How Automation Is Impacting Marketing in the Manufacturing Industry

How Automation Is Impacting Marketing in the Manufacturing Industry

Industrial automation has benefited manufacturing in many ways, including decreased waste, shorter production times, a higher degree of customization possible at lower costs, and, of course, an increase in efficiency. What if we told you that your business can see many of the same benefits by leveraging marketing automation for manufacturing? If this innovative approach isn’t already part of your B2B marketing strategy, it should be.

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How Marketing Has Changed for Manufacturing Companies

In some ways, B2B marketing automation can seem like old methods in new clothes. There’s something to that, since marketers have always relied on market research, customer avatars, feedback, reviews, and the like. You could be forgiven for wondering whether marketing automation for manufacturing is simply more of the same.

The answer, in short, is no.

Here’s why: marketers have never really suffered a shortage of information. Now, with the internet, the rise of social media (and social media marketing), and general overshare on the part of individuals and businesses alike, we’re practically drowning in data. What marketing automation does, in effect, is throw us a lifeline. It ensures that we are A) separating the signal from the noise in existing data, and B) seeing where the existing data is insufficient, enabling us to find and leverage better data. This, in turn, brings some new benefits.

Benefits of Automation in Marketing

Automation brings several benefits to your marketing mix. Because it’s intensely data driven, what used to be a matter of guesswork or trial and error can now be based upon and cross-checked with different businesses and marketing key performance indicators (KPI).

  • It’s easier to align the goals and performance of your marketing and sales departments.
  • More accurate lead scoring ensures more effective nurture campaigns and a higher conversion rate.
  • Improved data management leads to more accurate reporting.
  • Processes can be scaled and results duplicated easier than before.
  • Your B2B marketing will, on the whole, be more efficient and cost-effective.

Does Marketing Automation Have Disadvantages?

Just as automation has its downsides for manufacturing, it can negatively impact your B2B marketing if it’s implemented carelessly.

  • It requires an investment of time and buy-in on the part of your stakeholders in sales, support, and marketing.
  • It requires maintenance; because it’s data driven, this isn’t something that can be set in motion and then simply forgotten about.
  • Advanced though it may be, the fundamentals still apply; you’ll still need an understanding of your target market(s) to maximize your content marketing and other efforts.
  • The good news, however, is that the same tools that are helping you automate your marketing can also aid in the necessary data gathering, maintenance, and other tasks we’ve mentioned.

Looking Ahead: How Automation Will Impact Marketing in the Future

If this sounds futuristic, you’re not far off the mark. However, Forbes asserts—and we agree—that in many ways, the future is already here; the forces that will shape marketing for industry and manufacturing are already changing the landscape, and the future will be more a matter of refining these trends.

While Forbes identifies ten key future marketing trends, these can be distilled to something even shorter and sharper. Thanks to automation, marketing is becoming:

  1. Personalized, relevant, and story driven: Content marketing for B2B fits hand-in-glove with automation. You can, after all, tailor stories to specific segments, ensuring that the right people hear the right message, right on time.
  2. Smarter: All of this is driven by data, which in turn will be increasingly harvested by artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms that can find connections that might be invisible to the naked eye or concealed by our own biases and preconceptions. This turns marketing from something responsive—always a step or two behind the data—to predictive, using trends and machine learning to anticipate or even drive what’s next.
  3. More human: The welcome paradox to all this automation is an outcome that’s capable of being less artificial, stilted, or anonymous than what you may be doing now. After all, when you can speak directly to someone’s concerns in a language they can easily understand, they’re reminded of the human connections that underpin any business at its best.

Contact the Experts in Manufacturing Marketing Strategy

Like automating your manufacturing or your supply chain, marketing automation can be done in, and by, degrees. You may not want to automate everything or do it all at once. With an understanding of your current processes, their shortcomings, and the message you’re communicating to prospects and your current client base alike, it’s much easier to chart a path forward. Cain & Company has helped clients throughout the Midwest meet these goals for decades. Call us today to see how we can help you.

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