As I go around speaking attending conferences, and working with our manufacturing clients, I’m often asked questions about what marketing technology is best for a medium-sized manufacturing firm. For context, I tend to think of companies with $25-100MM in revenues as medium-sized companies. There are SO many choices now, your head will spin. As you know, software as a service (SAAS) is now normal. With that normalcy has come a market inundated with constant new technology and software applications.
Without a Solid Marketing Tech You Are at a Disadvantage
At this point, if you don’t have a good technology/software plan, you’re putting your marketing and sales team at a huge disadvantage. Before deciding on a platform, or platforms, though, consider all the processes that should be linked together. If one person handles your website, another takes care of all your marketing handouts, and you’ve given social media to the newest, youngest person on the marketing team, you’re doomed already
If you choose different software for all of your different needs, you’ll end up having to create a whole new position in your company just to manage the new software. Or, maybe you have an awesome software specialist on your team and they’ll figure out how to make all the software communicate. Sweet, right? It is until one of the platforms is updated and your software person has to redo everything.. With every update, there’s an opportunity for something to break. More money spent on software and coding fixing something that was already in place, aka the dead investment.
What Different Needs Should Be Considered When Choosing Solutions
What are all the current pillars of marketing and sales at a manufacturing company?
- Website set up to securely and effectively collect customer and prospect info and data
- Social media management and data analysis
- Email marketing and email follow up automation
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) for tracking communications and touches with prospects and clients
- Service tickets for existing clients
If you choose different software to accomplish all these needs, you’re in for a lot of downtime, broken paths, extra training, technology chasing, and more. You’ll spin your wheels on the technology itself and not on producing the solutions you should be providing. Granted, it’s hard to find best-in-class software for managing all of this to fit your needs. But there are a couple that get pretty close.
Choosing a Platform That Can Incorporate Strategy and Process
If you’re a specialty manufacturer who’s already outperforming your peers, you definitely understand planning, process, procedures, quality control and data management very well. I would also guess marketing is something of an enigma for you. The solution is to treat your marketing and sales almost the same way you treat your production line. Strategizing, planning, executing, measuring, and improvement should be incorporated into your marketing and sales efforts as well. Seriously consider this when choosing your platform.
Think of your marketing and sales as a production line. Your website is one machine, CRM is another, social is another, and so on. When you get different machines from different vendors, think about all the after-purchase work you have to do to get the machines to work together and generate the data you need for continuous quality improvements. Some of you even hire an outside company to engineer and align all the machines for you because otherwise it’s so time consuming and hard to keep up with.
You don’t need to turn your manufacturing company into a marketing company to accomplish this. Stick to producing and selling the widgets you’re good at and choose a platform to alleviate those other concerns.
Before choosing a platform, think about what you’re trying to accomplish with your website (and your other digital and automated marketing). There are really only two routes to choose from.
Sounds like an easy choice, but oddly, most people say that want option 2 but make decisions that will only accomplish option 1. The dynamic platform takes more investment of time and money in the beginning, but produces trackable ROI. Fifteen years ago, only the top Fortune 50 companies had technology available to help them accomplish option two. Today, it’s affordable for even small businesses.
What Solution is Best?
There are tons of options to accomplish the needs of your marketing and sales team. After we perform our initial assessments we typically recommend two-three possible platforms. The clients who understand the leverage and adoption success of all-in-one platforms almost always choose Hubspot.
Is Hubspot the right choice for everyone? No. If you’re seeking a dynamic platform to tie together all your marketing and sales needs across the spectrum into one software, Hubspot is the industry leader. The tool is powerful, easy to use, intuitive, adds value for sales team without being a time suck, affordable and is constantly delivering great innovations. Bring your marketing and sales efforts together all in one place and turbocharge your team’s results.