After a year of virtual speaking engagements we were elated to participate in a hybrid event!

We had the honor to speak at the 2021 American Manufacturing Summit about the topic: “Growth strategies: Marketing in times of Uncertainty.”

In case you missed it, watch the recording below or scroll down for the transcript.

What you will learn:

3 Growth Marketing Strategies

Steps to Digital Transformation
SEO for Manufacturing
Online Ads for Manufacturing

Full Transcript:

Brenda Boral [01:00:02] Hello, thank you, everyone.

Patricia Boral [01:00:10] Welcome, today, we’re going to be talking about a very important topic now that we are kind of seeing another wave of covid happening. So we’re going to talk about growth strategies in these times of uncertainty.

Brenda Boral [01:00:28] Thank you. My name is Brenda Boral with Boral Agency. And what will you learn today is three growth marketing strategies, steps to digital transformation, search engine optimization for manufacturing and online ads for manufacturing. I’m going to present the speaker today, my sister and business partner, Patricia. She’s the co-founder and CEO of Boral Agency. She has more than 15 years of experience in marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s a University of Houston Downtown MBA program fellow professor and also a mentor at the University of Houston Wolfe Center. And she has speak of several organizations.

Patricia Boral [01:01:12] And now it’s my turn. Let me introduce you to my partner, Brenda Boral. She’s been in business actually for over 20 years in marketing. She has a master’s in marketing strategies. And together, we’ve been able to build this amazing agency for the past 10 years, working mostly with manufacturing companies. She’s also been a speaker at many events, and she’s a Houston business journal, 40 under 40. Thank you.

So let’s get started. What do you say we get started with a little bit of what first thing first? Let’s make sure that we get connected. So follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. We’re a marketing agency, so we’re everywhere. Make sure you connect with us. And let’s start by assessing what are the issues right now in the manufacturing industry.

Brenda Boral [01:02:04] So we have the agency for more than two years and we’ve been working with manufacturing and we have seen lately four of the major challenges are having No. One outdated websites. They haven’t updated the website for the last ten years. We have some clients that they’ve been having the same picture for more than 15 years. No update websites whatsoever. Then also, another is automation. They don’t know how to integrate the ERP systems with the digital world. And everything is start with a website, believe it or not.

And then is what we call the digital twin. They have this amazing product in manufacturing, but they don’t know how to digitize and how to make it life for their website. And lastly, it’s logistics. And I know you will be asking why marketing has to do with logistic when here the challenger having is about communication. They do not know how to communicate with the client, how to really have customer service automation where they can say, hey, this is what the truck is leaving or this is what we’re doing with logistic, etc.. So those are the four major, major challenges in manufacturing right now. 

Patricia Boral [01:03:20] Yes, exactly. So where do we start? So this whole covid situation has to make the shift in the manufacturing industry in many industries across the board. But especially we have to think about your audience, your target audience, and that’s exactly what you’re going to start. First, we need to assess who’s your buyer persona right now. And this has nothing to do with only covid, but also in general, millennials are taking that seat right now and they have different buying patterns. So the first step is to understand engineers and how are they actually purchasing from you guys? Right. So the first thing we need to do is recognize the need.

So whenever they are in that state, how are you going to connect with them? What kind of message are you going to have for them then whenever they are determining what they need? Right. How can you help them? How can you help that buyer that perhaps doesn’t have that much experience or doesn’t like to pick up the phone and call? Right. Then they actually go to Google to research for suppliers.

You have to make sure that you show up then and then when they are ready to choose the supplier by this date, you have to be able to nurture that lead. So they are 100 percent sure that they are going to you and they’re going to make that purchase. So let’s try to see how an audience persona will look like when you build one by yourself. So there are four main areas that you need to work on.

The demographics like here we have Ethan on oil and gas engineer. Then you have the work style resources. So a lot of times. Company only focus on the demographics, but that’s just one part of this whole audience persona. You have to understand what are the preference of your audience? You have the communication style. Do they prefer email or do they prefer phone calls, chat? Do you need to have a chat on your website that also, what social media platforms are they using? How are they going to find out about you? Is it going to be through an association, through Google, through a journal or magazines or what kind of trade shows are they going to attend then understand what are their pain points? And right now, their pain points have to change and they have shifted.

