A couple of weeks ago we put into place the first five steps of our manufacturing marketing plan (Check it out here!). We took into overall account strategy and then started to dive into the tactical underlying processes for each section. To recap, we discussed the importance of:

  1. Situational Review
  2. Current Marketing Report
  3. S.M.A.R.T Goals
  4. Buyer Personas & Target Audience
  5. Software Stack Selection

Snapshot

The first half of your manufacturing marketing plan must be airtight before moving onto the next step. Within the succeeding section, we will begin to review the significance of:

  1. Inbound Marketing Activities
  2. Outbound Marketing Activities
  3. Sales & Marketing Process Identification
  4. Marketing Budget
  5. Measure Return on Investment

Click To Tweet6. Inbound Marketing Activities

Marketing has been relatively straightforward for its history. Inbound is simple industry jargon for a core base of activities that result in a positive and constructive buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the act of turning complete strangers into paying customers and even self-promoters. Hubspot has done a great job breaking this process into four phases; Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.

Inbound beds marketers operations around the same actions we take to build our personal relationships. People will not inherently like or trust you, so giving them a reason to is important. So, what are these activities that build a company’s authority and trustworthiness? Each of these could use their own article to explain, but here is a quick run through:

Attract Phase

  • Blogging
  • Social Networking
  • Website Development
  • Search Engine Optimization

These outlines all have one thing in common, and that is driving SPECIFIC traffic to your product or services. As a manufacturer why would you want somebody on your site that is looking to purchase a pizza? The short answer, you clearly wouldn’t. The right people are the designated buyer personas we created previously.

Convert Phase

  • Landing Pages
  • Forms
  • Call-to-Actions

Getting the right eyes on your website is great, but if these visitors aren’t submitting contact information you miss out on the most valuable form of marketing currency. You need to provide beneficial information or goods that your target market will relate with. Not gaining a viewer’s information is the equivalent of watching a potential customer walk out of your brick and mortar storefront without a purchase.

Close Phase

  • Marketing Automation Technology
  • Inbound Email Workflows
  • Sales & Marketing Alignment

You have the right target market and convert visitors into viable leads, but nobody is satisfied until you have paying customers coming in. Persuading leads to switch to purchasing your products is part creativity, part data analysis. There are an endless amount of marketing automation tools to support this process. These systems can be utilized for anything from lead nurturing, email marketing, contact tracking, content creation, and actually, anything else you can imagine.

Delight

  • Social Monitoring
  • Surveys
  • Smart Dynamic Content

If you forget about clients once they’ve handed over their payments, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity to either up-sell or cross-sell. Engaging with customers after the fact builds an invested fan base. Some of the best companies on Twitter are regularly connecting with their followers.

7. Outbound Marketing Activities

There are common debates on the differences between inbound and outbound marketing techniques. Primarily, inbound is nurturing leads that have come to you organically, and outbound is generating new leads by actively getting out of your direct sphere of influence. A comprehensive manufacturing marketing plan will, therefore, consist of a combination of these actions.

There is some overlap here and there but the most typical outbound marketing activities are:

  • PPC Advertising
  • Email & Direct Mailing
  • Guest Appearances
  • Print, TV, & Radio Advertising
  • Events & Tradeshows
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media (a cross between inbound and outbound)

Inbound marketing builds a foundation to launch marketing campaigns while outbound marketing is a leaf in the stream, only there as long as you continue to pay for it. None the less, it helps to communicate messages to a wider audience. Any healthy marketing plan will have a mixture of both inbound and outbound.

8. Sales and Marketing Process Identification

There are numerous variables to balance in our day-to-day motions that often get overlooked or forgotten altogether. That is why creating a sales and marketing process is on our list. It’s time to figure out what measurable, scalable, and actionable activities will lead a business to the best process for their pursuits. The process you build should have a clear and unifying purpose for all future sales and marketing efforts.

