At first thought, marketing automation seems like a buzzword that has little place in the building materials industry. But digging a little deeper into the concepts, its value becomes more clear. In fact, we believe that when used right, marketing automation for building materials companies is crucial to business success, and here’s why.
What is Marketing Automation?
Of course, to understand the full value of marketing automation for building companies, we have to start with a definition. What exactly is marketing automation? HubSpot, a leader in the field of digital marketing, defines the concept as follows:
“Marketing automation is software and tactics that […] nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies and provides an excellent return on the investment required.”
In other words, marketing automation is the automated process of converting your target audience from the time they first show interest into customers. HubSpot uses a floral analogy: if you think of your target audience as a flower seed, marketing automation is akin to the constant nurturing and caring for your plant all the way until it blooms, and you can reap the rewards.
Of course, it’s also important to understand exactly how marketing automation achieves its goal. When your customers first visit your website, they’ll be prompted to fill in a form with their relevant information in return for valuable content such as a white paper or newsletter within their industry. Once they do so, they enter your database as leads.
Now, you can begin to provide email and personal touches via your sales people, basing the content provided on their stated industry or needs. Each piece of content you promote, of course, comes with another form in which they’ll be asked to fill in a bit more information about themselves and their company. And each time you get that information, you can target your content more specifically to them. Eventually, they will be nurtured enough to become customers.
How Does Marketing Automation Apply to Building Materials Companies?
So much for marketing automation as a concept. But by now, you may be asking yourself how that applies to your building materials business. And as it turns out, this marketing philosophy is not just valid for businesses marketing to consumers. In fact, its success for B2B companies like yours may be even more pronounced.
No less than 25 percent of Fortune 500 B2B companies have adopted marketing automation while B2B marketers who implement marketing automation increase their sales pipeline contribution by 10 percent. In addition, 78 percent of successful marketers cite marketing automation systems as most responsible for improving revenue contribution.
Many manufacturing businesses remain skeptical toward this relatively new concept, and the reason may be that most success statistics and case studies focus on more service-oriented, B2C companies. But that doesn’t mean that this marketing philosophy is unsuccessful in your industry. 24 percent of manufacturing businesses now use marketing automation to some degree, and they have seen the same level of success as other B2B marketers.
And if you really think about it, that makes sense. Your customers are likely to be influenced more by rational evaluation than their consumer counterparts, prioritizing price, quality and specifications in their decision-making. Marketing automation strategies like whitepapers and newsletters speak directly to these rational factors, allowing your customers to make a more informed decision on where to buy their building materials.
As a bonus, by providing and distributing content, you’ll begin to be seen as a leader in your industry, which significantly enhances your credibility and improves your profits long-term. That’s why we believe that marketing automation is not just beneficial, but absolutely crucial for building materials companies.
Building material factories are usually automated and can frequently get additional budget for more automation. They get the funding because they can show measurable results. If the marketing departments of building materials companies would adopt marketing automation, they could then provide real measurable results.
Eventually, you will use marketing automation. The question is, will your competitor start before you do? Trust me, you don’t want to try to compete with a well-done marketing automation program.
The other reason to start sooner rather than later is that there is a steep learning curve. Once you are up and running, it’s amazingly easy to manage.
If you want to see marketing automation in action, just go to Hubspot or Marketo , respond to one of their offers and watch what happens over the next few weeks. Imagine a visitor to your website having a similar experience.
Another great source is Pauley Creative, from England, who is the only agency I have found that is an expert in building materials and marketing automation.
Companies frequently tell me that they have Salesforce, so they have marketing automation. I have yet to see one yet that is using Salesforce for marketing automation, even of they think they are.
Salesforce is usually bought and run by the sales department. Marketing automation needs to start in the marketing department and then involve sales once it is set up.
Click here if you’d like to read more about my thoughts on marketing automation for building materials.
Whether you agree or need more information on this digital marketing philosophy, contact us! We’ll be glad to have that conversation with you.
We can help you decide if you should run it in-house or outsource it. We can also direct you to a number of good resources.