So you need to shift the messaging and your marketing with them. And the next one is what’s your solution? So they have these problems. How can you communicate your solution to their problems so you can make that connection? So that’s what we’re going to be talking about next.

So the first thing you assess your buyer audience persona, so you need to understand exactly who you are going to be talking to. And a lot of times are going to have more than just one. You’re probably going to have four or five typically. So then next you’re going to outline your growth strategy. And today I’m going to give you three different growth strategies here. It’s important that you understand that for the manufacturing industry, marketing is not only about having a nice brochure or a nice website. Marketing actually touches every single aspect of the business, including operation and revenue.

That’s why branding and marketing is so important, because you need to have consistency on your messaging. You need to understand how operation works so you can communicate that in highlight those benefits to your customers. So let’s see first what new marketing tactics can be used this this year for twenty twenty one in twenty twenty twenty twenty statistic run this research where they ask what kind of strategies and channels are they going to be used for these twenty twenty one and AB marketing is the number one that they’ve been using in case you didn’t know, or this is the first time you’ve heard of it. Abian Marketing is basically account based marketing. What that means is that you have to personalize your message to a specific account base so you have clients or audience persona type A type BTC.

So you have to create a strategy for each individual type of audience. And that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today. So the growth strategy, number one, it’s what we call business intelligence. So what I want you to do here is I want you to take your entire database and look at your customer base, find out which ones are the most profitable ones, and try to understand how you can reach out more of those type of customers. How did you how did they find out about you? A lot of time for these manufacturing companies. You’ve had these clients even way before you took that position. So how do you find out that information? You know, sometimes you just have to literally pick up the phone and call them and try to find out how do they prefer to get in touch with you.

Now, the business intelligence is also going to show you those type of clients or accounts that you don’t really want to work with or they are not as profitable ones. So make sure that you also have like an exit strategy for those type of customers. But the most important thing here is that you identify the most profitable ones and the ones that you want to get outside your customer base. So when you realize that you can get larger accounts and that’s exactly what happened with Mark. Remember, Brenda? So we have this client that they manufacture and they distribute Falangists for the oil and gas industry. You want to tell the story?

Brenda Boral [01:09:11] Yes. So when Mark to ask, he was almost almost to the point to close the shop and he filed for bankruptcy. So they decided to give it one more shot. And we help them with what Patricia was, same business intelligence. They didn’t know who their client was and how to market to them. And the big problem they had was that they didn’t have the customer service. They didn’t have like a software for customer service. So we help them create a customer service where they can see their orders. They can logging into a system and they can see all the orders. They have the order with them recently, order or check a code or download a spec sheet. So we help them with that technology.

Patricia Boral [01:09:59] Yes, because for their largest accounts, like for. A big line that they were trying to attack, attract that type of information, having that like on the moment was extremely important. So obviously digital transformation was a key component of the entire marketing strategy for them and that we wouldn’t find out about that if we didn’t start with this strategy right here. So you have to ask questions such as, you know, who’s my target audience now? Is my messaging and my solution communicating that to that target audience.

Now, the next strategy is basically reposition your entire brand messaging. So like I mentioned before, right now your target audience, they’re having different issues. They do. They still have the same issues as before. But now they have an added uncertainty value to it where they are not finding about you, they’re not finding about your information or your company through the same resources that they used to.

So you need to understand what kind of pain points they have right now. What do your current and prospective customers want to hear from you right now? That’s extremely important. And the only way that you can do this is through a rebranding of your messaging throughout your company, because if you are still communicating the messaging from 2019, you’re not going to be able to connect with your current customer base because they have different challenges right now. For example, we helped our companies, a fabrication company. They were so out of date that when we went there, they had like a floppy disk.

Brenda Boral [01:11:45] They didn’t have their logo in place. And when they finally found it, they were in a floppy disk. And we were so excited to find them. And then when we open and we’re able to first find a computer that I can have a floppy disk, they have the logo in a war document. They were not not even an original logo. So they have the logo in different ways, written in different ways, in different colors. So they didn’t have a consistent messaging on their brand and they didn’t have a consistent brand altogether.

