At the beginning of 2019, we interviewed 150 manufacturers to evaluate their digital marketing tactics. We wanted to learn their top trends; central struggles; and whether or not their strategies seemed to be proving effective.
51% of those interviewed said they felt as if they were behind their competitors. After looking at some of their other answers, we had to agree. Industrial B2B companies and manufacturers are behind in digital marketing compared to most other industries at large.
While some manufacturers have to deal with strict marketing budgets, others simply haven’t laid the proper groundwork for progress. If your company is struggling with digital, see if you fall into any of the following three categories. They might reveal why you’re having such a hard time of it.
1. 32% OF MANUFACTURERS DON’T HAVE A DEFINED MARKETING STRATEGY.
Of the 150 manufacturers who participated in the interview, 32% admitted they didn’t have a well-planned marketing strategy. Without a defined strategy, it can be hard to know your targets or how to communicate with them.
No planning means no direction.
No wonder a lot of manufacturers are behind in digital marketing! They’re basically going on a road trip with no destination in mind. Where would you expect to end up on a trip like that? It will just drain your budget, with very little progress to show for it.
Creating a focused marketing plan involves you to identify your target audience and then choose the right marketing tools to reach out to them. The more refined your search, the better your results will be. You will waste less time and money, because you’ll intentionally figure out which tactics and methods really work.
2. 65% OF MANUFACTURERS DON’T HAVE SPECIFIC MONTHLY GOALS FOR LEAD GENERATION.
65% of the surveyed marketers and sales teams also had vague or even nonexistent monthly lead gen goals. Without having S.M.A.R.T. goals in place, there is nothing to work toward.
If strategy is your destination, then goal-setting is your road map.
Goals provide measurable small milestones along the way until you reach your final destination. Any effective marketing strategy should aspire to improving lead generation; new leads are what make new customers.
If you find that a specific method isn’t helping you reach your lead generation goals, then either fine-tune it or replace it with another option that may be working for other companies. This is where monitoring your competitors’ marketing strategies can sometimes pay off.
In the beginning, there will be trial and error. This is when you try out the marketing concepts that you have researched the most. Videos and webinars may be good for some, but not for others. You may have great success with an email campaign with embedded links, while someone else may be generating a massive number of leads by using blogs and YouTube videos.
Goals will help you keep track of your own progress: whether you’re racing ahead, or falling behind.
3. 45% OF MANUFACTURERS AREN’T SURE WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THEIR WEBSITE LEADS CONVERT INTO CUSTOMERS.
Your website is your calling card. It has to be interesting, and it needs to capture the attention of those who visit it. But is yours doing its job? Almost 45% of manufacturers don’t even know what percentage of the leads from their website are actually turned into paying customers.
If you don’t know where your best leads are coming from, you won’t know what tool(s) to invest in.
Is your company still generating most of its business through trade shows? Or did your new website design really wow your prospects and bring in more conversions?
This is where a CRM comes in handy. Sophisticated CRM platforms like Hubspot can actually keep track of where your leads are coming from.
Monitoring your website’s analytics will also help you determine its effectiveness in terms of lead generation. Analytics are valuable when it comes to identifying which parts of your website are performing well, and what parts need improvement.
All you have to do is just stop ‘winging it.’
The majority of B2B industrial companies know they are lacking when it comes to their websites and online outreach. However, as it turns out, a lot of manufacturers are behind in digital marketing just because they’re not keeping track of their own progress.
If you want to get up to speed with your competition, you need to embrace digital tactics to their fullest– and that means planning. Outline a strategy, set a few goals and focus.
Will you succeed in hitting every milestone or surpassing your expectations on the first try? Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. But even failing miserably will give you a lot of information to update your next set of plans!
Manufacturing requires precise measurement tools, regular quotas, and regular adaptation to become more streamlined. Your digital marketing should be exactly the same.
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