Can Internet Marketing Really Help My B2B Business?

My Marketing Still Works Just Fine.

While it is common practice for manufacturers and industrial businesses to have a website, these businesses often shy away from online advertising and instead invest most, if not all, of their marketing budgets in more traditional forms of advertising. Traditional advertising is where these businesses feel most comfortable, as they have a long standing history with these mediums and know what to expect. However, while each business has its own methods of attributing income to each marketing campaign, the reality is that most traditional methods of marketing offer no way to calculate an exact return on investment, as the true level of exposure the business is receiving is often unknown.

Take print campaigns, for example. If you place an ad in a niche trade magazine, you may know the number of subscribers the magazine has, but how many of those actually read the magazine? How many readers actually saw your ad? How many took action based on that ad? The same holds true for direct mail campaigns. Of the targeted addresses you delivered to, how many reached their destination? How many did a clerk or secretary toss aside? How many actually made it in front of the CEO?

Can Internet Marketing Really Do Any Better?

Unlike traditional methods of marketing, Internet marketing campaigns provide businesses with statistical analytics that they can use to track the outcome of their marketing campaign and determine their exact return on investment (ROI). While Internet marketing can provide accurate tracking of exactly what works and why, it is not cheap, and some manufacturers may struggle to justify the initial investment in an environment that demands lean operations. Internet marketing is also not an overnight fix. Campaigns have to be conducted for a number of months to achieve the vaunted ROI, and it takes highly trained technical work by optimization experts, such as those at Net Site Marketing, before businesses will begin to see an improvement in revenues.

However, statistics show that online marketing is well worth the investment, provided you do your homework and go with an accredited Internet marketing company. According to a 2012 State of Digital Marketing Report, 59% of B2B marketers credit Internet marketing with having the biggest direct impact on lead generation. And while the initial fees charged for Internet marketing services may seem pricey, a 2011 Hubspot study found that inbound Internet marketing actually costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.

That’s Great, but My Business Doesn’t Rely on Website Sales.

Even if you don’t use your website to generate leads or sales right now, a properly optimized website will help your target market to find your business when researching product vendors and suppliers. According to a 2012 Buyersphere Report, 73% of B2B industrial buyers use the web to gather information prior to making a purchase. This means those buyers you used to receive through distribution chains and trade shows are turning more and more to the Internet as their primary means for making a purchase decision. This behavior is the driving force behind a trending shift in marketing budgets away from legacy marketing streams and towards Internet marketing.

In addition, younger industrial buyers are much more likely to use the Internet for information than older generations. As the workforce matures, the Internet will become increasingly relied upon as a primary resource and will steadily continue to dominate sales in the marketplace. Those manufacturers who have invested in optimized websites to the point where they are achieving high positions in the search engines, will continue to have an edge over the competition, and will be primed to capitalize on this ever-growing revenue stream.