Today’s manufacturing marketing teams are adapting to a highly dynamic global environment, escalating competition, and changing customer needs.
In fact, a McKinsey survey found that 90% of manufacturing and supply chain professionals now plan to invest in talent for digitization — all in an effort to make their businesses more resilient and prepared for the future.
At the same time, the pressure has never been higher for manufacturers to generate more leads and grow pipeline in the most efficient way possible. This means scale, agility, and measurable results are paramount.
So, how do you get customers what they need when they need it, and turn those opportunities into more pipeline? And what should you do to create efficiency, drive more revenue, and reduce costs in a digital-first world?
The best marketing trends aren’t just for show — they’re backed by data, and they make a long-lasting impact by providing best practices and strategies that prepare your business for the future.
Here are three trends manufacturing marketers can learn from to generate more leads and drive revenue faster ⚡️
1. Make Your Website Conversational
Digital marketing doesn’t mean being robotic and cold. For 88% of customers, the experience a company provides is equally as important as the products or services they offer.
And what modern customers expect is an experience that is convenient, while still remaining personable. That means marketers should prioritize tactics that ensure customers never have to repeat themselves, re-enter information, or wait for you to get back to them.
With the average B2B buying journey involving 27 touchpoints, manufacturers need to focus on getting every detail right with a buying experience that is intuitive, accurate, and immediate — just like a conversation. Each touchpoint needs to feel natural and flow smoothly into the next without causing friction or leaving customers confused.
In short, building a digital experience that prioritizes responsiveness to customers will prove crucial for impressing and engaging your buyers while also driving loyal, long-term relationships.
Tools like Drift Fastlane can make your static forms conversational by allowing qualified buyers to instantly jump into a conversation with your sales team or book a meeting — without them ever having to leave your website. This meets buyers where they’re at and gives them the opportunity to have a conversation as soon as they’re ready.
Ultimately, with a consistent and conversational buying experience, you will be empowered to drive business faster and beat the competition.
Curious to learn more about how conversations are the future of digital experiences? Don’t miss our State of Conversations report.
2. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
With the B2B buying journey becoming longer and more complex, personalization is now more crucial than ever if you want to move your leads through the funnel faster.
Because personalized experiences ensure you’re providing relevant and valuable information to buyers at every touchpoint. Not only does this save you time and resources, but it’s also what customers expect — and they will choose to work with brands that provide that personalization.
Need a place to start? Our research recommends your website.
In a 2022 Drift survey, 55% of manufacturing companies indicated that their website is very important for driving new business. However, 66% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with how their website currently captures and nurtures leads. Altogether, this means you can expect manufacturing marketers to turn their focus to creating more personalized buyer journeys on their websites.
A few quick wins include integrating all of your marketing technology tools so that each step of the buyer journey is connected to the rest and leaning on automation for repetitive or low-impact tasks.
Moreover, you’ll need to be proactive — not just reactive — about how (and when) you reach out to buyers in a personalized way. Form fills won’t always provide a reliable influx of quality leads — so instead, you’ll need to proactively engage those leads in conversations that speak to their goals and needs.
For example, global security provider STANLEY Security, does an excellent job of fast-tracking site visitors to the information or support they need through customized chatbots. By tailoring greetings and response buttons for general prospects, targeted leads, and existing customers, the team is able to greet visitors with a relevant message, instantly zero in on their needs, and guide them through the right next steps.
Personalization isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. It’s a competitive differentiator. According to McKinsey, companies that personalize more closely to the individual customer are more likely to grow their market share — which means thoughtful, personalized experiences will be the key to helping your brand excel.
Ready to take your personalization to the next level? Check out our ebook on building an ABM strategy that will help you build stronger customer relationships and accelerate revenue.
3. Expand Communication Channels Beyond Email
I’m not the first to tell you that digital is here to stay — and I certainly won’t be the last. Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 80% of all B2B sales interactions will occur digitally.
The problem is that only 8% of manufacturers say that their digital experience is ahead of customer expectations.
To unpack “digital experiences” a little more, let’s start with channels. Our survey found that 92% of manufacturers communicate via email, followed by SMS in second (49%). And while email undeniably works, it’s not the most scalable way to foster authentic, personal connections. In fact, email often feels like noise, not an extension of face-to-face communication.
That’s why communication channels like video are quickly gaining traction among marketers. With video marketing, it’s easy to emulate the experience of a face-to-face conversation while also delivering information in an engaging and dynamic way. For example, computing pioneer NVIDIA Corporation has an entire section of their website dedicated to on-demand content like how-to videos.
Not to mention that investing in communication channels outside of email can also help you secure conversions faster. Like Mirion Technologies that provides prospects with the opportunity to book their own meetings directly from their website. Or Emerson, another manufacturing company that makes it possible for prospects to chat live with an expert directly from their product page, instead of spending days trying to set up a time to talk via email.
At a time when manufacturers are being pushed to do more with less, it’s critical that you step outside of your comfort zone. Because, as marketers, you can generate the most value out of your resources only by maximizing your usage of existing channels while expanding into new, dynamic ones.
Want to take your video marketing one step further? Drift Video makes it easy to record customized videos and allows viewers to ask questions and book meetings right alongside the video. Check it out today.
As the digital world evolves and expectations continue to grow, manufacturing marketers will be tasked with creating experiences that are faster, more convenient, and more agile.
And while the trends listed above are important for adapting to these changes, above all, you need data to measure your performance and know that you are moving in the right direction.
In fact, in 2022, 64% of manufacturing marketers stated that their top technological priority was investing in data and insights. Because only by integrating your digital marketing tools, testing your initiatives, and measuring the impact and ROI of every strategy will you ensure that your marketing efforts are driving efficiency and results.
Digital doesn’t have to be daunting. Start small, and stay calculated. Optimizing your digital experiences is an ongoing journey, and even the smallest steps will contribute to building an experience that goes above customer expectations and helps you rise above the competition.
Learn more about how Drift works with manufacturing companies to connect you with your website visitors in relevant, real-time conversations that will allow you to capture leads faster and drive more ROI from your digital channels.
Want to keep these trends nearby? Download this executive recap to take with you to your next conversation ⚡️