The Thomas Blog

Industrial marketing and manufacturing sales tips to help you grow your business.

By Shelagh Dolan |  May 4, 2017

Producing results without the right resources is a huge challenge, especially when you’re under extreme pressure to do so. When budgets get tight, it’s even more important to be able to prove your worth.

Budget ROI From Marketing InvestmentLuckily for industrial marketers, when it comes time for budget evaluations, we can produce quantifiable results demonstrating the value of our efforts. In fact, a 2017 ENGINEERING.com market research report found a direct connection between digital marketing investment and company revenue. As a result, the majority of respondents reported being rewarded with a boost in resources.

If you find that your marketing team is still fighting for funding, here are a few things you can take to your department heads to make the business case for it.

Marketing And Sales Are More Intertwined Than Ever

According to the report, one of the biggest contributors to 2017’s wave of digital marketing budget spikes is the increasingly important connection  and the growing amount of collaboration  between sales and marketing. Sixty-five percent of respondents agreed that the role of marketing was becoming more important in relation to sales – largely due to the ability to quantify its effects.

Shawn Fitzgerald, THOMASNET RPM Founder and an expert panelist on the report, noted that changes in the buyer’s journey have also played a role in this shift.

It can be attributed to the clear-cut ability to measure ROI,” he said. “[But] it’s also important to consider the shift in prospect behavior: They’re downloading spec sheets, using calculators, checking out testimonials, and vetting the products and services listed on your company’s website — all before they even raise a hand.”

These different types of marketing content that your prospects are looking for all come from the marketing team. By creating and distributing helpful and diverse content, they can effectively nurture leads and warm them up to your business long before the sales team ever picks up the phone, thereby lowering their barrier of entry.

Marketers Are Being Evaluated More Thoroughly

This year, marketers reported being evaluated not only on lead generation but also on a much wider range of metrics including site traffic, sales generated, revenue, and ROI – indicating the alignment between marketing and overall company goals.

These measurements are made possible through customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software, which provide closed loop reporting on customer data throughout their journey. With this software, we can pinpoint exactly how a prospect got to the website, if they opened any emails, downloaded any eBooks, and more.

Closed-loop reporting creates a shared customer database between sales and marketing to “close the loop” on the quality of leads from marketing efforts and what happens once sales has reached out to them. This system attributes credit where it’s due and demonstrates the exact value of  your marketing efforts to the sales team and business as a whole.

Marketing Budgets Are Growing

As a direct result of marketing’s proven ability to benefit sales and overall company business goals, survey respondents across industries reported being awarded bigger budgets for 2017. However, where marketing departments are spending their dollars is in the midst of a digital transformation. Spending on tradeshows is slowly declining, while the activities receiving the most resources are content creation and distribution – those spec sheets, calculators, and testimonials your prospects are looking for.

In fact, 87% of industrial marketers report are generating content for marketing. Of this group, videos, webinars, case studies, and blogging topped the list of tactics for 2017, as prospects in different stages of the buyer’s journey are seeking different forms of content to match. So, what are you waiting for?

Final Thoughts

Looking to expand your marketing budget in the near future? We have marketing resources you can use to figure out the most effect places to direct your marketing efforts. As always, feel free to drop us a line with any questions.

Topics: ROI & Analytics, Marketing Strategy

Shelagh Dolan

Shelagh Dolan

Shelagh Dolan is a digital marketing professional who specializes in researching and developing blog posts, eBooks, case studies, web pages, and press releases.

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