In manufacturing, having a solid marketing strategy is as critical as it is in any other industry. Here are some marketing statistics to ponder:
- Industrial and manufacturer website usage has increased by 12% since the coronavirus pandemic struck
- 67% of the buyer’s journey happens online
- 84% of people go to the internet first when looking for new information
- B2B buyers make an average of 12 Google searches before visiting a company’s website
- 80% of decision makers would prefer to learn about your company via articles rather than ads
Marketing will make your brand more visible, attract qualified leads, drive more traffic to your website and build trust with your audience.
You can either hire an in-house marketing team or outsource the work to a manufacturing marketing agency. Though each of these options has its benefits and downsides, many manufacturers are realizing that working with an outside agency makes more business sense.
B2B buyers make an average of 12 Google searches before visiting a company’s website
Before we look at the benefits of outsourcing, let us examine some of the telltale signs that your company needs to hire a manufacturing marketing agency.
7 signs that your company should hire a manufacturing marketing agency
How can you tell whether a marketing agency is a good idea for your business? Here are some signs to look out for:
1. You don’t know where to begin
When you don’t have any experience in marketing, creating and implementing a marketing strategy for your company can be a struggle. Marketing is a rapidly-evolving field encompassing strategies like social media marketing, email marketing, video marketing, content marketing and more. If you are not familiar with these strategies or the latest marketing trends, then it’s time to bring a manufacturing marketing agency on board.
2. Your team is overwhelmed with tasks
Do you have a small team running the company? In that case, you might be too inundated with tasks to pay attention to marketing. Hiring a manufacturing marketing agency allows you and your team to focus on other areas of the business, while the experts handle the marketing. This way, more work gets done in less time and with better results.
3. Sales are declining or static
If your business is declining or stagnating in terms of sales, then you should consider reaching out to a marketing agency. The agency will come up with effective marketing strategies that will help create awareness, generate leads and boost your sales.
4. You need new ideas
Your company might still be dependent on traditional marketing strategies like word-of-mouth, trade shows, newspaper ads and posters. Though these strategies can still work, there is a better way of doing things. Hiring an agency allows you to explore the latest marketing strategies, insights and trends that will help attract new customers.
Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads compared to traditional marketing, and costs 62% less
5. You need quality leads
Are you attracting many leads but making few conversions? A marketing agency will help your company reevaluate your marketing strategy in order to attract more quality leads. This is usually done by targeting prospects based on where they are in the buyer’s journey.
CHECK THIS: Digital marketing for manufacturers
6. You don’t measure results
Monitoring marketing results will show you which strategies are working and what needs to be improved in order to boost sales. If you need help tracking your results, hiring a manufacturing marketing agency would be a good idea.
7. You need help scaling your business
Your manufacturing business is growing and sales are booming. Congratulations! But what is the next step? To stay ahead of the competition, you need to continually scale your business. A marketing agency will provide valuable strategies, advice and insights that will help take your company to the next level. They will also help you avoid mistakes other companies have made as they scaled.
8. Benefits of outsourcing to a manufacturing marketing agency
Here are 3 reasons why outsourcing might be a good idea for your business:
- Access to the latest marketing technology: Effective marketing to customers and prospects requires the best and latest tools. Established marketing agencies have experience with digital marketing and analytical tools like BuzzSumo, Google Analytics, SEMRush, HotJar and Facebook Insights.
89% of B2B marketers are using social media to distribute their content organically
- Lower costs: If you consider employee training and benefits, hiring an in-house marketing team can be very costly. Since working with a marketing agency requires little or no long-term commitment, it is a much cheaper option.
- Access to experts: Working with a marketing agency means that you have access to a wide range of specialists, including SEO experts, content writers, marketing strategists, social media gurus and graphic artists. This talented pool of experts will research, create and execute marketing strategies that will keep you a step ahead of the competition.
Choosing the right manufacturing marketing agency
Running a manufacturing business takes a lot of energy, effort and time. Working with a professional manufacturing marketing agency allows you to focus on operating your business while they handle things like search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media and email marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website to enhance its visibility for relevant searches
However, with the multitude of agencies out there, choosing the right manufacturing marketing agency for your manufacturing business can be tricky. To help you make the right decision, here are some questions you should ask:
1. Do you have to work with an industrial marketing agency?
Before you reach out to any manufacturing marketing agency, the first thing to consider is whether you need to hire an agency at all. If cold calls, word-of-mouth referrals and other traditional marketing strategies are working for you, then working with an agency might not be necessary. However, if you want to grow and diversify your customer base, an industrial marketing agency would come in handy.
