Why is marketing so important in manufacturing? (+Attitude)

If you have ever wondered why marketing is so important to manufacturing, look no further.

We did some research by asking existing customers and interviewing some of our key team members. Here we share some of this exciting information in this tutorial about why marketing is so critically important to virtually all manufacturing companies.

Why is marketing so important?
Marketing is important to manufacturing because marketing’s job is to promote the manufactured product. While manufacturing’s job is to create the product, marketing’s primary responsibility is to gain a customer, and keep a customer. 

Every business has 3 key functional areas; 

  • Operations, 
  • Administration, and 
  • Marketing. 

Marketing’s function in a business is a set of strategies and tactics that empower a company to: 

  • gain new customers and 
  • retain existing customers.

Manufacturing, on the other hand, has a sole job to do:

Produce products

Together, manufacturing makes the product and marketing sells the product. They are the perfect synergy. 

Let’s now dig deeper into some common activities marketing does to support manufacturing, and provide you some simple guidelines you can use to sell your manufactured products.

3 Key Areas Where the Marketing Department is Crucially Important to Manufacturing

Here's why Marketing is so Important

There are limitless ways the marketing department is important to manufacturing. But here, we are going to focus on the top three.

First, and most important is attitude. You see, the marketing department is the one department in the business that is literally forced to focus forward and stay “positive”, sometimes amidst what seems like a sea of doom and gloom.

Why is marketing forced to be positive?

Because it is literally marketing’s job to stay focused on the future, that is, to find customers and to keep customers coming back. After all, nothing else matters. Without customers, there is no business. 

In our data-rich world, marketers have more opportunities than ever to review past performance in order to make better future decisions. Yes, its probably true many data-focused marketers stay stuck in the past data. But the best marketers use it, learn from it and focus forward: the next market, the next campaign, the next customer. This is part of the job of a quality marketer.

Is it always going to rainbows and unicorns? Of course not. Far from it. In fact, marketing is one the the most stressful jobs on the planet. And the best marketer's, ironically, usually see the negative trends in the company first, i.e.,

  • Increasing cost per lead (CPL),
  • Declining conversion rates,
  • Skyrocketing cost per customer acquisition or cost per sale (CPA or CPS),
  • Reliant upon too few sources of customers,
  • Declining customer retention,
  • Decreasing sales units sold, on and on.

But marketing has to focus on and strive for positive outcomes, sometimes in spite of poor past performances, in order to be successful. An intense focus forward, oftentimes in the middle of chaos, is at least one reason why marketing is so critically important to a manufacturing business.

Go here for an an excellent strategy to help you stay focused forward: What is the best marketing strategy in a competitive environment?

Second, marketing’s job is to build sales revenue. Again, marketing does this by focusing on what is truly important: 1) gaining a customer, and 2) keeping a customer. Here are two tutorials to help you right now: 

Third, marketing’s job is so important because it is responsible for gaining valuable customer feedback.

One of the most important roles of marketing in a manufacturing company is to keep the manufacturing department on the right track as it is defined as,

“Is the customer happy with the product?”

This means marketing must get constant regular feedback from both the customer and from the manufacturing team and bridge the gap. This is a constantly moving set of dynamics.  Here’s the exact strategy used by the biggest manufacturing companies on the planet, and how you can use it, too: What Do Your Customers Really Think About You? Here’s How To Find Out.

Ok, let’s now review five ways marketers can help manufacturing increase sales.

5 Important Marketing Strategies a New Marketer Must Do in Manufacturing

- More critical reasons why marketing is so important

Depending upon the industry, manufacturing companies face tons of challenges in today’s environment.  And it’s constantly changing. This is one of the areas we suggest you do a SWOT analysis each year

From increased regulations, taxes, intense social pressures, constant HR issues, rising input costs and a regular focus on sales revenue, manufacturer’s have at least one rising star who is always on the same team. That star is the marketing department and here are five things they can manufacturing do to increase sales:

1. Feature your catalog of products online

An important part of your approach should be to feature a version of your product catalog in some digital format. This allows customers to browse through your products online, making their search easy and your products easy to buy. Focus on elevating the shopping experience. And make sure it is mobile-first, fast, and friendly. 

