There are many differences between industrial marketing and consumer marketing, but the main one is the action we want our prospects to take. In consumer marketing, they want them to just buy stuff. In industrial marketing, the buying decision is usually further down the road; what we want the prospects to do is simply to reveal themselves. It’s all about getting the name-and-address sales lead.
Unfortunately, while online marketing has made it easier than ever to get direct sales, it’s made it harder than ever to get name-and-address sales leads. Prospects can hide behind their screens and only reveal themselves at the last minute. This is fantastic for engineers, who are notoriously shy and salesman-averse, but a real problem for companies like yours who need to get in there and explain their product.
I know many marketing managers wish the whole online thing would just go away. Remember when you just got an article in a magazine, or placed an ad, and their readers filled in the reader enquiry cards? It was so much easier then. Sadly, that source has died so quickly that most magazines don’t even embarrass themselves by running reader enquiry cards any more. It’s not that your customers don’t read magazines, it’s just that after reading the article, they go straight to your website to find out more, instead of contacting you through enquiry cards. It’s faster than contacting you, more convenient, and they can hide from your salesman. Perfect.
But no good for you, as a marketing manager tasked with getting sales leads. Let’s make a resolution to fight this in 2009. Let’s resolve to get a lot more name-and-address sales leads this year, without spending any more money. All this week I’m going to be discussing how.