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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Aug 07, 2019

Two Overlooked Ways to Grow Your Manufacturing Business

Manufacturers are excellent at managing the information on the shop floor required to meet quality expectations and to deliver the right products on time. But they often struggle with managing customer information with as much focus, detail, and effort.

1. Create A Centralized View of the Customer

grow your manufacturing businessFor most manufacturing companies, the sales cycle is long, sometimes lasting months or even years between the first contact to purchase. Creating a centralized view of the customer (a single record of every interaction with the contact) allows you to have the opportunity to seamlessly provide an exceptional customer experience.

Creating a centralized view of the customer gives every member of your team who interacts with the customer all of the crucial information about the contact, their needs, their purchase history, and issues. No asking for the same information over and over. No annoying your customer by forcing them to search through their records for necessary details.

Your customers have a lot of expectations about what the buying process will look like; from how they find you, to how they learn about your products and solutions, to delivery and customer support after the sale.

Meeting, and exceeding, these expectations means you need to know who you are talking to and where they are in their buying journey.

If you have ever had to call up a company with a problem and passed through a phone tree, giving the same information to each person you talk to, you understand how deeply frustrating dealing with a company without a centralized view of the customer can be.

A recent study shows that 75% of sales managers say that using a CRM helps them increase sales, and companies who invest in a CRM generate over five times the return on their investment.

2. Provide Real Value by Creating Content

If you create a centralized view of the customer content then helps you build a picture of the engagement of each contact with your company and your ideas.

The 2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers®, published jointly by IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, found that, “For the majority of engineers, nearly 60 percent of the buying process happens online – from early research to the final purchase decision – before they speak to the vendor.”

If your website is still a basic catalog of products and features, then you are missing opportunities because your prospects are looking for solutions to their problems on your website long before they ever reach out to your sales team.

To grow a manufacturing business in today's digital climate, you need your website to be doing a lot of heavy lifting. That means creating content that connects the dots between your prospect’s problems and pain points and the solutions you provide.

But the 2019 Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends—North America report published by Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Creating, found that, “68% of manufacturing marketers are challenged by ‘Creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience(s).’”

Before you can create content that provides value, you need to understand who you are talking to, what they need, and how to communicate it to them. However, the same report also found that, “Fewer than one in four manufacturing marketers report that their organization has a documented content marketing strategy.”

You can’t just write a few blog posts a month and hope that that’s enough — you need to dig down into your customer data and develop personas. You need to map your customer journey and create a concrete content strategy.  

Creating relevant, helpful content requires you to do the work to understand who your prospects are, what they need, and how you can provide it.

Blogging, case studies, training, and seminars are all good ways to provide your prospects with the value they need from your website. Create a content strategy that is mapped to your customer journey and put your website to work and you will see results.

Need to know more about creating a content strategy? On August 23 we are hosting a webinar with the HubSpot Content Professor and author of the book Inbound Content Justin Champion, along with our host BluLeadz.

Click here to sign up for the half day webinar where we dig into creating an Inbound Strategy to position your Inbound Content for success!

 

 

Topics: Manufacturing, Content

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