8 Digital Marketing Disciplines Every Original Equipment Manufacturer with a Dealer Network Needs to Know
8 Digital Marketing Disciplines for Original Equipment Manufacturers with Dealer Networks
All Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and equipment dealers have many elements of a digital marketing plan working or in the planning stage. This planning stage can literally last years, and most of the time, what is listed below doesn’t get implemented at all—or properly.
“Digital marketing” is defined differently by companies or by individuals tasked with doing the work, but to do it effectively truly takes a comprehensive plan, project timeline and team of qualified experts (internal and outsource or agency relationships) to pull off correctly. There are nine core disciplines that typically make up a digital marketing system or campaign:
- Paid Traffic and Customer Acquisition
- Email Marketing
- Search Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Tracking and Marketing Analytics
- Testing and Conversion Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Conversion Funnel Optimization
- Digital Tool Mastery
Paid Traffic & Customer Acquisition
All right, so you have existing customers but want new ones? Where do they come from? How do you interrupt them from their busy days, in which they are bombarded by over 3,000 marketing messages PER DAY? Studies say you need to get in front of them about 20 times (or catch them under duress because they need something RIGHT NOW) before they act. So you must commit to a process to target, educate and convert new customers or risk becoming obsolete in terms of awareness within a new pool of prospects.
Paid traffic and acquisition is usually a Google Ads campaign managed by an outsourced agency or team of internal experts. You pay money to get visibility with well-placed ads to your target audience and hopefully track new interest from engagement through purchase. Then measure your spend against new customers and what they spend in a two- to five-year time horizon to understand your true return on investment.
Email marketing is still the most effective way to sell your stuff. Most of the time, you have existing customers and an email list. If the customers have opted in to receive emails, they’re open to receiving communications and are a likely group of buyers for what you are selling. If you have not built out an opt-in email system, then you have some work to do.
Email software is common, and most do about the same thing. Some have limitations with EASY customer segmentation capabilities, but the real challenge is how to implement product- and service-focused messaging, with a headline, low-risk offer and email subject line that compels the customer to take an action and helps you track interest to understand your true return on investment.
The term “search marketing” is itself defined differently by many, but it can be simply stated as the organic ability of your website to attract visitors based on the content you provide and produce on an ongoing basis. There is paid search (pay per click, or PPC) to get the viewer to take an action, to go to a landing page—ideally, to complete a contact form—to get follow-up and to close a deal.
The real goal, however, is to produce enough meaningful, relevant and fresh content that tells Google you are a trusted source of information based on the search terms and habits of everyday consumers. Google’s overarching goal is to make the search experience meaningful, so to the degree you develop your organic content, you will get rewarded with new visitors and sales.
Social Media Marketing
The question still remains in the equipment industry: Is social media marketing all hype or useful, does it help create new customers and close deals? Today, not having UPDATED social media profiles, and some form of engagement plan (post, share, outreach campaigns), means you’re probably not as relevant or are not generating interest, leads and sales as effectively as you should.
Social media marketing is about telling, not selling, and this universal truth still stands. But what to tell, share and promote is still a tough one for most OEMs and dealers to get their arms around and do it effectively. Don’t promote the “special of the day” as many do, but instead, share information that makes the lives of your customers and prospects easier. In turn, they like you back and eventually buy your stuff!
Tracking & Marketing Analytics
There are almost too many tracking and marketing analytics tools to list these days: KPI software, custom business dashboards, Google analytics, Salesforce data tools, and the list goes on. At the end of the day, analytics should tell you about what’s important: how many new customers you created, how much existing customers spent, what customers spent as a result of the campaign, the average gross profit of the sales, and whether the investment was covered to create this new business.
It’s not any more complicated than that, but it still requires diligence to build and track analytics so you can make sense of them over a cup of coffee in the morning. Gone are the days of Excel spreadsheets and IMB AS/400 reports of customer spend activity. Today, there are lots of tools to tell you the story, but you need commitment and your own unique process to tie it all together.
Testing & Conversion Optimization
Taking your marketing analytics to the next critical level involves understanding each campaign, what is working or not and why, and how to adjust the campaign to nail down the cheapest or most effective way to get a customer or prospect to act. I advise clients to take creative risks with headlines and lots of interesting offers to get customers or prospects to take the right action.
Once you sort out what is working, what offer converts and to what target audience, pour gas on the fire! No campaign works perfectly the first time, and constant iterations of a campaign should be the norm. Plan accordingly, understand the audience’s emotions and pain points, work them into a creative offer and headline, track conversions, and focus, focus, focus!
The importance of creating good, relevant content for the search engines, so customers and prospects find you, has never been more critical to the success of your business. But at the end of the day, who is going to organize the calendar, topics and subjects; do the writing; and optimize the post all so someone or something (Google) recognizes you as a trusted authority? In the OEM and dealer world, it doesn’t happen often.
The good news: No matter what you sell or service, the methods and technology to write content or record a series of how-to videos has never been easier. Yes, it takes some education, plan and persistence, but most companies have the resources to pull this off quite effectively with the right plan, tools and commitment. Not doing this part of digital strategy will always leave you behind where you could be, so take some time to research and build a plan that best suits your business, culture and resources to do it right.
Conversion Funnel Optimization
Touched on above with metrics and tracking, this is the core discipline that needs special focus. The measurement tools to find out what works exist, but oftentimes, it’s difficult to pull off working testing methods, or understanding of a customer emotion, into a headline and offer that converts.
There are tons of online resources, companies and experts, all with a defined core competency to help drive down the costs of converting customers or prospects to your unique brand and company by building conversion funnels. I highly recommend Digital Marketer, www.digitalmarketer.com, as an excellent resource to use to help understand this critical area of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Tool Mastery
As if the above information isn’t enough, a great resource, WordStream, has provided a great set of tools to be aware of for the segments above:
As with all tools, some apply, and some don’t. We hope your company is well down the path to digital mastery, and if you’re not, give us a call or drop us a line. We’d love to help!
About EquipmentFX Services
Over the years, the services we offer have evolved to meet each client’s unique needs. We like to lead with our proprietary A3 assessment to really understand the gaps and opportunities. From there we can discuss follow-on services that we can customize together.
After each assessment, the two questions clients usually ask us are “Can you just do this stuff for us?” followed by “We have marketing people—how can we make them and our processes more efficient?” And sometimes we simply deliver the road map and provide support as needed.
At the end of any engagement, you will have a formal framework and internal audit process to improve your program or build a program from scratch to create more new customers and to sell more to existing ones.
To find out more about the EquipmentFX A3 assessment, digital marketing or technology consulting
services, please contact us.