To Engage Customers, Manufacturers Must Equip Local Partners With Easy-to-Use Marketing Programs
BrandMuscle, the leader in integrated local and channel marketing, announced the release of The State of Local Marketing in Manufacturing, the first in a series of industry-specific reports in the tradition of the company’s annual State of Local Marketing Research. The report details data-driven ways for manufacturers to increase program engagement, fund utilization, and overall partner participation in the face of unprecedented supply chain delays, labor shortages, and skyrocketing consumer demand to get products instantly.
A huge opportunity for manufacturers is enabling local partners to promote the brand in their local markets. But the report reveals that partners leave 46% of their corporate or co-op funds on the table, 38% of partners lack an understanding of marketing, and 55% spend little to no time on marketing activities each month. Plus, 66% of partners sell competing brands and products at their locations. The data shows that partners will choose to promote brands that offer the most easy-to-use marketing program, desirable tactics, personalized guidance, accessible funds, and incentives to participate.
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Other key insights include:
- Partners who invested at least 1% of annual revenue on marketing drove 14% more revenue growth.
- Manufacturing partners invest 5% less into local marketing compared to other industries. A small increase in marketing investment could result in a big revenue impact.
- Partners at the highest level of marketing maturity experienced 2x more revenue growth than their less marketing mature peers, yet 54% of partners occupy the lowest levels of marketing maturity, with 38% classified as Developing and 16% classified as Disengaged.
- 68% of manufacturing partners find the processes and policies of their marketing program difficult to understand or inefficient.
- Websites and social media are manufacturing partners’ top two tactics, but only 20% of partners said websites were supported in a robust way, and only 14% said social was supported in a robust way.
“Local partners play a significant role in activating local sales, creating brand advocates, and driving incremental revenue,” said Sarah Cucchiara, Senior Vice President of Channel Marketing Strategy at BrandMuscle. “Our research shows that when manufacturers keep marketing themselves through challenging conditions and make their programs easy and attractive to use, they lay the groundwork for years of incremental revenue growth through the channel. That’s smart strategy.”
BrandMuscle worked with independent researchers at Xpedition and 10 major manufacturing brands to assess the marketing acumen of local partners this year. Responses from over 2,400 partners will also be analyzed to create other industry reports later this year. “Local marketing data can vary by industry, and we want brands to have the most accurate, up-to-date findings specific to their area of work, which is why we create multiple reports from our State of Local Marketing Research,” said Lori Alba, Vice President of Marketing at BrandMuscle. “The reports will only be as big as the data, and so far, the data is very revealing.”
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