"Nobody is using the internet to look for business in our industry." It's something Adept hears a lot, especially in specialized business to business (B2B) micro-niches. But often that isn't entirely true.

Digital marketing CAN work for these companies too, as Adept's experience with an engineering consulting firm shows. Adept's work with the firm has resulted in $6 million of proposals for prospective clients.

Here's how that happened.

Our client provides engineering consulting services in the nutraceutical sector, mainly to food processing plants. This involves creating structural engineering designs, complete design and build projects and optimizing processes, structures and new equipment in manufacturing plants. It's an industry with only a few main players, where reputation and the relationships you build count for everything.

Marketing Optimization for Growth

In 2010, Adept began working with the firm which already had a great reputation and was a multi-million dollar business. But an internal strategic review had revealed the need to create and implement a marketing strategy to foster future business growth and continued competitiveness.

That's where Adept came in.

Our client didn't have an in-house marketing team. Instead, they wanted to outsource their marketing while still gaining all the benefits. They were already doing offline relationship building, but we felt there was an opportunity to use digital marketing for their benefit.

Understanding the Market

Adept's first target was the website, which didn't showcase the consulting firm's brand in the most effective way. Before changing a line of code or altering the design, Adept started the process by assessing the firm's online positioning and creating a content strategy. This involved analyzing competitors and carrying out stakeholder interviews to learn about the decision-making factors in that niche.

The revamped website launched in 2011. Adept used pay per click (PPC) advertising and organic SEO to make it into a continuous lead magnet, but there was one key difference in the approach.

Instead of going for hundreds of leads, Adept focused on quality rather than quantity.

Because it's niche and B2B. it wasn't about volume. It's a different model. We set expectations that we would be successful if 3-4 leads per month had good quality potential, but closing just one of those would make the marketing pay for itself.

The Results: $6m in Proposals

Adept's success with this strategy has been astounding. Since its launch, the site has brought in almost $6 million in proposals. Even though not all of those leads have resulted in closed deals, the firm measures success by how much business they have the opportunity to do, even if they don't actually sign the final contract.

For example, in 2014, proposals worth $233,000 resulted in $185,000 worth of business. With a marketing spend of $50,000, that's a huge win.

We generated $6m worth of proposals via an improved website, PPC and SEO. That proves that for those businesses in a B2B, highly niche, super high dollar industry, digital still works.