As the saying goes, “you need to spend money to make money.” But in an industry like manufacturing where value propositions can get very complicated, very quickly, what’s the best way to spend your marketing dollars?
That’s certainly a loaded question if we’ve ever heard one, but it’s a question that every manufacturing marketing team must answer nonetheless.
Understanding the Evolving Landscape of Marketing for Manufacturers
In order to determine the best way to spend your marketing dollars, you first need to understand the evolving marketing landscape, both in general and for manufacturers specifically.
Looking at the big picture, marketing is changing. What many people once thought of as more of a “fluffy” role within the organization is now becoming a strategic arm of the business that can be tied to quantitative metrics like revenue.
Marketing for manufacturers is changing a lot too. Alongside the changes brewing in the broader marketing spectrum, more and more manufacturers are recognizing the need to get ultra-targeted due to the tight knit and complicated nature of the manufacturing industry. Additionally, because many manufacturing organizations tend to have smaller marketing teams, it’s important to make the most of limited resources.
Investing in Marketing for Manufacturers: 6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Resources
In order to evolve alongside these changes in both the marketing and manufacturing spaces, your team needs to make very strategic investments. So where exactly should you focus your efforts and your dollars? Here’s our advice:
- Build a solid foundation with marketing automation (integrated with CRM): A marketing automation platform (integrated with your CRM system) is the bedrock of any strong digital marketing program. With the right set up, a marketing automation platform can help eliminate manual processes, make it easy to share data across teams, improve alignment between sales and marketing, better understand and market to buyer personas so that you know the best ways to target different customers, introduce lead scoring to properly nurture leads, run personalized campaigns across channels (e.g. email) to meet the demands of today’s digital buyers and improve reporting to understand the results of all those efforts.
- Invest in your digital front door (aka your website): Your website and everything that lives on it, most notably your blog, is your company’s digital front door. It’s where people go to learn more about your company throughout their buying journey and it plays a critical role in both attracting and nurturing leads. As a result, it’s important to invest in your website by undertaking SEO efforts and building out a blog that you can use to attract new leads and educate and build trust with prospects and customers alike.
- Interact with customers directly via social media management: A solid social media marketing strategy is a great way to interact with customers directly, whether it’s by promoting new content or company news, answering customer questions or running creative brand awareness campaigns. To get this social media marketing right, you need a social media management platform that can consolidate all of your efforts into a single place. Specifically, a social media management platform makes it easy to send posts to all of your social networks, engage in social listening so that you can understand what your customers are talking about and how they’re engaging with your company and manage social interactions with your customers.
- Spread the word with paid advertising: While organic activities like SEO and social media marketing can go a long way, in order to really spread the word, you may need to turn to paid advertising, both digital and print. Paid advertising through display ad networks and Google AdWords is always helpful, but in the manufacturing space, trade publications are extremely important too. It pays to invest in ads in both the digital and print versions of these publications given the clout they hold.
- Break down complex topics with webinars: Webinars are a valuable marketing tool for breaking down complex topics, and given how complicated the manufacturing space can get, the two are typically a good fit. Invest in hosting webinars (either on your own or with partners or customers) so that you can dive deep into what it is you do and truly demonstrate to your target customers the benefits you can deliver.
- Bolster your resources with managed services: Finally, invest in managed services to bolster everything your team can do on this list and beyond. Managed services gives your team a boost by bringing on expert resources who can help run the in’s and out’s of your marketing automation program and bring activities like those on this list to life. With the help of an expert partner, you can maximize your investment in your marketing automation platform and see better results faster, all while freeing your team to focus on the bigger picture.
Greasing the Wheels of Success
Marketing for manufacturers has never been easy, and despite all the changes happening in the space today, that’s one thing that will never change. But with the right strategy in place and the right investments to bring that strategy to life, success is possible. It’s simply a matter of knowing where to focus your resources to best reach your customers, achieve your goals and see the highest returns on your investments.