The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 year ago

The 7 Core Elements of an Industrial Marketing Strategy w/ Joe Sullivan


A few years ago, we at Gorilla 76 took a close look at the common components among our most successful manufacturing clients. Then, we boiled these down to seven specific elements. Once we put them together, we built a model we call the seven core elements of an industrial marketing strategy

On this episode of The Manufacturing Executive, we discuss these seven key elements of manufacturing marketing:

  • Positioning
  • Website Foundation 
  • Technology Stack 
  • Content Strategy
  • Lead Generation Strategy, 
  • Pipeline Management Strategy 
  • Data analysis

Resource discussed on the episode:

Downloadable guide and audit spreadsheet

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A few years ago we took a close look atall the common threads on the marketing front among our most successfulmanufacturing clients, and we decided we boil them down to seven specificthings. Welcome to the manufacturing executivepodcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that aredriving midsize manufacturers forward here. You'll discover new insidts frompassionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share abouttheir successes and struggles and youill learn from B to be sales andmarketing experts about how to apply actionable business developmentstrategies inside your business. Let's get into the show, welcome to another episode of theManufacturing Executive podcast on your host, Joe Sullivan, and a CO founder ofthe Industrial Marketing Agency GARLA. Seventy six. So, a few years ago wetook a close look at all the common threads on the marketing front amongour most successful manufacturing clients, and we decided we boil themdown to seven specific things and those things are positioning website,foundation, technology, stack, content strategy, lead generation, strategy,typeline management strategy and data analysis, and we decided to put allthese things together and sort of build them into a model that we now call theseven core elements of an industrial marketing strategy. These areessentially the seven puzzle pieces that you want present and optimize andworking in sink to drive a successful marketing initiative as a manufacturingorganization. So what we're going to do today is take you through these seventhings, help you understand what they are and then leave you with the toolthat will a couple tools. Really one that'lll help you audit and sort ofwhere you are right now in each of those seven key areas, and then therewill be a guide as well that II'll direct you to. That is really a writtenversion of what I'm talking through today, but itwill be a good referencepoint for you to go back to so so, let's get into it the seven coreelements. The first of these seven is right at the center of your marketinginitiatives, and that is your positioning and we define positioningas the perception of Your Business in a mind of your customers. So positioningis not who you think you are, but who your customers think you are aneffective positioning. It really all starts by identifying and documenting who yourideal customer is both at a company level and at an individual human level,and then it's followed by crafting of positioning language or a positioningstory that clearly articulates how you create value for those specificindividuals, and this is how you can start to shape the outward facing yoperception of who your business is or start to be able to influence that. So,let's talk about the first step inside of that first core element: positioning,that's establishing who your ideal customer is so you know there areprobably at least from from all the clients that we have consulted over theyears. You know they all say: Wwe we serve ten different types of customersor fifty different types, and all these different verticales and theiare, bigcusters and small customers- and you know, I think the thing to do here isto try to identify what are the common threads among your very best customers,the types that you really want to build your business on, because Positionisreally about you know it's forward, looking it's not about who you've donebusiness with, but who you want to be doing business with and often that'srooted and who your best customers are. So what do those best customers looklike how big are they were they located? What do they buy from you? What are thetriggers inside of those companies are externally that lead them into thebuying process? How long and complex is the buying process? How does the saleplay out? Who on the customers side gets involved in the buying process, soonce you buy, I sort of identified who...

