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Digital Marketing for Manufacturers and Distributors

The way people research and make purchase decisions about manufacturing and distribution partners has fundamentally changed.

Adapting to the Modern Sales and Marketing Playbook

Long gone are the days when purchase decisions began with a sales conversation because the sales rep was the gatekeeper of information.

Instead, most buyers research solutions to their goals, plans, and challenges by asking questions to Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Alexa, and Siri -- and industry-specific review websites.

By the time most buyers are open to speaking with a sales professional, typically 60% to 80% (or more) of their decision-making process is already over.

Today's Marketplace Facing Manufacturers and Distributors

This presents an enormous challenge to manufacturers and distributors that still depend on a very traditional, Interruption-based marketing and sales playbook.

However, this massive shift in behavior also presents an enormous opportunity for those innovative companies that can get found by the right people, in the right places, at the right time, and most of all: in the right context, to be as educators, thought leaders, and subject matter experts.

If your company is at a crossroads and needs to reboot its go-to-market strategy, consider the following three ways that manufacturers and distributors can use digital marketing as an engine for growth: 

  1. Recognize their buyer preferences have changed drastically during the past 12 months -- Prospects do a ton of upfront research before they're willing to engage with a sales professional. This is a huge problem for companies clinging to old-school traditional market tactics. But it's an enormous opportunity for those that can get found early on -- by the right people, in the right places, at the right time, and most of all, in the right context.
  2. Position you and your team as experts in your space -- Digital content assets, also sometimes referred to as thought leadership, are incredibly important for attracting visitors to your website, converting anonymous visitors into known leads, using additional content and context to educate, build trust, and accelerate sales into opportunities/deals. Then, invest in creating even more content that's specific to the goals, plans, and challenges of customers (customer marketing that drives greater retention, as well as upsell/cross-sell opportunities).
  3. Develop an internal thought leadership committee -- Manufacturers and distributors need to recognize that competing in today's marketplace can be brutally competitive and needs to be viewed as a team sport, with cross-disciplinary participation across multiple teams and departments. However, this kind of initiative/investment requires buy-in from senior leadership so that being seen as industry experts and educators gets woven into the fabric/DNA of the company.

Do you work at a manufacturing or distribution company? If so, how is your digital marketing adapting to stay relevant to the way modern prospect's research and market purchase decisions?

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