A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step—the same is true for implementing a digital marketing plan.
Many in the furniture and textile manufacturing world have said that they want to incorporate a digital marketing strategy into their portfolio but are intimidated by the seemingly overwhelming process involved in setting up a plan of action of how to execute it.
I am here to tell you: it does not have to be overwhelming!
Instead, the process should be simple, and your marketing plan should be built to scale. You have to figure out what your company can and cannot handle with an influx of attention to your marketing and sales channels.
Here are five simple steps that will help you launch that journey and update your furniture or textile manufacturing company’s portfolio to include a strong digital marketing foundation.
1. Start Using a Customer Relationship Management System
The first thing you need if you are going to capture leads and prospects is a place to store them.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system works as a vessel that allows you to store all data points that you collect on your leads and prospects—this includes distributors, retailers, designers and others in your ideal audiences. But don’t be fooled. A CRM is much more than just a glorified contact and address book. Implementing a CRM also gives you the tools needed to access and analyze those data points to improve your marketing effectiveness.
Here’s an example of why CRMs are so important:
I once had a manufacturer tell me that 75% of their business comes from existing customers and that they don’t really nurture or use their customer list in their marketing efforts.
But, if this company implemented a CRM, it would allow them to segment their customer list by a number of identifiers, like products purchased, services that are relevant to a specific customer’s business and even buying intervals (to only name a few).
With these segmented lists in place, this company would have the ability to customize an email and send it to specific product users to make an announcement regarding big updates, highlight new product releases or share something as simple as an add-on accessory that would complement a product the customer had bought in the past.
With the help of a CRM, not only do you stay organized, but easy access to your customer data allows you to target your marketing and sales efforts more effectively, ultimately boosting your revenue.
2. Establish Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essentially goalposts for your company to reach in a measured amount of time. These goals could include revenue increases, number of new customers, establishment in a new segment or greater sales within existing accounts.
Having KPIs will help you estimate what effort is needed in your marketing campaign to generate the leads that will yield the outcome that you are looking for. Doing your due diligence by having done market research, competitive analysis and projections will help you realize what goals are (or are not) realistic.
With KPIs, less is more.
Try not to establish more than 10 KPIs to focus on so you don’t become overwhelmed or lose sight of what is more important. You can establish your KPIs internally or seek out help from a marketing agency to shortcut your efforts.
3. Implement Marketing Automation
The next step is to select a marketing automation platform. These platforms serve as hubs for all of your marketing activity so you can easily analyze your data and gauge your marketing effectiveness.
You can also tie in your CRM in with your marketing automation platform (or use HubSpot for a one-stop shop) to segment your contacts and build campaigns around specific data points.
Here are some perks of marketing automation:
- The automation allows you to create, engage and nurture campaigns that will keep your service, products and brand at the top of your prospects’ and clients’ minds without you doing a lot of work.
- You can set up workflows to manage engagement with your emails, offers and the information you provide to help them solve their challenges, and the platform will also support digital advertising and social postings and promotions.
- Just imagine, with a marketing automation platform in place, you’ll have one login rather than several for each channel of advertising and social that you use—it’s a game changer for businesses of all sizes!
The greatest plus: your customers will feel well-informed and supported throughout the year, not just during your regular sales pushes. That’s an added level of service that your competitors won’t be able to match.
4. Dive Into Digital Advertising
We’re no longer relying on traditional channels of advertising as heavily as more of our audiences migrate online. You have to go where your target audience is and serve them the content that provides them with the answers to their questions.
Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn are likely already engaging the personas that you are targeting, so take advantage of their advertising space!
It will take a little bit of marketing “science” to figure out how to set up and optimize your digital advertising campaigns, but the payoff is worth it. With the number of social network users within the United States expected to grow to 257.4 million by 2023 (Statista, 2019), think about just how far reaching your digital advertising could be.
5. Take Advantage of Account-Based Marketing
Do you know the ideal customer or company profile that you want to target, but don’t know the decision makers within?
Account-based marketing (ABM) allows you to share ads based on the information that you do know—company name, job title that you would target, geo location of the company, etc.—and provides a way to gain brand recognition. These ads will lead your target audience to original, relevant content that you have created to show that you are a thought leader and trusted advisor within your industry, and then you will gather account and contact data to lead them through the marketing and sales pipeline.
According to SiriusDecisions, 92% of B2B marketers believe that ABM is a crucial part of their digital marketing strategy. Just think of ABM as a way to stay hyper focused on the ideal customer for your company!
Here’s the Bottom Line:
Implementing a digital marketing strategy into your B2B furniture and textile business doesn’t have to be an intimidating venture. If you take small steps to establish a baseline that will scale with you as your marketing collateral and company grows, you’ll see that your investment with pay off time and time again.
If you are still confused on where to start, consult with a digital marketing agency that can help you prioritize your efforts and shortcut the process to establish a plan for you to follow.