...those ideal customers are and thecharacteristics of those. Then you want to take a closer look at theindividuals who make up the buying committee or the buyerpersonas as youmight call them. So these are the people whose attention and trust youneed to earn throughout the buying process, often early on we're talkingabout engineers, technical professionals who are experiencing veryspecific problems that they need to solve. Maybe plant managers, facilitymanagers, maintenance, people and then, as you, move up the chain somewherealong the sale when your sale is complex, you're, probably dealing withprocurement. Almost certainly, you are, and maybe CEOS presidents owners ofcompanies, but who are those individuals that influence the buyingprocess and therefore you need to be able to influence them with the messageyou deliver a d: What are the responsibilities at the company withDecision Making Authority? Do they hold Wn Ow? Most importantly, what are theirpersonal pains and goals and common questions that they ask? These are thethings you want to be able to address in your outward facing messaging in aconcise way through the way you craft your positioning language, but then inalso in the content you create, which Wi'll talk about in the little bit here.So once we've, you know inside of positioning the first core element onceyou've identified, who the ideal customer is at a company level andindividual human levels. Then it's a matter of crafting language that willspeak to them, and you know w a what you're trying todo here, essentially as say who we help and how? What are those issues we solve?What are those common? You know problems we address and common goals.We help these types of people from these types of companies achieve, andyou know the structure that the best structure I've seen for articulatingthis is we've pulled from a book called new sales simplified by Mike Winebergand chapter eight of that book is about what he calls his power statement. Iwould highly recommend spending the fifteenlars to pick up a copy ofnewsales simplified Mike, presents a really great way of articulating whoyou help and how nd, what what desire business outcomes do help transforminto a reality. What are the common problems you solve, and and focusing onthat before you focus on what you do. Everybody defaults in their positioninglanguage tot saying this is what we do is is why we're amazing. This is whyour people are the best and you should buy from us and our competitors orephonies, but nobody cares who you are, what you do until they. They believeyou understand their issues and you've solved them before, and so we need towrap the the commute outward facing communication around that. So you canalso visit the WHO we help and howpage on the guerrilla site, and you can seethat we've we have followed this exact structure to write our own positioninglanguage. You'll, see a condensed version of that on our home page aswell, so it kind of gives you a little bit of a tangible model for how thatcould work. Okay, so core element number one of seven positioning: We'vecovered that moving got O coure element number two, your website foundation, soyour website will almost always be part of the online marketing conversation.It's you'r the home base for your company online. It's the online face ofyour company, it's your storefront! Even if you're not physically selling aproduct or service through it, it's really the it's the place where youknow t the right. People from the right company that we talked about incoreelement- number one are going to many of them will have their firstinteraction with you there before they're, ever ready to pick up thephone and you control all the messaging there, and- and so we need to make surethat the right messagings are the right pieces are in place to be able toattract the right people there to engage them to convert them into leads.So you can start physical sales conversations with them. So there aresome key pieces of this website foundation that we think need to be inplace, and one of those is your content. Management system were huge advocatesof word press. If the probably many of you listening are familiar and yoursites run on word, press, if you don't that's, that's okay, there are thergood content management systems out...

...there. But the point is you need youneed your websites sitting on top of a piece of software that lets you easilyadd pages edit content. Make modifications add new calls to action.You know, there's a learning center, a blog there that you can publish newcontent in. So your website is a growing and evolving B Stralian. Itshould be. It should never be done. It's not a project. That's ever done.It should be growing n evolving. You should be responding to how people useit. So that's why the content management Sisto is such a centralpiece to that Website Foundation. So other parts of this core elementwere tothe website foundation your learning center. You might call it your blog,you migh call it your Resourch Center Learning Center Knowledge Center,regardless of what you call it. It's a place to house educational content,content that answers those common questions. weare talking about thataddresses those key problems and objectives. Your custers are trying toachieve so a learning center. You know again, you could use Gorrilla if you'refamiliar with us with R our learning center as an example of what that couldbe another one that I love is ck. Powers is one of our clients and infull transparency, but I love their learning center CK powercom. There area manufacturerand and valuated reseller of engines and generators, and I lovethe way. thertheir learning center has been sort of organized where you cansort by different content types by different topics. So a couplereferences for you. Another piece of your website infastructure, is having the a lead generation system inplace, so calls to act like being able to easily deploy new calls to action,forms that people can fill out to download guides. You know there's sortof been a shift in the last year or two that I'm seeing away from gating intomuch content, which I, which means you know, put ing content behind a formwhere you have to submit contact information to download it and more ofa shift to just creating a d publishing valuablecontent and maybe using a newsletter subscribe or all you're, asking forisan email adress and try to build your email list and nurture people that wayor using a chat Bot, something l, a technology like drift or, if you're,using hubs about they have a chat bout software where you can engage people inan automated way or a live chat, or you have a person behind it. But you wantto have a some methodology in place to convert a visitor into a tangible leadso that your visitors aren't just anonymous and you can proactively beginconversations with them. So lea generation infrastructure alsopart of this. This website infastructure Website Foundation, whichis core elementary to is lead management. Software integration. Sothere's a crm, and there is a marketing automation. Software component to this,which will will talk a little bit about later, but you want to have a directtie into your lead management software, so that when somebody fills out a formon your side, a contact record is created for that individual in each ofthese software platforms or or if that contact record already exists, it'supdated and populated with you know, data on what this person is doing onyour site and what information they're filling out. So that's another thingand then there's you know the other elements e on page SEO, responsivedesign, things that make the user experience strong and help keep themthere and move them throughout the site to the content. That's most relative tothem. So these are all elements of core element: Number two, your WebsiteFoundation. So let's move on to core element: Number three out of seven,which is your technology stack and 's, there's so much marketing in salestechnology out there these days there a ton of things you can and probablyshould be using, but if we had to break it down into the most essentialstarting places, they would be one. Your crm to your marketing automation,software in three yyour website, analytic software, so crm stands for customer relationshipmanagement and, in short, this is a piece of software that exists to keepyour sales efforts organized and make...

