We thought we would take a deeper vertical look at the results of the SBBS this week. Since manufacturers were our largest group of responders by industry (24%), let’s pick on them first!
When it comes to marketing, manufacturers are making less use of social media than responders of all industries. Only 25% use LinkedIn to connect with customers or partners (compared to 50% of responders overall), and none use Twitter (compared to 45% overall). LinkedIn and Twitter are used by only 25% of manufacturers for awareness and branding. 60% of responders in all industries report using LinkedIn and Twitter as branding tools. Blogs, podcasts, and YouTube are also used less frequently by manufacturers.
On the other hand, Manufacturers are much more likely to have an advisory board in place than the group as a whole, with 50% reporting having a board in place. And 75% of them say they use discounts or promotions for awareness and branding, compared to just 45% of all responders.
The tradeshow stands out as key to sales and marketing among these manufacturers. 86% of manufacturers say that’s how they get qualified leads, compared with 54% of all SBBS participants. While manufacturing sales teams are less challenged than general responders by long sales cycles or the quality of their leads, they are significantly more challenged by training their sales teams (57% report training as a challenge versus 29% of the general responders) and by reaching the decision maker.
Manufacturing executives are consistent with general responders when it comes to mobility and staying connected when they are away from the office, with just slightly more manufacturing execs using smartphones of all kinds as well as tablets to stay in touch. These execs seem to have abandoned their laptops when out of the office, while several other industry participants still rely on laptops with remote access to stay connected. None of the manufacturing execs who participated reported relying on laptops to stay remotely connected.
What do you want to know about manufacturing, or any other sector of the SBBS? Don’t forget, you can view the results from the links below.
Next week: We take a look at the results of the SBBS compared with other industry surveys on the topic of social media, including the extensive 2011 Impact of Social Business in Small and Medium Business Study conducted in April, 2011 by SMB Group. SMB Group is a leading research and analysis organization focused on assessing and assisting the small-to-medium-sized business market.