Last week, I pondered over business media reports that indicated that ad sales surrounding broadcast television were decreasing at a considerable rate.  The reasons are somewhat obvious; more people are turning away from broadcast networks with a preference for online digital platforms for entertainment and news. I can observe this trend succinctly in my extended family and friends.

Digital platforms provide for more audience segmentation because we as consumers and customers seek out specific online sites that provide value as well as entertainment.  This applies to both personal and more and more, business and personal career needs as well.

Marketing teams within B2C customer environments are certainly well aware of these trends as they continue to shift significant aspects of marketing spend towards more focused online channels. I wonder, however, if B2B marketing teams, especially those firms offering supply chain, procurement, manufacturing and product lifecycle management technology and services have truly internalized these same trends.

It is too often in my observations and associated conversations with technology marketing teams that I note that a high percentage of their marketing budgets are allocated to sponsoring attendance at industry or trade events. Why?  Because their direct sales teams constantly seek venues to meet and mine “prospects”.  However, in the case of supply chain focused events, there is the brute reality of far too many events chasing limited demand.

If your email is like mine, a day does not go by without multiple notifications of upcoming supply chain focused events.  Professional organizations pay to play conference firms, trade and media publications, industry analyst firms and technology providers themselves barrage industry professionals with conference attendance opportunities.  But, the obvious reality is that anyone in a supply chain or manufacturing focused position is far too occupied in getting his/her job accomplished on a day-to-day basis to find the time to attend multiple events on a year round basis.  If they do attend such events, it is often a regional or trusted event requiring manageable justification and opportunities for networking with peer professionals vs. technology focused salespeople. Once more, in this era of globally focused supply chain networks, people are constantly mobile, traveling on business or visiting remote locations. Hence, they have learned that seeking supply chain information and insights can be selectively accomplished online. Yet, marketing teams continue to shell out thousands and thousands to support an annual trek of conference events, hoping that their sales team will find that one golden prospect.

The coming few weeks are the period where marketing budgets for the coming calendar year are compiled, reviewed and approved.  We continue to advise that the same current realities of online apply to supply chain, manufacturing, procurement and product management communities.  Why cast a wide net when online properties provide the segmented audience your products or services require? Why ignore the compelling benefits of social media and digitally-focused inbound marketing based initiatives that provide constant, around the clock brand impressions as opposed to a singular one-time event where conversion rates are questionable?

Finally, a reminder that this site, Supply Chain Matters, has amassed a targeted audience of readers seeking the deepest coverage and insights into industry specific supply chain, manufacturing and Supply Chain Matters Blog- Independent analysis and insights on supply chain management product management business and technology learning.  A scan of our content categories provides examples of the depth of our cross-functional and industry-specific content.

We provide personalized programs to make your brand and product marketing initiatives successful with broader and continuous reach.  Give us a call or send us an email and let us show you how we have assisted other clients.

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Bob Ferrari