Manufacturing marketing is often overlooked but it’s essential. The manufacturing industry is FULL of incredible opportunities and it’s growing year on year. With the help of manufacturing marketing, you will be well-positioned to build relationships with existing customers and potential customers. Marketing can build the foundations of successful customer relationships and it can help bring your whole team together and enable your sales team to succeed.
But what’s the future of manufacturing marketing? The rise in manufacturing marketing is skyrocketing. From AR technology to utilising the power of email. There’s something for everyone. The benefits shouldn’t be pushed to the side - they’re powerful.
In this post, we’re going to share the exciting future of manufacturing marketing, the fundamentals of marketing and the future trends for manufacturing marketing. If you’re looking for growth opportunities, you’re in the right place.
Manufacturing marketing for increased business growth
What is ‘manufacturing marketing’? Well, it’s simple. It refers to any actions your company takes to attract an audience to your company’s product or services. Marketing aims to deliver high-quality messaging value to prospects through content. It should have the long-term goal of demonstrating product value, strengthening brand loyalty, and ultimately increasing sales.
Marketing isn’t a new thing. Modern marketing first began in the 1950s and since then, it’s grown at an exponential rate. Over the last 70+ years, marketers have become more switched on to fine-tuning their efforts to fit their business goals and optimise their efforts for success. Whether that’s through social media, video content, SEO, PR or other engagement tactics.
To find a direction for your marketing, you need to do market research, analysis and understand your ideal customer's interests and questions. Your messaging for all your marketing efforts should be helpful, educational and answer the questions your prospects have. In turn, helping you convert your consumers to leads.
Marketing educates your customers, helps you build a business reputation and it’s a great relationship builder between you and your prospective customers. Correct marketing can also BOOST sales, it can help your business maintain relevance and it can be the deciding factor for many customers from research to purchase.
There’s SO many places you can carry out a marketing campaign. There’s many platforms you can use to promote your product or service too and we understand, it can all be a little overwhelming.
But rest assured, we’ve collated some of the key marketing trends that could help you take your marketing to the next level. Think towards the future and you’ll be on the right track.
The future of manufacturing marketing
Historically, manufacturers haven’t entered the public space of marketing before. Manufacturers typically created goods and services, trained their sales staff and then sent those professionals out to contact directly with customers - at trade shows, in offices or in trade publications.
Although this sales-oriented approach at networking events with businesses does work - the landscape is changing. The landscape for manufacturers is becoming competitive, more creative and an area in the social space that you need to be a part of. If growth is one of your goals, then you’ll be pleased to know that marketing will go in line with this.
There’s no specific tactic you should be utilising, it’s more about having an overview of the current trends and see which ones will be appropriate for your business and help you make a positive digital difference. So, let’s jump to it!
Personalisation - connect with your audience
Before employing or expanding your marketing strategy, it’s important to think about personalisation at every stage of your buyer's journey. No matter if they’ve found you through social media or a blog post - every aspect of your marketing collateral should be personalised to that individual's needs, wants and journey.
What questions do they need answers to? What can help them convert into a customer? What problems could they be facing? One thing that can be overlooked is understanding who your customer is. We’re all human and we’re not robots so add some personality and personalisation to all your marketing efforts. Position yourself as a friendly brand that’s keen to help your customers in the best way possible.
Maybe you could create a useful infographic that can be downloaded off social media or your blog. You could create a blog post that answers all the FAQ’s a customer might have about your product/business. You could create some ‘how to’ videos for YouTube.
There’s many opportunities available for creativity but think about quality over quantity and always have your customers at the forefront of your marketing vision. That way, your content will have a purpose and your content will remain relevant and unique.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could demonstrate how your products or business can help solve your customers' problems? Well, YOU CAN! It’s proposed that by 2022, there should be around 3.5 billion AR users. So, there’s never been a better time to adapt and use this innovative technology. With AR, so much is possible. It’s creative, it allows your customers to submerge themselves in your product/service and it’s a visualisation tool.
AR is the practice of projecting graphics from a digital device into the real world. Essentially, it creates a crossover of computer technology and real life. AR can help your manufacturing business show prospects how your products/services work and can provide real-life solutions. As an example and for some inspiration, it can be used in three different ways.
