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The manufacturer’s roadmap to digital marketing

Digital marketing roadmap

Many marketers know that they need to direct more of their marketing budget online. But manufacturing and industrial marketers face two particular challenges

  1. They lack a clear roadmap as to which digital marketing investments to make first and which ones can come later
  2. They have trouble proving the ROI to their CEOs

On Wednesday, August 5 Achinta Mitra, President of Tiecas and I will be hosting a webinar for industrial marketers to address these two topics.  I hope you will join us by registering here.

In case you aren’t familiar with Achinta, he also writes a blog called Industrial Marketing Today.  He knows tons about marketing for manufacturing companies, so I’m pretty stoked to have him join us for this presentation.

As a lead-up to the webinar, let’s take a look at why digital marketing is the best path forward for manufacturing marketers.

The One and Only reason to move your marketing budget online

There is only one reason to move your marketing budget to digital - it is because your customers are there.  Bloggers (myself included) have come up with countless more nuanced ways to make this point, but it all comes back to presenting your products where your customers are.

You have heard that buyers are completing most of their marketing journey before ever talking to a sales rep.  Some research says that it’s 60% of the buying journey that is done online.  Other research says 80%.  The point is not so much the number as that these prospects come to your sales team pre-informed as to what products they need.  This is true of industrial products as much as consumer products. 

While there may still be some prospects who call your sales team to get product specifications, most already have that information.  When prospects call, they are typically just confirming price and delivery before deciding where to place their order.  Or if your digital marketing is well structured, they may be calling with a difficult application question that isn’t answered on your web site. 

The goal of the industrial marketer is to make sure that your products are considered

Given that your customers and prospects are searching online, the most certain way to engage engineers and other buyers in a sales cycle is to raise your company’s digital profile.  But achieving a complete digital profile is a daunting task.  You need:

  • A website that showcases your products and ranks well
  • SEM efforts to drive traffic
  • Top of funnel content pieces that demonstrate your solution to specific application problems
  • Thought leadership content in blog, white paper, webinar and video formats
  • Gated content for lead generation
  • Lead nurturing content and workflows so that prospects contact sales at the right time
  • A marketing automation tool to manage the work flow
  • Social media prominence

Unless your company’s revenues are in the multi-billions, chances are you can’t do all of the above.  And therein lies a dilemma.  Do you first invest in SEM before social? Lead gen before awareness? Content before you have an email list? What do you say when your CEO asks you to create a viral video for YouTube?

And how much budget should you redirect from your traditional trade shows and print magazines towards digital marketing? 

These are the key questions that Achinta and I plan to address in our Webinar for Manufacturing Marketers on August 5th. Please join us, but if you can’t, register anyway to receive a link to the recorded version after the event.

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