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4 Essential Content Marketing Tips for Industrial Manufacturers

Posted by Denise Locke on May 22, 2015

Many B2B manufacturers struggle with making their businesses appear interesting or inviting to particular segments of their target audience. More often than not, the industrial products these companies produce (you know… plastic bearings, shipping containers, and other items we’ve helped our clients market) do not just sell themselves; they need a little oomph! That’s where content marketing comes to the rescue – to liven up your brand and help educate potential buyers about trending industry topics so they are more informed when the time comes for them to make a purchasing decision.

An important first step to successfully creating content is to identify your buyer personas. Once you take care of this strategic component, you can start with some brainstorming and research to help you better understand your audience and determine how to capture their attention. Here are 4 content marketing tips to get you started:

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Industrial Marketing

How to Delight Your Customers: 7 Easy B2B Marketing Ideas

Posted by Oren Smith on May 21, 2015

In the B2B world, it’s no secret that the process of selling your product or service typically takes a longer time to complete. In fact, the average sales cycle has increased by 22% over the past 5 years due to an increase in the number of decision makers involved in the buying process. Consequently, in order to seal the deal, a hefty chunk of your marketing efforts must be devoted to building and maintaining relationships with your target prospects and customers.

But B2B marketing doesn’t stop once you close a new customer! It’s an ongoing process. In order to create a lasting positive impression with your clients, you need to absolutely delight them. By making your current clients really happy, you are giving yourself the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell your services. After all, most businesses spend more money to acquire a new customer than to retain an older one, right?

Ultimately, you want your current clients to become evangelists who promote your services on your behalf. Yes, meeting deadlines, communicating effectively, and delivering the goods is obviously vital to your success. But sometimes, the ways you can really wow your clients are manifested in the little things. Check out these 7 simple B2B marketing ideas you can leverage to continually convey value to your current clients – and impress them time and time again.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Relationship Marketing

How to Build Buyer Personas for an Industrial Marketing Plan

Posted by Denise Locke on May 15, 2015

As an industrial manufacturer, developing and running a content marketing program for your business isn’t exactly at the top of your to-do list. Yet regularly publishing and promoting useful content geared to your target prospects is one of the most effective ways you can quickly generate qualified leads in a niche B2B industry. In fact, about 56% of industrial professionals do not even contact a vendor until they evaluate their options by comparing supplier website content! (Source: GlobalSpec) So it’s time to take a good look at how you communicate the value of your company and the value of your brand online.

The first step to creating content for your industrial marketing plan is to identify your target audience (also known as your buyer persona). Best practice is to first pinpoint the person you’d like to reach, determine exactly what they are searching for, and then define the role they play in the decision-making process. By completing this critical preliminary task, you can more closely target your market and tailor your message. 

Need some ideas to get started? A typical industrial manufacturing purchasing persona may look something like this:

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Topics: Content Marketing, Industrial Marketing

Cinco Signs You Need Inbound Marketing Services

Posted by Liz O'Neill on May 5, 2015

What does Cinco de Mayo have to do with inbound marketing services? Great question.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army's impossible victory over French troops on May 5, 1862. They were outnumbered and outgunned, but the Mexicans had strategy on their side. They also had a better reason to fight. In the end, they beat Goliath all the way back to Bordeaux. Well, sort of…

Point is, May 5th is a day devoted to underdogs. And inbound marketing services (content creation, lead nurturing, website optimization, etc.) are the smartest weapons any underdog can wield. Inbound marketing services make it possible for you to compete against the B2B equivalent of Napoleon III. Because even if your SMB can’t afford (or justify) hiring a full-time copywriter, web developer, graphic designer, SEO analyst, and video production team, your marketing program can still look like a million pesos.

So without further mixed metaphors, here are cinco signs you need inbound marketing services hoy día:

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Inbound Marketing

How to Improve Your Click-Through Rate with Better CTA Design

Posted by Oren Smith on April 30, 2015

Are your CTAs performing as well as you would like them to be? Are they assisting your lead and customer conversion efforts, or are they just harming them? Despite that a CTA is one of the simplest components of any complete inbound marketing strategy, it has one of the most important jobs!

But before we dive in, let’s backtrack a little bit… What exactly is a CTA?

CTA (or Call-to-Action) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take a specific desired action. In the B2B lead generation process, a Call-to-Action grabs the attention of your website visitor and redirects him to a landing page on which this visitor could possibly convert into a lead.