A digital catalog allows you to showcase your products in a better format, with videos of use, installation guides, galleries of the product at different angles and tabs containing detailed information. This sounds like a lot, and it is, but there is some great software that a marketing pro can use to polish a great customer experience.

2. Digital marketing basics are core to your manufacturing business

Digital marketing is far far more than just social media. Manufacturing companies should embrace digital marketing and invest significantly based on where the ideal customers are located. 

If you are just getting started in digital marketing, here is a fantastic resource that can help you implement the basics: Digital Marketing Tips for Beginners.

Having an effective online presence will help you increase sales, and as already noted, the digital marketing platform has a high ceiling and numerous avenues that can give massive growth to your manufacturing business.

The advantage of digital marketing is its potentially high ROI and measurable results. You can use it to find new leads, provide customer service to existing clients, establish your brand and reputation, advertise your appealing attributes, etc. Here are a first places to consider starting;

  • Social media marketing: set up active profiles on relevant platforms, use short videos and photos to create engaging content, respond to customers, take part in trends, etc.
  • Search engine optimization: it starts with an excellent mobile responsive website, raking for keywords, providing useful information, and using Calls-to-Action, among others.  
  • Email marketing: use the latest email marketing software to personalize messages, send relevant newsletters to your audience, and nurture leads while upselling existing clients.  
  • Content marketing: have a blog on your website, write guest blogs, share them on social media platforms, etc.
  • Digital ads: Google Ads, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, and more, paying either for impressions or clicks.

What's the first and most important action step here?

Without a doubt, build and properly maintain your email list. Go here to do that now.

3. Align your marketing and sales team

Often, it is easy to assume the marketing and sales departments are different teams contributing to different areas. However, that is not true as they are all involved in the customer’s journey. The marketing department provides leads that the sales team closes. On the other hand, the sales teams interact with the audience directly, usually in a qualitative format, and provides useful feedback and insights.

Aligning these teams and fostering relationships ensures you have effective marketing campaigns and high-quality leads. It helps you avoid wastage in marketing and increase your conversions while tracking performance down the sales funnel.

Go here to learn how to integrate your sales and marketing: Sales and Marketing Department in a Manufacturing Company.

4. Engage in E-commerce to sell direct to the consumer (DTC)

While not necessary for all manufacturers, this strategy is especially important if you are a new brand and have not developed your brand's story. This step is an efficient way to build your customer testimonials, which will help you improve your B2B sales. And finally, this step will help you to get some product feedback to ensure you are delivering what the market actually wants, further helping you to build your B2B sales.

Many manufacturers focus on distributors to move their merchandise, and while it may work, it potentially limits you to the locations of the distributors and the reach of your distributor network. On the other hand, e-commerce allows you to get to the consumer directly without extra physical infrastructure. You provide the customers with an easy buying process that is automated, and they can easily serve themselves.

Selling DTC potentially improves your efficiency and accuracy while cutting down on the expenses spent on setting up a distribution network or physical stores. Plus it gets you closer to the end-user who can give you better feedback in the form of primary research.

Here are two excellent starting points that can help you start making sales:

5. Choose a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

Customers are integral to your sales success, and you should center your marketing efforts around your customers and not the product.  

For optimal results, you will need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. It is a resource that helps you organize your interactions and relationships with current and potential customers. There are many platforms available.

A CRM helps you keep track of your customers and their sales while streamlining the sales process, often through automation. The result is a better experience for your customers while you gain new insights on where to improve and an understanding of the market demand and your supply chain. The goal is to get better closing rates and higher sales performance, and identify new business opportunities.

Once you have a customer base, you will want to master of this important principle: Recency, frequency, monetary (RFM) | Marketing analysis.

These five steps provide an effective starting point for manufacturers to expand their target market, optimize their marketing efforts, and improve efficiency. They also provide avenues to offer better customer service and generate more quality leads. These are also simple to adopt and align with your current goals, and as always, if you need assistance, Your Strategic Marketing Partner is happy to help!

References

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