Patricia Boral [01:12:15] Yes. So, I mean, obviously, that’s an extreme, extreme example, right? I’m hoping that you guys don’t work with floppy disks anymore.

Brenda Boral [01:12:22] So people in manufacturing, they don’t have brand consistency and it’s so important nowadays.

Patricia Boral [01:12:27] Exactly. So also, it’s important that you can understand how can you talk to your audience in a way that resonates with them. And that’s really all about what this strategy is. Right. Look at all your messaging across the board and try to see if that’s communicating with that audience persona that you created before. Now, the third strategy is this shift to lead generation. So if you have heavily relied before on either event or golf tournaments or place shootings or that face to face interaction, right now is the time for you to shift to digital lead generation and for you to be able to generate leads online.

You have to make sure that you have an entire system. And it’s not only having a nice website or it’s not only having a online platform for your customers. It has to come with a strategy attached to it because somebody can go to your site. But if you’re not nurturing that lead, remember, they have to you have to text that person eight times. So that includes email marketing ads, online social media posts. So as you can see, the website becomes just a tool for them to actually reach out to you, because nowadays nobody wants to pick up the phone. Right. So, for example, we have these are client geoscience engineering that we actually made a bet with him because his entire business was all through word of mouth, a sponsoring event. He was like, no, I just need my website because it’s like I need time to update it.

Brenda Boral [01:14:09] And nobody contacted me online. Nobody Googled Gelonesi testing. And we were like, yes, they do. And he’s like, show us. OK, Elisabet. So we create this website with a consistent brand with a consistent message, like Patricia was saying, with a system behind it. It’s not only having a website Indesit and within launching the first six weeks, we got ten leads. And he of those that leads a become a contract. So we have a system. And he was like, oh, that’s true. People Google for it. And he was able to make a testimonial. And he says in his testimony, I didn’t believe I will have lived through Google, but he did because the buyer is changing. The buyer wants to go digital. No.

Patricia Boral [01:14:55] Yes. Actually, only 12 percent of your current buyer will pick up the phone to call you. Yeah. So, yes, the bed was a handshake better off if you get leads, you’ll make us a video testimonial so you can go and check it on YouTube or in our website,

Patricia Boral [01:15:10] So what’s next? So once you choose what strategy works best for you, the next step is to jump into the digital marketing transformation train. Basically, digital marketing is a cost efficient solution for you to combine and actually generate qualified leads for your business. Because remember, the goal of a digital marketing system is to actually nurture your leaders.

For them to make the purchase, you have to think about this, about a longer buying process, because that’s really what it is. So there are six essential steps for a successful digital marketing transformation. The first one you need to align your Y and culture. So you really need to understand your company’s values and goals in align your digital marketing communication to that. That’s the first step.

Then the second step is like, OK, what’s going to be what are going to be my goals? What am I going to achieve after this? How many leads do I need to generate to be able to reach my goals or surpass my goals? Number three, you need to seek out experts and partner up with them. And these experts will be digital marketing agencies or software developers, depending on what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. Right. Or branding experts. And the next step will be to map out the technology.

That’s why it’s so important that you partner with the right agency, because sometimes you’re going to find some agencies that are just trying to push their product. You need to start with an agency that’s going to sit down with you and do a marketing assessment. That’s the first step because we need to understand where you are, what has worked in the past and what hasn’t worked in the past. And where can we actually communicate the messaging to your to your customer, to your new audience? And that’s exactly what we do. Right.

And that’s what we are offering today to make sure that you book that marketing assessment with us after the talk. And then number five is test. Obviously, you have to always test. You can also do a B testing and gather all that feedback because marketing is all about tweaking. You need to tweak until you actually find that sweet spot. And the sixth one is the scale and transform. That’s the beauty of digital transformation that is scalable.

So make sure that you start with this first six steps and reach out to us. Now, how do you map out the technology? So you need to make sure that you map out the technology to drive traffic and you do that through search engine optimization emails, blogging and social media. That’s having a well-designed website with optimized content and also a website that is that it has some some type of A.I. artificial intelligence. You want to make sure that you’re able to do a B testing and that combined will generate leads in those leads, will come to you via email, phone or a contact form.

