Manufacturing and the digital divide

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We’ve heard the terms unnecessary, irrelevant and wasteful used to describe the online marketing from a manufacturing business perspective. We’ve heard claims that ‘my customers don’t look for me there’, and ‘this doesn’t make sense for our industry’.

If you have similar thoughts about digital marketing for your manufacturing business, it’s time to reconsider. It’s 2017, and digital is no longer an option (though it may have been for a number of years, now).

What is all of this digital marketing jargon? We’re talking:

  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • User experience
  • Content – Blogs, Infographic, Videos, etc

Here’s why all manufacturing and industrial companies should be embracing digital marketing:

People are searching for you online

84% of industrial professionals use the internet to find components, equipment and services. When professionals need a product, service or solution, they turn to their search engine (which is Google roughly 90% of the time for B2B buyers). Yes, this is absolutely true for all B2B and manufacturing industries.

It’s intent-driven

Digital marketing gets you in front of your audience when they’re performing these searches – searches that suggest a clear intent to find a solution. Compare that to traditional print advertising, where collateral is printed and distributed to a wide audience and you have no indication that they are in the market to actually make a purchase. This is a surefire way to maximize your resources.

It builds credibility

Great content, an impressive user experience and a solid digital strategy will be noticed by your target audience and industry influencers. This is a cost-effective way to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.

It keeps your sales funnel full

With a continuous digital marketing strategy, you’re just about guaranteed to have a continuous stream of new leads. Over time, campaigns can be optimized to generate even more, at a lower cost-per-acquisition. Digital also gives you the flexibility to adjust your budget over time depending on your business goals.

It’s trackable

Another advantage of digital marketing is that you can see tangible results (impressions, click-through-rates, conversions, and cost-per-acquisition) and leverage other data such as geography, age and time of day. You can tell exactly what’s working and what isn’t, and you can adjust campaigns accordingly.

It addresses all stages in a long customer cycle

In the manufacturing world, you often face long sales cycles. Digital marketing gives you the tools to engage with your audience at all stages in this process. When they first realize a need and begin searching for solutions, you can make sure they find you. As they continue to research alternative companies and solutions, you can reinforce your messaging and drive them towards conversion. Once you close the sale, digital strategies are excellent for avoiding buyer’s remorse and building long-term relationships.

It’s effective in generating ROI

You may have heard the saying that half of all marketing dollars are wasted, but you often can’t tell which half. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that proving ROI is the top marketing challenge for manufacturing companies (source).

That certainly isn’t the case with digital marketing. Because of all of the factors above, very rarely do we see cases where the ROI is not evident and an ongoing digital strategy isn’t justified. In many cases, it only takes a few closed deals to cover your digital marketing expense for the entire year.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our digital strategists today.

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