The fourth annual Industrial Marketing Trends Survey conducted by GlobalSpec shows that 48% of industrial marketers are shifting a greater percentage of their budget online, but less than one-third of industrial marketers are allocating more than 50% of their budget online.
Based on our research, here is a look at today's top trends in online marketing:
The economy is impacting marketing approaches and objectives. In light of the current economic climate, customer acquisition, lead generation and customer retention have become more important than ever before. In fact, 44 percent of respondents to our recent survey stated that customer acquisition is their primary marketing goal, with another 29 percent indicating that lead generation is most important. Additionally, 13 percent indicated that customer retention is their primary goal in 2009, up from just five percent in 2008.
Companies are still focused on gaining new customers, while maintaining their current client base.
Measurement is key. The demand for marketing accountability is stronger than ever, with smart marketers devoting resources to programs that can be measured. Sixty-nine percent of our 2009 survey respondents stated that they will closely evaluate the performance of marketing options and reduce or eliminate non-performing programs, and 53% are choosing marketing programs that are measurable.
Implementing programs that are measurable helps you see what's working and what's not, allowing you to focus your efforts (and dollars) on what is most successful. Online programs naturally lend themselves to measurement, as they allow you to track exposure, clicks and conversions -- demonstrating the performance of your marketing.
Lead quality trumps lead quantity. Respondents to our survey stated that the quality of leads is the most important factor when deciding where to allocate their marketing budget. Lead quality scored 9 out of 10 in importance, while lead quantity scored 7.3.
Sales would rather have a handful of highly qualified leads than a long list of anonymous Web clicks. Target online programs where prospects are searching for information, products and services, delivering quality leads with contact information -- offering your company sales opportunities instead of anonymous clicks.
Meeting Your Goals with Online Marketing
It's important to continue to market to and stay in front of customers and prospects, despite the realities of the current economy.
With more online marketing options to choose from than ever before, you should work with a trusted media partner to evaluate which programs will work best to achieve your goals. Ask media partners how they can specifically help you meet your marketing objectives, whether they are lead generation, brand visibility, penetration of new markets or all of the above.
Lead Quality TIP : add a qualifier just before the "submit" button. One client added a time qualifier (I am interested in a solution in next 30 days, next 3 months, next 6 months, next 12 months.) If either of the top two were checked, submit button went to a different landing page and fired either the quality pixel or fired the regular pixel. To get really advanced, and learn more about CPA attribution on leads, download the C3 Metrics White Paper available here: http://c3Metrics.com
When will people learn that “qualified leads” is an oxymoron just like “military intelligence.” As a former million dollar sales pro I'm convinced that most leads (qualified or not) are a complete waste of time, money and resources. The vast majority of leads are people who didn't buy anything, have never bought anything or aren't going to buy anything (ever). Customers, traffic and leads are all very different things. If you want to increase sales, call your biggest accounts first, call your small accounts second, listen intently and develop relationships with your traffic and then sell your leads to any fool who will pay for them.