The fact that mobile technology has changed the face of marketing for manufacturers is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Apple currently ranks first in Industryweek’s list of the best U.S. manufacturers. Apple is all about mobile marketing, with launches of products such as the iPhone 7 dominating digital media when they hit the market. Moreover, last year’s top-ranking manufacturer, Polaris Industries, also relies on a mobile platform provided by partner GNet Group to provide business intelligence for guiding its sales and marketing performance. Here’s a look at some ways that manufacturers are leveraging the power of mobile to better market their products to potential customers.
The Role of Mobile Media for Today’s Manufacturing Marketer
In 2015, mobile content marketing was a major promotional tool for manufacturing marketers, a Fathom survey found. 89 percent were using content marketing to raise brand awareness, 85 percent were using it for sales and 80 percent were using it for lead generation, reflecting an increase in the growing importance of mobile media as a sales tool as well as a marketing tool. Video was the most popular form of content marketing, used by 87 percent of marketers, followed by e-newsletters (85 percent), social media content other than blogs (85 percent) and articles on company websites (84 percent). LinkedIn ranked as the top social media platform for distributing content (89 percent), followed by YouTube (83 percent), Facebook (80 percent) and Twitter (78 percent).
Among paid advertising methods, while print advertising continued to be more prevalent than digital advertising, the most effective forms of paid advertising ranked as search engine marketing (rated as effective by 52 percent of those surveyed) and promoted posts (39 percent), and other digital methods ranked as effective included native advertising (32 percent), social ads (30 percent) and traditional online banner ads (28 percent). As these statistics illustrate, mobile marketing has moved to the forefront of manufacturing marketing.
Content Is King
The prominence of content marketing, video, search engine marketing and promoted posts demonstrates that for manufacturing marketers as for other mobile marketers, content is king. Manufacturing companies seeking to engage more prospects, generate more leads and make more sales through mobile media are placing a strong emphasis on creating compelling content to feature on their websites and social feeds.
A good example of this is the website of o-ring seal manufacturer Apple Rubber. Apple Rubber’s site features articles on hot topics in the o-ring seal design industry, serving to attract visitors from search engines who are searching on related topics as well as social media users interested in these subjects. Also included are practical tools such as online guides to assist site visitors with choosing and using products. The site also reflects the role of mobile media in promoting sales, with well-organized catalog material showcasing the company’s line of products and answering questions prospective buyers are likely to ask. The site is designed responsively to accommodate itself to mobile phone screens, with navigational feature mobile users will find easy to manage.
The Importance of Tracking Mobile Results
Big data analytics is a big part of mobile marketing, and its importance is being felt in manufacturing marketing. Polaris’ use of its GNet platform is geared towards leveraging the power of big data for mobile marketing. Built on Microsoft’s business intelligence stack, the GNet platform helps Polaris assemble aggregated data about the company’s sales and marketing performance and analyze customer buying patterns across multiple channels, including mobile as well as non-mobile channels. This delivers Polaris real-time, actionable intelligence that can be used to improve the company’s marketing return on investment, refine its sales and marketing strategies and increase customer satisfaction. Fathom digital solutions specialist Maren Dickey says that tracking digital marketing metrics is a key to deploying a successful manufacturing marketing plan in today’s mobile-oriented market.
Roy Rasmussen, co-author of Publishing for Publicity, helps select clients write quality content to reach business, manufacturing and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, manufacturing marketing, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.