The past two years have tested the resolve of the industrial sector with disruptions we could never have imagined. It feels like the global pandemic arrived and someone hit the hyper-speed button on the pace of change.
So as we approach the holiday season, Industrial Marketer podcast co-hosts Joey Strawn and Nels Jensen take a moment to reflect on what has inspired them over the past year amid disruptions and what excites them about the state of industrial marketing.
Resiliency and Innovation Really Do Make You Stronger
Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 90% of manufacturers said in a state of manufacturing survey that their business had been negatively impacted. Yet 97% of those respondents also said the pandemic had created opportunities.
Resiliency is in the DNA of manufacturers and those in the supply chain, and it can be seen in the early response to reinventing the domestic supply chain for PPE. Manufacturers have tapped into their creative powers for products, applications, markets and more. Many have expanded their continuous improvement mindset to all corners of their businesses, not just operations.
MarTech Is Fulfilling the Promise of Delivering a Digital ROI
One of the most satisfying aspects of the past year has been how the industrial sector has embraced digital marketing and e-commerce.
Just as technology improves overall equipment efficiency (OEE) and an ERP streamlines inventory and production, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform allows a company to track leads and attribute revenue to specific marketing efforts. Companies that effectively leverage this sort of marketing technology know how long it takes to get through their marketing funnel or sales cycle. The analytics can show them why prospects become red-hot leads or when they disengage.
ROI is now a bigger part of the industrial marketing conversation. Moreover, 89% of those who developed new digital selling models during the pandemic said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to retain those tactics in the future.
Trade Shows Are Evolving into Better Experiences
Given that industrial buyers for years have been doing a majority of their research online, it made sense that traditional trade shows were losing their overall effectiveness.
But trade shows are not going away, and it is our belief that trade shows will emerge in a more effective hybrid model that leverages the best of both in-person and virtual settings. In-person attendees will benefit from networking and relationships, and remote attendees will have a superior experience in terms of product demonstrations and features and even how to watch a keynote speaker or presentation.
A popular comparison for a hybrid trade show is an NFL game, which is attended in person by thousands of fans, yet is still enjoyed by far more people watching from home. This will take some time to play out, but it is easy to see the potential benefits.
Supply Chain Disruptions Have Shifted Focus From Cost to Value
“Cheap is where innovation goes to die” has long been a saying in product development circles, undoubtedly because it is true. And it’s also true for many other “life cycles,” including the supply chain.
The desire to cut costs has been a race to the bottom for many areas, and the world has watched this play out with the seemingly endless disruptions in the global supply chain. The good news is that much of the industrial sector is now focused on total cost of ownership in the supply chain and how to add value to their partners upstream and downstream. And adding value is always something to be inspired about in the industrial sector.
Listen to the Podcast to Hear More about What We’re Thankful for This Year
Listen to Episode 24 of the Industrial Marketer podcast to hear more about what has inspired us in the industrial sector in the past 18 months, and let us know what has inspired you.
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