Begin thinking of your marketing as a constant flow of connected actions. Marketing will not be beneficial in sporadic, one-off projects. If continuity is the goal, then marketers need to lay out the steps each project takes to complete for all future efforts.

Layout your marketing projects in a process roadmap format. This valuable tool creates repeatability, team alignment, and visibility to find improvements. Think about where each plan starts, who is responsible, what steps are involved, and the checks & balances in between.

Be detailed and thorough so that the next person to view your process could work through it without outside instruction. Here is an example of what Matrix Marketing Group goes through:

How-To: Setting up client’s new Facebook Page

Account Manager (5 mins)
Find a name that is free on every social platform
Use Name Checker

Account Manager (10 mins)
Create Business page & add administrators

Account Manager (30 mins)
Complete ‘About’ Section with detailed business information
Website URL should be the first thing listed
List other social channels predominantly used
Fully complete all Fields (founded date, site(s), products, services, company mission, overview, and description)

Account Manager (30 mins)
Create Cover Photo & Profile Photo
Correct Image Sizes To Use Here

Account Manager (15 mins)
Add Industry Appropriate CTA

Account Manager (10 mins)
Add company milestones & KPIs discussed with the client

Account Manager (15 mins)
Find pages to like that match ICP and Buyer Personas

Account Manager (15 mins)
Add to/Create Social Media management account – confirm with the client beforehand
Hootsuite
Buffer

Account Manager (10 mins)
Publish the first status update/wall post

Are these steps perfect? Probably not, but they provide a solid base for the account managers to start their Facebook Page creation process. They are meant to be adaptable to the situation but still easily understood.

9. Marketing Budget

The average small to mid-size company spends, on average, 10 – 15% yearly revenue on their marketing. Of course, with mega-corporations like Coca-Cola, that comes out to a cool $2 billion budget. It’s hard to compete against that kind of cold hard cash, so us marketers with a tighter budget have to be extremely conscientious of what leads our efforts are generating and where the focus should be shifted.

Either way, all organizations go through the same budget allocation process, no matter what their size or industry. If you rewind back to the third step in our manufacturing marketing plan you’ll remember the S.M.A.R.T Goals that we discussed. Are you focusing on lead generation, product awareness, content creation, or another combination? These goals that you set up should have a strong influence on where your marketing budget is spent. Think about the different inbound and outbound marketing activities that best suit your objectives and map that to an allocated master budget.

Here is an excellent example of estimated items by month and the actual comparative spend. This master budget is meant for a broad picture view, a 3,000-foot screenshot. You can always blow out each category under new tabs to get more definitive granularity.

Marketing_Budget.png

10. Measure Return on Investment

If you don’t measure your marketing’s ROI, then you have a serious problem. In all honesty, you are thrusting money into a mysterious pit with no real solutions or advancements coming from your troubles. It almost seems counter-intuitive; marketing budgets are tighter than ever and yet, a large chunk of B2B markets don’t measure their results!

The process doesn’t have to be difficult either. Begin by selecting an analytics tool; the most widely used is without a doubt Google Analytics. I highly suggest you take the training course and become certified if this is the tool you choose, it is an incredibly in-depth solution. Add a tracking code to the company’s website and you’re ready to start tracking results.

Then define the KPI’s that absolutely matter to your campaign progression. At Matrix Marketing, we track over 80+ different metrics for our operations, and these are always evolving. There’s no need to track all these metrics at once just pick the most relevant ones to your business.

marketing metrics

The best part of the entire manufacturing marketing plan we have laid out is, once you have collected the ROI data, you can use it to go back to the start, find the weak points and readjust accordingly. Today’s marketing is all about trial and error, with the data points to back everything up, of course. Go to the beginning fix the items that didn’t work and walk through the steps again.

What would you add to your manufacturing marketing plan to make it stand out from the crowd? Drop us a line below in the comment section for additional tips and tricks!

You might be interested in: Is There Any Way of Closing Deals in Today’s Corporate Marketplace? [Part I]

Marketing Effectiveness Model

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