Industrial gets social, virtual

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Industrial gets social, virtual
Industrial gets social, virtual
B-to-b marketing professionals have goals as well as challenges in mind for the year ahead, and what works for one  company may not for another. There are no universal marketing solutions. However, the same key trends will impact every company, regardless of size or specialty, and marketers who capitalize on these trends will be better positioned to achieve their objectives.

Buyers crave content and industrial buyers are no different. They crave useful, relevant content to help build their internal business cases and justify buying decisions. In 2011, you'll find more industrial marketers providing valuable content to help buyers make informed purchase decisions and help these companies earn new sales. That means they will take stock of existing content and make sure it is adapted to their audience needs.

Users want a multimedia experience. As with audiences everywhere, the industrial professional is now reading and watching and listening online. More industrial marketers will be taking advantage of this trend in 2011 by offering more than just words on paper or screen. Thanks to inexpensive technologies and high bandwidth, media such as video will be simpler to produce and easier to deliver to an audience.

Social media platforms require your attention. Many marketers are still not sure what commitment they should make to social media right now. While there is a great deal of buzz and noise surrounding social media, adoption in the industrial sector remains low. Next year, industrial marketers will continue their strategic efforts to understand how prospects and clients are adopting social media, and ensure that investment matches an audience's level of use.

New level of marketing channels await. With the near universal adoption of the Internet by customers and prospects, the number of marketing channels to choose from to reach a target audience will continue to grow.

In particular, I see 2011 as a big year for online events. Virtual tradeshows will continue to improve the interactive experience for both vendors and attendees.

Maintain focus on ROI. The requirement for marketers to effectively demonstrate ROI is an important trend that is here to stay. For 2011, you will still need to choose measurable marketing programs that clearly define your objectives and success metrics. It's an old saying in the business world, but it never really grows old: you can't manage what you can't measure.

By making marketing plans for 2011 with these trends in mind, you will put your company in position to gain an advantage, because the decisions you make will help you become highly visible to, and discovered by, more potential customers.

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