Manufacturing in America has been hit hard over the past few years. The ugly combination of cheap offshore competition, the economic recession, and government regulation has had a crippling effect.
I recently spoke with a CEO of a Pittsburgh-area manufacturing company. She is currently celebrating their 75th year as a family owned and operated business, how cool is that! Like the rest of the manufacturing sector, they have been hit hard by the 2008 recession.
They are also being hit by government regulation. This year alone they’re seeing their healthcare costs increase by 65% and they’re facing stiff competition from China.
In this tough economic environment, CEOs and C-Suite executives are looking for a manufacturing marketing plan that actually works.
There is no room in the budget for tactics and channels that don’t deliver a return on investment. Here are three steps to building a marketing strategy that can deliver results in today’s tough atmosphere:
Create an Inbound Marketing GamePlan
Research shows that in the B2B space, 57% of the buyer’s decision making process is complete before they contact a sales representative.
This means that for majority of the decision making process, the prospect’s perceptions are being formed by what they discover online.
Inbound marketing is the key to being found when prospects start searching for a solution. They’re looking for answers to their questions and the companies that provide helpful answers through online content win. They win because they get the first crack at building the relationship.
An Inbound Marketing GamePlan is a three-part strategy for success.
- Part 1: Situation Audit
- Define the current situation and the desired destination.
- Investigate the competition.
- Analyze current marketing tactics and resources.
- Part 2: Buyer Personas
- Know the target buyers.
- Understand the questions being asking through their research process.
- Create a Buyer’s Journey for each persona.
- Part 3: Content Roadmap
- Outline content that answers the questions being asked asking.
- Share additional content that draws them through the Inbound Marketing Engine.
- Implement an optimized website and marketing automation tools.
Before moving forward it is critical to outline a strategy. This lays the groundwork and provides a roadmap that the whole organization can believe in moving forward.
Build an Inbound Marketing Engine
Visitors to a website don’t mean anything unless they’re converted into leads. An Inbound Marketing Engine is they system bywhich leads are generated, nurtured, and brought to a sales-ready state.
This exists largely within a marketing automation tool like HubSpot. On the outside, visitors can download content like eBooks, webinars, white papers, spec sheets, data sheets, etc. When they download these resources, the Inbound Marketing Engine analyzes the leads based on their position, industry, and other factors set inside the system.
Based on their persona, they will start receiving personalized emails with additional information that is related to the topic they showed interest in earlier. No one likes spammy emails. This is totally different. These emails are targeted and share more free resources with the prospect.
The goal is to establish trust in the prospect’s eyes by sharing content that helps them through their buying journey.
Run Inbound Marketing Campaigns
With an Inbound Marketing GamePlan and Inbound Marketing Engine in place, it is time to bring some new people to the party. Inbound Marketing Campaigns are designed to attract visitors to your website.
Inbound Marketing Campaigns are focused around a common topic. They’re designed to create articles that rank in Google and other search engines, create conversations inside relevant social communities like LinkedIn Groups, and at the end of the day the results are measurable.
No more guessing or assuming when it comes to your marketing spend. Know what content is attracting traffic, which resources are converting visitors into leads, and know what sources are bringing the most traffic to your website.
These campaigns are run consistantly. Two big factors that determine Google search results are number of indexed pages and fresh content. Each article that is published has the opportunity to rank for a targeted long-tail search phrase that prospects are using when researching their purchase.
Want to learn more about building a system like this?
If you’re interested in learning more about this system and how to leverage teh power of online content to generate leads, then check out our free eBook The Ultimate Guide to Epic Content for Boring Industries.
Inside this comprehensive guide you’ll discover actionable strategies and tactics that can help you create an manufacturing marketing plan that actually works!