...your team as efficient as possible. Onthe Bizdov Front, at the heart of your crm, our contact records for individualleads and customers inside any individual's contact record. You canlog calls and meeting notes to get record data points like customerpreferences and birthdays and favorite sports teams, and all that basic stuff,but a a really high quality, advanced CRM, sofcer ill. Also, let you sinkyour email to it. So, every time you send an email, you can log it directlyinto your crm without having to make a a manual note, you can assign accountsand individuals to specific sales professionals on your team. You canbuild task lists with automated reminders to follow up with leads. Youcan traft track the life cycle stage of your deals and your opportunities youcan assign values, timelines and probabilities. That deals will close togive you a real time forecast of your sales pipeline. So these are all thingsthat crm will. Let you do you know some Mak. Some examples of crms wouldinclude the hub spot, which is our by far our favorite there's sales force,which is the most popular, but it's also more advanced and Y. I think, ismore valuable for really large sales teams, as opposed to smaller ones likemost of our midsize manufacturers, have thos pipe drive. Microsoft dynamics,net, sweet, indfusion, soft: These are all other examples of crms. Okay, thesecond piece of your technology stack is your marketing automation software.So, whereas a CRM is a place for Managing Your Company's interactionswith current and perspective customers, the marketing automation software isthere to let you streamline and automate and measure marketing tasksand workflows. In short, your crms, the sales to your marketg, your automation,software is a marketing tool, there's some overlapping features. But when youdeploy both of these side by side, you can build a really a really effectivemarketing sales, joint strategy and Software Foundation. I guess so somethings that your marketing automation software will let you do easilydeploying onsight lead generation devices like templates for lead capture,pages and forms and called action buttons, Collecting Lead Intelligence,loo, specific website visitors. What are specific people doing on your site,who's showing buying intent WHO's coming back regularly? These are allthings that will influence your sales process and that marketing can use tofeed the sales team and help them make decisions about what to do so. A lot ofmarketing automation, softwares out there at this point again, we arepartial to hub spot, but others include Marquetto Pardat, Acdon you'll see allthese out there and a lot of them have similar features. We just think up spotis best in class and for what you pay. It gives you really the most bankfoyour buck. So the third piece of your technology stack is your web analyticsplatform. This will probably come from a few places. H, the no brainer youwant to get up and running if it's not already, as Google analytics, probablymajority you listening or already familiar with analytics to some extent,thatwill help. You measure things like how much traffic is your websitesgenerating where that traffics coming from what pages and types of contentare engaging and attracting your visitors to you and pulling them in outof search engines? You know how visitors are moving through your sigtto points of conversion, so there's so much there inside of Google analyticsother bits of annalexs on individual people, you'll pull from yourautomation, Software Light Cub Spot; okay, let's go to core element numberfour of seven, which is your content strategy. I'm going to start here witha definition of content marketing by Joe Politzy, who is the author WHO's anauthor and at the cofounder of the content. Marketing Institute he's Theguy who sort of coined the term content marketing, probably fifteen years agoor so, but he calls content marketing a strategic marketing approach focused oncreating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content toattract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately, to driveproprofitable customer action, and I...