Now, let’s do a little exercise, and I know this is an extreme case, but I like to showcase my examples like that. So what’s wrong with this website? Now you can see there’s no unique value proposition. I don’t know what’s great about them. They have no call to action. These actually were literally pictures and they were not named long ago.

This is an example from, what, like two years ago. So this is not that long ago. And then the next one, they had no information of other services. So, I mean, so far, what you can see is like, OK, they did bulb’s. That’s all you know about them. So actually, we end up with this website right here. So as you can see in the main banner, you know what they do?

They were the fastest industrial distributor. We did actually business intelligence with them to find out also what was a unique value proposition. Right. So the unique value proposition can now deliver. Now we survey their customers. And one of the questions was like, OK, why are you buying from us? Why have you been our clients for 15 years? And they’re like, yeah, because you deliver right away. You have your own truck that you’re twenty four, seven of them. So guess what was our deliver now. Twenty four.

Brenda Boral [01:19:34] Seven. And it’s interesting because they didn’t even know. That’s the reason it’s so important for you to do the business intelligence. They were like all of us. Sure we have our own truck and yes, we deliver very quickly, but because we like to serve our customers. But they never thought that to gather that information and do business intelligence and use it to their advantage and gather more leads with it. By the way, do you know that we can be in your door in 24 hours? We have our own trucks.

Patricia Boral [01:20:03] So we had also we added a call to action for each specific audience persona. Right. So we had like the financing options, download our brochure, download our information or locate your NTR. Right. We had a video about their internal linking video about what’s different about them in an easy call to action. This website just relaunching this site generated 50 leads within two weeks of launching the website. Now, how is this possible without search engine optimization, without knapping? People are already visiting your site.

So if they’re not taking action on your current website, if you’re not getting any leads from your current website, that means that you need a new website, because right now your site is not giving you leads out of those 50 leads within six weeks, seven closed. So they got seven month investment right away, almost immediately.

Now let’s talk about SEO for manufacturing. Search engine optimization for manufacturing is not the same as for consumer or any other industries. You actually have to think about longer sales cycles. So the key words that you choose or the key phrases that you choose, they have to be chosen based on that, based on which area of the customer buying cycle your prospect is. So you can just choose the regular like Falangist manufacturer and it thinking sometimes in a lot of times actually people choose the keywords when people are on the last buying cycle ready to buy, but they forget about all the other stages, like whenever they are considering when they are not aware about you, all of those stages, you need to prepare content and have keywords for them.

So that’s why it’s important to start with a user flow, because each user, each audience will have a different user flow and then back links back, links back. That’s part of the SEO that’s going to be the same for everybody so badly are extremely important. That means that there’s another out with a higher authority website sending traffic to your website Quantic to quantify success as Lead Growth. Now, the reason why I have that is because even on your sales strategy, you have to make sure that you choose metrics to measure that success. And for me, success means lead sales, correct. So think automation as well. Now, let’s talk about online that’s now online ads for manufacturing or manufacturing, it’s also very different. As you can see, there are many options for online ads.

You can do social media ads, video marketing ads, affiliate marketing ads. There are many options in marketing, however, for manufacturing. The best type of online ads that I recommend and that we use for our clients are native advertising, like the example right there, which is basically sponsored content on high authority websites and also display advertising. So you have to really understand remember on the audience persona when I was saying that you understand that how they preferred to communicate, how are they going to find you, what kind of websites they visit? Because that’s what you want to be. LinkedIn is extremely popular, obviously, for business to business, and it is also for manufacturing.

However, you have to really have a good strategy for LinkedIn, especially now, because it’s been over saturated. LinkedIn has over two hundred and forty million. I mean, even more to two point seventy four percent conversion rate. It actually has the highest conversion rate compared to any other platform except for consumer products. But that’s not what we’re here for, there to be very friendly users. Thirty, 35 years or older. So that’s exactly where your needs is going to be. 50 percent of LinkedIn members will actually buy from a company. They engage with 80 percent. They want to engage with companies like you. They want to learn about you, especially your current buyer. Right. Because remember when I was talking about creating your audience, you have different type of audiences. You have the actual buyer, but you’re also going to have the project manager, the construction manager, the engineering manager, I guess. So all of them have different needs and different type of content that they need to consume. So think about that when you’re running your ads. And there’s actually three types of high performing ads that you can think of on LinkedIn.

