It’s no question that the manufacturing industry is rapidly changing. Artificial Intelligence has grown tremendously and factories are continuing to embrace automated practices. However, as machines take over factory floors, a similar boom is occurring on the marketing and sales side. Smarter digital experiences are essential when attracting and retaining customers in the B2B marketing funnel, but some manufacturers are still lagging behind.
Here are four reasons why now is the time to embrace the latest digital best practices in marketing and sales:
Industrial buyers expect better experiences.
There’s an assumption out there that B2B buyers are less likely than general consumers to care about the look and feel of a website. That’s simply not true! The world is digital and buyers have come to expect their interactions with industrial companies to be digital as well. The days of relying solely on word of mouth are over and your web presence needs to be more sophisticated to keep up with the times.
Take a look at your current website and put yourself in the shoes of your buyers. Is it easy to search for products? Is your website inviting for potential leads? Does the user journey make sense? If not, you may have an opportunity to make some changes.
Buyers in all industries are relying on digital content to make decisions.
With the amount of information available today, buyers are more informed than ever before. 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during their research process and those involved in the B2B buying process are often 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually perform an action on your site. This means that for more than half of the buying process, your customers are forming their own opinions, learning technical specifications, and narrowing down their options without any influence from you.
It wasn’t always like this and industrial marketers who want to stay ahead need strategic tactics to reach buyers while they are in that all-important decision-making phase. Creating an integrated digital marketing strategy consisting of informational content and strategic email techniques that align with every phase in the sales funnel will help immensely.
Data can enable more effective marketing.
When planning out your marketing strategy, digital goals are often the most realistic and easily measurable objectives out there. On top of that, the very nature of digital marketing results in a wealth of data that marketers can act on to improve their strategies over time. With tools like Google Analytics and CRMs like Salesforce, B2B marketers can learn essential information on their potential buyers and drill down to the exact interactions that led them to a certain company. Industrial marketers can capitalize on this information to deliver the most targeted messaging to their prospects.
There is one caveat here: this data needs to be used effectively. Perform regular maintenance on your databases to ensure clean data.
Digital marketing drives sales.
When used correctly, digital marketing can absolutely be a revenue driver for manufacturing companies. Email is an exceptionally effective revenue driver, with marketers reporting a staggering 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. It’s getting clearer that the costs of ignoring digital marketing are exceeding the costs of embracing digital marketing. We’ve already seen reports of several companies getting bought out by higher performing competitors who have already embraced newer business practices. As the industry continues to transform, now is the time to act.
In short, an optimized online presence is integral to the industrial buying process of today. While going digital with your business practices can seem like a daunting task, it is necessary to stay ahead. Start small and see how your business can grow with digital marketing. If you’re having trouble pulling together a plan, we can help!