Contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) are among the more obscure B2B business categories. Companies that manufacture their own products are more visible because their customers see their products and experience their brands. CMOs make products for other companies. End users don’t see their brands. They live in the shadows of the manufacturing world, known only by their customers which are other manufacturers.
This makes marketing for CMOs all the more challenging. How do you get found by new customers when only your existing customers know you exist?
Most CMOs don’t have much of an online presence, and that’s a shame. You can tell by the state of many CMO websites. They look as if they were last updated 5 or 10 years ago. Some even sport copyright messages at the bottom of the page that prove as much. Clearly, they don’t think that digital marketing is a worthwhile investment. Why? Here’s what I’ve been told. Some think, “we all know who each other are,” while others think, “our customers don’t shop online.”
That may have been true 5 or 10 years ago. But it’s not true now. Let’s take a quick look at Google searches, using the Google Keyword Planner. If you enter outsourcing, here are the results.
The number in the middle represents the number of monthly searches on the keyword to the left. Tens of thousands of people are searching for outsourcing and manufacturing companies of various types. If we return to manufacturers’ objections to investing in digital marketing, I’d ask, “Do you know who these tens of thousands of people are searching for manufacturing organizations?” And, while manufacturing services aren’t something someone buys online, it certainly a topic people are researching online, based on the search volume.
You’re not going to get found if your web pages don’t rank on search engine results.
The problem with an older website is that is nearly impossible that it could be optimized to be found by today’s search engines. Google and the others have changed the search ranking criteria in significant was in the past few years.
Consider these facts:
- Google rewards mobile-friendly sites and penalizes mobile unfriendly site. Few sites older than 5 years are optimized for a mobile experience.
- Google also rewards fast sites, noting that people tend to abandon pages that load in less than 2 seconds. Few older sites have the kind of programming that enables fast performance.
- Google rewards sites that people stay on for a long period and penalizes sites that are abandoned quickly, indicating user dislike of what they found. Slow, mobile-unfriendly sites will be double-penalized.
Here’s the good news. Returning to the search numbers, you’ll see on the right column that the competition for these search terms around contract manufacturing are low to medium.
This means that not many websites have content or advertising using these keywords. In other words, few of your competitors are investing in digital marketing either. So it’s not too late for you to get busy and capture that traffic and start generating and qualifying leads.
In fact, there are three simple things you can do to make progress right away with your existing site.
- Make it mobile friendly with a new theme.
- Modify your existing web pages around the search terms people are using.
- Invest in a better hosting platform that will speed your page performance.
These steps will undo the Google penalties and will help you get found by more people searching for manufacturing solutions. They may not help you keep them on your site for long if the material is not visually or verbally relevant to what they are looking for, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you’re a manufacturing sales leader and are struggling to keep your sales funnel full, the lack of digital marketing may be a contributing factor. “We know that 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process,” says a report by Google. “Research shows that those involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually perform an action on your site.”
People are researching online for all kinds of B2B purchases, including manufacturing services. If your site is slow and not mobile-friendly, you’re not going to be found by the ones searching for you. A few simple steps can help you begin to turn that around.