If you're a manufacturer, you know that going from blueprint to delivery requires a very customized, repeatable process. Yours probably includes highly-skilled team members, technology, procedures and more. And that's how sales and marketing should work as well. There's a special sales/marketing combination that works best for each manufacturer - it isn't one size fits all. You may have the most success with trade shows, or email or phone calls - it's most likely however that you need the right blend of all of the above (and more). And like many manufacturers, you may not yet know what that special blend is.
To address the sales and marketing challenges manufacturers face, Acadia collaborated with 22 other HubSpot partners on the just-released ebook, Constructing a Winning Blueprint for 2017. It's geared toward helping you, the manufacturer, overcome your biggest marketing and sales challenges, including finding what works best for you. The section below focuses on analyzing and tracking marketing efforts. Not quite there yet? Download the full ebook for help getting started. Chapters include:
Prospects Can't Find You if You Don't Market to Them
Prioritizing Investments: Technology vs Sales vs Marketing
How to Remain Competitive in an Increasingly Smaller World
Now, back to analyzing and tracking...
On the long list of challenges that manufacturers face, analyzing your marketing efforts and measuring your ROI may be the most difficult. You’re ahead of the game if you already have “marketing efforts” in place. But are they working? How can you tell?
First of all, a good marketing automation platform should do some of the hard work. These systems provide analytics on reach (e.g., web visits), engagement (e.g., email clicks) and other behaviors (social media follows, blog reads, CTA clicks, etc.) over time. Use these numbers to analyze your own performance. For example, did your social interactions decrease this month? There may be an organic reason (e.g., your big conference bumped up fans and followers last month). If not - investigate further. Are the decreases within certain personas? Did your use of visuals decrease? Did Facebook change the algorithm they use to display posts? Find out what went wrong – and fix it.
You can also compare your numbers with marketing benchmarks. A word of caution here. It’s important for manufacturers to keep in mind that your benchmarks are very different than, say, B2C companies or even other types of B2B companies. Recent research shows that manufacturers see, on average, a 2.35% email click through rate. “Home and Garden” related companies see a 3.5% click through rate. That’s nearly a 50% difference! Don’t assume you’re failing by using the wrong benchmarks (and vice versa).
Finally, the ultimate measurement of your marketing efforts – are you getting new business? What’s happening to your leads? Is Sales turning them into gold? It’s common for manufacturers to use distributors, which makes tracking sales trickier. Do your very best to maintain a closed-loop marketing machine, and you’ll have an idea of where those leads are ending up. And hopefully – it’s the sales funnel.