Many manufacturing companies have been around for a very long time, often based on a strong engineering heritage. In the past, focusing on production and the supply chain was enough to grow and thrive with minimal marketing efforts. Businesses grew very successfully based solely on their strong product knowledge and a great sales team.
Nowadays, things are a little different. Technology has made it easier for business buyers to go elsewhere. We are becoming much more impatient and long-term customer loyalty is becoming increasingly difficult. With the popularity of the internet, everyone has much more choice and buying power. This means that nowadays, in order to stay competitive, manufacturers must embrace digital marketing.
Digital marketing can seem like a huge and daunting task, but I have one key piece of advice: make sure to put your customers at the heart of everything you do. Knowing who your customer is and what they want is at the core of any successful digital marketing campaign.
This blog post will look at three ways you can ensure that all-important customer focus in manufacturing marketing.
1. Conduct detailed persona research
It’s important to conduct detailed persona research into who exactly your customers are. Do not assume you already know this – it’s possible that your typical buyer is changing, or perhaps their attitude is changing, and therefore having this open mindset is really key. Research what your target persona’s motivations and pain paints are, so that you can target them with a highly specific solution message. This will allow you to create more tailored content that is more likely to catch their attention.
2. Find out which social networks your customers are on
In most countries, the leading B2B platform is LinkedIn, followed by Twitter and Facebook. However, this is not the case worldwide, so if you’re targeting international markets, make sure to research if there are any local platforms where your customers might be present. For example, if you are targeting clients in Russia, it is worth knowing that LinkedIn is currently banned in the country, so you should not bother with this platform there. In China, however, LinkedIn is quite popular, but there is also another popular platform called Maimai which has about 50 million users. Knowing which social networks your customers are on is useful because it will inform you where you need to share your content.
3. Focus on how your products make your customers’ lives easier
And finally, when you are promoting your products, you should emphasise the benefits of your products in your messaging, not simply their features. The distinction between features and benefits might sound straightforward, but they are often confused. For example, a feature of an MP3 player could be that it has 1GB of storage – but not many people would fully understand what that means. However, if you instead put forward the message that the MP3 player will put 1,000 songs in your pocket (i.e. a benefit), that is a message that many consumers will immediately understand and take on board.
I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction on how to ensure a customer focus in manufacturing marketing materials. For more in-depth information, read my free, full-length guide here. The guide covers the following points in more detail:
- why it is so important to know your customers
- the leading B2B platforms that your customers are on
- why customers want you to talk about the benefits of your products, rather than their features
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