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Manufacturers have started to embrace technology and automation on the shop floor, but they’re lagging behind in the marketing department. In this post, we’ll discuss how marketing automation can enhance efficiency, improve productivity, and lower costs – just like Industry 4.0.
For a long time, most marketing done by manufacturers was mostly of the B2B variety. Nowadays, though, more manufacturing companies are connecting directly with their consumers. And the lines between B2B and B2C marketing are blurring; many business decision-makers expect the personalized touch of B2C marketing in their transactions.
To cope with this change, manufacturers have had to adjust their view of marketing. And just as Industry 4.0 used connected technology and smart machines to boost efficiency, modern marketers can use smart tools to enhance their efficiency. So, let’s talk about what marketing automation is and how it can help manufacturers (especially small to midsize firms) achieve more with less.
- Marketing automation uses technology to streamline marketing tasks like contact management, lead scoring, and email.
- Like Industry 4.0, Marketing Automation is all about optimizing workflows.
- Marketing Automation provides personalization, automated email campaigns, reporting, and other features to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
What Is Marketing Automation?
The definition of marketing automation is simple: using technology to streamline your marketing workflow. There are many ways to automate: customer relationship management (CRM) software that automatically reminds you to follow up with customers; an email service that lets you send out specific messages in response to a customer action or as part of a drip campaign; using software to score leads, and so on.
What is marketing automation, and why do you need it?
Why Marketing Automation Is Worth the Investment
Once again, let’s refer back to Industry 4.0. When manufacturers started implementing automation and internet-connected technology, the goal was to optimize the workflow. By using things like predictive maintenance and remote equipment monitoring, it became possible to eliminate some human error and redirect workers’ efforts to a more productive area; ‘smart’ machines and tools took over routine tasks.
The goal of marketing automation is the same. It’s not going to fully replace your marketing department, but it will give them technology that makes their jobs easier and more efficient. Thus, an investment in marketing automation saves time and money. It also handles tedious manual processes like data input and processing, lead scoring, and contact management. Marketers spend less time on administrative duties and more time connecting with customers and refining strategies, campaigns, and messaging. Finally, MA also greatly reduces human errors from typos, boredom, fatigue, and plain old forgetfulness.
How Manufacturers Benefit from Marketing Automation
As mentioned earlier, manufacturers of all sizes must adjust to new marketing techniques. Let’s see three specific examples of how marketing automation can help:
Personalization. While personalization (and even hyper-personalization, or “segments of one”) has become entrenched in B2C marketing, it’s becoming increasingly important in all kinds of industries. Of course, to achieve true personalization, you need to understand the customer. And to do that, marketers need data. CRM programs act like data assistants, keeping all the customer information current, complete, and easily accessible. They can even help teams determine what stage of the customer journey applies to each person and help you tailor your content and approach accordingly.
Email marketing. Whether it’s an offer, a follow-up on a customer service request, or the answer to a customer’s question, there’s no doubt that emails are a valuable marketing and customer service resource. And yet, it’s all too easy to forget to send an email or to send an email that’s designed for someone elsewhere in their buying journey. Marketing automation can schedule and send pre-written emails to ensure no contact is lost and no customer is left wondering if their complaint was received. They can help teams nurture leads and move them closer to conversion. And critically, the automation aspect saves time and eliminates contracts that fall through the cracks.
Reporting. Who doesn’t love compiling monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports? And don’t forget to track down and analyze various stats! For many marketers, sales teams, and admins, such data crunching is tedious and difficult. That’s why it’s much better to let automation handle preparing stats and generating reports – saving time and frustration for all.
These are just three examples of how marketing automation can be very beneficial to manufacturers. As customer and partner expectations continue to evolve, it’s vital to evolve with them. If you can use technology to handle some of the work and boost efficiency, why not do it?