Marketing for Manufacturers: Three Strategies To Achieve Your Happily Ever After
Like figuring out the best way to forge titanium to steel – developing precision coordinate measuring machines – and designing lightweight yet durable automobile components, devising effective manufacturing marketing strategies is an art form that requires much trial and error. Fortunately for you and us, three brothers took it upon themselves to experiment with inbound and outbound marketing tactics and come up with a solution that would eventually lead to happily-ever-after.
A Tale of Three Brothers
Not long ago, in a manufacturing kingdom near you, there lived three brothers, Axle, Ryder and Harley. Each brother owned his own manufacturing company but, despite being located in the same kingdom, did not directly compete with one another. Each of these brothers recognized the need for marketing and advertising but, beyond their mutual acceptance, they could not agree on the best strategy. After much debate and deliberation regarding which tactics would generate the most leads and drive conversions, they decided that Axle, being the eldest, would experiment first. The other two sat back and waited for his results, hoping they could learn from them and improve upon his strategy.
The Outbound Approach
Axle is one of those guys for whom the phrase “Slow and steady wins the race” is a tired motto that should be reserved for fairy tales. This may or may not be the result of having grown up in the era of instant gratification. Whatever the reason, Axle invested 100% of his advertising budget in outbound channels. He purchased digital ads across all channels, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook. He bought newspaper ads and sent out flyers. He invested in ads in monthly tradeshow publications and bought billboard space on the most popular freeways.
As you might expect, Axle quickly discovered that outbound marketing could get, well, costly. He also noticed that it didn’t yield a substantial ROI — in fact, his efforts appeared to fall flat…
The Inbound Approach
Ryder, on the other hand, always favored the tortoise in the fable. He also favors money, and watching his brother spend thousands of dollars on paid advertisements that yielded few results hurt his inner Scrooge. He decided to do the exact opposite of Axle and invest 100% of his advertising budget into inbound marketing.
Ryder used social media, email and content marketing to drive qualified leads to his website. He personally researched high performing keywords, wrote blogs posts and long-form content pieces and published keyword-laden webpages. Whenever he finished a new white paper or eBook, he emailed it to his contacts list and published it across all channels.
Ryder’s efforts paid off in the form of increased website traffic, more subscribers and more contacts in his database. However, he didn’t close as many deals as he would have liked, and he was tired. Content creation is laborious and time-consuming work, and it was slow to yield results. Though he appreciates the tortoise’s patience, he knows that time is money, and the more time that goes by without leads, the more money he loses…
The Best of Both Worlds
As the youngest child, Harley had the advantage of watching his two older brothers try and fail and try again — and he took notes. His sensible nature wouldn’t allow him to spend nearly as much money on paid advertisements as Axle did, but his zest for life told him he couldn’t spend all his free time crafting content that would slowly but surely build up website traffic. So what did he do? He used a hybrid approach.
As a digital native, Harley understands that high-quality, relevant and engaging content is key to attracting prospects to his website and nurturing them into qualified leads. Having analyzed Ryder’s efforts, he also knows that high performing content will continue to work for a company long after it’s published. Like Ryder, Harley also promoted his content across various digital channels and nurtured prospects via email.
However, because Harley hoped to take his kids to Disney World over the holidays, he needed to generate revenue quickly. Taking a page from Axle’s book, he decided to pay for advertisements on Google and LinkedIn to get his content in front of more people at a faster rate. Because he still had the helpful content to go along with his ads, he was able to generate, nurture and convert far more prospects than Axle was able to with his “Buy Now” offers.
And They All Live Happily Ever After
Axel and Ryder, having witnessed Harley’s success, decided that maybe throwing all their eggs into one basket wasn’t such a great idea. They too decided to take a hybrid approach to their manufacturing marketing strategies. Axel, with only paid advertisements to his name, decided to pause the ads until he could crank out high-quality web pages and blog posts. Ryder, with a wealth of content under his belt, decided that it couldn’t hurt to spend some of his budget on pay-per-click advertising, paid email distribution and boosted social media posts. From then on, they decided to work together on their strategies.
Over the years, the brothers have refined their marketing strategies to include geofencing, retargeting, like-audience tools and other best practices. They use split testing to test various calls-to-action, landing pages, ads and offers, and they segment their databases so they can send highly targeted email campaigns to select segments of prospects.
Today, the three brothers have a well-oiled marketing machine. If the end of your story looks to be a little bleak, you can still work toward a happily ever after. Contact Momentum to build a strategy that will get you there sooner rather than later.