...think the key word there is valuable we're talking about not aboutabout US content or broshare type of content. All that stuff has a place inyour marketing strategy, but we're talking about those addressing those problems withobjective answers and in depth, content that answers the common questions andhelps helps your prospects. Ond customers achieve what they're tryingto achieve. You know a stat that we lean on oftenwell, there's a study that global speck puts out every year for engineers, andit shows that somewhere around sixty sixty five percent of technicalprofessionals wait until the comparison in evaluation stages, the bicycle tomake contact with a vendor, and what that tells us is your buyers aregathering information online they're, doing it on their own and they're doingit all throughout the buying process. They don't care about you until they're,confident, you've understood their problems, and you solved these problemsbefore, and so your website becomes their first stop and the firstinteraction they have with R your company. The sales process starts therein your content. It's your job to published content that will earn enoughattention and trust from them so that they will be willing to start a realsales conversation with you. So content can come in all kinds ofshapes and forms and sizes. There's articles as blog post white papers,buyers guides, case studies, videos, webinars, podcasts, Rli, calculators,there's a ton of ways you can create value through the content. You PublishOnline. It's a matter of thinking about what content your audience is mostlikely to consume and develop and content that will help them allthroughout the buying process to help you generate awareness before they knowwho you are and maybe they're just google seaching a problem. They haveora question. They have answering their common questions once they find youestablishincredibility for your organization, converting visitors inthe leads building, trust and nurturing them. There are so many plit ways thatcontent will help throughout that whole buying process, and it's such acritical piece of your inbound and your outbound marketing strategies coreelement. Number five of seven: Is Your Lead Generation Strategis? So as you,you know kind of look back through these core elements. We've talked aboutpositioning, identifying the right people and putting the right pieces ofthe Pie and place on your website. We've talked about tovyouow, gettingthe right technology steck in place, developing all this content. Thatspeaks to the pains of those most important people and helps them achievewhat they're trying to achieve. Once we've got all those foundational piecesin place now, it's time to start driving the right people to to yourwebsite getting in the right message in front of them. You don't want to do toomuch of that until some of that foundations in place, and so this iswhere your leag generation strategy begins, and there are sort of threeways to do lead generation and all of all of these probably have a role foryou. It's just a matter of finding the right balance, so there's inboundmarketing, there's outbond marketing and there's paid media with inbound. Weare talking about developing a thought, leadership, content and content thatthat, like we talked about the last cort element that establishescredibility for you teaches the search engines like Google,that you are the best source of information on these topics are one ofthe best sources. This is what will help give you visibility in the appropriate Google searcheswhich results in traffic, which is real, eventually result in leads. It's notthat simple. Of course, there is a theire technical components to itsstrategic components, but Inbon Marketing, in short, is aboutestablishing authority for your website, gaining visibility that way and sort oflike casting a wide net and some of the right official swim into it. Some ofthe wrong ones will, but as the volume of the fish that' women of that natincrease, so will the volume of those that are qualified, especially as yourcontent becomes more and more targeted at the right people. So that's inbound.Also in your league generation Strateg, you have outbound and paid media, soinbound is kind of the long game it's...

