Is the management at your company concerned about innovation? Is continuous improvement in the fiercely competitive world we live in a hot topic? We've read of large consumer goods corporations adding new senior roles called 'Chief Creative Officer' with the intention of creating a more innovative environment, but what about manufacturing companies? What can they do to be more innovative?
We've blogged extensively on the topic of inbound marketing, so we know you are already an expert on how it boosts traffic, leads and sales with the best ROI. But did you know that inbound marketing can also lead to increased innovation for a manufacturing company?
If you'd like to brush up on your knowledge of inbound, you can check out some of our other posts on the topic (or if you're in the Twin Cities, you can also attend our upcoming event on March 4th).
But to cut to the chase, here's how adapting an inbound marketing strategy leads to more innovative manufacturing...
1: Increased Customer Insight Leads to Solving New Problems
After developing detailed, data-driven buyer personas, you will have a much clearer understanding of your target customer and their challenges. You already know how to solve some of your customer's problems through your existing product or service. But with more insight, you might uncover related problems for example, getting the budget to purchase your solution, or implementing your solution. Or perhaps they have other problems you could solve with a new product or service.
With increased insight, you can address those customer challenges head on, leading to more sales and happier customers.
2: Creating Continuous Content Keeps You Current
We're not going to sugarcoat this, creating amazing content on your B2B manufacturing blog, worthy of your reader's time, is a big job. But with massive rewards. The indirect result of having to create this content on an ongoing basis (which you can get outside support to help do) is that it forces you to be on top of your game as far as what's happening in your industry.
If you are regularly reading articles and trade publications, listening to online conversations, and participating in forums and discussions, you undoubtedly gain further insight and knowledge about your customers, competitions, and potential partners.
3: Being Active On Social Media Can Lead to Being Involved in More Conversations
Let's first clarify that a solid social media strategy is key before engaging in any social media activity. Once that is in place, you are well positioned to expand your reach, use your voice, and establish your company as an influencer its industry. Your thought leadership can lead to opportunities such as new partner relationships, guest blogging and speaking engagements.
4: Having Informed Employees Gives You Access to More Brain Power
Instead of relying on a just few people for new ideas, wouldn't it be much more powerful if everyone in your company was brainstorming about new products and solutions? In an inbound organization, buyer personas are common knowledge and everybody in the company understands who they're trying to serve. With that knowledge, and a culture which encourages new ideas, all employees can help find ways to address issues and solve problems.
5: Having Engaged Employees Expands Your Reach to New Customers
When employees have 'bought in' to the company culture, they understand who the company serves, they know that they have a voice and influence in what happens at the company, they feel a sense of pride and responsibility in helping get the word out about the good work that is being done.
If your employees are willing to post company updates in their personal social media channels, and you have employee brand advocacy training in place, imagine how much greater your reach will be. It could include prospective customers and partners who never would have heard of your company otherwise. It could lead to relationships in new industries, new cities, new countries and who knows what else!
Inbound marketing is a commitment, but it's one that can benefit the company far beyond the marketing department alone. It aligns Sales and Marketing, it increases thought leadership and it leads to more manufacturing innovation on many levels.
Manufacturing marketing is an exciting place to be in the digital world. There are so many opportunities to show your uniqueness and value to the world in creative ways which get real, measurable results.