The definition of marketing is changing for the manufacturing sector. More and more, B2B customer behaviors are driven by personal experiences as a consumer. Brands that will find success in the future will be the ones that adopt new strategies for connecting and engaging with customers before, during, and after the sale.
Just as automation and artificial intelligence are redefining the future of the factory floor, they’re also redefining how manufacturing brands find success in marketing to new and existing customers.
Here are five ways manufacturing marketers can use automation to amplify and go beyond lead generation to build a better customer experience.
Automate Your Lead Generation
Lead generation will always be a top priority for marketers. After all, in order to build customer relationships, you first need customers. Today’s B2B buyers, though, expect B2C experiences. This is fundamentally changing the way manufacturers do business and generate leads.
69% of business buyers expect Amazon-like buying experiences — such as personalized recommendations. (“State of the Connected Customer” report, June 2018)
Manufacturers that adopt marketing automation can more effectively target and engage new prospects and maximize ROI. By bringing together the right mix of data and artificial intelligence, cross-channel campaigns, and follow-up from your sales team, marketing automation facilitates the kinds of personalized customer experiences manufacturing buyers expect — at scale.
Trade Show Marketing
Trade shows remain a cornerstone of marketing for many B2B industries. Manufacturers, however, face challenges when it comes to seamlessly bringing together pre-show promotion, lead data capture, and post-show follow-up to make the most of trade show opportunities.
Marketing automation can ease the entire process — from helping marketers build lookalike audiences for pre-show promotions to automatic lead scoring, instant follow-up, and multi-touch attribution reporting.
Automated Quote/Bid Follow-Up
Neglected and forgotten quotes are a significant source of missed opportunity for manufacturers. Automation has the power to simplify the entire bidding and quoting process, so your marketing and sales teams can close more deals. For example, simple automation rules can send reminders that help reps stay on top of bids and quotes and keep open quotes top of mind for customers.
A simpler sales process frees up your sales team to focus on what they do best — building customer relationships — while increasing the number of quotes signed on time.
Automated Warranty and Service Agreement Reminders
Warranty and service agreements are another prime area where marketing automation can simplify the process of tracking existing accounts and close communications gaps. With automation, manufacturers can easily set up journeys that remind customers and reps when an account is due for warranty or service renewals.
At a time when customers expect a personalized experience and when earning customer loyalty is becoming a harder-won challenge for brands, going the extra step to engage with each customer at important moments is vital.
Onboard and Stay Top-of-Mind with Indirect Sales Teams & Distributors
While bridging the gap between internal sales and marketing teams can be a challenge in itself, many manufacturers must also engage third-party distributors. Properly leveraged, these partnerships can be a powerful tool in reaching larger audiences. It’s important, though, for manufacturing marketers to remember that third-party distributors are an audience of their own.
Marketing automation helps you keep them engaged with email campaigns that let them in on new product offers and education opportunities. You can also create pre-branded templates and journeys to use when communicating with prospects and customers — protecting your brand and creating incentives for distributors at the same time.
Future-proof your digital marketing. Equip your team with the technologies they need to build personalized, end-to-end, multichannel customer journeys that are driven by automation and artificial intelligence.
Download the full e-book to learn more about how marketing automation can help your manufacturing brand build a better customer experience.