In today’s complex selling environment, few industries find themselves spared from the challenges of marketing to an increasingly powerful buyer. The manufacturing industry is no exception. While manufacturers face keeping up with an evolving technological landscape for production of their goods, many of these companies who’ve been in business for decades are finding themselves behind the curve of new-age sales and marketing.
While manufacturing marketers may face unique problems, their goals remain universal among marketers – build brand awareness and grow revenue. Here are three challenges that marketers in manufacturing face today, and three opportunities that marketing automation can offer to help alleviate that stress.
The Top 3 Issues in Manufacturing Marketing
1. The New, Powerful Buyer
The new-age buyer isn’t waiting for you to qualify them as a lead and take them through the sales cycle at your pace. They are skipping this step altogether, and have taken much of the sales cycle into their own hands. Buyers today are focused on consuming online research, reading peer reviews, and weighing their purchasing options long before they’re willing to speak to any sales people. Marketers in manufacturing (like many other industries) struggle to shift their sales and marketing efforts to accommodate this new buyer. The result? Too often their content misses the mark – they aren’t offering the right content to guide the buyer towards preferring their company as that buyer does the qualifying research.
2. Disconnect Between Buyers & Sellers
As buyers rely less and less on salespeople to deliver information about manufacturing organizations and more and more on the content marketers provide, oftentimes a disconnect between the two parties starts to grow. 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 who struggle with this disconnect often fail to deliver the information buyers need to make manufacturing purchasing decisions.
3. Keeping Up with New Digital Trends
Many manufacturing companies have been around for decades, flourishing with minimal marketing. What’s carried the success of many manufacturing companies in recent history has been a strong product supported by a knowledgeable sales team. While these two aspects are key to the success of any manufacturing organization, there also needs to be a savvy middle man (marketing) to help connect the great product with the right buyer. Many manufacturing organizations, such as R.M. Hoffman, are beginning to feel the pressure to adapt to these changes, and to shift their marketing resources towards a digital marketing landscape. More companies are discovering that their prospects are online, and they see the advantages of meeting those buyers there.
Watch this video case study to learn how R.M. Hoffman revitalized their marketing with Act-On: