The term "inbound marketing" has been around for about ten years now, so it's easy to assume that everyone knows what it is. But, for some industries, its relevance is only just starting to grow. According to Bob Dearsley: "The world has changed. Any marketing gets tougher and tougher. Or more specifically, good, effective marketing gets tougher and tougher!"

So, what is inbound marketing? According to Jeanne Hopkins (HubSpot), inbound marketing is: "Marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention."

Manufacturing is an industry that has traditionally relied on outbound tactics, such as cold-calling, direct mail, radio, TV advertisements, telemarketing and traditional press advertising. In a recent blog by Equinet Media, Antonia Molloy made the observation that "it's not uncommon for manufacturing companies to view marketing as little more than the "colouring-in department". 

The article below introduces five ways in which inbound marketing can boost sales for manufacturing companies. Sean Henri has done a great job at breaking down the core elements of inbound marketing and putting them into the context of a manufacturer to explain how inbound marketing can boost sales. 

Inbound marketing works for manufacturing, for the same reasons it does for other industry sectors: 

1. Buyers are doing their research online. In fact, according to a survey carried out by Forrester, 74 per cent of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase.

2. Online marketing is budget friendly - the initial outlay with inbound marketing, especially in terms of time and resources, may be high, depending on your choice of inbound marketing agency, but the ROIs are clear and measurable. 

If you're still sceptical about the impact inbound marketing could have to your manufacturing business, adopting a growth driven design approach to your website could be the way forward for you, developing real-time results to see what works for your business, compared to traditional marketing methods.