New Manufacturing Marketing Strategies Breathe Life Into Industry

Ashley Wilson-Rew

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Out With the Old, in With the New

A small material handling equipment manufacturer is taking its website to the next level.

Rather than relying on traditional sales tactics - such as print media, salespeople, and trade shows - GR-X Manufacturing is buffing up its online presence in the hopes of making more sales while paying less for marketing

Founded in 2015, GR-X took over the product lines of Automatic Inspection Systems Inc., which closed its doors in 2015. The new company is taking a modern approach to marketing and advertising with the goal of finding success where AIS failed. 

Manufacturers Adopt Online Marketing

This small company isn't the only one turning to inbound marketing tactics. International manufacturers - such as GE and Cisco - are running very successful content marketing and blogging campaigns. 

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GE Blog

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Cisco Blog

You might notice that both companies offer content that doesn't necessarily promote their products or services, but it does interest and actively engage their audience. A hospital administrator is more likely to click on GE's post titled "Big Data and the Future of Medicine" than a post titled "Why GE Is Awesome."

Online Marketing Doesn't Work Like Traditional Marketing, Because Traditional Marketing Doesn't Work.

Why don't GE and Cisco only write content about their products? They obviously provide best-in-class services in their industries. Why not talk about such a high-quality product?

Here's the biggest secret of successful online marketing: your audience, buyers, and customers don't actually care about the product you offer. They only care about what your company and product can do for them.

It might hurt to hear, but it's the truth. Acknowledging and accepting that truth is the only way you'll successfully engage your customers online. Traditional, self-centered, interruptive marketing (TV ads. radio ads, popups, billboards, cold calling) will only push potential customers away. 

Modern Manufacturing Marketing

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Manufacturers of all shapes and sizes are realizing that traditional marketing isn't garnering the attention it used to. Direct mail is immediately tossed, cold calls go unanswered, emails are ignored, and TV ads are muted. How do you promote your product when all the familiar marketing avenues are closed?

The answer comes on the wires and wings of the all-powerful, all-seeing Internet. Most manufacturers haven't grown up with the Internet in their pockets - which is why many are reluctant (if not downright opposed) to utilizing the Internet for marketing.

Fortunately or not, the Internet is now the center of business. We use it to communicate with clients and vendors, to close business deals, and to attract new customers from far and wide. 

What's the Difference Between Online Marketing and Traditional Marketing? 

Besides the fact that it costs $20k less per year and attracts 60% more leads, the nature of the Internet means the power is now in the hands of the buyer. Twenty years ago, manufacturers and other vendors held all the power, since they were the only source of information about their product and industry.

Now, a quick Google search brings up customer reviews, information from competitors, and detailed third party info on your products and services. Buyers are incredibly educated by the time they reach your sales team - and that knowledge should be coming directly from you in the early stages of their buying process.

In a survey by DemandGen Report, 65% of respondents said the winning vendor's content influenced the decision

The content you offer - whether it's blog posts, eBooks, videos, or something else - should provide value to your buyer. It should educate them on best practices, pros and cons, good signs and red flags, and other things that will help them make the best purchase decision possible. 

The most important thing about modern marketing? Stepping out of the role of the seller and truly understanding what your buyer cares about. As long as you can do that, you're ready to join GE, Cisco, and GR-X Manufacturing in the new era of manufacturing marketing.

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