Let’s face it, in today’s ultra-competitive online marketplace it has never been more difficult to achieve market leadership. Product lifecycles are shorter, customer’s expectations have skyrocketed, brand loyalty being challenged and price transparency is greater than ever. This is no more apparent than in the manufacturing industry.
Recent statistics state that 45% of businesses don’t have a clearly defined marketing strategy. This means that almost half of UK businesses aren’t reaching their full sales potential.
Securing additional marketing budgets can make the different between achieving or exceeding sales targets or suffering quarterly disappointments. However, convincing your managing or financial director of the value of a healthy digital and content marketing budget can be a tough task. Here’s how to convince your MD or FD to bolster their marketing budget:
Background and Context
As with any important professional meeting, preparation is paramount. The goal is to sell your idea, and this requires time and effort on your behalf.
You need to demonstrate how your idea directly benefits the business. To do this you’ll need to show an understanding of the following:
- The challenges faced by the business
- How you propose to overcome those challenges
- Examples of the ROIs your solutions will have
MD’s and FD’s respond to figures, and with content marketing costing 62% less than outbound marketing, you’re providing a very attractive proposition. The addition of a regularly-updated engaging and informative blog on your website will build brand authority and value, convincing visitors to explore your website in greater detail – and you hardly need deep pockets to do this!
Highlight Impact and Strategy
The best way to engage MD’s and FD’s is to get right to the nitty-gritty. You’ll need to immediately show them the benefits of content marketing on leads, conversions and sales. Always begin with the most significant impact – this immediately make MD’s and FD’s sit up and take notice.
Once the primary impacts have been communicated, you’ll need to demonstrate the secondary benefits. Stress that content marketing is strategic. It’s a science, an art form. The nature of your content, it’s delivery and promotion should always be linked to broader business goals. Back-up your strategy with quantifiable statistics.
Show Understanding of Target Personas
Explain that your content must be geared to your target personas. This will give MD’s and FD’s confidence in your strategy – resulting in a more generous budget.
But, perhaps more importantly, understanding your target personas will allow you to create content that appeals to them.
From guest posting to infographics, whitepapers to video, the value of the content you create will skyrocket, attracting potential and existing customers.
The Importance of Content Marketing Statistics
Statistics are a powerful persuasive tool. All ideas need to be backed-up with cold hard data – this is what MD’s and FD’s respond to.
Focus on those metrics that are meaningful to your business. If you believe that lead generation activities could be improved with effective email marketing campaigns, demonstrate statistics to back up your claim.
For instance, did you know that;
‘93% of B2B companies say that content marketing generates more leads than traditional market strategies.’
‘96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.’
These are powerful statistics, sure to get the attention of any managing or financial director.
Back Up Claims with Case Studies
Lack of foresight is a sure way to hinder business growth. A successful business anticipates and reacts to the evolution of the commercial world. It could be argued that the manufacturing sector has been slower to adapt to digital and content marketing strategies, but that doesn’t mean your business should follow the same route.
Being an innovator is a great way to build brand awareness, and offer potential and existing customers what your competitors can not. Using case studies to back up your claims will add value to your website. This is evidence of prowess, and a powerful endorsement.
But, Always Keep Them Relevant
Irrelevant content doesn’t add value, and will harm your content marketing strategy. Toyota is the largest manufacturing company in the world. Do you think their case studies have content that’s irrelevant to their business? No.
Be creative, and use case studies that build executive confidence. Remember that content is the primary way that brands sell their products and services. Leveraging your content strategy with relevant case studies is a great way to back up your claims when pitching your marketing budget to MD’s and FD’s.
Have the Answers
As with selling any idea to a decision-maker, it’s important that you have the answers to any questions posed. Remember that MDs and FDs won’t have the same content or digital marketing knowledge as you. This is your chance to shine and show your value to the business.
Anticipating the questions that you may be asked is a little tricky, but always remember to have the basics covered. Define and demonstrate the value of content marketing to a manufacturing business. Describe its benefits in detail, and confidently propose how you intend to execute the strategy.
Once you’ve planned your presentation, armed yourself with the strategy for securing additional marketing budgets, here’s what you need to achieve interest and consensus at the presentation.
Invite the Right People
Always invite decision-makers and key advisors. The FD and MD should be present, as should any of their colleagues that may have a bearing on the decision.
Connect Before the Meeting
Understanding what the prevailing opinion about digital and content marketing is, prior to the meeting, will allow you to tailor what you’re going to say more succinctly. If you discover that the business has budgetary constraints, address this and highlight this as part of your presentation. There’s no harm in connecting with participants prior to the meeting and asking pertinent questions!
Get to the Point
Immediately focus on defining content marketing and why it’s essential to a manufacturing business. Highlight the problem and present your solution. MD’s and FD’s time is precious – they’ll lose interest if you spend 15 minutes describing ‘the history of content marketing’, for example.
Don’t Give Them a Reason to Say No
Remember your goals – to convince and secure an increased marketing budget. You need to compel the MD and FD, that the manufacturing business simple can’t do without your propositions.
The most effective way to gain this consensus is to propose initiatives that have limited budgets, but are grand in scope. Show them the benefits of a well-executed blog or whitepaper, for example. Make it easy for them to say yes.
It can be challenging to convince manufacturing MD’s and FD’s to bolster their content and digital marketing strategy. This framework is the best way to appeal to manufacturing directors, convincing them of the positive effect content and digital marketing can have on their business to achieve their business goals.
FREE 30 Minute B2B Inbound Marketing Analysis Call
Find out why your business is not getting the results you expected and how to increase the number of leads.
We will discuss:
Providing you with professional tips on how to improve your website today
Ways to create a unique and personalised user experience on your website
What your business goals are and if they're a good fit for b2b inbound marketing
Pro tip: Business to business marketing is about delivering high quality content to generate leads and authority in your industry and sector