Marketing is giving manufacturing a huge boost
The landscape of industrial manufacturing companies (both mid and small sized) and how they approach marketing has changed. That’s a pretty obvious statement, as marketing has improved across verticals and industries of all shapes and sizes. However, manufacturing has been a little slower than other industries to adapt to these improved marketing practices.
There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is the fact that manufacturing has traditionally relied on a robust sales process for distributors, suppliers, and retailers to hit sales targets and goals. Robust sales processes hold particularly true in industrial manufacturing.
The day has come where manufacturers are beginning to rethink marketing and sales and how they line up together. As an industrial manufacturer, what should you start looking at and expecting from manufacturing marketing?
Selling Direct is Much Simpler than Before
Cutting out the middle person sounds harsh, but at the end of the day this idea is on every single manufacturer’s mind. Though supply chains still exist in some markets and distributors still control the show with contractors (in the construction space), Amazon has transformed the consumer goods space and will someday provide options in the b2b space (it already has but still needs a lot of refinement).
Building an in-house sales department that relies directly on inbound leads is more feasible than it was ten years ago. Consumers and customers are requiring more out of their brands and want help and guidance directly.
Margins are reasonable within the manufacturing world, but with globalization, those margins have become tighter, thus forcing manufacturers to think about how they can save money in increased margin. Manufacturers now can control the brand much better than the days of old. Selling directly is on everyone’s mind; let’s take a look at some things that you have to do to sell direct.
Marketing and Sales Alignment
Marketing and sales alignment is kind of a buzzword at the moment. In reality, however, this should be every CEOs goal when hiring people for their respective roles in sales and marketing.
The days of relying on salespeople to sell through networking and good old-fashioned hard work are officially inefficient; the marketing department is no longer in charge of creating catalogs and prepping for trade shows.
Sales and marketing need to be aligned to accurately establish the lead generation practices and follow up procedures it takes to nurture a lead through the customer journey. This topic requires its own article, but in essence, sales need to be aligned with marketing and working together to nurture contacts from new leads to long-term business partners.
Content Marketing and Automation
The tools now exist to properly run both a marketing team and sales team out of the same software. Tools that provide this feature effectively include:
In the manufacturing world, it’s all about driving the inbound lead, which keeps both marketing and sales happy. This type of system can help you forecast, hire, plan, and scale your business.
Content marketing is a methodology/practice that has been working for quite a while in other verticals, but it still has a lot of value and room to grow in the manufacturing world. Content marketing gives you the fuel to drive inbound leads and to nurture those leads through the customer journey.
Marketing in manufacturing is a very thorny issue right now and the sooner manufacturers learn to harness these tools, the better they’ll be in the long run. One of the most important tools for sales people and marketers in manufacturing is a CRM.
If you’re interested in learning more about utilizing a CRM, here is a downloadable eBook called the “Beginners Guide to CRM.”