Industrial marketing processes can be measured with a high degree of accuracy. In fact, industrial marketing processes should be measured on a consistent basis, which is to say all the time—every time. Did I mention you need to measure your industrial marketing processes? Perhaps another way of putting it is that it is imperative that you measure your industrial marketing processes. Hope this is all clear.
Frankly, one of life’s little mysteries is why many otherwise self-respecting manufacturing executives seem to feel that measurement tools can only be applied to production processes. With some forethought, measurement can also be applied to virtually any industrial marketing process. This, of course, also means that any industrial marketing process can then be improved.
But first, you really need to understand how absurd it is to allow random industrial marketing processes to continue unabated in your manufacturing company.
Here’s an example.
Let’s assume you have a fabrication shop that is a 24 hour per day operation and one of the smaller parts you produce is created by a machinist operating a manual machine. During the first shift the machinist averages 6 parts per hour with a 1% defect rate on a weekly basis. On the same weekly basis, the machinist on the second shift averages 7 parts per hour with a 1% defect rate. The third shift is a different story altogether. On a weekly basis the machinist on the third shift averages from 3 to 9 parts per hour with a 1% to 9% defect rate.
Now if you are like the vast majority of manufacturing executives I have met you would soon investigate the cause of the variations on the third shift and get the problems resolved. You would measure output and quality in production and take the necessary steps to optimize both.
So why would you not measure the output and quality in your industrial marketing processes? Either you do not think this can be done or you do not know how to do so.
Industrial marketing can be measured
Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, and other managerial concepts are all excellent tools that can be used in manufacturing processes. Although they can be used to optimize industrial marketing processes, they tend to be associated with production.
The fact is that while incredibly useful, a full implementation of Lean or its counterparts is totally unnecessary to measure your industrial marketing. The necessary methodology is far more basic—simply refuse to participate in produce any form of marketing activity that can’t be measured.
The first step is to utilize direct marketing best practices. A basic example would be to have offers of educational information that are only available on landing pages on your website. Each of these landing pages can be promoted by a specific online or offline advertisement or direct mail campaign. This is classical outbound marketing.
But what about the brave new world of inbound marketing? Many marketing professionals will tell you inbound marketing cannot be measured. I do not think this is entirely true.
While purely brand-building inbound marketing practices are hard to measure, you still can offer links to specific landing pages on your website that, if not able to tell you the exact source of your website visitors, will be able to narrow it down. You also can measure the growth of inbound links, RSS subscribers for your blog, blog comments, inbound calls, the list is nearly endless.