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How Electronic Manufacturers Should Tackle Digital Marketing

Posted by Kara Hendrick on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

Last week I wrote a blog regarding analytics and why electronic manufacturing companies should be using them. I had recently attended a class called “Deep Dive into Marketing Analytics” and was hooked. Then, just a week or two later, Apple Inc. purchased a social media analytics company called Topsy, making me feel even cooler. I mean, if Apple thinks something is a big deal…it probably is. All jokes aside though, analytics really are something every electronic manufacturing company should be thinking about.

Why is this, you ask? Well, I explained in my last post that by utilizing analytics, you are able to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, whether through your different email campaigns, blog posts and webpages devoted to your company’s different types of customers and prospects. Personally, I think one of the neatest things about using tools such as Google Analytics and HubSpot, is that we are able to see what people are doing on our site and how they’re getting there. We can see our website visitor’s favorite pages (Meet the Team page), where they were before our site (LinkedIn), their location (Ohio), how long they spent on our site (6 minutes, 28 seconds), and we can even see if they opened that email newsletter about the new X-Ray Inspection Machine we spent forever putting together (Thankfully, they did).

Whether you’re assessing your website, your Facebook page, your email blasts…. Think about why you use all of these outlets. Hopefully, your answer is to connect and obtain present and future customers, partners, visitors, etc. Now that tracking analytics has come into the picture, you are able to get a clearer picture of who, what, where, and why. And while all of these capabilities are very neat, the question remains: “What do we do with this wealth of information?”

First things first, you want to make sure you are using all of this data to make better-informed business decisions. You want to see what’s working, what isn’t, and most importantly, what it is you are actually trying to achieve. This is where KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators are essential.

In the business world, the term “KPI” probably isn’t unfamiliar. Many organizations use KPI’s as a way to track success and to gauge whether or not company and/or employee goals are being met. Establishing digital marketing KPI’s allows you to do exactly the same; you’re able to see if you’re accomplishing what you set out to do and if your marketing goals are being reached. You are able to constantly refine, tweak and optimize your messaging, campaigns and site depending on the performance results of your indicators.

American Express OPEN Forum Community Manager and Writer, Jen Wulf put together a great list of different types of KPI’s: (These will vary based on your goals)

• Unique visitors (the number of individual people who have viewed your site)
• Total visitors (the number of times your site has been viewed)
• Page views (the total number of pages consumed by all your visitors)
• Visit duration (how long someone stays on your site)
• Conversion rate (the percentage of visits that leads to a transaction)
• Bounce rate (how many people visited your website and then left before clicking on anything else)
• New vs. returning visitors (visitors who have never been to your website vs. those who come back for more)
• Abandonment rate (how many online shopping carts are abandoned rather than purchased)
• Average value of online transaction
• Mailing list signups

Maybe one of your marketing KPI’s will be sales focused, such as tracking how many website or social media leads turn into actual customers. At least three or four times a week at RBB, we receive a “Contact Us” form submission from overseas suppliers looking to sell circuit board parts. While they are going through the lead pipeline, this does not qualify as a quality lead. Depending on the goals of your electronic manufacturing company, will determine what and how many KPI’s you should be measuring.

Bottom line, the end goal of really any online marketing venture is to share information, increase engagement with your visitors, satisfy your current customers and continue to gain new opportunities.

One final takeaway I learned while attending the workshop last month and will never forget was the idea that marketing in and of itself is not a “department.” In reality, marketing (whether online or traditional) is a universal department, supporting an organization… each and every department, initiative, and goal, whether that is sales, assembly or engineering. While that seems like quite the job, tackling your digital marketing approach is completely do-able and constantly evolving with tools like analytics. So, go ahead—get started!

Kara enjoys all things marketing. She works full-time at a non-profit organization helping develop and manage online marketing, driving brand awareness, engagement and traffic to social media pages and the company website. She enjoys traveling, learning and meeting new people.

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Topics: Small Batch Electronics, Circuit Board & Assembly & Manufacturing, Marketing for Manufacturing

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