Manufacturing and Industrial Services companies in the small and mid-size often lack an established marketing strategy that allows them to compete for a larger market share. Often this is due to a lack of marketing function including leadership, skills and understanding of technology available.
If a company provides products and services into a supply chain where established customers are not sufficient to pursue real growth, they must have the marketing expertise to seek out new markets and customers.
This requires an understanding of how to identify the vast opportunities that exist through digital channels and capabilities to make your brand visible and stand out from your competition.
A comprehensive research process involves developing a list of industry, product and services search terms that are being used by your target market.
After establishing your search term list, the process requires identifying competitors that are visible for each of the targeted search terms. For each of the competitors, an evaluation of their visibility for each of the terms will help guide your strategy. An in-depth evaluation of their website, social media activity, value proposition, messaging and brand impression will help your strategy development.
It is important to understand your target market. For instance, divide the strategy into two types of marketplaces; the one that knows your brand and the one that does not know your brand, company or products and services.
For those in your marketplace who know your brand, your goal is to drive them back to your website. For those who do not know your brand, this is your opportunity to drive them to your site before they find a competitor.
If your business has sustained revenue through existing customers and relationships, then there is a great opportunity to pursue new customers that are finding your competitors.
Are your competitors growing and your sales are stagnant? If they are growing, they are discovering new customers that could be driven to your business.
This is where a search term analysis will help explain your digital visibility and quantify missed opportunities. Google Search Console (GSC) is a powerful tool for evaluating the potential marketplace. For example, say you sell Cleanroom Filters, and GSC shows you at position 50 and with 150 impressions at that position. Think about the impressions that would exist if you were indexing on Page 1 of Google for the search term(s) “Cleanroom Filters”.
For many smaller manufacturing and industrial services companies that lack an experienced marketing department, they often lack a clear and consistent messaging to communicate the value of your company, products and services.
This should be the 1st stage of your digital marketing strategy by working on a set of messaging content that will clearly communicate your company’s value proposition. This material will be structured for multi-purpose use including pitch-decks, website, email campaigns, paid advertising, social media, etc.
If your company has direct sales people, they need a consistent flow of quality leads to keep them happy doing what they love selling. Do you want them spending their time and your money searching for new leads or out selling in front of prospective customers?
A lead generation strategy should be considered both long-term and short-term. Long-term involves making your brand visible and accessible throughout search engines, social media and email campaigns. If a prospective customer is doing research and finds you on the internet today, they may not be ready to contact your company. By using technology this is an opportunity for your brand to remain visible on the internet. You want to bring them back to your website when they are ready to purchase.
A short-term lead involves several methods where you compete on search engines against other companies. You draw them to your website before they visit a competitor. Once they are on your website, you have a very short window to get them to connect through a phone call or call-to-action. Technology allows your reps to identify companies that visit your site and view pages but do make contact. As a warm lead your salespeople can then seek out people at the company.
Data is one of your most valuable assets. A contact name and email address is valuable if used effectively. If your data goes back years, this data can be used to harvest new opportunities. How often do you lose a deal and then fail to follow up at a later time and miss out on a future opportunity? Through technology and drip marketing activities, you can squeeze opportunities out of this list.
If a contact in your list is no longer with the company (their old email address is no longer valid) there is an opportunity to locate them at their new company and connect and purse new opportunities.
A contact or email address that was acquired by your sales reps should be your asset. By using technology, you maintain this contact and the historical data if the sales rep leaves your company.
CRM is a powerful and necessary tool for a digital marketing strategy. While many sales reps tend to minimize the use of CRM in their prospecting and sales strategy, it is important to use technology to centralize, control and maintain this data.
Your marketing automation platform is a critical part of your marketing strategy. This system is where you send out email and track all activities of an email address for your contacts. This is valuable data that should be sent back to your CRM and allow your sales team to better analyze contacts for prospecting and selling. Most marketing automation platforms have integration capabilities with popular CRM platforms.
Search engine traffic should be characterized as visitors that know your brand and visitors that just discovered your brand. During the development of your digital marketing strategy, performance metrics should be established which include a percentage of visitors arriving to your site that just discovered your brand. This will require a comprehensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy that will be continuously and routinely implemented, targeting a growing list of search terms and moving your pages up the search results.
There are a growing number of Marketing Automation platforms such as Act-on, Hubspot, Sharpspring and ActiveDemand that provide a range of features and capabilities to allow you to generate leads, Nurture leads and grow your business.