UK consumer behaviour is changing, with manufacturing reports citing that values and ethics now need to be used in marketing campaigns to influence purchasing decisions.
Product price still motivates customer spending, however, the shift towards items that are ethically and sustainably sourced continues to grow.
This shift provides manufacturers with a great opportunity to sell themselves more purposefully in both B2B and B2C environments. Identifying new routes to the market can take time and effort, however, it can and will be achieved through the right marketing support.
Identify the manufacturing marketing skill gap
Auditing your organisation’s marketing initiatives will prove valuable. An audit will help you to understand where changes need to be made to strengthen your business and marketing outputs. We offer several audits which you can find by clicking here, alternatively contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time for us both to chat.
The lack of in-house digital marketing expertise is relatively common in the manufacturing industry, with the 2020 Annual Manufacturing Report discovering that 81% of manufacturers agreed that the lack of digital expertise was hindering business growth.
Having worked with manufacturers for over five years, we’ve seen how digital marketing can help British manufacturers to thrive. For example, one of our manufacturing clients recorded a 1588% increase in sales in the first year we worked with them. Sales for the same client is on track to double in 2021 with them having invested in our Digital and SEO services.
A bespoke audit created by a third-party Marketing Agency or Marketing Consultant is something we would strongly recommend. If you’re still hesitant to seek our third-party support then Hubspot has a handy guide that will help you to conduct your own basic audit. You can find the guide online by clicking here.
Having an outsiders’ perspective is worth the investment as when you’re immersed in business you can’t see the wood from the trees. A third-party audit will provide you with a strategic advantage to help your business to sow the seeds for success.
Create a compelling business story
People like to buy from people and it’s important that manufacturing businesses share their stories online as part of their marketing messages.
At first glance, creating an engaging story seems simple, however, it is not as easy as it first seems. A business story should look at what inspired the founder of the business to start the organisation and express how that narrative is still an integral part of the organisation today. If you can create a compelling business story, your audiences will resonate with it, care about you and it will encourage them to want to place a purchase with you.
1. Highlight the story’s adversity
When drafting your story, it needs to have a beginning, middle and end and of course, see you triumphing in the face of adversity. If you don’t quite agree with me then let’s follow the plot of The Three Little Pigs without any hardship:
Three little pigs each build a house of different materials. The first pig makes their house out of straw, the second out of sticks and the third from bricks. A wolf knocks on each of their doors, where they exchange words before the wolf heads off home for tea.
What do you think? It’s not a very gripping story, is it? The pigs and the wolf’s conversations are mundane and nothing out of the ordinary.
Sharing challenges in business can be tricky, organisations quite rightly, don’t want to share anything that might be perceived as a company weakness, however, turning negatives into positives and sharing these online is a great way to show your business off in a different light, inspire others and more importantly relate and better engage with your audience?
2. Highlight the unmet need and the outcome
Demonstrating the challenge of the story is just one of the three components that you need within your story, also including the unmet need and the outcome is just as important and will allow your audiences to understand your journey from the beginning to where you and your business are now.
The unmet need is where you discuss the situation that you were presented with, the adversity is where you as the main character in your story detail your challenges and the stake then finally the outcome is where you detail how you overcame them providing the reader with a happy ending.
Using the three little pigs story as an example:
The unmet need would be: The three little pigs are sent into the world by their mother.
The adversity would be: The three little pigs meet the big bad wolf who wants to eat them. The pigs then quickly they begin building their own houses out of different materials. The first pig builds its house out of straw, the second from sticks and finally, the third uses bricks. The wolf blows down the houses made out of straw and sticks with these two pigs taking refuge in the bricked house which the wolf is unable to blow down.
The resolution would be: The wolf tries to trick the pigs out of the bricked house and decides to climb down the chimney. In the meantime, the three little pigs begin to boil a hot pot of water under the fireplace resulting in the wolf falling into it to its death. The pigs then enjoy a hearty meal!
As you can see from this story, it is more compelling and engaging then the original outline I shared.
Be a value-driven manufacturing business
Being a values-led organisation matters. More prospective customers want to buy from businesses that trade ethically and fairly whilst minimising their impact on the environment.
Some questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Do my products offer a fair wage and what can I do to prevent someone from being at a disadvantage?
- Will my products impact the environment and what can I do to further improve my impact on the environment?
- Do my products come in recyclable packaging? If not, what other materials can I use to make the packaging more eco-friendly?
- How can I reduce my carbon footprint, could I look to work with one supplier only to reduce fuel consumption?
- Do we support any good causes, if not, can I identify causes that I would like to support through business?
- Am I an inclusive employer and what can I do to offer opportunities to minority groups?
You may be wondering how all these questions play a part in your wider marketing strategy. Each point will help highlight your principles and values in business; however, it’s important that the senior management team models these behaviours first to inspire the wider team.
By highlighting your values in business, this can instil confidence and better levels of trust in your customer.
Every element of your business needs to adhere to your values models. You need to be honest and transparent both internally and externally whether this be through Instagram Stories to Email Automation content. You can find out more about why ethics matter in business by clicking here.
We hope you have found this blog post useful. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about your manufacturing marketing, then get in touch.