Sorting the wheat from the chaff in an age where marketing techniques and technologies are rapidly evolving can be a challenge for any marketer, and where time and resource is a precious commodity it’s becoming harder to grasp which marketing direction will generate the best results. However, this does not mean that your manufacturing or engineering organisation should not have one.
Creating a marketing strategy that truly supports your business goals can be a minefield and understanding where the most efficient opportunities lie should be at the top of your marketing agenda. Your exploration of the marketing holy grail could result in a futile crusade until your marketing team gets more hands on with the data, internal teams, customers & business growth objectives.
With competition across the manufacturing and engineering sectors growing, organisations are under mounting pressure to rise head and shoulders above the competition, it’s time that organisations started sharpening their tools and taking their inbound marketing strategy more seriously.
There are however a number of misconceptions orbiting inbound marketing in manufacturing and engineering, but these misconstrued views cultivated by a past age of inbound marketing sceptics should be put to rest once and for all.
Let’s jump into some of our keys to inbound success in 2018:
AT A GLANCE
- Opportunities and threats
- Goal setting, marketing outputs & budgets
- Buyers persona development
- Technology suitability check
- Inbound marketing suite
- ROI measurement
OPPORTUNITIES & THREATS
Most qualified marketing professionals will have experience devising a clear S.W.O.T. analysis and review document. This may seem like a simple and monotonous task on the surface but must NOT be ignored and should be approached with meticulous care when performing this valuable exercise. Putting this in the wrong hands could jeopardise your campaign success and cause confusion among internal teams and your inbound marketing agency. Make sure ownership is shared between exec, sales and marketing teams to ensure a well-balanced, congruent direction. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot!
Ego can occasionally be a barrier to getting this right, and organisations need to be honest about their weaknesses and where their competition excels. Conversely, organisations shouldn’t be afraid to blow their own trumpet – communicate strengths and core USPs when the opportunity presents itself.
GOAL SETTING, MARKETING OUTPUTS & BUDGETS
In the digital marketing world, marketing outputs can vary significantly. From reach metrics, right through to revenue and ROI.
Organisations should work towards two of these as a maximum. It’s not unusual to find that pulling one string affects another. Allow your inbound marketing teams to focus on reaching your primary goal – more commonly in manufacturing and engineering, this is revenue or ROI.
Refer to your SMART goal setting to keep all departments singing from the same hymn sheet and mitigate risk by communicating upcoming calendar events & changes to internal processes that could interfere with campaign progress.
Budgeting largely dictates the level of activity that can be deployed within a given time frame. Your inbound agency should offer recommendations on what budget levels are required to reach your growth goals. Reductions to budgets mid campaign can drastically affect the momentum and overall performance of your organisations’ inbound marketing activities.
BUYER PERSONA DEVELOPMENT
Buyer persona development is a crucial stage of your inbound marketing plan. It allows marketers to unearth personal beliefs, social preferences and buyer propensity.
Getting this right will help marketers prequalify their audiences by understanding what makes their potential buyers tick and how to speak to them, making a completely personalised experience that grabs attention.
Consider conducting a series of qualitative studies and interviews which focus on customer motives, affinities, interests and reason for choosing your brand over the competition.
Combining qualitative research with digitally available behavioural data can complete your buyer profile. Now use this to your full potential – communicating your message in the best, most personalised way possible.
Consider some of the below examples for persona development:
- Gender skew
- Role types and seniority level
- Company size
- Social network preference
- Social groups / following
- Online content consumption
- Personal interests and hobbies
TECHNOLOGY SUITABILITY CHECK
From CRM integration packages to paid media technologies, manufacturing and engineering organisations must understand the plethora of technologies widely available, and selecting the right technology to enhance your inbound marketing strategy will add another string to your marketing bow.
Ask your inbound agency about acceleration packages such as promoted and native content amplification to help reach your desired audiences, faster. There is no ‘one size fits all approach’ and each inbound strategy should run a suitability check to ensure activity is suited to achieving your overarching goals.
INBOUND MARKETING SUITES
Your inbound marketing suite is the lifeblood of your marketing activity. This software will allow your agency, marketers and sales team to work homogeneously. Combining strategy and automation to create a full customer pipeline that is tracked from first interaction with your blog content to customer acquisition and ROI.
This software will supercharge your ability to prequalify new and existing contacts and automate emails and communications helping to highlight your most valuable and engaged prospects.
Don’t waste your sales teams’ valuable time by relentlessly hitting up old or unsuitable contact. Allow them to find you, organically.
Hubspot is our recommended inbound stack which offers growth packages for SME’s and large enterprise businesses. Packages come equipped with web content management, email automation, CRM integration, social monitoring, analytics and more.
In a multitouch digital world, it’s hard to know where to award credit across marketing channels and activities.
Attribute the right value to your inbound marketing activities by tracking buyers all the way through the buyer lifecycle and learn what areas to optimise to improve future campaign performance. No estimating, no guessing, just a clear path to ROI across campaigns.
Learn to look at content in isolation. Pick out topics, themes and authors that generate the highest level of engagement, and analyse what social groups and companies are interacting with your content the most. Discern your most effective content, landing pages and ebooks using CTR (click through rates), CvR (conversion rates) and engagement reporting. This data will help to optimise and steer future campaign ideas.
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