Proactivity for better a better relaunch

The article written by Bernard Marr in Forbes describes well the relevancy of digital marketing in the current state of affairs. In the coming months, companies will depend more than ever on their digital strategy.

The disappearance of all channels related to physical events and conferences, as well as many significant barriers that companies must face, an enormous challenge is created. The key to resilience is the development measures to mitigate this loss.

B2B companies rely primarily on tradeshows to prospect and build relationships with customers. The majority of industrial companies are generally less sophisticated in their digital growth strategies. For small companies that are used to getting new customers by word of mouth or on the basis of a hard-earned reputation, the current situation of COVID-19 doesn't help at all.

Large companies are also in a vulnerable position. Many of them have potentially lost millions due to cancelled events where they will not recoup the time and expense of preparation. However, insurance and cancellation policies will leave them with a marketing budget to redistribute. Thus, digital is likely to be the big winner in this area and companies, including those who may not have social media platforms yet, will have to turn to social marketing, content marketing, SEO and influence campaigns.

You can read the full article on the following link: Why Companies Turn To Digital Marketing To Survive COVID-19

Don't stop your marketing!

You might be tempted to stop your marketing efforts. Of course, the current period is pushing us all to save money, especially when things are uncertain. However, the data shows that companies that continue advertising and marketing activities during a downturn have a better post-crisis recovery than companies that downsize and scale back their operations.

Data from the recession of the 1980s showed that the sales of companies that advertised aggressively during the recession increased by 275% compared to those that did not during the following three years.

Balance this with the short-term impact on your business, as you need to survive it to gain on the other side.

Here are some ideas to help you think about what to do:

  • Update your content strategy;
  • Writing blog content;
  • Review your website;
  • Update your social media or create a company page (Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Evaluate advertising campaigns ;
  • Implement a retargeting strategy;
  • Brainstorm A/B testing for future campaigns;
  • Analyze different digital platforms and identify ways to improve your campaigns;
  • Update collateral documents;
  • Set up webinars or informative video capsules;
  • Evaluate the overall marketing strategy;
  • Develop an editorial calendar for releases of interesting content;
  • Hire a marketing firm to recommend suggestions and set up certain processes.

Two examples to follow

GLM Conseil

As a first step, take for example GLM Conseil, a firm that provides operational and digital excellence to industrial companies. For their part, they visit companies to perform analyses, audits on their digital strategy and implement solutions according to industry standards. Inevitably, the current state of affairs has cut them off like many companies in the same situation. However, they have decided to launch their live and online formations through their website in order to continue giving a boost to the companies.

GLM Conseil was already well prepared. It was their intention to provide these trainings in the near future. The current crisis simply forced them to launch the project on the spot. For our part, we were mandated by GLM Conseil to propel their training project on social media and thus target interested people. It is understandable that this is an excellent idea, given that the majority of the people targeted are currently working from home and looking for interesting tools to improve their operations.

Eco-Depot Batteries Industrielles

Secondly, the company Éco-Dépôt Batteries Industrielles, which specializes in the recycling, purchase, sale and service of industrial batteries, is also affected by the current situation, like any other company. If most industrial companies have to close their doors for a few weeks, it is inevitable that the use of batteries for their forklifts or pallet trucks will become less significant, except, of course, for the companies considered "essential".

Although, even if the company could sit idly by, they decided to automate some of their sales and marketing processes with the HubSpot platform. A sequence of emails will be sent to customers, suppliers and partners of Eco-Depot to inform them of their operational status during the COVID-19 crisis. This will make it easier for the company to operate their sales and marketing projects while working from home with a platform that centralizes all efforts.

The new Éco-Dépôt Batteries Industrielles website will be online in a few weeks.

Being "proactive"

Proactivity is the key right now. If we decide to panic and put everything on "standby", when it starts again, we won't be ready and it will be even harder to get back on track.

