2021: top manufacturer marketing strategy considerations
2020 was an ever-changing landscape for businesses across the country. In the world of marketing, businesses were required to be more reactive than proactive, and switch tactics from offline to online.
NBS, the construction technology platform provider, which gives a digital route to market for professionals who supply to the construction industry via , recently held a webinar with a panel of marketing experts. In the webinar, the panellists discussed which strategies and activities manufacturers should look to include in their 2021 marketing plans.
This article focuses on the key talking points and recommendations for how the industry can move forward despite the current unpredictability of the manufacturing landscape.
Online and on-demand
The global pandemic has caused plenty of disruption for manufacturers – especially in relation to expos and trade shows where businesses normally showcase their products and services.
From this, there’s been a greater shift towards digital channels over traditional print and face-to-face methods. One of the switches to a digital-first approach has been the introduction, or increased use, of webinars.
Izy Herrera, Marketing Manager at NBS, spoke about using the resource normally set aside for physical events to host more online discussions. Izzy said: “If we look back at March and our marketing plan, we adapted it quite considerably to focus more on online activities.
“We were already doing two webinars a month. One for specifiers and one for manufacturers. We worked out that we could move the resource normally used for events and put that into delivering at least one webinar a week. Sometimes we were delivering two a week.
“I think it’s worked well for us. Some people took a step back and some people took a step forward. For us, it was an opportunity to try something new.”
The added beauty of hosting a webinar is that it can be recorded and subsequently posted online as part of an on-demand webinar library that people can watch at their own leisure.
SEO – a key thing to focus on
For manufacturing marketers who want to improve their online presence, focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO) is key. Even as far back as 2015, of B2B researchers use the internet during the research process — highlighting the importance of a strong online presence.
Optimising your website for search engines is important when it comes to driving organic traffic. This can come in the form of technical SEO, off-site content like articles that link back to your website, and on-site content including blog posts or FAQs.
Visual success through video
Just behind parent company Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. The platform processes , 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute and is bigger than AOL, Ask, Bing and Yahoo as a search engine.
For manufacturers, this provides a unique opportunity to showcase your products on a much larger scale. Videos can be flexible in what they are designed to achieve. When it comes to captivating your audience, there’s everything from ‘how-to’ videos to animations that can work as visual content.
A way to learn new skills
As pointed out throughout the marketing masterclass, the pandemic has been a catalyst for change and opportunity. If you’re a manufacturer who’s keen to understand more about digital marketing, but you don’t know where to start, there are plenty of training resources available.
Looking ahead to 2021
Digital awareness played a big part in reactive strategies in 2020, and the need to be reactive may well continue into 2021. Uncertainties still exist around the pandemic and Brexit, so a mix of short-term and long-term strategies could pay dividends in the New Year and beyond.
The panel unanimously agreed that 2021 will be another year of change, so deliverables and key performance indicators (KPIs) will be focused on the ability to adapt, collaborate and ultimately thrive.
The panel for the webinar included:
- Lee Jones – Head of Marketing Solutions, NBS
- Jo Wilmot – PR Director, The Think Tank
- Izzy Herrera – Marketing Manager, NBS
- Cathy Barlow – Managing Director, Smith Goodfellow
- Chris Coulson – Communications Director, Mediaworks
- Kay Porter – Managing Director, Smart Marketing Works
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.