Generating leads and acquiring new customers during the economic downturn remains both a top goal and a top challenge for industrial marketers, many of whom are turning to online marketing tactics to find new prospects and ways to generate revenue, according to a research report from GlobalSpec.
The report, “Trends in Industrial Marketing 2009: How Manufacturers are Marketing Today” revealed that 44% of respondents in a recent study say customer acquisition is their primary marketing goal, with another 29% saying they’re primarily interested in lead generation. An additional 13% selected customer retention as their top goal, up from only 5% in 2008.
While lead generation is a key initiative for industrial marketers, lead quality outranks lead quantity when deciding where to allocate marketing budget, GlobalSpec said.
Share Shifts to Online Marketing; Tradeshows, Print Decline
The survey found that three out of the top four marketing channels for generating quality leads – online directories/websites, e-mail marketing to house lists, and SEO – are online. These are also among the top tools marketers are planning to use this year:
Moreover, the percentage of respondents who have shifted more money to online tactics has risen since last year: Nearly half (48%) of respondents say online makes up a greater portion of their marketing budget in 2009 than in 2008, and nearly one-third say they will be spending more than 50% of their marketing budget online.
At the same time, 30% of respondents are reducing tradeshow attendance and 28% are reducing print ads, the survey found.
Fewer Resources Mean More Challenges
Despite the increased shift of marketing dollars to online media, respondents report that they are up against a number of marketing challenges. More than half of all respondents selected “too few marketing resources” as one of their top three marketing challenges in 2009, with “generating enough high quality leads for sales” and “need to improve my marketing ROI” rounding out the top three.
Other survey findings:
- 63% of industrial marketers will closely evaluate the performance of their marketing programs and take steps to reduce or eliminate those that don’t perform well.
- 43% will expand marketing efforts to reach new industries.
- 88% will spend the same or more on online marketing in 2009, as compared with 2008.
About the survey: The fourth annual survey of its kind was conducted among US marketing and sales executives and managers in the industrial sector. Of the 555 survey respondents, 66% hold management positions in sales or marketing and 12% indicate they are a president/CEO. The respondent pool represents a variety of company sizes, with annual marketing budgets ranging from less than $50K to more than $1 million.