your sales and operations teams in order to convert and delight your ideal customer into a brand loyal customer. In the B2B world, buyers are very sophisticated, often with multiple people needing to be in alignment on the decision. This makes each step in the journey even more crucial, needing to take into account appealing to the different motivators of each person in the recommending, decision making and purchasing process. There is typically lots of repeat business in the B2B Industrial market, where the lifetime value of a customer is far greater than the initial sale. This is why marketing is critical to Industrial B2B Companies current and future success.
How to Be Successful In Your Industrial Marketing Efforts
Having a solid knowledge of marketing and why it is important can improve your investment choices. Marketing is the practice of using highly targeted tactics in the proper channels and tracking performance and ROI and adjusting those tactics based on the performance data. For example, you might select improving your brand message, website, or sales presentation instead of selecting a low ROI effort such as promo items. These are tools that can help you be heard by the right people, at the right time, with the right messaging. A few key factors in selecting and managing successful marketing initiatives is prioritizing, measuring, and adjusting.
- Prioritize – It is important to start out by knowing your company goals and your target market and prioritizing your marketing efforts accordingly as your budget allows.
- Measuring – Track each one of your marketing efforts through use of UTM codes, analytics focusing on a set of relevant KPI’s, Google Analytics, and an automated marketing software (such as Hubspot).
- Adjusting – Frequently reviewing and analyzing your marketing efforts performance allows you to see what is working and what is not and adjust as needed. This is an area that is often overlooked or underperformed.
Marketing can look very different from one company to the next since each company has different brand attributes, goals, starting points, and budgets. There are many different paths marketing can take to support your business but if you’re prioritizing, measuring, and adjusting you’re likely on the right path! If you still feel like you need more support, you might want to consult with a marketing agency, like PetroPages, to audit your current practices and advise on your path forward.