Get Ahead Of The Buying Cycle And Improve Your Industrial Marketing Results
The ongoing debate about inbound marketing versus outbound marketing continues to rage in the industrial marketing world. Ask some industrial marketing practitioners and you will be told outbound marketing is interruptive, annoys prospects, and is obsolete in our brave new online world. Other industrial marketing practitioners will tell you inbound marketing does not allow enough upfront qualification and produces fantastic quantities of unqualified sales leads you need to wade through. Depending on which side of the fence you find yourself you might just find yourself staring down a Hatfield or a McCoy.
Now in the interests of being fair I find myself seeing the validity of using both inbound and outbound marketing. I do, however favor outbound marketing and here is why.
If, as is understandable, a significant percentage of the buying decision has been made online prior to prospects contacting your company then how can you influence and shape them to see your company as a viable choice or, even better, the only logical choice?
Unless your website contains sufficient educational content to cover all eventualities and adequately explains your products in such a way that every prospect can see the value you are losing opportunities.
In my industrial marketing consulting activities I encourage my clients to target their most desirable accounts and go after them before they have actively started their buying cycle. There are several reasons for this.
First, prospects may be blissfully unaware that their status quo is being less than helpful to their businesses. Obviously if they are unaware that anything is wrong or there are better alternatives they will not be looking for solutions. This limits the number of inbound leads arriving through your website. It also prevents opportunities from being developed.
Second, if prospects have recognized they have a problem and have performed their early stage research online they have already established their needs and their probable solutions. Your company is very likely to become column fodder. You will clap your hands with glee at the sheer joy of receiving an inbound lead only to realize you are company number six that is expected to submit an RFP. Oh, and you will get hammered on your price.
If you structure your industrial marketing process to focus on uncovering or creating emerging needs you will strongly position your company as the preferred vendor. Many of my industrial marketing consulting clients find an additional benefit in doing this antidepressant bupropion. They discover that by focusing their efforts in this way their companies become the only choice and vastly reduce the number of times they are asked to participate in pointless RFP contests.
If this isn’t enough, they find another benefit from shaping their industrial marketing in this fashion. They can often sell their products with much higher profit margins as they have created value that their trailing competitors have not offered.