Manufacturing companies have been trying to figure out ways to automate their processes for years. Automation, whether it’s to manage the front and back office processes with an ERP or track customer relationships with a CRM, has been driving the improvement of the manufacturing industry. However, with new technology available for the shop floor and in the factory, manufacturers have the opportunity to improve their sales and marketing processes and alignment with even more automated processes. How, you ask? Marketing automation for manufacturers.
Is automating your marketing strategy the way to go?
The answer is simple – yes! The truth is, there is less time these days for labor intensive marketing methods such as direct mail, tradeshows and printed brochures and catalogs. We’re not saying get rid of those things altogether. But it’s time to adopt a new digital strategy for manufacturer’s sales and marketing programs. Manufacturing Global recently reported the top revenue driver for manufacturing companies is to create a brand strategy that differentiates your product from your competitors. In fact, with the right tools, some manufacturing companies are landing quote requests from their first email send. However, a lack of marketing resources can prevent manufacturers from achieving these goals.
According to Aberdeen, firms that use marketing automation improve lead conversions 107%, have a greater average deal size of 40%, have a 20% higher attainment quota and 17% better forecast accuracy. Here are some of the ways we’re seeing manufacturers benefit from marketing automation this year.
6 Ways Manufacturing Companies are Benefiting from Marketing Automation
- CRM integration.
Integrating marketing automation with your CRM enables you to learn more about your customers. A CRM integration eliminates manual processes and aligns marketing with sales around a streamlined process. In other words, integrating your CRM with your marketing efforts (i.e. marketing automation solution) makes it easier to share data across all business units.
- Understanding buyer personas.
Buyer personas help marketers create the ideal strategy and specific campaigns to drive your leads through the buyer’s journey. Manufacturers may have several different buyer personas and it’s important to remember that even with B2B sales, you’re selling to a person too. You need to personalize your campaign to target different buyers within your industry. Marketing automation tracks engagement to help define buyer personas.
We’re talking about giving your readers personalized, targeted, relevant information. In order to market to your buyer personas, you must first establish trust. With marketing automation, marketers in the manufacturing industry can use forms, content and workflows to determine their visitor’s persona, current challenge and where they are in the buyer’s journey. With this information, you then have the ability to hone in on specific audiences within your industry.
- Lead scoring.
Lead scoring helps ensure that your sales team gets the most qualified leads. This is a major benefit especially for manufacturing firms with sales forces or channel partners.
Analyze and track your marketing efforts and then be able to use them properly. Marketing automation provides manufacturers with detailed reports on the performance of each campaign by channel so you know what’s working and where improvements can be made.
- Measuring ROI.
One of the main challenges for any manufacturer is measuring its return on investment from marketing campaigns. Think about all the money spent on “mandatory” trade shows and print campaigns … not to mention the budget allocated to digital marketing.
There is still quite a bit for marketing and sales to figure out in order for manufacturers to continue their growth. With better and more implemented technology, manufacturers can spend more time on the shop floor or in the factory focusing on what they’re best at. Automated tools help ensure they don’t have to worry about keeping up with paperwork, stuffing envelopes for direct mail campaigns, etc. Marketing automation is just one more vehicle that will improve efficiency and help drive campaigns and communication in order for everyone to move in the same direction and achieve their goals.