Manufacturing marketing shifted gears in a big way this year, turning its attention towards sales as a primary goal for content marketing. In many cases, there’s a disconnect between what they are doing and what is actually proven to work.
Marketing can help you prevail against competitors, but only if you are avoiding some common pitfalls. Many manufacturers feel their business is generating enough sales leads without paying much attention to marketing. Why change now? The answer is that the world is evolving, and all of a sudden the marketing mistakes that once didn’t matter are coming back to haunt you. Besides, re-engineering your product or manufacturing process is much less cost effective than retooling your marketing messages.
Banner ads are all you need
There is a common misconception that banner ads are sufficient in generating leads and identifying potential clients. While we agree that banner ads can help create brand awareness, it is rare that banner ads will result in any new business for a manufacturer. It is also extremely rare to build a profitable business connection from banner ads.
Manufacturers often mistake site activity as value. It’s rarely the link to the site that makes a difference. Instead, manufacturers should concentrate on what the prospect finds on their site that motivates them to initiate communication themselves and become a qualified lead.
Shooting before you aim
Many manufacturers have a large amount of internal research and knowledge that might seem “too sensitive” to share, so the opportunity to target qualified personas remains limited.
Knowing who your target customers are, their job focus, buying behaviors, job function, background, and personality will have a major effect on how you should be marketing to them. Distribution is a main part of marketing but if you are shooting before you aim you will always miss your target. Targeting the right people at the right time in their buying cycle will generate more profitable customers.
Information that you have about previous projects and the value your company was able to provide - improved cycle times, cost savings, dependability, creativity, participation as a partner in product development cycles - differentiates you from competitors and raises your total value to the prospective customer.
If the information you provide is unclear or does not add value during the research phase, it is likely that they will not want to contact you for more information on how you can help their company.
Overall, it is important that manufacturing marketers reign in their efforts and use techniques that are proven to work to generate sales leads. Instead of wasting time and budget on advertisements or content that do not help to educate prospects, marketers should be looking to position their organization as a thought leader in the industry - ultimately becoming a trusted source of information and provider of solutions for prospects. Through the right content and proper means of distribution, you will be able to put your manufacturing company on your prospects’ short list.
Have you implemented a content marketing strategy that has seen great success? Share your experience in the comments!