- Complex assembly: forget the paper instruction manual. With AR you can show your team and your prospects how your products work in real-time and how to set them up effectively. This works well for manufacturers who create products for assembly.
- Visualisation: rather than communicating with your customers about what your product/services can provide - show them! Let them experience your services and give them an insight into how your products/services solve their problems.
- Analysis: although AR gives your prospects insider information about your products/services. It’s also a good chance to gather information from them about the features they think are missing. Allowing you to create UGC (user-generated content) and continue to develop your business offerings.
AR advertising can drastically improve your return on investment - FACT. It provides value, it provides trust and it’s a brilliant tool you can be creative with. It might be intimidating but it’s a worthwhile investment.
At Red-Fern, we’ve utilised this technology for a range of projects. Including our work with Apeks. We developed immersive augmented reality experiences for point of sale, audience and buyer engagement. Seven years into our partnership with Apeks and we continue to innovate, grow and position Apeks as a global leader in diving equipment.
Content marketing - get blogging!
If your company doesn’t create or publish content online - it’s time to start. Before your prospective customers make a purchase, they need to know as much information about you as possible. That’s why good content marketing is the place to start. Whether that’s video marketing, blog posts or downloadable content it all needs to be useful and educational.
Instead of talking about your company all the time, demonstrate its expertise. As you continue to engage with your prospects through content that helps, they’ll feel more confident about your knowledge and they’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to you to learn more about your services. It’s said that you can expect about 67 percent more leads every month if your brand has a blog (compared to ones that don’t!).
The key thing to remember is with content marketing, you’re giving valuable resources away before asking people to buy anything. Even when you sell a product through content marketing, your ideal customers will feel more valued and understood through their journey. By creating content based on an understanding of your target audience, you’ll not only drive leads but will also increase sales.
Utilise email - support at every stage of the journey
Time and time again email marketing is a key driver in ROI and 73 percent of marketers prefer this digital channel for communication. We’re referring to email newsletters and email updates that are educational - not spammy. We want to retain leads, not annoy people and push them away. Although email marketing has been around for decades, not many manufacturers utilise it to its full potential.
You could segment your audience and personalise emails depending on where your customer is in their buying journey. You could test delivery email times or you could create email automation so your prospects receive timely emails at each stage in their decision-making journey. With the average person checking their email inbox up to 20 times a day, it’s these sorts of opportunities you shouldn’t be missing. Although email marketing can be time-consuming it’s worth it - FACT.
Social media - quality over quantity
This doesn’t mean you need to be active on every social media platform but utilising social media to your manufacturing advantage is a no brainer. Social media allows you to engage with your audience, it can help you build brand loyalty and awareness and it can be a great way to attract new customers and keep existing ones updated. When it’s done right, social media for manufacturers can be a valuable resource for lead generation and content promotion.
While Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular social networks overall, no platform provides more value to manufacturers than LinkedIn. With 500 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is a great place to market your business and network with professionals.
If you’re looking for an image-based platform, Instagram is the social channel for you. If you’re wanting to engage with your customers in real-time, Twitter is a great choice and if you’re wanting to utilise video to its fullest potential - YouTube is the destination.
There’s so much information to know about each platform that it can be hard to choose where to start. Think about quality again over quantity. It might be great to be visible on every platform but your branding needs to be consistent, your content needs to be to a high standard and your efforts should be focused on growth - not quantity of platforms.
Almost 90 percent of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75 percent say they’ve increased traffic. So, it’s a worthy investment and having experts on hand to help, will ensure you’re utilising the platforms to your greatest potential.
Red-Fern and the future of manufacturing
Manufacturing marketing can be overwhelming - we understand. But it’s something that doesn’t need to be daunting. Especially when it has SO many positives. As we’ve already outlined, there’s so much room for growth in the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the WORLD. So it’s important to grab these opportunities with both hands and start taking your business in a positive direction.
If you want to see some of these elements of manufacturing marketing in action, then you’ll be pleased to know you’re in the right place. You can view some of our previous digital partnerships and the success stories on our manufacturing microsite. It also covers our approach to discovery, our strategy for success and our technology and marketing capabilities.
If you think you could benefit from some of these manufacturing marketing tactics and you’re wanting to work with a team that has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing - then get in touch! We’re always on hand to help you bring your vision to life.