Since our survey earlier this year, that shared expected trends in manufacturing marketing in 2020, businesses have had to adapt their marketing strategy. Many tough decisions were made, from cancelling tradeshows and in-person events to scaling back on internal operations. The new reality proves that change is inevitable. Talk to anyone and they will probably start by saying, “Before COVID.” Even though the survey was less than nine months ago, those results feel like a lifetime ago.
To gain insights, we recently surveyed over one thousand marketing professionals in the manufacturing industry on how they have adapted since COVID-19. We asked respondents about their challenges, marketing spend, internal operations, and increased marketing tactics. Let dive in.
64% Have Decreased Their Marketing Budget
Budget is one of the things many of us looked at when the pandemic hit. One interesting comparison is that over 75% of marketers planned to increase or keep their budget the same back when we issued the survey. Taking a complete 180, the majority have since decreased their budget. There’s a lot of uncertainty that comes along with this situation. After all, none of us have experienced a global pandemic in our lifetime so it’s only natural to take a step back. Some respondents may live in an area with more restrictions, making some marketing tactics a challenge with fewer sales and budget.
72% Of Marketing Teams Have Stayed the Same
The potential for a decreased budget led us to wonder if the size of internal teams has changed since the outbreak. With 72% percent of respondents having the same size marketing team, 8% noted that they have increased while 20% have decreased. Unemployment is at an all-time high. Some employees have been let go due to loss of business and budget cuts. Some employees could be working reduced hours. Some employees are wearing more hats to keep the business afloat. No matter the situation, there’s always a silver lining.
Take this time to benefit your employees and prepare for the future. Encourage employees to learn that software they've had their eye on or achieve that certificate they’ve been meaning to get around to. Chat with your team and cross-train. Set your business up for success to avoid those gaps you see yourself facing post-COVID.
Earlier this year, approximately 19% of marketers reported that they saw the highest ROI from trade show marketing. Trade show marketing is notable for high spending, but it’s the primary tactic for many manufacturers. The benefit of meeting someone face-to-face is unbeatable. Today’s world looks a lot different. The thought of shaking someone’s hand is practically taboo. When asked this same question just a few months after the COVID-19 outbreak, social media, email, and search engine optimization made the top three in yielding a positive ROI. Email marketing and social media topped the cake for overrated marketing tactics that brought in the least ROI previously.
- 26.09% Social Media Marketing Organic
- 17.39% Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- 13.04% Email Marketing
It’s no surprise that we’re talking about them more now. Technology is the epicenter of today’s marketing. Consumers are turning to social media to get answers and companies are having to make more frequent updates. Having updated content is so important. If you’re not adapting, you’re losing out. No one wants to visit a Facebook page and see that the last post is from two years ago. It’s easy to make assumptions about the status of a business by simply looking at their social media accounts.
Social media is a great source to lead visitors to learn even more by subscribing to your email list. Consumers are searching for items on a need-to-know basis, leading to higher open rates and lower click-through-rates. Additionally, emails need to call to the consumers' needs. Automated workflows take care of the heavy lifting for you. Automated workflows will send campaigns based on certain behavior and interest. Consider sending a message of urgency to those that abandoned a previous email. FOMO is real. Remember to provide benefits through value-driven content.
77% of marketers planned to budget for SEO this year. It’s no surprise that SEO made the list again. SEO is no longer a buzzword; it’s a rule. SEO tends to have a low cost and high benefit. SEO is something everyone can improve, but no one has the time for. Now is the time to make sure your pages are properly optimized for search engines. Make sure your images are properly sized and have alt-tags. Every page should have a title, description, and image ready for social sharing. The list goes on. Most SEO hacks take sixty seconds or less to get started.
58.33% Plan to Continue the Above Tactics
This last trend makes us hopeful. 58.33% of respondents shared that they plan to continue efforts that have been successful during this time. While 33.33% indicated that they are unsure if they will. Not only is change inevitable, but it also changes the way we think. You must adapt to your consumer's evolving needs. Set yourself up for success to be even stronger.
What are your company’s top marketing challenges? We’d love to discuss some potential solutions with you. Contact us today to take your 2020 marketing initiatives to the next level.
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