2. Do you have any experience working with manufacturing companies?
Industrial marketing is a very unique and distinct field, characterized by long buying cycles and a very specialized audience of B2B buyers. Therefore, be sure to ask the manufacturing marketing agency if they have experience in the industrial sector, and especially with the specific services and products you offer.
3. What services do you offer?
Usually, agencies have an area of specialization where they excel. For example, a manufacturing marketing agency might be reputed for web design or branding, while another is well-known for services like video marketing, social media or content marketing. When looking for an agency, visit their website to find out what services they offer. Ideally, hire a marketing agency that will offer full-service marketing.
The best social media networks for a manufacturing company are LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook
4. Which manufacturers have you worked with in the past?
Ask the agency to show you any past work done for other manufacturers. This could be websites, blog posts, PPC advertising, eBooks and whitepapers. Besides looking at the work itself, find out what results the work produced. Did it result in better rankings, greater revenue, more leads or increased traffic?
You could also conduct a simple Google search to find customer reviews and testimonials. The experiences of past customers will give you a good idea of what to expect.
5. How do you measure results?
‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is a popular phrase. A good manufacturing marketing agency should be able to gather, analyze and act upon data. Here are a few things to look at:
- Tools: Learn which analytics tools the agency uses for different marketing tactics and channels
- Metrics: What particular metrics does the manufacturing marketing agency track and monitor on a regular basis?
- Expertise: The latest metrics and tools are of no use if there are no people to make sense of it all. Find out who will be working on your account, as well as details like credentials, certifications and experience
- Reporting: Transparency is very important for a successful partnership with a marketing agency. You should be regularly updated on the progress of the marketing campaign, and the information should be delivered in an easy-to-understand manner. Ask the manufacturing marketing agency for sample reports to get an idea of what to expect
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
Cost of hiring a manufacturing marketing agency
You are probably wondering how much it would cost to hire a marketing agency. Well, the cost could vary greatly depending on a wide range of factors:
- Services: The kind of services you select from an agency will determine how much you will pay. Common services offered by agencies include email marketing, website optimization, PPC and content marketing
80% of decision makers would prefer to learn about your company via articles rather than ads – Content Marketing Institute
- Your goals: Do you want to generate results fast? Then you might have to spend more upfront. However, if you have a long-term strategy, the cost will be significantly lower.
- Agency experience: Cost will also be determined by the amount of experience an agency has. Well-established agencies with a proven record and high-profile clientele will charge more than smaller agencies.
- Your company size: Large manufacturing companies have more complex marketing needs. They therefore require more resources and work than smaller companies. The bigger your company is, the more you will have to spend in hiring a marketing agency.
- New software purchases: At times, building a successful marketing strategy will require buying software like a new email marketing or customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. To use these platforms effectively, you might need help from an agency. This is usually more cost-effective and efficient than trying to learn everything by yourself
Pricing structure will vary from one manufacturing marketing agency to another. Here are some of the most common:
- Project-based: Payment is made on a project by project basis
- Hourly: Payment is based on the exact number of hours it took the agency to complete the work
- Performance-based: Payment is based on the results of the work done by the marketing agency
- Retainer-based: This is an ongoing payment plan which requires a specific amount work to be completed each month
- Value-based: Payment is based on the value that the manufacturing company derives from the agency
Though each pricing structure has its advantages and downsides, the best option for manufacturers is a retainer-based payment plan. With such a plan, you can build an ongoing and genuine relationship with a manufacturing marketing agency. The agency will be totally committed to your objectives and help you attain long-term success instead of just completing one-off projects.
The importance of working with a manufacturing marketing agency cannot be overemphasized. To find an agency that fits your needs, you could simply conduct a Google search for the ‘best manufacturing marketing agency’ or ‘manufacturing marketing agency in Chicago’ or your location. You could also browse manufacturing industry association websites or visit your local Chamber of Commerce website. Don’t forget to ask for referrals from others in your industry.
If you are looking for a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs, OneIMS is the agency you need. With our systematic and proven 5D process, we will help you achieve your business objectives.