7 Essential Marketing Trends for Industrial Automation in 2024
Discover the future of marketing in industrial automation with our comprehensive guide on the top seven trends for 2024. From leveraging AI for personalized and segmented marketing to embracing video storytelling and understanding the buyer’s journey, this blog post is your roadmap to success. We also explore the resurgence of email marketing, the necessity of responsive design, the importance of brand purpose and social responsibility, and the vital role of trust and relationship-building.
Blog by Brittany Averill
As the industrial automation sector evolves, so do the strategies to effectively market to its unique audience. With the new year upon us, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven trends to keep your eye on in order to stay on top of the pack. You’ll notice that many of these trends are interconnected, which speaks to the fact that different marketing efforts are rarely clear cut and self contained, but rather they build off of each other.
While AI is of course the most significant aspect of marketing that is and will be evolving this year, we are sure that your reading list is already oversaturated with AI-focused content, so we looked to expand the scope of this trends list beyond just AI, while still including a few important ways in which it ties into and elevates the other seven recommendations we’re making.
1. Personalization and Segmentation
Something that will continue to be of great importance for marketers in 2024 is the effective use of personalization. It involves tailoring marketing efforts to meet individual needs, preferences, and interests. This creates a more relevant and engaging experience for each customer.
Personalization can be implemented in many different ways, but one of the most basic examples is in your email outreach to partners/customers. The days of “to whom it may concern” are long gone. AI tools built into many other marketing tools make customization in the body or subject lines easier, and every company should be adopting these practices in the coming year.
Something that goes hand in hand with personalization is segmentation. Segmentation in marketing is the process of dividing a broad consumer or business market into sub-groups of consumers or organizations based on some type of shared characteristics. For automation companies, effective segmentation can significantly enhance marketing efforts by ensuring that the right message reaches the right audience. Once you’ve effectively segmented your audience, you can begin to get even more personalized with your marketing outreaches. You can segment based on industry, company size, geographic location, job title/role, or purchasing stage (more on this later).
AI chatbots are powerful tools for industrial automation companies, providing 24/7 customer support and enhancing user engagement. They can answer queries, provide product information, troubleshoot, and qualify prospects. By offering a personalized experience and integrating with CRM systems, chatbots improve service efficiency and provide valuable insights into customer behavior.
Customers today are coming to expect a highly-personalized experience from the companies that they are interacting with, and in order to stay relevant, you will need to be pushing for this as well.
2. Video Marketing Dominance
One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in marketing today is the rise of video as a storytelling tool. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a million! Of particular importance for engineering companies, videos can aid in making deeply technical concepts more accessible and easy to digest.
Consider these suggestions for videos your company could be putting together about your products, services, or the industry at large:
- Detailed tutorials on advanced equipment setup or troubleshooting
- Explainer videos breaking down complex automation concepts or new technologies
- Behind-the-scenes looks into your manufacturing processes or R&D labs
- Coverage of industry conferences or tech expos, highlighting cutting-edge innovations
- Educational content, such as tutorials, webinars, and online courses
Video marketing doesn’t just mean having a YouTube channel. You can incorporate video in many ways: on your homepage, blog, social media channels, or even in emails. You don’t need an in-house video expert. Many professionals are out there to help, and there is also a huge rise of AI video generators to explore as well if hiring or contracting is not in the budget.
3. Awareness of Buyer Journey / Purchasing Stage
Recognizing the distinct phases within a company’s purchasing journey and tailoring your marketing efforts to compliment the unique needs of each phase is something that we expect to see companies utilizing in their marketing efforts in 2024. This can be particularly important in the engineering space where too much information can overwhelm potential clients.The journey typically encompasses three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision, and each stage has its unique marketing needs.
During the awareness stage, prospective customers often gravitate towards educational content and higher-level marketing collateral. However, as they progress to the decision stage, their interests pivot towards specific details like product comparisons, case studies, or technical specifications. Acknowledging the purchasing stage not only amplifies the impact of marketing efforts but also contributes significantly to providing a personalized experience for anyone engaging with your business across these stages.
4. Revitalized Email Marketing
What is old is new again – fall back in love with email marketing! Email is the easiest and most inexpensive way to maintain touchpoints with your contacts. Staying in front of them with useful, educational content will help keep you top of mind when that next project comes up. You may think that you need to keep your email sends infrequent so as not to bother them, but that’s not true! Sending more often has several benefits, including keeping your list clean.
You can tie in several of the other trends we’ve discussed here to your email marketing efforts as well to amplify results:
- Add video! Some research shows that emails with video can increase their click-through-rate (CTR) by 300 percent.
- Use segmentation to get more relevant content and cut back on impersonal email “blasts” that feel like junk to some users.
- Personalization: address your audience by name in emails!
Consider these email uses:
- Regular newsletters featuring industry updates, tech advancements, or case studies
- Personalized emails based on the engineer’s interests or recent interactions with your products or services
- Incorporating interactive elements like video demos of machinery or software updates
5. Responsive Design
Another trend to be on the lookout for in 2024 is the increased focus on responsive design. By this, we mean sites and products that are designed with mobile access and users top of mind.
Imagine this scenario: A user at the “awareness stage” is browsing your company on their mobile device between meetings. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, it may give the impression that your company is outdated. This could potentially deter prospective customers, as they might not even proceed to explore your desktop site if they’re put off by the mobile experience.
For automation engineers working in dynamic environments, mobile access is key. A responsive design ensures that whether they’re on the factory floor or in a meeting, interested parties can easily access your content; it’s about providing practical, on-the-go solutions for professionals who value efficiency and accessibility.
6. Brand Purpose and Social Responsibility
Both individual consumers and businesses are increasingly looking to align with brands that demonstrate a strong commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices. Engineers are often at the forefront of sustainable and efficient practices, so lean into showcasing your team’s commitment to these principles, be it through eco-friendly manufacturing processes, energy-efficient products, or community outreach initiatives.
Companies with a strong sense of purpose and ethical standing are more attractive to potential employees, and in a field as competitive and specialized as automation engineering, attracting top talent is crucial. Engineers often prefer to work with companies that not only innovate but also contribute positively to society and the environment.
7. Trust and Relationships Take Center Stage
The final trend that’s making our list for 2024 is increasing the focus on trust and relationship building in your marketing efforts. Industrial automation involves complex technologies and often represents a significant investment for customers. In such high-stakes transactions, trust is paramount. Customers need to feel confident not only in the product’s quality but also in the company’s ability to deliver and support these systems over time.
This sentiment rings especially true today, with the rise of AI. The widespread use of generative AI means that there is a lot of “cheap” information flooding the internet right now, and having experts they can trust is really important to your clients and prospective customers. Cut through the noise and rely on the trust you’ve built to keep business booming and the good word spreading!
One of the most powerful avenues to establishing and fortifying this trust is through client interviews, which offers a platform to delve into clients’ intricate needs, aspirations, and challenges. Engaging meaningfully in these conversations signals a commitment beyond sales pitches; it showcases a genuine interest in understanding and addressing client concerns, further cementing the foundation for enduring partnerships in this dynamic industry.
As we venture into 2024, these seven marketing trends offer a blueprint for success in the dynamic world of industrial automation. By embracing personalization, video marketing, a nuanced understanding of the buyer’s journey, innovative email marketing, responsive design, a commitment to social responsibility, and fostering trust, your company is well-positioned to thrive in this evolving landscape.
Need some help getting started on your marketing goals? Contact us today to get the ball rolling!