What makes your industrial marketing mediocre? Self absorption

Ed Marsh | Sep 3, 2014

What you're not hearing

Ever have a day during which you receive no emails?  Or at least almost none?  On the one hand it's a tremendous relief...but on the other there's a little voice asking "Is something broken?  What should I be receiving that I'm not?" 

That's the hard part about B2B marketing.  You can't know what's not working; what prospects aren't finding you; or what website visitors bounce and why.  At best you can benchmark against best practices and industry standards, and you can diligently monitor metrics and continuously adjust your approaches.  You never really know who you're not connecting with....

But there's a more basic and immediate change you can make.  Stop talking about you, your company, your facilities and equipment, your history and your products - and start talking about your prospects' businesses.

In fact the message your prospects would deliver if it was worth their taking the time (and if they are even consciously aware of it) is that they want a conversation with you about them!

Empathy - key to B2B inbound marketing

Is this another lame blog using pop culture to tease out some obtuse point about marketing?  I hope not (I agree those are lame!)  I understand the video's a bit much - but lately I've encountered so many otherwise sophisticated manufacturing companies that are obsessively focused on pushing a selfish B2B marketing monologue that I'm intent on making the point unforgettable.

The fact is that no prospect will make the decision to buy your products based on how many years you've been in business, what CNC machines you run, how many square feet your building is or any other fact like that.

They'll buy based on how you'll make them more profitable.

Now, it could well be that the size of your facility means you can stage products for JIT delivery unlike any nearby competitor which means the prospect can:
  • purchase in volume at a discount
  • avoid consuming their own floor space which they need for other reasons, and therefore
  • eliminate the need to rent outside space which would require a tractor and trailers (with all the direct AND indirect associated costs), extra staff and logistics hassles
  • reduce price and lead-time to their prospects
  • and gain market share  
But the fact that you've got 120,000 ft sq. is irrelevant.

Talk to them about them

That's where content marketing becomes so incredibly powerful for the disjointed, protracted and unpredictable sell cycle companies encounter today in complex sales.  Buyers who want to research and compare on their own without a sales rep bothering them are searching for insights and expertise to consume.

You've got that expertise internally - between product marketing, application engineering, field technical staff and your high performing sales folks.  But your marcom folks continue to produce boilerplate corporate speak....about you.

It's not complicated - but as the saying goes, it's not easy.  What you must do is shift the perspective and context of your dialog.  Engage, virtually, with visitors and prospects.  Share your incredible expertise with them in a way that makes sense to them and creates value.

And don't shoot me, the messenger.  I'm just telling you what your prospects would if they didn't have 75 other better results that popped up in their search.

Stop being self-absorbed and start growing your business!