Building a Process for Your Manufacturing Marketing Campaign

Building a Process for Your Manufacturing Marketing Campaign

Big Ideas

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December 18 2020
Big Ideas

Marketing, especially for a Manufacturing company, is often viewed as an afterthought - which is unfortunate because those who do not focus on marketing are missing out on a lot of potential business. Statistics show that 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research before even attempting to engage with a manufacturing company's salespeople; in other words, marketing must "talk” on the company’s behalf. Stats also show that 71% of online B2B searches begin with a “generic search" - meaning that unless marketing presents the manufacturer to potential customers, it won't stand a chance at landing new business digitally. 

So, manufacturers, like it or not, marketing is now a necessity for your business. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. In this post we outline 7 steps to building the ultimate manufacturing marketing campaign:  

 

Step 1: Dig into the Data  

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We cannot stress enough the importance of looking at your data. The role of market research is to provide insights to determine if there is sufficient demand to sustain the development/tweaking of your products and services. It also helps identify the means to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person. 

Where to dig:  

  • Employee feedback  
  • Industry Forums  
  • Competitor Analysis  
  • Website and social media Audit  
  • Customer Surveys/Exit Interviews/Lost opportunities  
  • Never underestimate the power of some qualitative research! If you have a couple of loyal customers who have a great relationship with your company, ask for their opinions. If not, ask some individuals in your network.   
  • Social Listening  
  • Secondary data/Internet searches  
  • Take inventory of what‘s already out there!  
  • Look into demand - what are people are searching for? What are the historical data and forecasts for your ideal keywords? We recommend using tools such as Google Trends and Keyword planner to start 

Step 2: Identify your Project Goals Objectives and Approach  

This next step may seem obvious, but you need to set up goals and visions that have both quantifiable and qualitative results. As I am sure you have heard time and time again, these goals need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Refer to the research – your goals should always align with your data. Based on your findings of what people are looking for, how can you align your offerings to meet your consumer's needs?  

Goals: What would success look like for your company? What are you hoping to change or achieve? For many manufacturers, typical “pain points” may include:   

  • Attracting high-quality leads  
  • Attracting a higher volume of leads - Increasing Brand Awareness  
  • Becoming a preferred vendor 

Objectives: Next you want to think about what are the deliverables that you and your team can employ to reach the goals that you have set? If your goal is to increase your lead generation, your objectives may be to send traffic to specific landing pages or product pages to drive form fills, calls, emails, etc.   

Approach: You are going to want to split this up into the Short and Long Term. Continuing with our lead generation example, your approaches may look something like this:  
Short Term Approach: Finding the moments of purchase intent via SEM initiatives (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.)  
Long Term Approach: Position your company as a “thought leader” in the industry – become the go-to source of information for your audience.  

Step 3: Nail your Customer Avatars

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Creating your ideal customer avatar/persona is imperative to your campaign strategy because, ultimately, these are the people that you are going to be targeting. You want to market to SOMEBODY, not just anybody – so be as detailed as possible!  
When an organization makes a considerable purchase there are often numerous stakeholders involved in the evaluation process. A common breakdown of various people involved in the purchase decision as: 

  • Advocate/champion  
  • The end-user (consumer)  
  • Financial decision maker  
  • Technical decision maker  
  • Business decision maker  
  • Executive sponsor  

The next step is creating a client avatar for the impressionable key-players above. For Manufacturing, it will most likely be the Technical Decision Makers, and/or Business Decision Makers. Once you understand the general idea of who you are trying to target, you will want to flesh out the details as much as possible. Get to know your persona’s...  

  • Demographic information  
  • Job title, role, responsibilities  
  • What a day in the life looks like  
  • Pain points and challenges  
  • Goals, values, and motivations  
  • Where they go for information (preferred channels)  
  • Common solution evaluation questions  
  • Common objections  
  • Other interests/passions they may have.

If you're having difficulty, check out this blog post we have on creating a customer persona >  

Step 4: Assess the Customer Journey 

Next, you will want to think about your customer’s journey – ask yourself the following questions? What are the different steps that someone will take to purchase my product/service? What are they looking for at each placement in the “sales funnel”? The six overarching steps of an industrial buying process may include:  

  • The buyer identifies their need for a product or service.  
  • The buyer researches different solutions to collect more information.  
  • If creating a new design, the buyer researches product data.  
  • The buyer evaluates potential suppliers for their desired solution.  
  • The buyer makes a shortlist of the best suppliers.  
  • The buyer purchases from the supplier they deem the best fit.  

Step 5: Curate your High-Level Digital Strategy  

You will want to begin integrating all the data and research you have compiled. Start to plan out the different tactics that you will employ to reach your ideal customers - maybe that means you will create buyers guides to post on your website’s blog with an Ad campaign on LinkedIn and or Kijiji, or perhaps you’ll run an SEM campaign on google for specific product’s you’re wanting to push. There is no right or wrong here, only what is best aligned to reaching your company’s goals.   

Step 6: Just Do It!   

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This is where you begin to employ your tactics – start creating your blog posts, buyers' guides, update your website, create landing pages, create your google or Kijiji ads, etc. As Marty always says, you are not going to get anywhere if you don’t act! So, create your plan, delegate tasks to your team, make deadlines and just get it done.  

Step 7: Analyze, Optimize, Repeat!  

The hard part is over, now you get to continually analyze to see if your goals are being met – are people seeing your advertisements? Is traffic being drawn to the desired landing/website pages? Are they filling out forms? If something isn’t working, you can make slight tweaks and adjustments to optimize your content’s performance.   
Unfortunately, not all the “guesswork” can be eliminated; there is no “one-size-fits-all" guide to success with marketing initiatives. It is still going to take some trial and error – but because your process is DATA-DRIVEN, you will be ahead by leaps-and-bounds. Marketing success depends on 3 things: Consistency, Persistency, and Frequency.   

Let’s take a quick review:  

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Ultimately, your entire marketing outlook should be to see it as a sales support system, as opposed to just an unnecessary ad spend.

 

Resources to look at: 
https://www.storytellermn.com/blog/manufacturing-marketing-campaigns 
https://www.webstrategiesinc.com/blog/successful-manufacturer-marketing-examples 
https://blog.thomasnet.com/ultimate-guide-marketing-for-manufacturers 
https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/persona-targeting-for-manufacturers 
https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7922/3-compelling-manufacturing-lead-generation-calls-to-action.aspx 
https://info.mezzaninegrowth.com/blog/the-essential-guide-to-marketing-a-manufacturing-company 
https://www.themarketingblender.com/statistics-boost-sales/  ​

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