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How to start digitalizing my sales and marketing activities?

Published September 14, 2023 | Written by SpecialChem

If you are asking yourself this question, there are chances that your company is in the 80%+ that are at digital maturity level 1 ("Analog") or level 2 ("Outbound"). This is the result of our SpecialChem online test assessing chemical company’s digital maturity. 

Please pass the online test to confirm your actual level. A clear and honest initial assessment is the biggest important step in your digitalization journey. At each level, you will get valuable insights and resources on what you have achieved so far and what you need to do to reach the next level up. Step by step. 



If you are at level 1, “Analog”, it means that you continue to do business in the model used before the industry digitalization wave. More specifically, your company finds itself characterized by one or more of the following traits:
  • Your sales force is the unique go-to-market channel

  • You continue to rely on physical events, the trade shows, as your main promotion initiatives. You aim using these very limited in time events for many different purposes and goals:
    • to launch your new products
    • to strengthen the relationships with your current customers
    • to attract new customers
    • to consolidate your current portfolio positioning

  • Your corporate website is probably a storefront designed to present what your company does, but not to engage with customers online. It does not generate digital interactions

  • You have a very limited presence on social media, and you do not use search engine advertising (SEA) nor Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as traffic generation methods. You probably do not have  newsletters nor marketing emails to engage new customers

  • The biggest part of your business comes from existing clients, and new sales mostly come from prospection efforts or upsell with existing customers

  • You probably do not have a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) or it is not fully utilized by the sales and marketing teams. It might be used primarily to store sales reports.
Now, that you confirmed your current state, you must prepare your action plan with the goal to reach the 2nd level, “outbound”. No worries, you do not have to do this alone. Here are some of our suggestions on measures you should take to ensure your sales and marketing digitalization progress:
  • Make your website lead generating
Your website should become one of your ongoing sources of leads. To capture the traffic and interest, start adding forms on your website and use strong call to actions to convert visitors into leads. The forms give them the possibility to connect with you at any time to send their questions, their requests, or to get access to your most valuable content pieces (whitepapers, case studies, e-books, etc.) 
  • Content strategy
Content creation is at the core of lead generation in any digitalization journey. Digital buyers, your prospects, are willing to share their contact details if they get access to valuable contents, be they educational resources which help them advance in finding solutions to current challenges and projects or promotional in case of rich TDS. Case studies, tech papers, articles and videos are highly appreciated by the technical buyers of specialty chemicals. By sharing valuable contents, you increase your chances to engage with them short-term, but also to stay top of mind on the topics covered by your content for their future project needs. 
  • Take care of your company’s LinkedIn page
Social media is an important digital channel. Not necessarily to connect with customers as they do not go on social media to search for products or technologies, but rather to build credibility, trust and branding. Best is to have this activity under specific responsibility, to make sure you integrate it with your content strategy and post adapted contents regularly. 
  • Invest in an extension of your CRM called Marketing Automation (MA)
At the beginning, you will probably use it to send newsletters or even emailings to your current customers and prospects. This is part of a future nurturing strategy. Sending relevant educational and promotional contents periodically is a great way to stay on top of their mind and keep the communication channels open. You will progressively use your Marketing Automation tool to do more sophisticated things like for example triggering automatic emails towards designated targets.
  • You can start doing webinars

Webinars are online events with the primary goal of educating your audience on a specific topic: industry evolution, innovative solutions to respond to most stringent problems in your target markets and applications, new technologies, etc. They should not be bluntly promotional!

The ideal format of the webinar consists in max 1-hour session split into 20-30 minutes for your presentation and about 20 minutes for the questions and answers (Q&A) session. This format allows your audience to directly interact with you and your subject matter experts during the event, but also after the live session. 


  • Use Material Selection Platforms to learn digitally from superior capabilities (SpecialChem could be a great idea!)
Becoming digital means becoming multi-channel. This is systematically observed in every industry. By the way, it does not mean at all to get rid of sales forces. Rather to create additional channels to and from the market. In the specialty chemicals business, Material Selection Platforms like SpecialChem have become one of these unavoidable digital channels.
Being part of SpecialChem will provide you a very large exposure towards your market and much greater chances to interact with customers in search mode as they massively go on such platforms to explore the products and technologies available.
But it will also provide you an accelerated digital training. You will access and benefit from modern systems, streamline marketing processes, all integrated with all the data you need to engage customers digitally. At a much lower investment level vs. what you would need to invest to have the same capabilities in-house. You also find there all the assistance and experience of our Customer Success Managers who will make your programs perform but also make sure your gain in digital maturity through them. Working with SpecialChem is an easy and incredibly effective way to gain digital maturity in an accelerated manner. At a very reasonable investment level. 
What do you achieve with a greater digital maturity? You manage different channels and tools, you offer new digital interactions through them, your existing customers start to look at you differently and you engage with new ones. At maturity levels 1 & 2 you do not need to break your organization as your teams start to adjust to these new practices step by step. You observe direct benefits in terms of market education, awareness, and visibility. Your offer an enriched experience to your customers.
BUT do not expect results in the form of systematic short-term sales.  As you will not be customer-centric in the sense that you will not base your sales & marketing on their current intents and needs, but based on the messages YOU want to pass (on your website, your social pages or your emails), you will not systematically engage people who are having a pressing need of your products right now. This is the goal when you will be at digital maturity 3 😊.
Let us know if you have any questions or need support in your digital journey, we are more than happy to assist you. 
Also, continue to benefit from our learning center. In the upcoming articles, we will share the actions needed to pass from level 2, “outbound” of digital maturity to level 3, “inbound”. Stay tuned. 



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