Manufacturers, distributors and service providers in the industrial sector have more marketing choices than ever before. Careful consideration of all the options will help develop a strategy to make it easier to optimize the marketing budget.

However, even the most seasoned professionals can fall prey to mistakes that are readily avoidable. The following details the 10 most common pitfalls that can be avoided when planning your annual marketing initiatives.

1. Failing to monitor on a continual basis. Your marketing programs must be measurable. This allows you to determine any components of your marketing program that are not working, and make refinement & adjustment on a timely basis.

2. Staying on the same path. Sometimes the only constant is change. Unless you’ve proven your current program is optimized for today’s marketing environment, your plan needs to be updated & evolve. Objectives should be shifted to align with business goals. As new marketing channels enter the mix, prospects will begin to use different resources to obtain relevant business information. This is especially true with the advent & accelerated growth of social media & internet marketing.

3. Forgetting to “fish where the fish are.” Virtually all engineering, technical and industrial professionals now use the Internet throughout their work processes. Are you reaching this target audience through updating your website, including blogs, & monitoring your presentations so you are easily found as customers & potential clients look for products and services like yours?

4. Ignoring frequency. Equally as important is how often you are reaching your target audience. Are you pushing your message out to the market on a regular basis, or are your efforts sporadic? Are you there to attract engineering, technical and industrial professionals when & where they are looking for the products and services you have to offer?

5. Working “in a bubble.” Are the results you are seeing from your marketing campaign in line with what your sales team is looking for? Are your marketing personnel and sales people coordinated in their efforts? Are they working together to ensure that your campaigns are delivering measurable results?

6. Focusing on quantity versus quality. Leads that provide intelligence to begin a relationship and gain a customer are more valuable than piles of nameless, faceless clicks. Be sure to capture relevant information.

7. Neglecting to maximize your media partner relationships. While accountability is a necessary component of any marketing program, look to your advertising media channels for detailed reports delivered in a timely manner.

8. Overlooking timing. Are your marketing initiatives in sync with company-wide events i.e. product or service launches or trade show appearances? Neglecting to keep timing in mind can result in missed opportunities.

9. Abandoning branding and exposure. An increased emphasis on leads has resulted in a shift of focus away from branding and exposure. Continuous exposure to your critical targets will result in qualified marketing & sales opportunities. Are your media channels keeping you in front of your audience of engineering, technical and industrial professionals?

10. Starting the year without a plan. Be intentional in the development of your written goals and objectives, and detail the planning of your tactics for the year identifying the marketing channels that align with your plans. This is an extremely important part of a coordinated process that matches the written narratives of the marketing plan with the accepted budget of marketing expenses.

Updated April 24, 2013
Source: Charles Christiansen,
SCORE Counselor
The material in this publication is based on work supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration under cooperative agreement SBAHG-04-S-0001. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and authoritative but is not intended to be relied on as legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice. You should consult with a qualified professional adviser to discuss issues unique to your business.Copyright 1990. SBA retains an irrevocable, worldwide, nonexclusive, royalty-free, unlimited license to use this copyrighted material.