4 Ways an Effective Industrial Marketing Strategy Helps Boost Sales
Creating a sales strategy starts with one extremely important component: the assumption that you will have a steady flow of leads working their way through your sales funnel. From awareness to purchase, each stage of the buying journey is impacted by inbound marketing tactics. This can be particularly challenging in more traditional businesses such as industrial manufacturers, where the majority of your business in the past may have come through cold calling. People are increasingly wary of answering the phone if they don’t recognize the number, making it more difficult than ever to break through the clutter and get attention.
Today’s inbound marketing professionals are looking for different tactics that will provide the same level of measurable results. The most successful teams are pulling strategies from other business verticals and leveraging digital marketing strategies to solve this ages-old problem.
It has rarely been easy to tie a sale back to specific marketing activities, but today’s digital marketing tactics provide many opportunities for tracking their viability in a meaningful way. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to educate your audience and promote your brand as a thought leader in your space. Becoming that trusted voice of the product line keeps your brand top of mind for industrial buyers—not surprising when you read that business decision makers overwhelmingly prefer to learn about products over time as opposed to through a single advertisement.
4 Effective Strategies
Below are several more ways that marketing for manufacturers can help increase your overall sales and share of the market.
1. Simplifying and Streamlining Sales
Pulling sales and marketing teams together into a single cohesive unit may sound unattainable. A comprehensive inbound marketing strategy allows you to simplify and streamline your sales process far more easily than with traditional tactics. Sales professionals can continually feed marketing teams information on customer needs and questions, while marketing teams work to incorporate these talking points into their content, messaging, and advertising. Creating a wide array of content—blogs, video, case studies, eBooks, whitepapers, etc.—that can help overcome buyer reluctance not only provides a consistent message across the sales team, but it also helps nurture customer relationships—creating comfort and self-identification with your brand before prospects even speak with a sales executive.
2. Creating Actionable Strategies
Manufacturing sales often go through a gamut of decision makers: everyone from plant managers and engineers to scientists and financial gurus will be reviewing your messaging, which requires that you have a strong understanding of the value proposition of your products. Prospects may skim through information online a number of times over a period of months as they work through internal approvals and justification. You need to have information readily available that is relevant to each one of the personas mentioned above so either they can read it for themselves, or the main buyer can relay the information back to the respective party.
Cold calling, while still important, is more likely to be eclipsed by capturing leads online and passing them to a sales team for follow-up. Defining an actionable inbound marketing strategy has many of the components of marketing you are familiar with, plus many more communication tactics that help encourage buyers to learn more about your products and services. At Grant Marketing, we focus on three key stages of the buyer’s journey:
- Attract attention with the help of product videos, online advertisements, blogging and other content, and social media
- Engage your audience by creating marketing automation workflows, lead management strategies, and conversational bots
- Delight your prospects and customers with smart content that is personalized for their needs
Throughout each stage of the sales process, detailed attribution reporting allows you to determine which tactics are driving sales—and which need to be revised for improved results.
3. Defining Success Metrics that Matter
Measuring the effectiveness of various marketing strategies and tactics starts with defining adequate success metrics based on your business goals. Are you primarily attempting to grow brand awareness throughout your target market, or is your true success metric the amount of leads that convert to sales?
Industrial marketing professionals have a deep well of experience working with B2B organizations, understanding that the sales cycle may be much longer and more convoluted than a traditional B2C sales funnel. Buyers often find themselves responding to content marketing that doesn’t feel like inbound marketing—even though these tactics can be extremely successful in bringing buyers to your brand.
It’s important to note that you can easily over-measure by not focusing on the key performance indicators that truly drive results. Whether you’re interested in print advertising or strictly digital, creating measures that matter allows your team to focus your efforts on the tactics that deliver favored business outcomes.
4. Leveraging Automated Messaging
No two buyers are alike, so why should their journeys be mirrored? Today’s advanced customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software allow you to capture visits to specific pages on your website, downloads of whitepapers, emails that were delivered (and opened!) and any contacts with specific leads in the past. This meaningful information is shared across the organization, so everyone in contact with the prospect has access to the same level of detail and can communicate more effectively over time.
With automated messaging, you can create an email campaign that “drips” information to prospects in a series of emails—each with a specific messaging point and call-to-action that are intended to help you identify the most engaged prospects for follow-up. You quickly gain economies of scale as each campaign needs to be built only once and can run indefinitely to leads that take pre-defined actions, such as downloading a piece of content or clicking on a particular advertisement.
Each stage of your buyer’s journey can be enhanced by sophisticated industrial marketing tactics that not only save time and effort on the part of your marketing team, but also drive highly qualified leads towards your sales team. When you define actionable metrics, it quickly becomes clear where you should focus your future marketing and sales efforts.
If you need help implementing any of the best practices outlined above, Grant Marketing is your resource. As a full-service marketing agency—with capabilities including content creation, account-based and inbound marketing for manufacturers, brand development, website design, and more—we can help guide you through the process of creating an industrial marketing strategy for your company that aligns with your goals. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your new initiatives.