And she screamed out kicking on her side and said,
I’ve lost control again.
And seized up on the floor, I thought she’d die.
She said I’ve lost control
She’s Lost Control, Joy Division
Prior to the virus, a growing problem for manufacturing marketing leaders was helping their key account sales reps regain control of their customer buying cycles. This problem is caused by buying groups doing their own research online anonymously prior to talking to their sales rep.
Loss of control is a big problem to solve when a manufacturer spends 25% of its total budget on Sales & Marketing. The virus just made that problem even worse with cancelled trade shows, events and face-to-face meetings.
In the pre-digital days, sales reps controlled most of the buying cycle. Then when B2B buyers started doing their own research online, marketing responded with websites, gated content, webinars, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing. Those early digital lead generation tactics may have worked for companies targeting mid-size accounts with small buying committees, however when targeting large accounts with big buying committees, it was rarely successful.
Global manufacturers never really embraced the first wave of digital marketing because marketing automation systems were lead centric, not account centric. This drove misalignment because manufacturing salespeople are not interested in 99% of marketing automation leads. The failure of lead generation digital marketing is the primary reason why manufacturers held back on digital transformation and invested more on analog marketing like trade shows, events, trade publications, sponsorships and cold calling.
With recent technology breakthroughs in account-based marketing such as IP based ad targeting, anonymous intent tracking, and machine learning, a digital golden age has emerged for manufacturing marketers. This is an opportunity to take control of key account buying cycles and make marketing matter again. Now is the time to re-align with sales to educate your buyers and lead them to your solution. If you don’t, your competitors will.
We work with hundreds of visionary manufacturing and technology marketing leaders who have adopted these new account-based marketing technologies and disciplines. For example, Henkel marketing teams grows key accounts with an insights–driven ABM approach. Worthington help drive sales growth in new verticals with IP-based ads, and MilliporeSigma cultivate key account growth with ABM. All of these pioneers have stepped out of their comfort zones to give their business a competitive advantage.
Today, in the digital buying group era, account-based marketing has become crucial. Marketers that wait too long to adapt will become extinct.
By Nick Heys, Founder & CEO Jabmo.