Getting on Board the Automation Train
Manufacturing automation, predicated on an integrated stack where data from all over the plant informs decision-making, has several key impacts on the overall organization.
These range from increased labor productivity, reduction of labor costs, improved working conditions and decreased time to market, among others.
The same goes for marketing. Once marketers have brought all of their systems together, and begun using all the data at their disposal to guide marketing campaigns, automation is critical to scaling these campaigns. The Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation measured a 10 percent increase in the use of marketing automation systems among its members between 2012 and 2013. Additionally, 60 percent of surveyed manufacturers planned to invest more in digital resources related to “lead generation activities and technologies.”
Ansell Limited, a global leader in protection solutions, and Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG), a provider of linear and rotary motion solutions, both realized that the progression to more sophisticated automation is where returns really start to be realized, and how it makes it possible to benchmark your marketing and marketing teams. After implementing automation, Ansell was able to track its positive revenue impact on the overall business, and BWG benefited from clearer insights into how its campaigns were performing.
All marketers can benefit by approaching sales and marketing in a similar vein as manufacturers approach the floor – driven by technologies that elevate productivity. The internet is now our showroom, and that holds true for manufacturers too, with 85% of prospects beginning with a digital activity.
As Benedetti said, “In the future that is already upon us, where competition and buyer empowerment intensifies, the primary competitive advantage will be leveraging sales and marketing technologies to create an exceptional customer experience. The spoils will go to those marketers who pivot from a product or channel oriented approach to a focused, people oriented customer experience.”
 Increase Revenue in Manufacturing: Tools, Strategies, and Sales-Marketing Alignment. Arlington: Hanover Research, 2016.