Planning for 2011: 3 Questions to Ask (Part 1)
By the Marketing Maven Blog
It’s time to start planning your marketing
strategy and programs for 2011. In order to position
yourself for a strong start in the New Year, one of
the best things you can do is to establish your
marketing goals and objectives, and get your
marketing budget approved early. Otherwise, you may
end up playing catch-up and scrambling to make
marketing decisions without the benefit of
insightful analysis, which can lead to mistakes.
This two-part article will help you evaluate your
current marketing initiatives, focus on your
objectives for 2011, and choose the right programs
to achieve your goals.
1. How are your current marketing programs
To help know what needs changing for next year,
analyze the results of your current marketing
programs. How much did you invest in various
marketing channels? What was the return in terms of
quality lead generation and visibility among your
target audience? Were leads delivered to you in a
timely manner, with prospect contact information
that your sales team could use to establish a
relationship? Hopefully, you deployed resources into
marketing programs that provided performance
What percentage of your marketing budget was
allocated to online marketing programs? Many online
programs give you 24/7 exposure to your target
audience and enable you to connect with customers
and prospects when they are motivated and actively
searching. If you’re still using the same
traditional marketing channels you were several
years ago, you may be experiencing a decline in
Ask your sales people what marketing programs they
think work the best in terms of delivering good
sales opportunities. They will be happy to tell you
because they want more of those opportunities.
2. What industry trends impact your marketing?
Upwards of 90 percent of industrial professionals
now go online to search for suppliers and
components. Hand-in-hand with this trend is a
continuing decline in print advertising and other
As an industrial marketer, understanding how these
trends impact your marketing choices is critical.
According to the 2010 Marketing Trends Survey, 47
percent of industrial marketers reported spending at
least one-third of their marketing budget online in
2010. Three of the top four sources for leads for
industrial companies were online channels, including
the company website, email marketing, and search
engine optimization. If you want to connect with
your audience in 2011, you should be increasing your
presence in online marketing channels.
Other important trends show where industrial
companies are investing. According to the GlobalSpec
2010 Industrial Indicators Survey, the worst of the
economic downturn seems to be over and industrial
companies are engaging in growth oriented
activities. 18 percent of industrial companies have
increased headcount, compared to only 5 percent a
year ago. 15 percent of companies are increasing
research and development spending, a 50 percent
increase over last year.
47 percent of companies are focused on improving
production efficiencies, 42 percent on quality, and
39 percent on new product development. Companies
will need to spend on components, parts, and
services in order to fulfill their initiatives.
You should account for these trends in your planning
for next year. For example, if your products or
services can help companies improve production
efficiencies or quality, you may want to create
specific messages around those points. This is a
good time to check to see that your website, data
sheets, white papers, and other collateral are
up-to-date, and properly position your products and
Another trend is the emphasis on “content
marketing,” which is the creation and sharing of
content such as white papers, Web pages, blog posts,
webinars, e-newsletters, podcasts, and more to
attract and engage current and potential customers.
Is your company creating relevant content to help
build your brand and move prospects through the
buying cycle? What are your plans for increasing
content marketing in 2011?
3. What’s new for your company in 2011?
Make sure you know and account for strategic
initiatives your company may be planning for next
year, such as:
• Timing of new product launches or product updates
• Product retirements
• New partnerships or mergers
• Expansion into new geographic markets
• Expansion into new customer segments
Mark important initiatives on your marketing
calendar. You’ll want to make sure you increase
marketing efforts to support business initiatives.
Next week, we’ll cover specific marketing programs
and how they can support various objectives you are
trying to meet in 2011.
---Source: Marketing Maven Blog Sept.
28, 2010 (www.marketingmaven.globalspec.com).