Opportunities and Limitations for Manufacturers in Marketing
If you’re going to mold or refine your current marketing strategies into something comprehensive, you’ll need to first understand the expanse of your territory, as well as the boundaries that surround you in the modern landscape. Marketing has ample potential to improve your sales and customer retention, but it’s not without its limitations.
Imagine a game of darts. In order to be successful, you need to have three things:
1. You need to be able to see your target clearly and understand where you need to hit it.
2. You need to throw carefully and measure how close you were to your target.
3. You need to analyze the factors that affected your throw and account for them in your subsequent throws.
Sounds simple, right? Of course, not everyone can become a pro dart player just by paying attention to these three abilities. But if you don’t know where the dart board is and don’t know which end of the dart to throw, you could be in some serious trouble.
Like with a game of darts, you’ll need three things to be successful:
1. You need to be able to know your target customer and understand what it is that makes them tick. This includes the characteristics of the “new customer” we discussed in earlier blogs, which you’ll need to account for.
2. You need to select your campaigns critically and have a way to measure their ROI. If you can’t calculate exactly how much business a marketing channel is bringing you, you’ll never have a way to prove it works and you’ll never have a way to improve your results. Tracking systems like Google Analytics can offer you more data than you ever thought possible about your customers, leads, readers, and visitors. If you’re not taking advantage of them, you’re missing a critical piece of your campaign.
3. You need to be able to understand why certain elements of your campaign were successful and why certain elements were not, and use that information to improve. Use A/B tests and compare different marketing channels to determine the best channel for your business (we’ll get into more detail on this later).
This analogy isn’t perfect, because if you adopt an inbound marketing strategy, you’ll be attracting people with content rather than reaching out to them directly—but the principles behind the two strategies are the same. Outbound marketing strategies focus on outreach and traditional advertising, while inbound marketing strategies create a presence that naturally attracts new customers and leads.
For most manufacturers, outbound marketing eats up the majority of the marketing budget, but as you’ll see in the next few blogs, inbound marketing is more cost effective and more efficient for generating new leads, especially for the “new customer.”
Your best bet, in order to start making a budget-friendly maximized impact on your new audience, is to start with a core message—a core identity—and build different paths to your potential customers so they can become familiar with that identity and eventually build a sense of brand loyalty. We’ll be discussing these different paths, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, in the following blogs.