I am

marketing
manager

HOW TO BECOME MORE IMPORTANT IN INDUSTRY 4.0

I am

marketing
manager

HOW TO BECOME MORE IMPORTANT IN INDUSTRY 4.0

Put more effort into corporate branding. Change your focus from managing a small team to inspiring the whole company. That’s how to become leading in Industry 4.0.

Old school B2B marketing management is all about managing marketing staff and ensuring the (often limited) communications budget does not get out of hand. If you are lucky, C-level asks you to join in when they debate the strategy. The good news from Industry 4.0 is that your role could becomes much more paramount and important. The bad news is you might have to switch jobs to a company that understands this.

First things first. What has Industry 4.0 to do with marketing management? The answer is: “everything”. Even though the Industry 4.0 fans do not speak or think about sales & marketing – yet. Industry 4.0 will increase the number of smaller orders within B2B companies drastically. It will also turn R&D managers and other non-commercial staff into large account managers who will be closing the big deals. The more and smaller the orders, the more people involved on both sides, the more B2C marketing “tricks” you will need.

URGENT NEED FOR A STRONG BRAND (AND MORE BUDGET)

One of those B2C “tricks” is to have a strong industrial brand that strongly impacts the success of commercial transactions. The typical role of a B2B brand is to reduce the perceived risk of a few huge transactions. The future role of the B2B brand is to become the magnet attracting larger groups of smaller customers. At the same time, a strong brand will help R&D managers and other networking agents to talk with the right third parties about interconnecting IoT systems and platforms. Such interconnections will be the pre-requisite to continue, or start, doing business with large corporations and leading firms in the new Industry 4.0 world. Your brand will enable those right connections. So investing in your brand now means becoming successful tomorrow. Investing in a brand, of course, requires a bigger budget for branding. But, with a bigger return that reaches far beyond the old school sales leads generation, that internal debate should be a piece of cake, shouldn’t it?

FROM CONTROLLER TO INSPIRER

The involvement of non-commercial staff members in the commercial success of future business also means that the effect of sales & marketing management will become significantly more important outside the scope of the direct reports of the sales- and marketing manager. Being successful as a marketing manager will therefore change from being in control of a team and a budget towards being the source of inspiration for the entire company. Leading and inspiring rather than managing and controlling will be your key differentiator. Provided your company is ready for this change. Of course, if general management does not allow you to be in that role you are stuck in a box. Since that box is on a sinking ship in the Industry 4.0 ocean you might have to reconsider your career more drastically.

Jan Lagast is managing partner of Forte, European specialists in industrial sales & marketing 4.0. Forte offers career and team mentoring for sales & marketing managers, executive education to enlighten their bosses, and help communications managers create strong industrial brands that are real ecosystem-magnets. Forte boosts your readiness for the commercial side of industry 4.0.