Industrial Marketing in the 4.0 Era

July 19, 2021
As Industry 4.0 continues to transform every branch of the manufacturing industry, marketing is no exception. Learn how implementing automation into your marketing approach can increase customer success.

"Industrial history is littered with technically excellent ideas that have generated no economic return, so too with business initiatives that lack any assumption of sustainability. The management challenge lies precisely in the combination of these two elements that are so basic, yet so difficult to combine." 

I wanted to mention this quote from Maurizio Sobrero, professor of Management and Business Engineering at the University of Bologna, because I believe it is perfect for reflecting how marketing plays an indispensable role within industry and how the importance of good communication cannot be taken for granted.

The original function of marketing was only to preview campaigns from the quantitative point of view, in the aim to orient the production process towards efficiency and the full satisfaction of the campaign.

Today, in a market rendered more and more competitive from globalization and with the transformation of production through new technologies, it's become indispensable to adopt "customer oriented" strategies. Therefore, this means diverting attention from "what to produce" to "what the customer wants us to produce."

Therefore, the basic principle of marketing becomes the creation of maximum value for the customer. In this way, marketing takes on a broader role, influencing production processes on how much and how to produce, to whom to direct production, and how to promote and distribute the product on the market.

With increased worldwide competition, innovation is no longer enough to create a competitive advantage on its own. Now research and development has inevitably been associated with marketing, with the aim of communicating to customers what differentiates one's own product from that of competitors.

In fact, I think I can say that marketing has become a predominant management area within companies, playing a central role in determining competitive advantage through the development of new means of communication and being a promoter of the spread of innovations on the market, thus giving consumers the opportunity to approach innovations, making modern technologies available and accessible to all.

I have always been attracted by this discipline which is so competitive, stimulating, and constantly evolving. Which, like technology, requires constant updates and constant analysis for continuous improvement. Marketing's continued growth requires the adoption and knowledge of new approaches and new directions. These include automation—a broad term that encompasses many technologies, tools, and solutions designed to improve the efficiency of the communication process—decreasing the work for the individual through the automation of online campaigns and sales activities, in order to increase revenue, maximize efficiency, and improve the consumer experience.

A good automation solution combined with a digital marketing strategy helps to identify the target audience and create compelling content. It also automatically triggers actions based on customer schedules and behaviors, accomplishing what traditional marketing can but with more efficiently, less work, and higher ROI. In addition, a significant differentiator between more traditional forms of marketing is the availability of data and metrics within digital marketing solutions.

For example, with data you can evaluate and fine-tune automated marketing campaigns to increase open, click-through, and conversion rates. Using data from past campaigns, website visits, and engagement with other marketing channels, you can revise your strategy to better engage and build stronger relationships.

This approach also allows marketing to become predictive and have a significant competitive advantage, leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, and a/b testing. 

This anticipates the needs of its users, not only leading to more conversions, but also allows you to boost brand awareness and build customer loyalty. You can be perceived as a brand capable of not only listening to its clients, but of suggesting the perfect solutions. 

Overall, anticipating trends can influence every aspect of corporate marketing, promoting constant growth and guiding companies toward success.  

Francesca Panceri is a Sales Engineer at Autoware, certified members of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). For more information about Autoware, visit its profile on the Industrial Automation Exchange.