Competition in the manufacturing industry is fiercer than ever.
To remain competitive, manufacturers are utilising marketing to reach their audiences at the right time, with the right content. However, a lot of them are doing it ineffectively. Not only is this wasting vital resources and time, but money too.
If you think this could be you and you want to find out where you could be going wrong, keep reading. A way to improve your marketing and grow your manufacturing businesses is to highlight the faults and learn from them.
So, let us jump into the 25+ marketing mistakes manufacturers are making and our solutions for success.
Having no strategic plan
Let that sink in.
A good way to outline your goals is by following a SMART method. Specific, Measurable, Aspirational, Realistic, Time-Bound targets.
💁♂️ A SMART goal is: By August 2022, we will increase our email open rate to [X].
🙅♂️A SMART goal is not: Increase the email open rate.
With the help of a digital marketing agency, you’ll be able to create a strategic marketing plan that encompasses everything you want to achieve alongside an actionable plan for success.
Avoiding customer research
If you don't know who your customer is, how will you market your products or services to them?
Your audience is the foundation for your business success. You need to know what motivates them, what they need help with, and how you're going to provide value to their lives.
With an expert digital agency, you'll be able to craft your buyer persona doc, create content that strategically provides value, and you'll be able to engage with your customers on a WHOLE new level👏.
Staying in your comfort zone
Successful marketing cuts through the noise of the industry. It pushes boundaries, engages audiences, and provides incredible levels of value. If you stay within your comfort zone, you might not reach the heights your business deserves.
Sticking within your usual realms will limit your potential, making your marketing outdated.
Having marketing experts on hand to help will ensure you step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and see stellar results - hint, hint😉.
Ignoring social media
No matter what sector you operate in, or how old your business is, social media is the way forward. If you don't realise this, you'll lose customers, and your competitors will be MILES ahead of you.
If you still think business has to be done face-to-face, you're wrong. Your customer won't just call you when they're ready, you need to be communicating in the areas they are - and this is often on a social media platform.
Organic social media is inexpensive. Unlike other marketing strategies, it’s free to create a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok or Instagram account.
Repeating what doesn't work
Stop repeating what doesn't work. If you don't know what's working and you don't know how to improve your marketing efforts, it's time to pause and get some help.
Marketing takes experimentation, strategic thinking, audience awareness and consistent tracking. You can't just wing it - it doesn't work like that.
Instead, as we've previously mentioned, having a plan in place you can stick to, measurable targets and a tracking method - you'll be able to see where you need to improve and make the appropriate changes.
Lack of measuring and testing
A lack of measuring your marketing efforts is a plan for failure.
You need to understand what works so you can do more of it. You need to identify what doesn't work so you can improve. And you need to identify areas for opportunity.
Without any of this, you'll be shouting into a void with no direction or success. Use the analytic tools built into social media apps, check your open rates on emails, and communicate with your audience to see what they need help with to inform your content creation.
Assuming your customers will find you
Remember, business isn't just face-to-face anymore. Technology is the way forward, and manufacturers must listen, think, create, and innovate.
Your customers aren't always going to find you. Especially, if you're not producing content where they're searching.
When a customer searches, you need to be landing in their inboxes, on their search engine results page, and on their social media feeds. This is impossible without strategic marketing that encompasses social media, email marketing, SEO and more.
Forgetting about mobile users
If your website isn't optimised for mobile users, what impression does that give your audience? A poor one, that's for sure.
It's fantastic building your email subscriber list and generating a social media presence, but if you're guiding your audience to a website with a lousy user experience, you'll turn customers away, and your marketing efforts will go to waste.
52% of users said they’re less likely to engage with a company that doesn’t use responsive mobile design. Also, four out of five mobile users access online shops on their smartphones only. If you're not optimising for mobile, you're missing a vital opportunity.
Avoiding marketing altogether because 'you don't have time'
If you do something correctly and it's guaranteed to bring you increased ROI, brand awareness and more ... Would you make time for it? Of course, you would!
Marketing does take up time, but it's time well spent. And, if you partner with a team of professionals, they can do the hard work for you. This leaves you with time to focus on the other parts of your business whilst you continue to increase your revenue and customer base.
Not knowing how to explain your company 'why'
A crucial part of building your brand awareness is explaining your company 'why'.
Your company 'why' needs to be concise and communicate who you are, what you do and why, and how you can help. Having this alongside your marketing efforts will strengthen all of your communications.
If you don't know how to communicate what your business does, how do you expect customers and clients to build trust and rapport with you? It's impossible. Having a wordsmith on hand to help is an easy way to capture your business offerings in a short, engaging, and succinct way.
Making poor decisions about what to invest in
It can be hard to understand which marketing strategy deserves your time, energy, and money. We understand. It's a minefield for any business that doesn't know where to begin.
However, this also reiterates the importance of tracking and testing your efforts and increasing your investment over time. You do not want to be investing money into something without doing your research first and carefully thinking about the benefits.
Again, with specialist experts, they'll be able to map out the way for you and guide you according to your goals and available budget.
You need to shorten your target market and make it precise. Consider all of the demographics of your current and prospective customers - think of their preferred platforms, their locations, motivations, age, gender, and more. That's who you'll need to be targeting.
Targeting everyone with a computer will not bring you the results you want. It'll frustrate your audience, and you won't reach and convert the leads you want.
Be specific. Targeting anyone and everyone is a poor and insufficient way to use your available budget for paid advertising - FACT.
Not knowing what your customers want
If you don't know who your audience is, how will help them? Well, you won't be able to. You'll frustrate them, and you'll likely turn them away.
