5 ways to improve profit margins in manufacturing
Are you struggling to increase manufacturing sales? For today’s manufacturing firm, the looming uncertainty of Brexit, skills shortages and the cost of implementing automation can hinder growth. In many cases, manufacturers have struggled to modernise their approach to keep up with a fast-paced, competitive industry and successfully increase profit margins.
We’ve covered 5 key areas to help drive revenue growth in your manufacturing firm.
Measure, measure, measure
To increase profit margin, you must be able to measure the performance of your business to identify inefficiencies. By measuring marketing performance, you’ll have the data you need to make smarter decisions that will drive improvements and growth. Just like robotics and automation can increase efficiency in the manufacturing process, a marketing automation platform like HubSpot can measure your entire marketing funnel, from acquisition to closing a customer.
With all your data in one place, you can access accurate reports for every element of your marketing including website, landing pages, blogs, emails, lead capture forms, CTAs and social media. Identify which traffic sources are driving the most traffic, conversions and customers and customise your manufacturing marketing strategy around this to increase profit margins.
Lower customer acquisition costs
In recent years, the cost of acquiring new manufacturing customers has increased with rising marketing costs, customer expectations and tougher competition. So, how does your manufacturing company react? Get smarter!
Here’s some ways you can lower your customer acquisition costs:
- Inbound marketing: investing in an inbound marketing strategy requires initial upfront investment, but the long-term benefits far outweigh traditional marketing. Check out how inbound marketing can benefit your manufacturing company.
- Improve website conversions: ensure your website is responsive with optimised calls to action, landing pages and forms that encourage visitors to covert. Use A/B testing to identify which designs, copy and placement work best.
- Adjust and optimise: Analyse your current acquisition strategy to understand what each marketing channel is costing you. Cut back on the areas not providing return and invest elsewhere.
Improve your online presence
Building a business is based on relationships and if your online presence isn’t up to scratch, prospects simply won’t trust your brand. Surprisingly, many manufacturers view marketing as an unnecessary cost within their industry. However, with most customers first impression of a brand based on your website, you first need to be found online and when users click through, they want to be met with an optimised, user friendly website.
Organic search marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), focuses on increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic through organic search engines like Google. While it’s important for search engines to easily crawl your web pages, SEO aims to improve your website for humans too. Essentially, it comes down to better understanding how your target audience behave online and what they’re searching for.
Think about it, when you begin your Google search, you typically click on one of the first results, correct? Creating keyword rich content optimised for search engines will help you rank high in the results page, enticing searchers to click on your content to find out more about your business.
When potential customers are in the early stages of their buying process, it’s important that your brand is visible online. In a highly competitive manufacturing market, it’s crucial to build your reputation and convince your target audience to choose your brand over others. Creating inbound content will help establish your company as an industry expert and generate trust from potential customers.
"96% of B2B buyers want content with input from industry thought leaders."
Creating content that focuses on your target customers pain points and the solutions, populated with the relevant keywords will help your site rank and appear in front of eager prospects, driving people back to your website.
There’s different types of content you can use to increase profit margins:
Blogging is a great way to engage and educate your audience with topics that will peak their interest. Showcase your industry knowledge, provide advice and build authority among readers. Incorporate relevant keywords within your blog content to ensure each piece is optimised for search engines.
Not only does blogging drive traffic to your website, it converts that traffic into leads. Every single blog post is an opportunity to place a CTA, enticing visitors to click through to download a content offer in exchange for valuable personal information. Let’s not forget the long-term opportunity and increased exposure blogging offers through search engines also. While it might feel your blogging efforts provide you with only short term rewards, optimised blogs can appear in search engines such as Google for months after being first published.
• Gated Content Offers
Content offers are viewed as highly valuable and tend to be ‘gated’, i.e. visitors must exchange personal info such as an email address, to gain access to the offer. People don’t like to hand-over their information easily, which means your offer must be an in-depth piece of content that addresses the pain points your target audience face and a solution to their problems. Content offers can come in the form of eBooks, guides, checklists and tip sheets to name a few.
Automate your sales process
Having a sales team on the road, cold calling or chasing leads on LinkedIn is no longer a cost-effective method to generate business. Imagine having high quality leads coming to you? By automating the lead nurturing and sales process, you can reduce the size of your sales team and make sure remaining sales representatives maintain a solid pipeline of qualified prospects.
How to automate your sales process to increase profit margins:
• Lead scoring
Lead scoring lets you assign a value (a certain number of points) to each lead based on the information they’ve given you and how they’ve engaged with your website and other online platforms. This helps both marketing and sales team to prioritise leads and increase efficiency.
With HubSpot’s lead scoring tool, you can scale your lead qualification process to better identify your most qualified leads. When a contact meets a certain score, you can trigger a workflow to carry out a series of actions, e.g. send a follow up email or notify a member of sales.
• Email automation
Automated B2B email marketing can alleviate the pressure felt by sales teams, improving time management and the focus to remain on track. Email workflows are automated, pre-written emails triggered to be sent based on a prospects behaviour, for example when a person carries out a specific action on your website or meets some pre-set criteria, e.g. downloading a content resource or signing up for a free demo.
In order to keep up with fast paced changes in the Manufacturing industry, your company must react accordingly to stay ahead of the competition and stimulate growth. These 5 strategies will help improve your profit margin and drive revenue growth.
What challenges are you facing in the Manufacturing industry? Let us know by dropping a comment below.