Ever since its inception, the manufacturing industry has always heavily relied on technology to stay relevant. These days, things are no different with every competitive production line leveraging, at least to some extent, technologies like AI, automation, or the Internet of Things.
With that in mind, it really comes as a surprise that, in spite of this overall dependency on digital technology, the manufacturing sector isn’t using the full potential of digital marketing strategies. It is still emphasizing traditional marketing activities.
But a digital tide is growing, promising to sweep over the manufacturing industry and forever change how manufacturing companies engage with their peers and clients. Let us then take a quick look at some of the most important developments in this area and see how they could potentially benefit your organization.
Development of Self-Service and Omnichannel
Ecommerce has, for quite some time now, been experiencing tremendous growth in popularity. This process exponentially sped up during the COVID-19 pandemic when various restrictions completely disrupted the traditional retail chain. Self-service is also slowly becoming a new commerce standard in the manufacturing industry and, according to a recent survey as many as 75% of B2B clients now prefer to purchase goods online.
Keeping in mind that omnichannel experience (i.e., providing seamless customer experience across all retail and marketing channels) is one of the most critical requirements of modern commerce, we can see how digital marketing will be one of the most important driving forces of this development.
An Opportunity for Manufacturers to Establish Credibility
Content marketing — especially blogging and SEO — is an incredibly important part of the grand digital marketing constellation. Aside from producing excellent long-term results, these methods are known for allowing marketers to demonstrate expertise, give their brands a unique voice, and lure in people who are still on the fence about buying but show a general interest in the industry in question.
Leveraging these strategies can have great implications for the manufacturing industry that, traditionally, has a problem engaging clients on a more personal level. Here lies the potential for developing small niche markets, diversifying income with more service-based offerings, and much more.
Creating Brand Awareness
Unlike some other sectors like hospitality, logistics, and retail, where smaller companies have a very fair chance of building strong brands and cornering local markets, the manufacturing industry truly suffers under the overbearing influence of the global giants.
Digital marketing makes this top-own structure much more bearable. Namely, being able to access the potential of countless digital strategies like content marketing, SEO, PPC, or even something as simple as creating a personalized website, companies and industry figures are able to establish a much stronger online presence and propel their brands. That makes the entire industry much more egalitarian.
Measurable and Result-Driven Outreach
While traditional marketing methods were more than capable of delivering strong results and providing relevant KPIs to measure them out, it is hard to deny that, at least in the latter case, digital marketing is leaps and bounds ahead of its old-fashioned peer. No matter what channel we are talking about, digital marketing strategies are capable of producing tangible, focused, and measurable results so that marketers always know to whom they are appealing, to what extent, and with what level of success.
This simple fact can have tremendous consequences for the entire manufacturing industry. These days, sustainability and efficiency have become a business world imperative. By being able to run more focused marketing campaigns, companies will be able to reap considerable savings along the way.
Aligning with Digital Transformation
If you are unfamiliar with the term, “digital transformation” roughly describes the process of replacing or augmenting traditional, analog processes and customer experiences with their digital alternatives or supplements. According to recent surveys, approximately 70% of companies of various scales have a developed digital transformation strategy or are currently working on one. With these numbers in mind, the entire business landscape with become fully digitalized sooner rather than later.
Digital marketing is one of the most important facets of this process and the manufacturing industry can reap considerable benefits from the increased leanness it facilitates.
Machine Learning and Smart Manufacturing
Industrial digital marketing can also be used to adjust and optimize production. Advanced AI and machine learning have, for quite some time now, been pushing the envelope in what can be done in terms of big data and predictive analytics. The more effort companies put into digital marketing, the more fuel they will get to feed their overall business analytics machine.
With this incredibly powerful infrastructure at hand, manufacturing companies will be capable of anticipating major trends while they are still in early development and immediately adjust production to meet future needs. Predictive analytics can also have a tremendous influence on workplace safety, manufacturing costs, etc.
Compartmentalization and Outsourcing
Digital marketing is incredibly decentralized, freelance-friendly, and location agnostic. That makes it a great field for outsourcing, remote working, contingent workforce, and other popular employment models that have become more prevalent during the recent pandemic.
Compartmentalizing digital marketing workflows and outsourcing some of their facets allows manufacturing companies to abandon the old, traditional “here-and-now” mentality and engage in business models that are better suited to the contemporary business climate.
It’s Time for the Manufacturing Industry to Catch Up
Although the transition to digital marketing can be observed as one of the consequences of the overall digital transformation we are witnessing these days, it also serves as one of its main driving forces. This simple fact can have great consequences for the manufacturing industry that still seems like it is lagging, at least in terms of marketing. Putting a greater focus on digital marketing will help manufacturing companies find an easier way to connect with their customers and grow their businesses.