MANAGEMENT + SYSTEMS
How fastener manufacturers can make the most of their sales By Nina Church-Adams, senior VP, marketing at Act-On Software Inc The fastener industry has been making waves in innovation in recent years as key developments in machinery and materials have led to fasteners continuously improving in quality and reliability. With continual quality improvements to the automotive and construction industries, demand for high-quality, robust, industrial fasteners have skyrocketed.
s we approach a technology first world, the need for fasteners will only keep on increasing. But how can fastener manufacturers leverage this spirit of innovation and continue to grow their sales? The answer lies in looking at technology advances on the marketing side that can dramatically increase both their marketing maturity levels, as well as their opportunities. However, the first step is marketing growth and putting systems in place that can drive a multi-channel digital engagement strategy. This initial step isn’t as hard as some people may think. Traditionally, many fastener manufacturing marketeers have focused on lead volume as a key metric for growth. It’s easy to measure and work under the theory that the more leads that flow into the top of the sales funnel, the more that will flow through and convert into completed sales. However, more isn’t necessarily better. A laser focus on lead velocity, which is improving the conversion ratio for leads as they manoeuvre through the sales pipeline, yields weightier revenue returns while increasing sales confidence. When marketing focuses on volume, sales ‘kisses a lot of frogs’ in hopes of finding hot leads in the mix. While there is a finite number of customers in the market for a product at any given time, there is a point of decreasing returns. When marketing sends sales too many frogs, they risk losing the sales department’s trust and with it the value of any leads they pass over. This is where centralised digital marketing engines, known as ‘marketing automation platforms’, can help. The right digital marketing engine can dramatically improve marketing velocity – the rate at which leads convert as they travel through the sales funnel. Here are four areas marketing automation can help fastener manufacturing marketers maximise success:
1) Increase in lead generation ROI
Whether a direct lead or a lead through the channel, fastener manufacturing marketeers today have to maximise their use of time and resources to prioritise prospective customer interest. Organisations that nurture leads experience an increase in lead generation ROI. After all, the velocity with which leads are converted to sales qualified leads increases efficiency while ensuring sales spends its time having high-quality conversations. For example, Bisco Industries, a manufacturer of electronic components and fasteners, implemented lead nurturing and benefited from a 1,400% lead generation ROI, winning the 2017 Nucleus Research ROI Award.
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2) Segmentation, tailored content and lead nurturing
While over half of manufacturing marketeers don’t currently segment prospects at all, tailoring content to individual buyers increases lead conversion significantly. Velocity centric marketing encourages segmentation, nurturing each lead based on things like product interest, position, industry, and more. According to Wakefield Research, 77% of manufacturing organisations conduct more than 10 promotions a year with 46% running more than 21. Case in point: Last year Bisco Industries began delivering near ‘real time’ content to prospects, tailored to how those prospects liked to engage with the company. In doing so, they nurtured prospects through the buying journey from initial engagement to quote request, to placing an order and setting up a Bisco credit account. These customers were then further nurtured, adding new product lines to their account. With this approach – tailoring content to different prospects, at different times in the buying process – Bisco increased its conversion rate by 1,285%. While Bisco only grew new opportunities by 4%, its enhanced conversions resulted in an average annual benefit to Bisco of US$301,388 (€260,746).
How can fastener manufacturers leverage this spirit of innovation and continue to grow their sales?”