Brenda Boral [01:25:05] And then based on our experience, these ones are the type of advertising LinkedIn that works for the manufacturing industry. So if you’re in manufacturing, try this through

Patricia Boral [01:25:14] type of that. You have to think about six to eight tuchis. So if you’re going to run one ad that’s going to say, hey, join this webinar or which is basically by now, then you’re going to fail. You have to start nurturing your lead. So you have to have six to eight different type of Patts. Now, how do you take advantage of the discontent, bukha marketing assessment, that’s literally the first step that you need to do.

Brenda Boral [01:25:44] And I’m on my phone because I’m looking on people online and then seeing how many spots we have. We have decided to do five for this event. So we have three already booked. So we have two space left. If you want to have a road map of your marketing and see exactly how to transform your digital, how to do the transformation within your website and how to have a complete assessment, we’ll have an hour of our time. Correct. And we’ll have that ready for you.

Patricia Boral [01:26:14] Yes, this is exactly what we’re going to include. Right. So we’re going to analyze your entire marketing activities that you’ve been doing in the past. What new ideas you have now and then we’re going to evaluate your current brand positioning and online presence. And that doesn’t mean that we’re just going to Google you. We’re actually going to run a report. Exactly. You with our servers that we use and

Brenda Boral [01:26:36] you’ll have a plan of action.

Patricia Boral [01:26:37] Exactly. We’re going to do a complete audit of your website, and that’s going to include your feel, the keywords that you have on your website right now. How many back links? Where is the where are the links of your website? Because you also don’t want to be in low authority websites. That’s going to hurt your ranking. And also, we’re going to analyze three of your competitors. So make sure that you book that marketing assessment because you’re going to walk away with a digital marketing transformation roadmap. Right. So maybe we can do three more so we can have six.

Brenda Boral [01:27:14] Yeah, we can do that. And you have any questions? Now’s your time.

Patricia Boral [01:27:22] Don’t fight, guys, don’t fight, though, we are your marketing department, we’ve been in business for over ten years, we have our entire staff in-house. So whenever you are asking for changes, it’s not going to be really delayed. We work really fast and we work with large companies and actually have some examples. This is a geoscience that we were telling you about.

Brenda Boral [01:27:45] And we do have some questions in the chat that I will love to answer, OK? Of course. Hello there. Let me go there. I don’t know how to make it a very small OK. How do you go about doing research like understanding customer pain points, what channels they use, etcetera?

Patricia Boral [01:28:03] OK, so whenever you are doing a customer analysis or a customer survey, so no one research, obviously, I mean, surveys will be the first step. But I understand that a lot of times we don’t want to do surveys or the return of those services is extremely low. So the way we work on that is we do the business intelligence strategy.

So we grab your entire database and we look at your top customers and we kind of go back, like to really understand that person. And then we kind of talk to them a little bit. So we go into like their LinkedIn account. We try to see what groups they’re part of and all of that information. But quite honestly, surveying your customers is key. And the way we do is we actually have a very high answer rate. I guess it’s typically 80 percent. And it all has to do with the messaging you have on that email and the number of questions that you ask for question.

Brenda Boral [01:29:01] We have four question, and that’s it. And sometimes when they don’t answer, we just call them in your next meeting, we say, hey, by the way, after the meeting, will you can we ask you a couple of questions? And that’s it. Yes. So don’t don’t invade them with so many questions for will we?

Patricia Boral [01:29:19] And that’s part of the internal way of understanding your customer. And then the external one is that we also actually work as a secret shopper. So what we do is we go to your competitors and we act as your ideal customer so we can understand how are they communicating with your customer as well.

Brenda Boral [01:29:50] Don’t forget to connect with us, we are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. And thank you for your time.