Digital investments will be key for manufacturers into 2022 and beyond. But where can we expect manufacturers to spend their money? Red Fern provides some insights…

The UK is the ninth largest manufacturer in the world and it’s without a doubt that this industry is scaling at speed. Through 2021, as a specialist B2B manufacturing agency, we were at the frontline with manufacturers. Helping and advising them on the vital investments they should be making for their digital strategies.

Technology is evolving and ‘Millennials’ and ‘GenZs’ are being born into technology – it’s the way forward. Manufacturers need to listen, think, create and innovate so they can evolve with the next generation of minds.

We give an insight into the top three investments and why they are essential for B2B manufacturers to succeed in 2022 and beyond.

#1 – Forward-thinking, strategic marketing

No matter what manufacturing sector you operate in, if you still think business has to be face-to-face and that your customer will call when they’re ready, you may as well close the doors now.

TM MPU Ads 2021

An essential part of remaining competitive is to invest in digital growth strategies. 81 percent of manufacturers are ready to invest in new digital technologies right now.

Manufacturers who are investing in profiling their ideal customer, defining a detailed content and SEO strategy, supported by social and paid marketing will be years ahead of the laggards. “It’s not about being first anymore, it’s about being active and consistent in all your marketing”.

Sales teams are now aligning with strategic marketing and understanding that it can reduce the number of wasted hours on outbound marketing activity. Sales teams can utilise content, LinkedIn and thought leadership, creating high-value sales conversations.

Search is the number one traffic source, the manufacturing industry is competitive and people are now choosing to go digital – it’s time to act now.

Red Fern

#2 – Strategic websites

Providing your website visitors and potential customers with a streamlined user journey from the first second they land on your website is the highest priority through 2022 and beyond – FACT.

Let’s face it, if you purchased a Garmin Sat Nav and it consistently sent you to the wrong place it would be in the trash immediately – YOUR WEBSITE IS THE SAME. Your website should be a consistent source of information and value for your customers – IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

These days we all have less time to think. If your website has not delivered the confidence, information and credibility to the visitor within the first 30 seconds or less, you’ve lost – this stands for all desktop and mobile devices.

We’re seeing B2B manufacturers allocate sizable budgets to their websites as they align with technology. To achieve annual lead generation and revenue goals, manufacturers are consolidating old websites and combining them with a new strategic website design. As well as creating detailed user journey’s, immersive content, augmented reality and product and service positioning.

#3 – Bespoke system development

Optimisation, cost savings and automation – it’s all about creating technology that supports and grows your business. Not using off-the-shelf software that dictates and constricts your business process.

We’ve seen manufacturers invest heavily in bespoke software to optimise processes, reduce paperwork and manpower, which ultimately leads to automation and cost savings.

Many enterprise-level applications can work for certain manufacturers, as most software allows for integrations and adding new functionality is becoming far easier. Building bespoke systems is allowing manufacturers to scale at speed and adapt to the new normal we are all becoming accustomed to.

A word of caution, bespoke systems have to be rigorously scoped out and planned. We’ve worked with global manufacturers who thought they needed a bespoke system when in fact, they didn’t. With our help, we advised that they could scale down the investment and still achieve specific technology and process goals.

From in the field apps, internal job management systems and B2B, B2C websites/applications, consider how it will benefit your business and customers.

Source: The top 3 investments manufacturing businesses are making in 2022 for digital growth

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