Now, where do you place CTAs? Literally just about anywhere! CTAs can be included on your home page, in emails, at the bottom of blog posts, on product pages, press releases, social media profiles, etc. Consult your data analytics and check out which of your site pages are garnering the most visits (and providing you with the most conversion opportunities), and prioritize placing CTAs at these points of friction.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Website Design

7 Relationship Marketing Musts for the Professional Services Industry

Posted by Oren Smith on April 29, 2015

When selling a service, you are marketing something intangible. Your prospects and customers are relying on the trust they have placed in you, and more often than not, they will not realize the full value of your service until after it has been delivered (and sometimes even weeks or months after that!). Therefore, relationship marketing plays a larger role for companies competing in the professional services industry.

From the first few visits prospects make to your company website all the way through the work completed for them once they are clients, there are actions you can take to cultivate the connection between your business and theirs. It’s all about the little ways you nurture your leads and continue to delight them once they convert into customers. So let’s cut to the chase... Here are 7 pieces of relationship marketing advice you can use to enrich that essential rapport from beginning to end – and maybe get a few fist bumps along the way!

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Topics: Marketing Professional Services, Relationship Marketing

12 Inbound Marketing Statistics That Should Matter to B2B Marketers

Posted by Oren Smith on April 24, 2015

As with any popular industry, there are so many inbound marketing statistics bouncing around the internet. Just do a Google search, and you’re likely to find articles titled “40 Inbound Marketing Stats that Will Blow Your Mind!” “55 Mind-Blowing Inbound Statistics!” “101 Inbound Marketing Statistics that Will Literally Rip Your Brain into Tiny Pieces!” yada, yada, yada.

Or instead of doing that and sifting through a million pieces of data for the B2B goodies, you can simply continue reading this article. You might recognize some of these numbers; others may give you some brand new insight. But we’ve selected the 12 inbound marketing stats of which B2B marketers should be taking notice – and we’ll tell you why!

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Inbound Marketing

How to Find Bloggers in Your Industry – and Interact with Them!

Posted by Oren Smith on April 23, 2015

So you’ve decided that it makes sense to start blogging as a way to boost your company’s online presence. Now what?

It’s time for your first assignment: to seek out blogs written and managed by the major social influencers and thought leaders in your industry. And to get in touch with what they’re saying and doing that resonates with readers.

Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute report that as of 2014, a whopping 76% of B2B marketers incorporate blogging into their content marketing programs. With that said, many of these companies aren’t developing an actual blogging strategy.

Before you start writing your business blog, it’s important to know what’s trending and what’s not – and to know how to find bloggers worth monitoring and engaging. Use these 4 steps to dive into the blogging conversation and give your own following a kick-start!

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Topics: Social Marketing, Content Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Blogging

SMB Sales Executive + Outsourced Marketing Team = B2B Powerhouse

Posted by Oren Smith on April 21, 2015

Marketing and Sales are like oil and water… true or false? *record scratch* Wait… are we really still talking about this? No? Okay, phew! Frankly, whoever said Marketing and Sales do not or cannot mix needs a good ol’ reality check. Especially in the world of small businesses, these two “departments” are often mixing, mingling, or merged in order to conserve funds while working with a limited budget.

Just take a look at SMB Sales executives for example… they’re the walking, talking poster children for M&S alignment. Why?

Because these self-identified Sales people get stuck doing marketing all the time!  When you think about it, have you ever heard of a small company’s VP of Sales not having any involvement with marketing? (Let alone managing most of it themselves…)

Yet, in this scenario, there is a fine line between aligning Marketing and Sales and being overwhelmed by them. And that’s problematic.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Outsourced Marketing, Sales

5 Signs You Absolutely Need a Website Redesign

Posted by Oren Smith on April 8, 2015

Tired of looking at the same old company website day after day? If so, you’ve probably been considering investing in a new design.

But the question is… do you really need one?

A full-scale redesign can take a lot of time, and the process often requires allocations from the budget your business might not be willing to part with. The alternative is to pinpoint areas of your website that could use a simpler and less expensive refresh. Now, you just need some help determining which option will provide the most effective solution.

The first thing to keep in mind is that executing a website redesign implies there is a need for a fundamental change – whether it be a visual or technical overhaul, an evolution of your brand, major modifications to your marketing strategy, or even a combination of all these elements. Website redesign affects your business as a whole, and the process requires a strategic approach aligned with both short-term and long-term business objectives.

If you wholeheartedly agree with any of the following statements, a website redesign is most likely the answer for you. Time to check out five major reasons you should be waving goodbye to your old design:

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Topics: Website Design