Out with the old and in with the new! Looking ahead to 2018, it's a natural time for all marketers to review the marketing tactics they've used this year and make plans for the New Year (and hopefully beyond!). For marketers involved in manufacturing, there are some particularly pressing issues which, if they can be addressed, will help 'feed the funnel' and develop new sales, leads, and marketing efficiency.
Know Your Customer
You can come up with the most complex, detailed marketing strategy in the world, but if it isn’t targeting the right people, then it won’t work. First you need to identify your targeted prospects and figure out how to market to them.
One great way hone to in on your customers’ mindset is to establish personas. These are profiles of your potential and current customers that help you figure out the best way to market and sell to them. For each persona, you should be asking questions like:
- What is their demographic information?
- Are they tech savvy?
- What do they value?
- What are their major pain points?
The answers to these questions will help you get inside your customers’ heads and figure out what they need from your organization.
If you feel like you have your personas under control, you might be ready to move onto more advanced marketing practices. Real-time marketing uses customer data to find the right person in the right audience at the right time.
One way to do this is to target your audience based on location. Using Geofencing and IP Targeting can help you reach people in a very specific location; say, at a trade show. This helps you deliver a hyper-relevant message to people who want to see it.
Advanced audience targeting technology also allows business marketers to hone in in current customers and prospects (CRM Targeting), and digitally target them across devices, at work, and at home. This same technology also gives marketers the ability to send real time, display messages directly to physical company locations, NAICS code, job level or title. By creating customer ‘silos’ and collecting activity data, advanced B2B marketers can easily optimize campaign strategy, creative, and channels for maximum efficiency and return.
Update Your Website Architecture
The digital buying process is very different than the buying process of even ten years ago. In fact, it’s estimated that a customer is usually 57% of the way through the buying process before they have their first contact with a supplier. This means that your potential customers are doing their research online and beginning to make decisions before even contacting you. Because of this, your organization needs more than just a static website; you need an interactive online presence.
In order to make sure your customers are getting the best possible experience out of your website, you need to have a clean integration between your site and business operations software. Order management is a crucial aspect of B2B brick and mortar operations, and that remains true online as well. Getting your back office and eCommerce site to communicate with each other will significantly improve sales interactions for your company.
All of your systems should be aligned to your business goals, and connected to a data/marketing intelligence system. This streamlined, formulaic approach allows B2B marketers key insights across all paid, earned, and owned channels including CRM, Website Metrics, Social Media, Email Marketing, Digital Display Marketing, Paid Search, and eCommerce output.
Market to People
Despite operating in a B2B environment, it’s important to remember that you’re marketing to people. B2B customers purchasing for work are the same customers who shop the B2C space online for personal purchases. Just because the purpose of the purchase is different does not mean that the experience should be. B2B customers have come to expect a B2C-like shopping experience.
Mobile eCommerce continues to grow, and not just for B2C organizations. Optimizing your B2B site for mobile makes your site accessible and flexible, giving your customers even more opportunities to shop.
Searchers are a powerful demographic for B2B as well as B2C. Searchers are your most valuable site visitors, as they have an 11% higher average order value and 2.7 times greater conversion rate than non-searchers, on average. Enhance your site’s search functions by providing relevant results, showcasing your expertise, and being mobile-friendly.
67% of a salesperson’s time is typically spent on non-selling activities such as research, data entry, and busy work. As you probably already know, generating new sales leads and converting them to sales is sometimes a complex and daunting task for any marketer. Luckily, there are many new, more automated approaches to collecting website visitor information. Many of these lead generation systems also give you the ability to immediately organize contact data into your CRM system, Lead Score, and Create New, Digital Campaigns with relevant messaging for that audience.
These are just a few of the ways that you can advance your B2B manufacturing site and marketing plan. Click below to learn more about digital marketing or get some B2B eCommerce advice.