AI is a hot topic in manufacturing marketing. In the same way machine algorithms are used to predict mechanical malfunctions or streamline repetitive tasks on the shop floor, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a key component of a manufacturing company’s digital marketing success.
By using “intelligent” tools to make cognitive-like decisions based on available data, your manufacturing business can tap into a number of growth opportunities. Here we elaborate on a few ways to use artificial intelligence to attract and retain more leads and more happy customers.
1. Create Chatbots for Your Manufacturing Company
The presence of chatbots across social platforms and websites is growing—and for good reason. Depending on the tool you use, marketing and sales personnel can program them to carry on full conversations with leads and customers without having to lift a human finger. Plus, bots make it easy to add a special and memorable touch to the beginning of your company's sales process. For example, our PMG-bot provides a streamlined way for us to collect contact information, answer general questions about our website content, and even book a meeting with an engaged website visitor.
Once the visitor is ready to talk to a real person, our human PMG team member receives the notification to continue the process.
Chatbots are not limited to just lead generation; you can also use them to service current clients, subscribers, and even employees. Here’s a list of various chatbot tools that you can use to get started. Note: our PMG-bot happens to be powered by HubSpot.
2. Cater to Voice-Activated Marketing
You might already be using Amazon’s Alexa / Echo or the Google Home in your own household, asking the voice-activated speaker questions like, “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” or “Alexa, can you rap?” (that might just be me—but try it for a laugh!). But did you know that these digital home assistants can also be used for business? Depending on your product and target audience you can use these tools to:
- Make your product accessible to buy through voice: If your product is sold at a large retailer like Walgreens, Target or Amazon, people can add it to their shopping list directly from their voice-activated assistant.
- Make your solution easy to learn about: If someone asks their digital assistant about a problem or concern for which your company solves, you want to be the first one to answer that question. Make sure you optimize your content accordingly so that these tools can quickly pull the relevant information from your site.
- Share your location and business hours: Ensure that your Google business listing is correctly filled out. Digital assistants use these listings to gather and relay key business information to users, such as operating hours, location, and a user’s physical proximity based on his or her current location.
3. Develop Custom Business Apps for ManufacturingIf you want to take things a step further, you can create a custom application for these assistants. Amazon’s Alexa calls it Skills and the Google Home calls it Actions. Because they’re customized, you can get creative. For example, you could create a product tutorial, or—if you have a smart product—render its functionality accessible through the assistant. Here are a couple examples of apps manufacturers have created:
Additional industrial apps that are created or developed by manufacturing companies typically serve the following business areas:
- Real-time inventory and order fulfillment
- Pricing estimates communicated in the sales process
- Supply chain and shipping logistics
- Alerts related to machinery and equipment
4. Leverage Manufacturing Marketing Data
In today’s digitized world, chances are that you have most, if not all, of your customer data stored in a digital format -- for example, in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This is an advantage because you can now integrate that information with AI-powered tools to improve your marketing and customer success strategies.
Tools like Rapid Miner, Birst, Perceptive AI, and Sisense use predictive analysis and analytics to give you insight into what’s going well and what’s not going well with your customer acquisition and retention strategy. They tout being able to detect early signs of churn, pinpoint the right time to upsell and more.
5. Get Personal with Your Manufacturing Target Audience
You can take the guesswork out of creating content that will grab the attention of your ideal buyers. Tools like Atomic Reach, MarketMuse, Acrolinx, and BrightEdge are using AI to help you get actionable data-driven insights that can help you produce content that becomes more and more relevant with each iteration. These tools cover everything from content strategy planning to SEO and ad copy improvement—and they touch on readability, content structure, emotional resonance, title optimization, and topics.
See snippets from an Atomic Reach example below:
Today, the presence of AI is embedded in so many aspects of our daily lives, both personally and professionally. Manufacturers can start saving time and resources to improve business with data-driven decisions. A good first step might be to challenge yourself with just one AI tool at first, then expand into others. And if you need some help, feel free to reach out at any time!