Plus 8 strategic advantages
Business-to-business marketers continue to shift resources from traditional sales and marketing tactics to online. With websites improving (and social media still out with jury) industry loves the ROI of email marketing. It’s a cost-effective way to stay in touch with customers and cultivate new leads. Here are three factors that are trending, and later I describe eight strategic advantages that are hard to argue:
1. Lead generation is the number one goal
WebMarketing123 reports that more than half of B2B marketers consider lead generation the most important metric of biz-dev. The supply chain is no exception. I found statistics that show nearly 75 percent of manufacturers consistently cite customer acquisition or lead generation as their primary goal of marketing over the past 3 years.
2. Online is the preferred channel
Manufacturers also state that the most fertile sources for real-time leads come from online sources. Investing in company websites, SEO, and email marketing top their priority list. Aside from being a medium that most people are comfortable with, there is increased confidence overall that email is particularly measurable, scalable and relatively affordable.
3. Expansion of mobile makes your message more ubiquitous
In May 2012, Nielsen reported that smartphones now outnumber more basic devices in the U.S. and that usage has grown by about three percent since December 2011 alone. What’s more, researchers found that 45 percent of all mobile web use was for; you guessed it, checking email.
Range of advantages
The supply chain is short on some resources by design. Businesses consistently report not having enough capital, people or time to deal with marketing effectively. But never forget the strategic advantages email leverages for increasing awareness and feeding the sales funnel. Email marketing can be:
- Personal—customize messages to an exact target
- Fast and timely—reach recipients on the day/time you intend; quick turn from concept to execution; fast download
- Scalable—messages can go to 3 or three hundred recipients with virtually the same effort
- On Brand— messages can be formatted to communicate your image
- Interactive—engage recipients with graphics, surveys, video and more
- Measurable—know if they’re opened; know if they failed delivery (bounce); whether they are clicked on and, how many you convert (to the next step)
- Affordable—nothing to print, store or ship
- Preferred—the communication choice for many
“There’s hardly anything in sales and marketing more cost effective, easier to track, easier to measure, or more direct than an email with a purpose.” —See Rescue sales and marketing efforts with effective email—Material Insights blog
One big caveat
According to a 2011 email marketing report, the number one challenge to email effectiveness is creating relevant, motivating content. One reason for this challenge is that “developing a sufficient amount of content is a time-intensive process that [most companies] do not have [(or choose not to have)] the resources to produce.” This shouldn’t be a deal breaker but nonetheless, something to consider.
Email allows you the leverage to communicate with your existing clients, prospects, employees, vendors or resellers on a consistent basis with specific messages. It may also be the gold standard for ramping up customer acquisition and lead generation opportunities. Shouldn’t email become a line item in your marketing budget, or within your online, lead-generation budget at minimum?
HIT Solutions believes the more your business keeps up with important trends, the more you will improve your product, and improve your bottom line.
Leave me your comments below; share your thoughts.