Do you have infinite money to spend on your marketing? We doubt it. A study from last year revealed that how much money your company dedicates to marketing will vary depending on your industry. And while some are spending more than 20% of their overall budget on marketing efforts, manufacturing marketers aren’t so lucky; the average manufacturing company is dedicating just 8% of their budget to marketing.
Ouch. That’s not a lot. And that creates a lot of pressure for your marketing team. Not only are they expected to bring in leads on a limited budget, but they must bring in quality leads - if the quality of leads slips, sales will have a much harder time of converting these leads into customers.
Time and again, we’ve seen the result: tension between sales and marketing teams that just aren’t aligned.
So what are you going to do about it? You need to get the most out of your marketing budget, and that starts with inbound marketing.
How Inbound Maximizes Your Budget
Most building materials manufacturers are well versed in traditional marketing efforts: face to face trade shows and events, sales and prospecting calls, and even print mailers and advertisements.
But these tactics aren’t working as well as they used to. How many times have you called a company, ready to deliver your finely crafted sales pitch, only to learn that the decision maker isn’t available? Are they really in meetings day in, day out - or are they dodging your calls?
You’re wasting time. You’re wasting money. And you don’t have much of either to spare.
That’s what makes inbound marketing different. With inbound, you’re not interrupting your prospects - you’re providing answers to their questions, giving them exactly what they’re looking for and meeting them where they are in the buying process. It’s about helping your prospects, not pushing them to make a decision they’re not ready for.
Instead of dedicating your time and money to efforts that just aren’t working, inbound helps you allocate those resources differently. No one’s saying it’s easy to create content and implement digital strategies, but it is a better use of that small budget. Your content delivers the right message to the right person at the right time. It builds trust with your prospect without having to speak to them directly, so they’ll feel like you’re helping them, not pushing your own agenda.
Inbound helps you use your budget differently, and it gets results.
Does it Work for Manufacturers?
Inbound is not a new idea to manufacturers, but it hasn’t always been something they flock to. Some building materials manufacturing companies find themselves attached to the traditional way of doing things, even as those tactics become less and less effective. Others have tried inbound but aren’t getting the results they’re looking for (more on that later).
But many manufacturing marketers are starting to come around; this past November, “59% [of manufacturers] said their organization’s overall approach to content marketing was more successful compared with one year before, and most (82%) attributed that success mainly to doing a better job with content creation,” according to a survey by Content Marketing Institute.
When used correctly, inbound can work for any industry, including manufacturing, as long as you’re willing to put in the work.
Now the Hard Part
Too often, inbound marketing sounds like magical potion making: add some blogs and search engine optimization, sprinkle in some social media, wait a few months, then sit back and receive your leads!
But that’s not how it works.
And you might know that, if you’ve already tried inbound marketing and seen limited success. So how do you justify spending that limited marketing budget on inbound marketing?
Start with strategy. Effective inbound marketing isn’t random, it’s based on thorough research that is customized to your company. Who are you marketing to, and how are you going to help them solve their problems? How do your prospects want to receive information - should you be writing blogs, engaging on social media, creating videos, or something else? What is your competition up to? What are your goals?
When you know who your prospects are, who your competition is, and who you are, you can create an inbound strategy that is tailored to you. You can focus your budget on efforts that will drive results, and you’ll start to see real, measurable results.
So are you ready to put in the work and maximize your marketing budget? Start with strategy. Download your free strategic marketing planning kit. This free kit includes everything you need to create a solid inbound marketing strategy and start seeing real results from your marketing efforts.