how to streamline marketing and sales for manufacturers

Throughout the last couple of years, it’s no secret the manufacturing industry has faced numerous, hard major challenges.

From a tight labor market and sickness related absenteeism lingering from the pandemic to supply chain constraints and rising raw material costs, you’ve had your hands full on nearly every front. And on top of that, inflation and economic uncertainty have entered the chat.

To offset these challenges, many companies have turned to technology and automation (like industrial manipulators and warehouse management software) to help streamline business operations.

But what actions are being taken to ensure business keeps coming through your door?

If your answer is none or I don’t know, we can help.

In today’s post, we’ll walk through some of our favorite marketing and sales tools and tactics for manufacturers that will let you do more with less, ensure accuracy across your efforts and focus on only the most efficient channels.

Invest in Automation

Given the recent challenges, you’ve probably hopped on the automation train for streamlining manufacturing processes. Whether it’s to manage your front and back-office processes with an ERP, automate manufacturing systems or keep track of your materials with a real-time location system, you’ve likely seen the benefits pay off in smoother operations and increased productivity.

But what about processes for simplifying your management of leads, prospects and customers?

In all honesty, there is not enough time anymore for labor-heavy marketing tactics like direct mail, tradeshows and printed brochures and catalogs. And while we’re not saying get rid of those things altogether (because they still have a relevant time and place in marketing), the time has come to embrace a new digital strategy that aims to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales and marketing programs.

Enter automation platforms.

While there are a bunch of automation platforms you can choose from, our go-to is HubSpot.

HubSpot is a CRM platform that connects everything scaling companies (like yours) need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience in one place. With the HubSpot CRM and Marketing software working together, you can see how your leads are behaving, activities they take on your site and how they interact with other product touchpoints. You’ll also have access to tons of lead generation tools that make it easy to capture, store and nurture leads, including forms, live chat, landing pages, automation software and more.

The platform streamlines and automates not only marketing and sales, but service and operations as well, enabling you to handle everything from attracting prospects to delighting customers under one roof.

Leverage Your Data

Marketers in the manufacturing industry have unique challenges. Not only are you responsible for building strategic relationships with a network of dealers and distributors, but you also need to have an intimate understanding of consumers. And this requires technology and data to successfully close the relationship gap.

As a marketing professional, you likely have access to a variety of data that will help you fine tune your marketing and sales efforts.

But how should you leverage that data to really drive growth? That’s the real question you need to be asking.

While there are several ways to get more out of your data, here are some of our favorite tools that will make improving lead conversion a breeze.

  • Hotjar: Are visitors making it to your website, only to hop off after just a few seconds? While getting in front of leads is half the battle, if your website isn’t optimized for conversions, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. With Hotjar, you gain access to behavior analytics (like clicks, page scrolling, mouse movements), heatmap tracking, visitor recordings and more to help you understand where your website optimization efforts will have the most impact. (Get our tips for how to efficiently analyze Hotjar recordings.)
  • SEMrush: A recent study found SEO to be the highest-ROI online lead generation strategy available to marketers (producing an average ROI of around $2.75 for every dollar spent). The reason being – Google is among the most trusted brands in the world. With the help of SEMrush, you can research keywords, track the keyword strategy your competition uses, run an SEO audit of your blog, look for backlinking opportunities, setup precision tracking on both organic and paid search and lots more so you’re equipped to reach the right audience at the right time. (Need help getting started with keyword research? Our blog has got you covered!)

With an effective suite of tools, you’ll have access to the intelligence and insights you need to improve your decision making and gain a competitive advantage for your business.

Take Advantage of AI Tools

Artificial Intelligence is influencing the way manufacturing processes work because let’s be honest, some things can be done more efficiently by robots than humans.

And the same concept applies to marketing. For example, analyzing large data sets or staying ahead of surfacing trends is just not inherently obvious to the human eye.

Lucky for you – artificial intelligence is a vastly growing field in marketing with tools that make everything from sending emails to optimizing your paid campaigns easier and more efficient.

A couple tools that have simplified our processes include:

  • Optmyzer: If you’re familiar with the ins-and-outs of managing a Google Ads campaign, you know that running it effectively involves a lot more than writing a few ads and setting your budget. However, with Optmyzer, you gain access to daily reports with keyword analysis and recommendations for improvement, automated split testing, budget forecasting, broken link detection, quality score tracker and so much more helping you make better use of your time and gain insights you can leverage to better manage them. (Check out our blog for a more in-depth explanation of how it works!)
  • Seventh Sense: Like any marketer, you’ve probably researched “best days/times to send an email for the manufacturing industry,” at least once or twice. And you’ve probably found the answers to be an unhelpful mix of “it depends,” “Tuesdays at 10am” or “definitely NOT Tuesdays at 10am.” With Seventh Sense, the platform analyzes your contacts and their engagement to personalize and predict when they are most likely to read your email. Using machine learning, the tool continually tests and analyzes engagement data so that over time, open and click rates increase, your sender score improves and you get more results from your email campaigns. (Not yet sold? Take a look at how we used the platform to boost our email performance and get an insight look at our real results!)

There are plenty out there making predictions about where AI is going. But one thing is for certain, when you invest in the right tools and use them correctly, you’ll be able to do work more efficiently and generate better returns, improving your bottom line.

Reduce Budget Waste

Marketers spent an estimated $650 billion U.S. dollars on ads in 2021, including $297.50 billion on digital ads. However, over a quarter of that ad spend ends up wasted.

According to one recent report published in Search Engine Journal that examined roughly a billion ad clicks and 100 billion data points, 11% of search ad clicks and 36% of display ad clicks were found to be fraudulent or invalid.

While wasted ad spend is a significant problem in the marketing industry, you don’t have to fall victim to it.

If you’ve picked up the trend of this blog post by now, you can probably guess we’re going to say – there are a few tools that can help you steer clear of wasted ad spend.

  • ClickCease uses algorithms to analyze various data points and determine if the visit is legitimate or fraudulent. Once it determines an IP address (or social media account) to be fraudulent or fake, it automatically blocks the IP addresses and accounts from seeing or being able to click on your ads moving forward. The result: cleaner PPC traffic, less waste and better ROI. (See how ClickCease saved us an estimated $231 in just a few weeks!)
  • ClickGUARD offers a total shield against a variety of clicks that you don’t want. Online advertisers also get total control over their paid traffic, giving them the ability to prevent wasteful, fraudulent ad clicks. The tool works by detecting IPs using VPN and putting them into categories based on low, medium and high level threats, or blocking them automatically.

The number of click fraud incidents is continuously on the rise. With the help of a fraud prevention tool, you’ll be able to enjoy cleaner, more qualified traffic and save yourself money in the long run.

Optimize Your Sales and Marketing

In today’s world, it’s not enough to just set up a marketing strategy that focuses on every channel. To get the most out of your efforts, you need to learn how to do more with less. And that means ensuring your strategy is working as efficiently, effectively and accurately as possible.   

Are you struggling to streamline your marketing strategy? We’re here to help. Let our team of experts help you create a strategy for success – click here to get started.