Conversations about inbound marketing for manufacturers invariably lead to several questions and/or concerns. I do spend quite a bit of time educating my prospects and clients about inbound marketing.
I’ve published several articles on inbound and industrial content marketing in the past. Just do a search here or select it from the Categories to find them. I’ll summarize the key points and cite some of the latest statistics to validate my claims.
Inbound marketing for manufacturers is not a quick fix for slow sales
This is probably the single biggest area of concern and/or questions. Manufacturers want leads that turn into sales quickly. They don’t want to wait 6 to 9 months for results.
Of course, they don’t want to hear that, they want their phones to start ringing, RFQs coming in and their sales team involved in deep conversations in 30 days or less.
Unfortunately, that’s an unrealistic expectation because inbound marketing with content is not a one-off campaign or a project; it is a process! It takes time to gel before it can produce measurable and repeatable results.
That doesn’t mean you have to wait to see any measurable results. A well-planned and executed inbound marketing program will produce incremental improvements in the short term.
So why bother with content marketing if it takes so long to gain traction? Here’s why if you are trying to reach engineers and other technical decision makers. The chart below is from the research report, “How Engineers Find Information 2019” published by engineering.com.
Industrial inbound marketing is complicated and costs too much money
Yes, manufacturing content marketing is challenging, and it isn’t cheap. I could write thousands of words on this point alone, instead, let me quote someone famous and cite a few independent research findings.
“If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”
– Guy Kawasaki (An American marketing specialist, author, Silicon Valley venture capitalist and one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing their Macintosh computer line in 1984.)
How inbound marketing for manufacturers impacts industrial sales
With all this talk about content marketing, you would think salespeople have become obsolete. Nothing could be further from the truth in industrial sales. However, there needs to be a more blended approach where Sales and Marketing work together towards the common goal of increasing sales and revenues.
There is more to it than just the elusive Sales and Marketing alignment. For more on this, read my post, “How Manufacturing Content Marketing Sets the Table for Sales.”
A lack of alignment can lead to serious problems with ROI from inbound marketing. Take a look at these charts from 2018 State of Inbound Marketing from HubSpot.
In case you are not familiar with the term SLA, it stands for Service-Level Agreement as it relates to Sales and Marketing. However, only 26% of companies surveyed by HubSpot have a Sales and Marketing SLA.
I understand that you may be skeptical about what I’ve written here since I’m an industrial marketing consultant. It may help you get a better understanding of inbound marketing for manufacturers by downloading the e-book, How Inbound Marketing Drives Growth For Manufacturers and Industrial Companies published by ThomasNet.
This year’s theme is Amaze Your Audience!
I have been invited to present at the 2019 Content Marketing World Conference and Expo to be held from Sep. 3 – 6 , 2019 at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, OH. I’m part of the Industrial Marketing Summit. The topic of my presentation is “Unique Challenges of Marketing to Engineers and Industrial Buyers.” It is on Friday, September 6 around 11 am. You’ll find an outline of my presentation on the CMI World’s website. I hope to see you there.
Save $100 off the event registration by using the code MITRA19.