Manufacturing

The Biggest Mistakes Manufacturers Can Make

Today buyers are seeking out their own information – and not just from your company.

Online research. Peer reviews and ratings. Independent sources. There’s a long list, and sales teams are getting pushed further and further down the purchasing path.

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Then vs. Now: The Purchasing Evolution

Past Present
Newspaper Online Research
Magazines CPQ
Generic direct mail Ecommerce
Printed orders Personalized targeted campaigns
Digital/mobile

Bottom line: it’s a whole new world. And a new landscape requires a new roadmap. So what are the pitfalls you need to avoid along the way?

The 5 Key Mistakes to Avoid

Manufacturers will fall behind the competition if they make these common mistakes:

1. Using technology, instead of strategy, as a starting point.

Technology should ultimately enable and execute your marketing strategy and tactics – not drive them.
At the end of the day, it isn’t about adding more tools or the latest must-have tech. It’s about optimizing the way you connect with your customers.

So focus on ways to integrate it – and get more value from it.

2. Failing to put customer experience at the center of the business. It’s a hard truth: B2B customers don’t really care what your products do. They care about how those products solve their problems.

But it isn’t always easy to make the shift from products to people. Engineers, product managers and market managers are the core of most manufacturing companies. And while they are vital to your organization, they can also be the hardest to convince.

3. Maintaining department silos.

Forget traditional divisions, roles and ways of thinking. The customer’s purchasing path is no longer a straight line. The divisions between teams shouldn’t be either. To create a seamless experience for customers, it’s vital to eliminate the line between marketing and sales. Focus on partnership and shared stewardship with key accounts, instead of simply handing off leads.

4. Failing to draw insights from data and analytics.

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Of course, understanding the story behind your data is only half the battle. Once you connect the dots, it’s key to communicate those insights to marketing, sales and channel partners, too.

5. Offering one-size-fits-all marketing to customers.

B2B or B2C, all customers are individuals – and they want to be treated that way. Moving forward, the most successful companies will:

  • Allow customers to interact with content based on their own interests and readiness to buy.
  • Personalize the experience across all channels, content and devices.
  • Offer content in multiple formats, so customers can choose what engages them most – whether that’s video, social, white papers, blogs or podcasts.

What else is on the horizon for B2B and manufacturing?

Check out these free resources:
The Top Trends in Manufacturing
How to Become Customer-Driven
Top 8 Technology Trends & Truths

And if you want to talk shop or if you have any questions, let us know. We’re here to help.

About the Author

Candid. Honest. Driven. Eric is an expert strategist for everything from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and it’s no surprise that he’s a hands-on guy who’s passionate about insights, problem-solving and all aspects of our client relationships.

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