Industry 4.0 is on the immediate horizon for manufacturers. At the same time, they are having to deal with a changing marketing and sales environment, in which tried and tested methods simply don't work as well as they used to. Today, potential customers expect to be able to research a manufacturing firm online, and to educate themselves about the company's products and service offering, before they speak to a sales person.
In this article for Asia Outlook Magazine, Joe Birkedale suggests that adopting an inbound approach can help manufacturers to successfully respond to both of these emerging realities. He explains that Industry 4.0 is turning manufacturers into "digital enterprises" and suggests that implementing inbound "supports the digital infrastructure that Industry 4.0 will bring".
Through the power of content, inbound allows you to attract visitors to your website, convert them to leads, and then turn them into customers. It provides measurable insights into what your prospects want and need and, consequently, helps you to form more meaningful connections with your ideal customers. As Joe says: "Inbound marketing relies on data to merely exist, as it's the compound to pretty much all operations."
Marrying Industry 4.0 with inbound can enable manufacturers to adapt to the challenges inherent in their sector (and beyond) - and to thrive in the process.
Industry 4.0 is seeing industrial companies becoming entire digital enterprises; utilising big data, reducing costs on product development and placing massive emphasis on customer integration. [...] To compete with the likes of Japan, US and China, who are already beginning to invest in advanced manufacturing, global manufacturers should look to harness an inbound marketing approach that supports the digital infrastructure that Industry 4.0 will bring. In doing so, they can expect to build deeper relationships with end users, offer a digital experience that aligns with the changes in buying behaviour and build ecosystems that connect people with organisations. Data-driven research Inbound marketing relies on data to merely exist, as it’s the compound to pretty much all operations. So when it comes to the industrial industry, it’s no different. "Comprehensive data analytics are the prerequisite for successful implementation of digital enterprise applications." - PwC 2016.