Creating noticeable marketing buy-in at a manufacturing company can be challenging, especially if you are the only designated marketing person within the organization, or if the organizational growth goals exceed your capabilities and/or bandwidth. There is so much to tackle, and when you ask for resource support, you’ll sometimes hear the phrase: “we don’t need to increase our marketing budget… we have you!”
Flattering? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s be realistic here: would you be comfortable having an improperly trained tech operating a 5-axis robot? Or asking someone with little to no experience operating a crane for a mold transfer? I believe we all know the answers to those questions. I’ve seen it happen time and time again – when companies expect their marketing person to “do it all” without the proper resources or training. Not only is this not sustainable and may lead to burnout, but it truly is not in the best interest of a company and its brand reputation. If you want to execute your marketing efforts effectively, you may need to align with additional skilled professionals inside and outside of your organization.
When you are a lone marketer (or even with a small team), you can do a lot and make a significant impact. Resourcefulness, work ethic, and a willingness to learn are important characteristics to have, but when it comes down to it, there are limitations and perhaps a lack of focus or buy-in at different levels within the organization.
Building a Marketing Plan
One of the first things you can do is put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start building out a marketing plan that closely aligns with the top-level business objectives. While building your plan, have internal conversations to better understand targeted sales opportunities/markets, what successful marketing efforts look like to them, and what marketing gaps may exist. It’s key to connect with cross-functional team members (i.e., engineers, quality managers, business development, human resources, etc.) to approach this more universally. Not only does this provide you with key insights, but it also starts building a level of trust and engagement which carries a lot of weight over time. Leaning on your team goes beyond the foundational planning efforts; it is ongoing and is appreciated by your peers who know their voices are being heard.
Certainly, there is a lot that goes into crafting a marketing plan, but one thing is true: you can’t fully create buy-in and be successful in your role if you don’t identify benchmark data points and define measurable KPIs. This was something I addressed in a previous blog, How to Create and Measure a Marketing Plan, where I provided examples of ways to track measurable growth.
With that in mind, the strategies and tactics may look and sound good, but if you don’t have the proper resources to track growth, it would be challenging to overcome. If your company hasn’t invested in a website for a long time, you may need to lean on an external partner to build one out. If you want to expand your reach through Paid Advertising on Google, you may want to reach out to an SEM expert to achieve optimal results. Or if your visual identity is dated, you may need to find creative talent who can update the look and feel of your brand. The list goes on and on, based on organizational goals and objectives, what you are skilled in, and what’s in the marketing plan.
Accomplishing Your Marketing Dreams!
When dedicating yourself to leading a successful marketing plan and continually communicating to your internal stakeholders, asking the right questions, asking for support from subject matter experts, and sharing the marketing-driven successes along the way, you’ll likely have team members (ideally, leadership) noticing the invaluable work you’re doing. And yes, it’s okay to share your wins!
My final thought is this: regardless of what hand you are being dealt in your role, the responsibility you have as a marketer is far more than what people may think it is and/or appreciate. You are managing what the world sees, feels, and reads about your organization. You are the company’s forward-facing voice and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Rather, it’s something you and everyone in your organization genuinely can latch onto and be proud of for years to come.
If you would like to connect with us about your marketing challenges and learn how we may help you create buy-in, we encourage you to contact us for a stress-free conversation.