To wrap it up, remember that quarantine won't last forever. We can't know when it will end, but by all indications, we expect to come out of quarantine sometime this year. We encourage you to prepare for this transition in a thoughtful and proactive manner.

At times like this, we remind ourselves that marketing issues are not matters of life and death. But you are also reminded that you need to feel productive and able to add value to your business while you have time to give it time. We realize that many people who rely on this feeling may have lost it suddenly or may feel demotivated by what's going on, and our heart is with them. We are also there to help !


Account-Based Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

Qualified leads are the result of a solid marketing strategy, but with two predominant B2B marketing strategies to consider (and often opposing ones), it can be difficult to know which one is best to apply to companies.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is an approach that targets key decision-makers within targeted organizations through direct and personalized communication. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is an approach that targets a broader audience to attract consumers to products or services through content creation. With such distinctions, it is common for companies to use one strategy rather than another.

How they differ

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

ABM involves targeting pre-determined accounts with personalized marketing tactics. Your attention and energy is focused on major accounts, which means you can reach key decision-makers in a more direct manner. Your strategy must inevitably include personalized content through strategic channels, such as email and highly targeted advertising, with which these stakeholders can relate to.

This strategy works well if your company sells to a niche market. Once you've identified your ideal character, it's easier to define which accounts you want to work with and how to target them. As a result, companies that choose to use ABM find that it is not only an effective way to attract new targeted accounts, but also a way to expand and retain existing relationships - which ultimately increases lead generation.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing aims to attract a wide range of consumers through relevant and quality content offers. The inbound methodology (attraction, conversion, sales and support) ensures that companies meet the needs of their target customers by offering them the right content at the right time. This method qualifies leads through offers, forms and emails, which take them further down the conversion funnel.

Inbound marketing is a beneficial method for companies in a large market with a wide range of target characters. Salesforce, GE, and Starbucks are just a few of the many large companies that implement inbound marketing because of their broad audience and wide range of products and services. With inbound, companies are able to reach a broader audience and generate new interest on a larger scale.

ABM & Inbound synergy

While some companies may find that one marketing strategy works better than the other for their business model, ABM and inbound do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, combining the two methods can often produce powerful results.

Basically, both ABM and Inbound marketing aim to target specific audiences with interesting content that converts. In fact, their combination can give your company greater power of influence. You will have the opportunity to target a more interested target audience in the first instance and thus understand their thought process by providing them with relevant and high quality content.

An example of the use of these two techniques is to generate new leads via inbound, then identify a few key accounts within this set and offer them ABM-type content. This mix will allow your company to extend its reach to new leads, but also improve the content and humanize the buying experience for the accounts that seem most interested. To effectively execute such a strategy, your company (no matter the size) needs to develop a solid content strategy and create a library of high-level content that can be customized, if necessary, to targeted accounts.

There are countless strategies that combine ABM and inbound marketing that can produce excellent results. That's why it's important to test and iterate to find the combination that best suits your business context.

Conclusion

Deciding on the right marketing strategy for your business can be difficult. While there are advantages and disadvantages to inbound marketing and ABM, focusing on one method to the exclusion of the other can be detrimental to results. By using both techniques, you can build a marketing strategy that pushes the boundaries of traditional marketing and meets your company's organizational goals.


How Much Should a B2B Company Invest in Marketing?

The manufacturer as an example

In recent years, local manufacturing companies have experienced ups and downs. As a result, many of them were and still are using traditional marketing methods. The company's sales representative are committed to the operation and continues to travel constantly to meet prospects, customers and ensure follow-ups. Obviously, the use of this internal process remains essential, but the fact remains that these B2B lead generation processes are less efficient, longer and more expensive. Not to mention that the internal team complains that their company looks awful online and is not up to date. The few content they have is shared on their website (if they have one) but remains outdated and doesn’t generate any leads.

The reaction of internal departments get noisy with time, innovation must occur. Manufacturers are wondering what an adequate marketing budget can look like and how to allocate part of their budget to digital marketing. Also, what are the main marketing channels that are most appropriate for the marketing of a manufacturing company?

