The role of marketing has changed dramatically in the last century and even more so in the past several decades. It has constantly evolved to keep up with ever-changing technology in our day-to-day lives. This applies to many industries, but few more so than the manufacturing industry. While it still can work, cold calling prospects or popping into a client’s office with donuts hoping to get five minutes and calling it marketing won’t be enough to move the needle.
What is Marketing?
So, what exactly is marketing, and why is it important? In the simplest terms, marketing is demand generation, which is attracting potential customers to a product or service through things like ad campaigns, webinars, social media promotions, blog posts, email campaigns, or conferences and events.
While sales and marketing share a common goal (revenue growth), they have very different responsibilities. For example, marketing focuses on all activities that build interest in your business’s product or service. However, sales focus on managing relationships with potential customers and selling them the product or service.
With the right marketing strategy, gathering enough demand for the product(s) a manufacturing company creates will keep your sales team busy creating and finalizing quotes.
The Growth of Digital Marketing Platforms in B2B
We live in a digital world, and if you do not have a digital footprint, you and your business are already behind. There is nothing wrong with how marketing worked before, but the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry has to evolve to keep up with technology, social media, and more. Your potential customers are online, and there’s no better way to connect with them than on platforms like LinkedIn. There are almost 200 million members on LinkedIn in the United States alone with about 16% logging in daily.
LinkedIn members are looking for jobs, keeping up with brands that they like, or seeking out companies that they deem as authorities in the market for business-related content. 40% of B2B marketers indiciated LinkedIn as the most effective way to drive high-quality leads. So, with a proper digital marketing strategy that includes posting to the platform regularly, and running ads – you can reach more customers and bring in more qualified leads to ultimately grow your business.
While activities such as cold calling, knocking on client doors, dropping off food, and attending trade shows or local networking events will help build relationships with your buyers, it is crucial you do even more to stay top of mind on the digital platforms they use.
When was the last time your website underwent an update? Let’s say your business was founded in 2002, and if your website looks like it was stuck in 2002, it’s highly possible you’re losing leads. Manufacturing companies need a high-performing website that provides information about your products, your process, the leadership team, company history, as well as resources like white papers, videos, and blogs that show your industry leadership and expertise. Potential customers are coming to you with questions or pain points that need to be addressed, and your website is their first impression and should provide them with all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Did you know that, on average, someone will spend less than 15 seconds on your website? That’s about as long as a walk-up song at a baseball game. If your website is outdated or doesn’t have helpful information easily accessible – chances are you’ve lost that potential customer.
Other essential marketing tactics that you should consider when putting together your marketing strategy include:
- Offer potential customers valuable product or service information via gated downloads or webinars (this means they have to enter some basic contact information in order to download the material). It is also important to have educational content informing potential customers about why your product or service is best suited to their needs over a competitor’s.
- Gathering leads from that gated content and funneling them into email drip campaigns.
- Optimize your website and content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), including anything from video content to blogs, career opportunities, and more.
- Run targeted digital ad campaigns that address your customer’s pain points across multiple platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
- Have an active social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.
Are You Ready to Invest in a Marketing Program?
The most common pain points we hear from businesses in the manufacturing industry are that marketing is too far out of the budget, they aren’t sure which marketing initiatives to prioritize first, or they’ve already got an in-house generalist that can handle it.
However, not investing in channels that your customers are using to do research, or asking your marketing team to wear too many hats means that you’re risking exposure to prospective buyers.
Work With a Marketing Agency with Manufacturing Industry Experience
A custom digital marketing strategy tailored to your business can improve the quality of leads you see coming in the door. Marketing Refresh can help you meet potential customers where they are already doing their research online and connect them with the answers to their questions or solutions to their problems – which will be your website! From there, they will have an easy path to set up a demo or sales call with you and your team.
Overall, you’re not doing anything wrong, but the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry is ever-evolving, and if you don’t keep up with the new trends, you may just get left behind.
Marketing Refresh is a full-service digital marketing agency, and we would love to help you and your business. Contact us today and let us discuss how we can enhance your manufacturing business’s marketing strategy to reach your goals.