Technology has drastically changed and improved all aspects of our lives over the course of the past 10 to 20 years. For building product manufacturers in particular, technology has significantly changed the way business is done. The technology behind the products has also changed; new compounds, materials and manufacturing methods have improved performance, strength and longevity of industry products. These new benefits must be communicated to potential customers through advertising and marketing.
The marketing performance of these products is under more scrutiny than ever because of thinning margins. Consequently, many building product manufacturers have turned to one of two main methods:
- Build an internal marketing team; or
- Outsource to business partners who support various aspects of their business needs. In making these decisions, marketing leadership teams now face unprecedented challenges in how to approach cost effective marketing.
Build an Internal Team
Building an internal team often sounds like an attractive idea, but the costs and efforts required to hire, maintain and maximize productivity of an internal team can be more significant than anticipated, and they rarely perform as well as intended. Consequently, marketing leadership often chooses to outsource various aspects of the marketing process to third-party companies and to integrate multiple levels of software to handle specific tasks.
This, however, is not a holistic solution because:
- No one system or team ties together all of the pieces with third-party companies;
- Subscription-based software platforms can look like a golden ticket, but once the software is purchased it is up to the building product manufacturer to actually use it, often requiring new hires and significant time from existing team members; and
- Without the ability to fully develop the campaign, on-staff developers for web content creation, or several additional layers of software to measure results, the possibility of success with an automated marketing platform is severely limited.
Outsourced omnichannel marketing is a new, emerging option, enabling building product manufacturers to partner with companies that handle the entirety of the marketing lifecycle. By leveraging large, agency-like talent pools and deep investments into technology platforms, omnichannel marketing companies can provide results far beyond those possible through in-house teams or automated software solutions.
The omnichannel marketing process is very straightforward, including:
- Accumulation, cleaning and segmenting of data;
- Identifying current and prospective customers; and
- Developing messaging to specifically speak to the constituencies within these target groups, communicated through multiple channels, such as email and sample fulfillment.
Through this process, unprecedented market penetration can be achieved. Combined with outsourced sales resources and remote representatives, it can help to reach customers not ordinarily covered by traditional field sales organizations, expanding the possible customer base to include smaller accounts than those usually serviced.
Ultimately, neither internally built marketing teams nor pre-packaged individual software solutions can provide the reach, frequency and ROI that can be delivered by omnichannel marketing. Shifting resources and goals to these complex platforms and large support teams can help to lower costs, improving the overall cost of sale for building product manufacturers across the industry.