Mass production was the defining innovation of the 20th century, but as we move further into the new millennium, it’s become apparent that the idea of mass customization is the prevailing concept of the 21st century, especially as it pertains to digital marketing within the manufacturing industry. The irony, of course, is that while the core concepts of modern efficiency were conceived and brought into maturity within the manufacturing industry, this particular vertical has also been one of the slowest to adopt marketing innovation.
In recent years, however, there’s been a major push by manufacturers to implement strategies that focus on personalization and customization — including segmenting and adapting to specific buyer personas while also nurturing top-of-funnel leads throughout the buyer journey and successfully passing them off to the sales team — but many are just now becoming aware of the powerful potential of marketing automation. In fact, recent research suggests that only 30% of manufacturers are using marketing automation and just “36% of manufacturing marketers craft content based on specific points/stages of the buyer’s journey.”
If your organization is still on the fence about implementing new solutions, keep reading to learn how marketing automation can benefit businesses in the manufacturing industry.
Marketing Automation Represents a Major Competitive Opportunity
Brass tacks: within the next five years, nearly all of your competitors will be using some form of marketing automation platform — and the ones who don’t won’t matter because there’s a good chance they won’t be around anymore. Presently, though, a solid portion of your competitors haven’t hopped on the automation train just yet. This obviously presents a golden opportunity for you to seize a serious chunk of market share by getting your messaging in front of the right audience at the right time to increase lead quantity and quality — and to pass those qualified leads to sales.
Further, once you’ve used your marketing automation platform to gather and nurture leads, pass them to sales, and lock them in as paying clients, your new marketing solution will help you retain these clients ad infinitum through well-developed, well-oiled customer retention campaigns. By now, you’ve collected the data and understand your clients’ needs, which, when coupled with your marketing automation platform’s outbound campaign functionality, allows you to continue to grow and expand those existing relationships over time.
Align and Consolidate Strategies and Tactics Through Marketing Automation
One of the main problems with using an email service provider (ESP) or, worse yet, no marketing software at all, to facilitate your manufacturing marketing efforts is the degree of difficulty involved in aligning and consolidating disparate marketing initiatives into one holistic, actionable, and trackable strategy. In these outdated marketing models, all marketing channels and team members (including content, demand generation, public relations, and social media marketing efforts — among others) are siloed with no viable, means of coordination and documented communication across channels. As a result, opportunities fall through the cracks, quality leads aren’t developed and/or passed to sales, and the data collected is skewed and difficult to understand (much less, leverage).
According to the Content Marketing Institute, one of the leading challenges manufacturing content marketers face is “overcoming traditional marketing and sales mindset.” But marketing automation combined with CRM allows marketers and sales teams to plan and connect through one easy-to-use platform to create campaigns that are synced for success and then follow-up with qualified leads through automated programs, social sharing, etc. And when everyone better understands the ideal buyer persona(s), it allows your team to segment campaigns that complement and support one another across various channels and at various points in the buyer’s journey.
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Conserve Resources and Improve ROI with Marketing Automation
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of marketing automation is that it helps users simultaneously conserve resources and improve return on investment. With better lead targeting at the top of the sales funnel and improved lead nurturing throughout the buyer journey, your team can activate campaign execution in a more timely fashion while using fewer resources to produce amazing results. As your sales funnel continues to expand, you can segment your campaigns to reach the right audience while scaling up and diversifying your product lines.
The beautiful thing about digital marketing, in general, is that if all the pieces are in place, you can have crystal clear visibility into accurate, relevant reporting in real time. With marketing automation, in particular, manufacturing marketers can put the days of cobbling together faulty reporting from individual disconnected channels behind them. This helps you measure your marketing ROI and improve your results through A/B testing and pinpoint targeting. Once your pipeline begins to grow, you can use predictive analytics to optimize your existing campaigns and shift your messaging to keep up with evolving customer needs and interests.
Effective Marketing Automation Strategies Rely on Successful Implementation
At the end of the day, your success still depends on your team’s dedication to evolution. Depending on which vendor you choose, your new marketing automation tool is going to be incredibly powerful, but if you’re unable to get everyone committed to using the software (and using it correctly), you’ve wasted a valuable investment — one that you likely had to lobby for in the first place. And if there’s one thing that really grinds your boss’ gears, it’s when they discover their team isn’t using their resources properly (or at all).
Case in point: according to market research conducted by SiriusDecisions and Research in Action, respectively, your manufacturing competitors that are already using a marketing automation platform aren’t using it properly or to its greatest capacity (85%) and many of them (33%) are actively looking to switch platforms. This tells us that manufacturing marketers are struggling to implement their new software effectively and align their existing process with these new systems. Therefore, as you embark on your search for a marketing automation platform, look for a vendor that can assist you in implementing your new tool and provide you guidance on how to leverage it to its fullest.
Act-On Has Everything Your Manufacturing Business Needs to Succeed
The Act-On marketing automation platform has solutions to each of the four pain points listed above. Our platform enables your team to outpace your competition with the industry’s fastest time-to-value marketing automation software. Launching coordinated campaigns in a single tool with easy-to-use tracking and reporting will result in better leads and increased revenue while using fewer resources.
By purchasing and activating an intuitive and useful marketing automation solution such as Act-On, you can accelerate your marketing and sales efforts to bypass those competitors that are struggling to get the most out of their existing marketing automation platform. And, with Act-On, if you’re ever having difficulty maximizing the potential of your software, our industry-leading support team is here to provide useful solutions to complex problems.