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AI Is Transforming Manufacturing Industry: Pros And Cons

November 26, 2019 / By Frank Hamilton

Today, as the world economy continues to grow, marketing techniques are also evolving to meet the new generation of customers and consumers. In the business market, B2B industrial or manufacturing companies seem to be at the center of this business strategy evolution. However, their marketing techniques are rather too archaic to cope with today’s marketing trends.

Marketing Strategies of B2B Industrial and Manufacturing Companies
B2B industrial or manufacturing companies are willing to continue creating, designing, engineering, and producing, as long as they maintain their old marketing strategies, which are not so effective in today’s digital era. But, these times have forced them to look inwardly on what they are doing wrong and how they can scale their businesses.

Industrial and manufacturing teams around the world have always relied on marketing strategies that are tailored for B2C. However, when you consider wholesome company growth, you cannot ignore B2B businesses and what works as well as doesn’t.

Benefits of AI to B2B Industrial or Manufacturing Companies?
According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s report, manufacturing and industrial companies can be subdivided into five categories - Global Goods for Local Markets(Automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, appliances), Regional Processing(food and beverage products, plastics, printing), Energy/Resource-Intensive Commodities(coke, nuclear, and refined-petroleum based products, paper/pulp), Technology Innovators(computers, semiconductors), and Labor-intensive tradeable(apparel and textiles, furniture, toys).

Regardless of the category or group your business falls into; there is no denying that it’s dependent on customers and buyers to hold the market share. Customers will determine sales, and sales will determine the degree of survival and thrive for that company.

For B2B manufacturing companies to have effective marketing strategies, they have to use sales tools that are efficient and cater to today’s business marketing needs. This is where AI comes in handy; it’s modern and different from the 20th-century marketing strategies that industrial and manufacturing companies hold dear.

Artificial Intelligence(AI) in marketing merely means that marketing teams have to shift from their traditional approach to using digital techniques. For one, the world is on its way to a total digital industrial revolution, and companies do not want to be left out.

So, when we are referring to B2B marketing strategies, what exactly are we referring to, and what are the possible pros and cons to the industrial or manufacturing sector.

If it’s true that the purchasing power of products and services lies in the hands of consumers, then it should also be true that businesses are evolving to satisfy the consumers of their products. And in this modern age, one can not ignore the role of the internet and automated machines in reaching the right target audience and at the right time.

Pros of AI for B2B Industrial or Manufacturing Companies
AI can be quite beneficial for the manufacturing sector; however, some of AI’s implementations are not all rosy. So what are the pros?

#1 Personalized Services
Every business today relies on consumer satisfaction to thrive, which means that consumers want to feel valued. This also means that with the use of traditional marketing techniques like media adverts and direct emailing, you can almost guarantee that your target audience will pay little to no attention to that advert. The most common reason is that, unlike digital marketing tools, traditional marketing methods aren’t based on analyzed consumer behavior.

These days, people care too little for non-personalized ads; however, with the help of AI, B2B marketers can now personalize advertisements tailored to the needs of target audiences. This improves the chances of reaching more people who are willing to listen to what you have to offer since they, one way or another, showed interest in similar products.

#2 Scaling
To successfully grow your business, your marketing team must be robust on B2C and B2B marketing strategies. With lots of AI-powered marketing tools out there, manufacturing companies can easily and quickly analyze consumer behavior and enhance top-performing products. Also, they must utilize digital outlets and social media platforms to optimize product visibility.

It might sound absurd to replace certain position holders within your company with AI tools and software, but it might be just what you need to expand your business globally. McDonald’s, a global fast-food franchise, is adopting AI by replacing its employees with self-service AI-powered food servers - a voice-based machine, which makes for more efficiency.

#3 24/7 Availability
When dealing with consumers, you have to expect criticism, complaints, questions, and so on. Every consumer complains that goes unaddressed or question that is unanswered piles up and can eventually hurt your relationship with existing or potential customers. With automated machines, your customer service department can become more effective by reaching and answering every question and complaint in time.

Apart from that, they can also analyze data for future improvements in the products and services of your company. They are programmed to work for long hours without distractions, weary, holidays, or even room for error. All of which serve to reduce the cost
for the company.

#4 Error-free Processes
Whether it’s in manufacturing or marketing processes, humans have come a long way. However, this always leaves room for mistakes, which can be a financial deadweight. While people are excellent at performing several tasks, machines, on the other hand, are less prone to errors.

In today’s business world, data collation and analysis, detection of patterns, and making future assumptions are all integral parts of any business’s success. To cope with the rapid changes with consumer behavior, companies need to use machine algorithms to process a large number of data, leaving no chance for errors. These automated machines can also significantly reduce the chances of using out-of-date data or data duplication.

Cons of AI in the Manufacturing Industry

#1 Not Budget-friendly
The cost of implementing and maintaining AI is high, sometimes too high for small businesses to afford. It’s not enough to have AI tools and software, as you have to consider the installation cost, repair cost, and maintenance fees that come with them.

#2 No Improvement in Experience
Automated machines are not humans who can learn from past experiences and use them to enhance future tasks. AI machines have the same experience all the time, leaving no room for any improvements. They perform the same task until given a different command, which can lead to wear and tear.

#3 Zero Creativity
Unlike humans, automated machines can’t come up with new creative ideas to improve your business or marketing strategies. However, they are well-equipped in executing assigned tasks with near-perfect accuracy.

Final Thoughts
To sustain your business, and create a seemingly good relationship with your product consumers, you cannot neglect the role of Artificial Intelligence. With AI, your marketing team can use the analyzed data to spot patterns and make informed and data-backed predictions. Also, think about the financial implications AI can use in transforming your company when there are no errors and improved productivity.

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Frank HamiltonGuest blogger - Frank Hamilton has been working as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English


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