Buyers will research before they buy. In fact, B2B customers today progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before talking with a sales representative¹.
How many people do you know that don't have a computer, tablet or smartphone? My guess is you'd be hard pressed to count them on one or two fingers these days.
I won't list all the stats about technology and internet adoption, even the pessimists of the early 2000's have accepted the fact that technology is now woven into just about every aspect of our lives and isn't going away.
This fundamental change has led us to have access to unlimited amounts of information. Whether we want to:
• learn how to fix our leaky sink,
• find the maintenance intervals for our tractor,
• determine which metals resist corrosion the best,
• understand the process for becoming ISO certified, or
• find a partner to complete a part of our manufacturing process.
The information is already accessible online, instantly. This access has turned the tables on the traditional buyer-seller relationship.
The buyer educates the seller
Gone are the days when buyers are forced to speak with sellers to get the information they need to make a buying decision. In fact, forcing that situation on today's manufacturing buyer will move you to the bottom of their list.
Consider the modern activity of buying a car. Do you walk into the dealer with no idea of what you want, hoping a car salesman will guide you to the car you want, need, and can afford? Of course not. You walk up to the dealer having identified pretty much the car you want, the one you've extensively researched online, with a market price comparison for that car, competitive trade offers for your car, and a solid understanding of what packages the car has and what it doesn't.
When the car salesman tries to tell you that the car doesn't have an option you know it does, you can quickly correct him. When the salesman states the city fuel efficiency incorrectly, you question him. When the salesman tells you that the price they're asking is at the bottom of the market, you can put the competitive quotes in front of him.
This scenario is true for every industry. Buying an injected moulded plastic part or roll-formed metal part works the exact same way. Buyers have an enormous amount of information when they come to the table.
The role of inbound marketing for manufacturers is to be that source of information. Be in the search results when someone Googles a problem you can solve. Be in their inbox when they come back to the problem you can solve. Be available for a more formal discussion, when they are ready to finally talk.
That is what inbound marketing does for a manufacturing company. Have a look at these website examples and see what you think:
Luna Nameplate Industries
Best Bricks & Pavers
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Fit 4 Market are marketing consultants operating in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth