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Capital Investment And The Modern Marketing Machine

By Rob Hawse

You make capital equipment investments in machines year over year from machining centers to extruders to robotics and expect each to yield a respectable ROI. What you might not realize is that there is another machine that is critical to the success of your company – the modern marketing machine.

The modern marketing machine is composed of three main components – the website and its content management system (CMS), a customer resource managements system (CRM) and marketing automation technology (MAT).

When this machine is well-crafted and running efficiently, it literally manufactures leads that sales and marketing teams can use to create more wealth for your company.

Let me explain.

The process begins by feeding the website, via the CMS, high-quality materials in the form of relevant content assets such as blog posts, white papers, videos, etc. You want to do this on a regular basis as these assets are inventoried by search engines and presented in your buyers search results. In theory the more quality and relevancy to your data the better the results. This enables your buying audience to discover and find out about your products and learn more about you before you even know they are looking.

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Reaching the Untouchable Prospect

Once on your site, the machine enables you to keep track of what those prospects are doing while on your site and takes note of their buying signals. Slowly, over time, these future customers make themselves known to you and become leads, at which point you already know what they care about and can begin to market to them directly and very specifically with multiple touches triggered by the marketing automation technology (MAT) component. The best part about the modern marketing machine? Metrics. You are able to evaluate and optimize the machine’s performance because one of the products it makes is data!

Think about it this way: if you wait too long to replace outdated or underperforming equipment on the shop floor, you know you risk losing business to those who already have made the investment and are better able to service your customers. The existing machines may still be productive but you make the investment to replace them anyway. Why? Because based on your experience and research you know that a new machine will create competitive advantage and/or you don’t want to face the consequences of falling behind when it comes to throughput and your facility.

Here’s the parallel: if the hub of your current marketing machine is an online brochure from the last century, we can pretty much guarantee you are missing out on a multitude of opportunities to attract, nurture and close new business.

The way people buy products – your products – has already changed. If you want to see your company thrive for decades or a century or two more, you need to change with it. No one, anywhere, is entitled to market share anymore.

It’s not just market share at issue here, either. Your marketing machine also is in charge of ensuring you are not only visible to your future skilled workforce but also able to convince them that you are everything they are looking for in an employer.

Whatever obstacle is in the way of your company investing in a modern marketing machine, it’s imperative you move it out of the way as soon as possible. Of course, getting the machine into place will require upfront time and money and will take some time to ramp up to full capacity. But much like your other investments, however, a healthy ROI will follow.

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