Industrial marketing can be a little challenging. Effective industrial marketing can be more difficult still. Perfect industrial marketing is virtually impossible. One of the more disturbing trends I see in my industrial marketing consulting work is people who seem to be obsessed with perfection. Every activity must be analyzed, modified, reanalyzed, discussed, modified, reassessed, discussed, bandied about, and, well, you get the idea.
What these misguided souls fail to realize is that industrial marketing success is ultimately about success, not perfection. In fact while they seek perfection their competitors are often able to steal a march and gain market share.
It might be helpful to consider the following and apply it to your particular industrial marketing practices.
Industrial marketing success is about measuring the right things
Let’s say you have decided you want to run a direct mail lead generation campaign. Because you are a wise industrial marketing professional you first perform your market research to determine the best lead generation list, offer, headlines, and copy.
Once the glorious mailing day finally arrives you send out your lead generation package. You have read that typical lead generation responses run from ½% to 2% and can’t wait to get response rates far in excess of these averages. In your mind getting a higher response rate is an obvious outcome as you slaved over every last detail in your direct mail lead generation package. You dotted every i and you crossed every t and ensured you had split no infinitive or dangled any participle.
You send out your masterpiece of industrial marketing communications and wait for the seemingly inevitable responses to pour in. And horror of horrors, you get a 1/3% response. You throw your hands in the air, don the sack cloth, pour ashes on your head, and gnash your teeth like there is no tomorrow.
If you are a perfectionist you will feel your lead generation campaign was a disaster because your lead generation package did not even meet the lowest typical response rate. But you are measuring the wrong thing. Never mind the response rate, was your lead generation mailing profitable? Were you able to convert the leads you generated into customers? Did these new customers offset the cost of your lead generation campaign?
If you can answer yes to these questions then your lead generation campaign was a success. It may not have been as much of a home run as you had hoped for, but it still was a success.
Industrial marketing success is about action
At some point you must send out your industrial marketing efforts where they will be judged by the only people that matter, your marketplace. Once you have your responses then you work on modifying and perfecting the next iteration.
The key point is this, you must act. It is dysfunctional to spend hundreds of hours slaving over every last detail (unless you have unlimited funds or time) in the vain hope that it will be a blockbuster campaign. Simply use Pareto’s law. 80% of your results will come from the 20% of vital activities associated with your industrial marketing initiatives.
I am not suggesting you be cavalier about your marketing initiative and give it little thought. What I am saying is once you feel you have covered the bases execute your initiative. By all means put a good effort into your initiative, test in smaller quantities, make subsequent changes, and retest.
But be sure to act. It will never be perfect so get moving. Success loves speed.