4 Essential Marketing Tools for Manufacturing Companies

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Manufacturing Marketing

You’ve got all the tools and equipment to make what you make. But do you have the right marketing tools to let your potential customers know about it? Manufacturers have to keep up with an evolving technical landscape, and that doesn’t stop on the product side. Marketing your products effectively means staying on top of technology advancements like marketing automation to reach the right buyer at the right time with the right message. The best marketing tools for manufacturing companies help to identify and segment leads and nurture those prospects into the sales process with ease. Let’s explore some of the most important tools your team needs to excel on the marketing side.

marketing tools for manufacturing companies

Challenges of Marketing in Manufacturing

Before we get into the best marketing tools available, it’s important to understand some of the challenges marketing teams in manufacturing face.

Marketing in manufacturing is unique because oftentimes, your team is trying to connect with wildly different sets of buyers. On one hand, you may have an audience of engineers who crave technical information. On another, you may need to send a message to c-suite buyers, or distributors. At the same time, your deal cycles may be long and intense. But, once that right-fit customer comes along, the contracts can be enormous. All of this presents unique challenges for manufacturing marketers. That’s why a one-size-fits-all marketing approach won’t work.

And, as digital manufacturing continues to take hold, buyers have changed their behavior. These changes include:

Self-Informed Buyers

Buyers today are consuming online research, reading reviews, and weighing their purchasing options long before they connect with a salesperson. Marketers in manufacturing (like many other industries) have struggled to shift their sales and marketing efforts to accommodate this more informed buyer. Understanding how buyers inform themselves can help your team design more effective marketing strategies and content to capture interest as those prospects educate themselves.

Disconnect Between Buyers, Marketers & Sellers

As buyers rely less on salespeople to deliver information about manufacturing organizations and more on the content marketers provide, a disconnect can occur. Sales and marketing teams within the organization may disagree on what constitutes a qualified lead. Sales may or may not see value in behavior that marketing believes indicates sales worthiness. Both can lose touch with their target audience, and messaging can go off target, not speaking directly to that empowered buyer outlined above. Ultimately, organizations that struggle with this disconnect often fail to deliver the information buyers need to make manufacturing purchasing decisions.

Technological Advancements

Digital marketing is a ‘must’ for manufacturing companies, but the landscape is ever-changing. That can make it difficult to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Additionally, as marketing in manufacturing becomes more complex, marketing teams must be able to effectively use technology to automate tasks, measure success, and scale their efforts. Finding the right marketing tools for your manufacturing company is an important first step.

What Is Marketing Automation and Why Should You Care?

Marketing in Manufacturing: Critical Tools

Marketing tools for manufacturing companies are constantly evolving. However, there are some marketing tools that are essential for any manufacturer looking to promote and sell their products, services or components. These tools offer a more impactful view into who your customers are and can help your team do more with less by using automation.

Some of the best marketing tools for manufacturing companies include:

Behavioral Tracking

Behavioral tracking allows marketing teams to see how prospects interact with their website, what content they consume, and what actions they take. This information is crucial for understanding what marketing efforts are working and which ones need to be improved. Additionally, behavioral tracking can help marketing teams score leads.

If a potential customer is visiting your website frequently, consuming a lot of content, and taking actions like downloading eBooks or whitepapers, they are likely further down the sales funnel and should be marketed to differently than someone who is just visiting your site for the first time.

Understanding the customer journey in the industrial market is key to building out effective strategies. This journey can be long, complex, and doesn’t always follow a straight path. That’s why you need solid data to plan and execute your marketing campaigns.

Lead Scoring and Segmentation

Once marketing teams have a good understanding of how prospects are interacting with their website and marketing materials, they can start to score leads. Lead scoring is the process of assigning a numeric value to a lead based on their likelihood of becoming a paying customer.

This number allows marketing teams to prioritize leads and focus their efforts on those that are most likely to convert. Additionally, lead scoring can be used along with behavioral data to segment leads into different groups. This is especially useful for manufacturing companies that produce products for different industries or market segments.

For example, a company that produces both consumer and industrial products can segment its leads based on the type of product they are interested in. This allows marketing teams to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to result in a sale.

Marketing shouldn’t attempt setting lead scoring rules on their own. Get Sales involved from the beginning, since they have direct customer-facing knowledge. You are not limited to one set of rules. Instead, implement different scoring models across multiple segments to better qualify and nurture Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) until they become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). 

Automated Email Nurturing

Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels for companies. Automated email nurturing allows marketing teams to send a series of emails to specific people over time. These emails can be used to introduce new products, provide helpful information, and build relationships with leads.

One of the advantages of automated email nurturing is that it allows marketing teams to stay in touch with leads even if they are not ready to buy immediately. Additionally, automated email nurturing can be used to score and segment leads. For example, if a lead opens and clicks on an email about a new product, they can be given a higher score, or placed in a specific nurture series about that new product.

Using email automation allows you to schedule out a well-timed sequence to ensure your potential customers are receiving messaging when it’s most effective. This type of personalization allows you to understand what is and isn’t working, so you can adjust your efforts as needed and move customers down the sales funnel.

Reporting

Reporting is essential for understanding the performance of your marketing efforts. Marketing teams should track a variety of metrics, including website traffic, leads generated, conversion rates, and marketing ROI. Reporting allows marketing teams to see what is working and where they need to improve.

Additionally, marketing reporting can be used to create marketing budgets and forecast future marketing needs. This is especially important for manufacturing companies that have limited marketing budgets. By understanding what marketing efforts are working, marketing teams can allocate their budget to the most effective channels.

Marketing Automation Brings It All Together for Manufacturers

Now, that may seem like a lot of different tools and tasks to think about, but there’s good news. There is one system that brings all of this together: a marketing automation platform. 

Marketing automation provides behavioral tracking, lead scoring, segmentation, automated email nurturing and reporting. Plus, the top platforms out there offer additional tools like SMS, transactional messaging and social media management. Using one platform for all of these essential manufacturing marketing activities means you have the ability to create and measure an extraordinary customer experience. When integrated with your CRM or other sales tools, you can count on even more alignment between marketing and sales teams. 

The best marketing tools for manufacturing companies are tools that help you build the best relationships with your customers and keep them coming back for order after order.

What Is Marketing Automation and Why Should You Care?