...going to take a while for you to gaintraction if you're, just starting you'll get some quick winds, look atthe lowhanging fruit and but it's you don't win Inboun game overnight. Ittakes time so on the short term, we're advocates of having a really strong,outbound and paid media strategy. Where you can say all right. Let's target youknow the two hundred most important companies that fit the description ofideal customer: Let's develop an outbound strategy where we find theright people from those companies with this great educational content, we'reusing. We deliver it directly to them, and then we tell pay media platformslike say: Linkedin, Hey Linkedin, show this content, whether that's video orwritten or whatever. It might be show this content to people with these jobtitles, from these types of companies, in these geographic regions, with thesecommonalities and and what you can then do is sort of amplify the distributionof all this great content to make sure there's many people as possible thatfit your ideal customer profile in your total addresswile market. See it soagain, it's not a super simple thing, but conceptually it is and that's thestrategy you want to be able to deploy so inbound for the long term, paidmedia and outbound in the short term to supplement that. Okay, two core elements remainingnumber six of seven is your pipeline management strategy. So this is aboutwhat happens after the lead is generated, and so Y O we've talkedabout attracting the right people to you through inmound or throughoutboundyou when you start to generate, leads or start with your say, outbound youknow leads to develop a twoway conversation with them. The next thingis: How do we help move those peoplethrough the buying process? You know they're going to buy in their schedule,not on yours. So how do we nurture them? How do we enable your sales team tonurture them and to develop those leads, so I would break the sixth core elementof pipine management into two buckets: There's sales enablement and there'slead nurturing sales. ENABLEMENT is marketings responsibility to help yoursales team, develop the right processes to enable them with the right data andto give them the right content to help develop these leads. So when I talkabout processes, I'm talking about, you know who manages in banleads when a newinvon lead comes in or a lead from a paid ad comes in who's responsible toreaching out to that person. What messaging and Pointsyou to becommunicated to them? What's the follow up cadence? What and then you know whatdata points can marketing supply that. So, if, let's just say, you have anoutbound campaign running to three hundred people? U, which of whichtwenty of those three hundred people clicked through to your website and ofthose twenty, which five seems super engaged and they're coming back andthey're. Looking at pages that might indicate some level of buying intent.Thesthis is all information. You want your marketing team to be able to helpsales process and understand so they know where to spend their time, andthen you know so the other. The other part of this Pipi management strategyis the nurturing strategys lead nurtring, which is largely a marketingresponsibility, and here we're talking about being in the inbox of yourexisting contacts, and all these new leads are generating. You know probablyat least every other week, or so it just depends on your business, for someof you might be weekly for someody, who might be monthly, but you know you wantto consistently be delivering value to them, not sales messages, but sendingthe new helpful, video or written content that you're creating thataddresses issues that they care about. So when you can consistently be infront of them and creating value you're, naturally going to drive more and morevaluable conversations over the course of time. Some people are areready forthat conversation now, somewill be ready in a month, so I'll be ready intwo years. But I can't tell you the number of times I've had conversationswith people that have said: Hey we've been reading your content for the lasttwo or three years and the Times right now, and we already know your the firstcompany we need to talk to because...'ve been teaching us all along theway and that's what you want to be able to replicate inside of Your Business.The seventh and final core element is data analysis. So there was a time whenmeasuring marketing results was all about tracking impressions and reachand how many people are getting their eyes on us and that absolutely stillhas a role, but there's also a lot of tangible data that we can now harness,and so you know we need to have the software in place in the systems inplace to be able to track leads all throughout the buying process. You knowhow many individuals are. Are we reaching how many of those whatpercentage of those individuals are actually converting into into leads? What percentage of thoseleads are sales qualified? You know how many of those are turning into tangible opportunities that we'requoting business for and then how many of those are actually turning intorevenue. So these are all metrics that we need to be looking at throughout thebuying process. You know I do like to put the cabiet on this that, especiallyif you're a company with a long sales cycle that plays out over a year ormore, which I've seen plenty of that, especially when you're selling sayexpensive, a million dollar equipment and you might sell twenty pieces ofequipment a year. You N W the sale cycles long. You can't look at a sixmonth marketing effort and expect ther to be revenue theat right but o. Weneed to look at these leading metrics like traffic and sales, qualified leadsgenerated and then typeline revenue. How much work are we quoting? Is itwith the right people and that's the type of data you want to be gathering?So those are your seven core elements, recapping them very quickly. COROMATNUMBER ONE! Is your positioning corelement number two, your websitefoundation, three, your technology stack for content strategy, five leaguegeneration strategy, six pipeline management strategy and then seven isyour data analysis processes. So the the last thing we'll do here is I'mgoing to leave you with two resources. As I mentioned, if you go to Gerrilla,seventy sixcom seven elements, as is the number seven and then elementsyou're going to find two things: there there's a downloadable, pdf version ofeverything I just talked through it's a really long in depth, designed PDFguide that can sort of serve as your guide and then there's a downloadablespreadsheet. That is, we call the Industrial Marketing Audit Score Cardyou'll score yourself on thirty five points, five for each of these sevencore elements and it'll show you kind of where you're strong, where you'reweak and maybe help you figure out where you need to invest some time andenergy into optimizing your strategy, so that pretty much covers it. I hope thiswas helpful and we hope to see you on the next episode of the ManufacturingExecutive. PODCAST you've been listening to themanufacturing executive podcast to ensure that you never missed an episodesubscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learnmore about industrial marketing and sale strategy, you'll find an everexpanding collection of articles, videos guides and jools specificallyfor be to B manufacturers at grilla. Seventy sixcom flash WARNN. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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