The typical manufacturer

Based on recent surveys and studies in the United States, in 2018, the typical manufacturer spends between $3,000 and $5,000 per month on digital marketing. This makes an annual budget of approximately $36,000 to $60,000. This includes marketing services - strategy, web optimization, case studies, marketing campaign, Facebook and/or LinkedIn advertising campaigns, reports and analysis and email marketing. Inevitably, the majority must first replace their prehistoric websites before starting any digital marketing efforts.

Marketing budget
A marketing budget is a budget envelope that includes an amount specifically allocated to the company's marketing resources and efforts over a full year. That being said, a budget is set in order to respect it, but also in order to be used.

The ideal budget

In our last article, which talked about the subject of investment rather than marketing spending, we concluded that in order to maximize the potential of investment, it’s essential to be structured by having good action plan, as well as allocating the necessary resources according to the established objectives. Obviously, we know that there is no real end to the amount invested in marketing and that’s why we notice that many are afraid to invest. On the other hand, marketing is supposed to be essential to the company's growth.

The 2% to 5 %

The perfect amount to invest is difficult to establish, but according to a BDC study, "B2B companies spend, on average, 2% to 5% of their revenues on marketing". This includes the internal team as well as traditional and digital resources. If we take the example of a company with about 30 employees and a turnover of about $4,000,000. By calculating 2% of their income, which is the minimum percentage to invest in marketing, this gives us an amount of about $80,000/year to invest.

Another study that helps us determine a slightly more precise percentage of the amount to invest in marketing for manufacturers, is a CMO Survey study. The research shows that 3.2% of the revenues should be invested in marketing.

Inevitably, the next question to ask is: Do I need an internal person, such as a marketing manager or director? Indeed, this can be very relevant since this person will be able to easily manage projects internally and, above all, understand the company's operations. As a result, one person will not be able to do everything to meet the company's marketing requirements and objectives and that’s why investing in an external firm is a wise choice to make.

The marketing foundations

Obviously, before starting anything, having the foundations is fundamental in each company, especially before launching a marketing campaign. As a result, it’s only natural that the year you need to optimize your basics, your amount spent on marketing should increase.

The best example is the website. It is not just a simple showcase, it is the digital showcase available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your company, which showcases your products or services.

You will probably have to exceed your marketing budget by 5% to update your website once every three to five years. Therefore, basic marketing costs are generally not included in this 5%. Without a solid marketing base, your daily marketing activities will waver from "not very effective" to "waste of money".

In general, the foundations in marketing includes:

  • Brand identity
  • Web design and development

Growth of the manufacturer

According to a study by IndustryWeek - Custom Research and Kronos, here are two strong statistics that clearly show the growth of the manufacturer in 2019-2020:

  • While 90% of manufacturers expect an increase in revenues, more than 58% of in-between expect a strong increase of more than 5% over the next five years.
  • More than 70% of manufacturers expect to increase the number of employees over the next five years.

These figures are the very proof that there is potential to be exploited and to do so, it is inevitable that we must invest; in an intelligent way. More specifically, aligning the budget with a well-developed strategy and an appropriate action plan is essential.

Don't forget to look at your competitors, it's almost certain that they will improve their online presence and use their website to generate more leads!

Return on investment (ROI)

Assessing the return on investment in marketing has never been really easy. Thanks to digital technology, it’s now much easier to obtain accurate results on advertising campaigns and automation. As a result, it is possible to determine the long-term and short-term ROI by analytical forecasts, as well as by the number of prospects and their average value.

An average value can then be assigned to new prospects, provided by the percentage of the conversion rate based on the value of the prospect. A predictable number of ROIs can then be established and monitored.

We conclude this article with this beautiful CMO Survey statistic: "Marketing budgets are expected to increase by 8.7% over the next year, reaching almost 8.9% in eight years from 2017. In comparison, the real increase of 6.3% over the past year has actually been achieved.

What do you think of your situation?