Your marketing efforts need to be led by your audience. You should be providing value, entertainment, and support. If you know who your audience is, you'll be able to provide marketing that meets their expectations and converts them into paying customers 🤑.
Poor website design and user experience
53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
80% of website visitors leave a page if they can't instantly find what they're searching for.
Poor website design and bad user experience will turn away all of your customers. Especially in the manufacturing industry, where people are short on time and needed everything yesterday. Get in touch with the experts, keep it simple and do your audience research.
Using an inappropriate tone of voice
A brash and negative tone of voice won't work.
You should communicate authenticity, trust, and expertise. It should be consistent too. This'll vary depending on which sector you specialise in and who your demographic is. However, if you use the wrong tone of voice, you won't be able to target your ideal customer and in turn, push your audience away.
The tone of voice is a tricky one and shouldn't be overlooked. We can help with that🗣.
Posting poor quality content
Pixelated images. Poor grammar. Slow buffering times on videos. Need we say more? It's terrible, but so many manufacturers are doing it.
The content you share directly reflects who you are as a business. It must be of high quality and align with your business values and company 'why'. If it doesn't, you'll see bad results.
Our Red-Fern content experts will always ensure high levels of consistency are apparent across all of your marketing materials. From imagery to blog content.
Being lazy with networking in your industry
You must communicate with those in your industry. It provides crucial audience insight, you can make valuable connections, and it's a great way to collaborate with other thought-leaders.
Don't be lazy with networking - it's free if you want it to be. Speak in forums, post polls on LinkedIn, respond to your customers and ask other thought-leaders questions.
You never know who you'll meet.
Following a quantity over quality approach
Businesses worry about numbers, and they worry about keeping their audience engaged. Posting 10 blog posts a week and 15 tweets are good goals, but they're poor targets if you're not engaging in the right way and providing value.
Posting once a day on social media and posting on your blog weekly is more than enough - if you're providing real value. Focus on quality over quantity always and see your engagements rise📈.
Not looking at your competitors' work
There's no harm in seeing what your competitors are doing. This'll provide the insight you need to make your marketing efforts better. Even if your competitors are excelling and aiming high, so can you.
Competitor research is one of the key things we do at Red-Fern. It gives us an idea of what works and what doesn't. It also informs the goals we set for your business. Healthy competition is good and strengthens everything we do.
Not offering incentives or free things
Customers love freebies. Whether it's a giveaway, a downloadable resource, branded merch or discount codes. Reward your customers.
Incentives always work too. Why not build a refer a friend scheme? You'll recruit new customers and delight existing ones too.
Why not provide an area on your website for free resources and downloadables. These can be a good way for you to capture your customer’s details, provide thought-leadership, and increase your sales.
Only focusing on sales
Sales are most likely an important factor for you. We don't blame you.
If you only focus on sales as a metric, it's a resourceless way to measure achievements. You should be looking at the reach, engagement, retention, customer satisfaction and more.
You have to measure the effectiveness of the process that leads to a sale. If not, you won't identify the strengths and weaknesses in your strategy. Conduct customer surveys. Check in-app analytic tools. Check open rates on emails. Ask your customers questions. Post polls.
Not having a blog
Depending on which sector you specialise in, it's likely that your business will benefit from a blog. It increases traffic, builds a relationship with your prospective audience, and integrates with your social content.
Many blog formats are easy to create, and some websites already have free templates available. All you need to do is plan your strategy and get writing.
Our content team can create, plan, and execute an entire blog strategy for you. Leave it to the experts and reap the results.
Not using videos
Videos can generate leads and lead to conversions. You can post videos on social media, launch a YouTube channel, host a webinar, create live video events and more. The great thing is a lot of this is free too!
Not staying ahead of the curve
Things are always changing in marketing.
Social media platforms change daily.
The digital world is rapidly growing.
It can be hard to stay ahead of the curve, but with free resources, you'll be able to engage with trends, understand how you can improve your marketing and reach new audiences.
Ignoring abandoned carts
Customers who add products to their cart are only a few steps away from making the sale🛒.
Cart abandonment cannot be overlooked if you sell products online. Reducing shopping cart abandonment by following up with emails, SMS messages or paid ads will directly lead to more sales and revenue.
Also, optimising your checkout flow is essential. Make this process as easy as possible for your customers so they don't click away before closing the sale.
Making excuses won’t get you anywhere. It’ll slow down your sales and it’ll only have a negative impact on your business. You can achieve the results you deserve, the resources are available, and once you get started, it does get easier.
Stop making excuses. Believe in your business.
No coherent theme
Inconsistent messaging on your channels is confusing and frustrating for customers. Once you’ve created your tone of voice, ensure this is consistent across your social media, blog, website, printed materials and more.
Don’t confuse prospects. Create remembrance and a coherent theme across your content.
Doing everything yourself
It can be tempting to do everything yourself, especially if you've built your business from the ground up and you're worried about quality control.
However, trusting the real experts is where you'll see the results. You can't do it all by yourself. If you struggle with marketing, find someone who knows what they're doing and be prepared to see the incredible outcomes.
Partnering with an award-winning digital agency is a great start. We're THE agency for B2B manufacturers. We keep it simple, allowing you to be a leading business in your sector.
We'll stop you from making marketing mistakes. Get in touch today!
Were you nodding along whilst reading this article? Were you cringing at the thought, knowing that you secretly do this?
However, with an award-winning digital agency on hand to help - mistakes will be a thing of the past.
Upscale your social media presence. Reach your audience. Generate increased ROI and MORE. Get in touch today and start moving your business forward tomorrow!