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I’m a marketer for a manufacturing company, and I’m feeling a little behind-the-times.
Manufacturing processes are rapidly and increasingly becoming automated. This places a burden on our stakeholders to continuously innovate and invest in things like research and development and building sustainable products.
With constant changes plaguing our industry, how are we expected to have time (or budget) to worry about things like lead generation, follow-up, and ROI from marketing? I know we need to implement marketing technology, but I can’t justify an expensive marketing automation tool without being able to prove marketing ROI.
Do you have any advice or suggestions for us?
Manufacturing Marketer at B2B firm, Omaha, NE
These types of issues are more common than you would think. In fact, according to data from HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, the number one marketing challenge facing manufacturing companies is proving the ROI of marketing activities.
Being in an industry that comes from a time when digital technology didn’t even exist, it’s only natural that rapid advances in technology have hit manufacturing companies like yours especially hard.
You’re already automating your manufacturing processes, and it may be time for your stakeholders to think about modernizing marketing for increased profitability.
Marketing automation can help (either directly or through-channel):
- Engage customers earlier in the sales cycle
- Personalize outreach
- Nurture prospects from click to close
- Increase velocity through the funnel
- Track the ROI of your marketing efforts
Case in point
Not long ago, a manufacturing client we work with implemented marketing automation to increase sales. Not long after integrating Eloqua with their Salesforce CRM, they recouped their investment and created a $36 million opportunity pipeline.
Part of our engagement involved helping this client understand different buyer personas and mapping out the decision points leading to a purchase. This type of strategic thinking—combined with the new marketing and sales technology—made it easier for this manufacturer to develop and launch targeted lead nurture and demand generation campaigns for different types of buyers.
Ongoing support with sales and marketing automation paired with campaign analysis and reporting enable this manufacturer to feed its dealers accurate and detailed prospect information on a regular basis for continued growth.
Increase Your Revenue with Marketing Technology
According to Gartner, companies that automate lead management see an increase in revenue by 20% or more within 6 months. But the truth is, marketing automation alone won’t supercharge your marketing efforts.
To be truly effective, your marketing automation platform must be fully integrated across channels. And you need to commit to people and process excellence in order to optimize the technology and get the best results.
Too often, companies fail to achieve ROI from marketing automation because they lack the skills required to make the tools effective. Typical problems include:
- Not anticipating process changes in advance
- An inability to interpret insights generated by the technology
- Difficulty integrating disparate technologies to tell a single story
For the manufacturer we worked with, my team worked hard to ensure that data fields and characters were synched across Eloqua and Salesforce so that valuable reporting could be generated and analyzed.
The Time to Add Technology Is Now
Manufacturing marketers who recognize the importance of integrated technology tools—with CRM and marketing automation as the foundation of the technology stack—are well on their way to ROI-positive marketing success.
Just make sure you do it right, by finding a competent in-house platform specialist or working with a proven partner.
Either way, it’s important to ensure a proper implementation and continually optimize administration so you can stay focused on your strategy.
**For more in-depth information on marketing automation implementation, check out this recent post.
Here’s to getting you up-to-date,
Marketing Technology Manager, Televerde