In a business-to-business (B2B) sector such as manufacturing, it’s possible for one single customer to generate millions in revenue. But in the multi-channel digital world of today, the same account-based B2B sales tactics that worked before are not enough to move leads effectively down the sales funnel.
In short, B2B manufacturing companies are going to need to adopt some business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing tactics to maximize revenue growth. One such strategy is personalization. The days of relying on generic form letters and one-size-fits-all catalogs are over; the customer of today, be it in the B2C or B2B world, wants to feel as if their advertising is speaking to them directly.
Below we look at some strategies and cases studies you can use to help you develop the perfect manufacturing marketing strategy to generate millions in revenue.
Email marketing personalization
Email marketing makes the top of the list because few manufacturers are investing in it, yet all should. Regarding revenue generation, there’s a famous statistic that says email marketing done right generates a whopping 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent. And that potential isn’t just limited to the B2C market, either.
Now, there are clear best practices for email personalization such as including the recipient’s full name in the subject line. Basics aside, if you really want to add a personal touch to your manufacturing email marketing, you’ll focus on segmentation. Not only can this improve the click-through rate (CTR) of your emails by 5%, but it can also generate 760% in revenue.
This tactic involves dividing your email recipients into smaller targets based on different criteria, such as demographic info, geographic location, interests, purchase history, buyer persona, and more. The whole point is to more precisely target your email recipients and speak directly to their interests and pain points.
Some other email marketing best practices include:
- Incorporate video content into your emails
- Focusing on the design of your email templates
- Testing send times
To that last point, HubSpot came up with guidelines/recommendations regarding optimum send times for emails. They found that Wednesday is typically the best day to send new emails, with Tuesday and Thursday being the worst days. Regarding specific times, they also recommended to send around lunchtime and early afternoon.
Mass Customization of Products
If you’re a manufacturing company with a single product catalog yet you deal with customers who have varying needs, personalization can be difficult. This was the problem American Bath Corps was faced with when they received feedback from leads and customers stating that the information on ABG’s website wasn’t tailored specifically to their needs.
It was something of a wake-up call for ABG. Even though the company is comprised of nine (9) brands, they realized acquisition alone wasn’t going to lead them to their ultimate goal: to be known within the bathware industry as offering the best customer experience in their sector.
To achieve this they needed to address a specific problem: how to customize a massive product catalog to appeal to clients in various subsets of industries (i.e., architects, plumbers, contractors, etc.). The solution was to eschew their print catalogs, centralize their product information digitally, and revamp their website to create an online roadmap to support their clients’ diverse needs.
Their new online catalogue featured a live database of products updated in real time. It allowed customers and prospects to mix and match specific products according to their needs, create wish lists, and share product info with their partners. In effect ABG designed and created the omni-channel experience that today’s audiences crave.
The initiative was a runaway success and the results speak for themselves:
- ABG created an integrated e-commerce platform for nine different brands
- By switching from print to online catalogs, ABG saved a million dollars annually by not having to update 12, 500-page physical catalogs per year.
- ABG boosted operational efficiencies by 50%
But the real secret to their success was due to the fact they were able to offer a diverse array of customers total personalization of products, thus generating more revenue.
Social media, millennials, and personalization
Think social media marketing is just for the B2C world? Think again. According to statistics, some 43% of B2B marketers have earned customers through Facebook, and that’s not even counting all the other social platforms out there.
Many marketers prefer Facebook because the targeting/personalization capabilities of their ad engine are second to none. But plenty of B2B brands are leveraging millennial-centric social-media platforms such as Instagram for great success, too.
Then there’s LinkedIn, a great platform for any B2B company who would like to share white papers, blogs, and other authoritative content with peers and potential clients/customers within their particular industry.
B2Bs should also invest in YouTube as a marketing channel, as it’s not just a video clip site anymore (it’s actually now the second largest search engine in the world after Google). Manufacturers specifically can benefit by implementing some simple YouTube strategies by:
- Uploading videos of product demos and trade shows
- Producing videos interviewing staff videos to offer a behind-the-scenes look at your operation and give your videos a personal touch
- Getting creative with your branded storytelling
The point is to reach your audience where they are. And today, even in manufacturing, that audience is on social media.
By focusing on the above strategies you can bring your manufacturing operation out of the traditional B2B marketing niche. And by creating dynamic, personalized advertising campaigns that appeal to modern audiences, you’ll be in a prime position to generate those huge ROI figures we discussed earlier. Just remember to concentrate on the three pillars outlined above: email marketing, customization of your product catalog, and social media initiatives.