The number of manufacturers in Australia has fallen from 96,000 10 years ago, to nearly 84,000 last year. According to an ABC news report, just under half of local manufacturers are innovating, which means they are using improved products, services, processes or methods. However, with tough global competition and disruptive new technologies, it is vital that businesses within the industry start to change in order to keep up with the trends. The industry has been warned: innovate or face shutting down completely over the next 5 years.
For businesses in Australia’s manufacturing industry, it’s not just their processes that need to be updated but their marketing tactics do too. While most industries have been using social media, email marketing, SEO and other digital marketing tactics for years, manufacturing businesses have lagged behind. As such, marketers in the sector now have to learn these platforms and methods of communication that are completely new to them. To add to the complexity, as more companies in the industrial space are becoming aware of these strategies, advertising channels are becoming crowded and manufacturing marketers have to ensure their company stands out. Some of the other things that make manufacturing marketing so difficult are outlined below.
Common Problems with Manufacturing Marketing
Identifying the Target Market
If you don’t understand the individuals who make up your target audience, your marketing efforts may be misdirected. Regardless of how strong the elements of your marketing strategy are, if you aren’t reaching people who are actually interested in what you have to say, you’ll likely drive few conversions. Many manufacturing marketers experience difficulty when trying to determine whom exactly their target audience are. Whether it’s pinpointing their particular pain points, or what they take into account when making a purchasing decision, understanding high-quality prospects and their motivations can be challenging. Without any clear direction, those in the manufacturing sector will likely struggle to create content that will deliver clear value to their target audience.
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Content Marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies today. No campaign can exist without content as it is a vital part of landing pages, ad messaging, and social media posts, to name just a few. Despite this, content marketing is a relatively new concept for many manufacturing marketers. Most manufacturing marketers are unsure exactly what a content marketing strategy is, and how to action it. They are unfamiliar with editorial calendars and most don’t have a content marketing strategy in place. It can also be difficult for manufacturing marketers to get buy-in from across the organisation in order to implement a content marketing strategy.
Tracking Marketing ROI
When you ask manufacturing marketers how they track the success of their campaigns, they will most often tell you that they don’t have a defined strategy. This means that they can’t identify how well a campaign is going, what channels are working for them, or what messaging is most effective in driving customer action. Furthermore, many industrial companies won’t have a CRM in place, so tracking leads and sales can be problematic.
Ways to Solve Manufacturing Marketing Challenges
Define & Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience and their distinct needs is crucial. By clearly defining the unique characteristics of your prospects, you can identify commonalities and leverage these to attract high-quality leads.
Constructing a customer persona is a great starting point and will assist you in working out exactly who your customer is and what makes them tick. If you can figure out the key factors that customers take into account when making a purchasing decision, you’ll have the opportunity to target these features. It’s important to recognise that these will vary at each stage of the buying cycle, so you’ll need to complete comprehensive research for the top, middle and bottom of your funnel. In turn, this can help you create a highly targeted manufacturing marketing strategy that effectively reaches prospects in meaningful ways that truly resonate with them.
Implement Technical Solutions
Ensuring your business is properly tracking all marketing activities will help you monitor the ROI of each channel, which helps you better assign your marketing budget. A CRM can help your business keep track of sales activity by helping you track your touch points with clients and leads. In addition, having analytics properly configured for your digital marketing will allow you to see what is working or your business online. In order to effectively implement both of these things however, will require a commitment to learning a range of tracking tools, as well as a CRM. Rest assured, the pay off in terms of monitoring leads, strategies and sales will be worth it.
Work on a Content Marketing Strategy
The first step in creating an effective content marketing strategy is to define your audience, including developing personas as mentioned above. This allows you to understand what content they need at each stage of their journey. Having a dedicated content strategy in place also helps you to align content around the business’ objectives and makes it easier to determine which types of content to develop and which topics will be most effective in converting your leads to sales.
Start enjoying the benefits that come with a comprehensive manufacturing marketing strategy today. By effectively overcoming the challenges posed by the manufacturing sector, you’ll be well equipped to remain competitive in an ever-changing business environment and reach your organisational goals.