Marketing a manufacturing company has changed considerably over the past 10-15 years. Having a good set of product brochures for your sales reps to use, sending out a regular email newsletter, advertising in your relevant trade press and putting on a good show at your industry exhibition was often sufficient marketing to keep existing clients in the loop and your reputation net wide enough for your sales people to handle. Fast forward 10 years or so and it’s not so simple any more.
Marketers have a complex array of marketing tools in their marketing toolkit but with more knowledgeable clients, shrinking marketing budgets and marketing teams, yet greater expectations to achieve a ROI (return on investment) in a more competitive market, the role has become a significant challenge. So what should the manufacturing marketer be doing?
Here’s our top tips to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition:
Although there’s pressure on all marketers to achieve a good ROI, results are going to be short-lived if objectives are not aligned with the strategic goals of the business. If your marketing role does not sit on the board, get buy in from a strategic point of view. Make sure you know the current business objectives and write a business case if necessary to show the directors why it’s important for marketing to be part of the overall strategy.
Even if you are one of those manufacturing companies that has a long standing client base, things change rapidly and doing your research to truly understand what your clients want can be priceless. It can reveal alot about why people do business with you and the results could change your whole marketing message seeing a greater ROI.
To get ahead of the competition your marketing has to be more personalised than ever before. Defining your buyer personas and targeting marketing activities directly to them is going to have a much greater ROI than a generalist approach. This is where your research is going to help as you will have a greater understanding about your buyer’s journery and their needs.
Just having a web presence is no longer justification for being online. The company website is the most vital tool in your marketing toolkit. Customers do their own research in 2019 and they will be looking at your website, your LinkedIn profile and other social accounts, and making their own informed decision about whether to get in touch. So if your website is out of date, is difficult to navigate, looks old fashioned, or doesn’t have your latest products, or worse still it doesn’t even appear in the initial search results, you’ve lost that potential opportunity straight away.
Having a robust content and social marketing strategy will keep your online presence fresh and relevant whilst helping you to appear higher in the search engine results.
We’ve already established that customers do their own research in 2019, so help them make an informed decision and become a thought leader or become the ‘go to’ website for your products or particular industry. Sharing knowledge, content and case studies on your website, on social, in relevant groups and PR in relevant publications, will help you stay at the top of mind of your existing customers and get on the radar of poential new ones.
Many companies spend thousands and thousands of pounds developing new products in technology, testing and trade marks with often little budget set aside for the actual launch. This is a massive marketing opportunity for any manufacturing company to raise its head above the parapet and gain considerable traction, so it needs a proper budget to do the launch justice. Get an agency to help you do a business case for the board if necessary, it’s too big an opportunity to waste.
FIG’s Marketing Partner Programme works cost effectively with several manufacturing companies providing stretched marketing managers with a full team of expertise spread across branding, communication, strategy, digital and design. Not only will you benefit from strategic advice, planning and implemention, you can dip in and out of our expertise as your needs change. Helping you to set a well allocated marketing budget and proactive measures to ensure that budget is used effectively resultimg in a tangible return on investment.
Take a look at some of our case studies or give us a call if you’d like to chat on 01457 857111.