"Half of the money I spend on marketing is wasted, I just don’t know which half."
A popular statement, no doubt; however, in 2016, it should be a statement from the past. The world of industrial manufacturing and distribution is driven by data and automation. The rise of industrial robotics, smart manufacturing and the Internet of Things is changing the ways we produce and move products around the world. As a result, businesses are improving efficiencies, limiting downtime and reducing the costs associated with getting a product into a customer’s hand.
The buzz surrounding the latest efficient technologies on the warehouse floor is exciting, but what often gets lost in this excitement is the cost of acquiring a customer. The B2B sales cycle is traditionally longer. Sales teams are forced to navigate a confusing process, which can result in missed opportunities and lost revenue. However, the same digital and data-driven revolution that is leaving its mark on industrial distribution systems is having an equally significant impact on industrial sales and marketing efforts.
Largely this is due to a change in B2B customer behavior. A recent report from the respected global consulting firm, Bain & Company, interviewed 370 marketing and sales executives working in the industrial and technology sectors. The numbers are impressive. Almost half of those surveyed said that digital capabilities have significantly changed their customer’s behavior. The report estimates that nearly two-thirds of all industrial B2B buyer research is now done online, meaning that customers have access to more information, and as a result, more power than in the past.
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