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Published: 29 September 2017 The manufacturing sector is more likely to invest in omnichannel than other verticals, but is taking a cautious approach to digital transformation.

Recent analysis of global benchmark data for the manufacturing sector collected through the Networked Business Initiative* reveals that:

- 60% of manufacturing businesses see omnichannel as a focus of investments to some degree compared to 25% amongst all sectors.
- However investment is cautious with just 20% of manufacturing business investing in omnichannel to a large degree compared to 22% of the global average across all sectors.

This indicates that interest in omnichannel is certainly very high amongst manufacturing businesses with almost two thirds planning to invest in this area.This could be due to the key challenges which many manufacturers face of engaging with different customers throughout the distribution chain, from specifiers to installers to end users. Omnichannel may be seen as useful strategy to help ensure a joined customer experience across all touch-points.

However lower than average investment in omnichannel to a large degree could suggest that manufacturing businesses should be adopting a more aggressive approach to investment in achieving a truly omnichannel customer experience across the distribution chain through a digital transformation project.

The analysis also reveals further insights into the progress which the manufacturing sector is making on a journey towards a joined up omnichannel approach.

Data Discovery

For example manufacturing businesses are winning at data discovery to help predict omnichannel customer behaviour.

The success at data discovery is partly due to more regular analysis of data and better access to key insights that data can provide. 40% of manufacturing businesses are analysing their customer data monthly compared to an average of 20%.

The "Data Discovery" discipline within omnichannel deals with the ability to navigate customer data and being able to use this data as the foundation for future marketing efforts. Those who master the discipline are able to work with predictive algorithms in order to predict customer behaviour in real-time.

Organising and Managing Omnichannel

However manufacturing businesses are also proving less effective at organising and managing their omnichannel efforts internally, compared to global averages.

This also extends to incentive structures to support the best possible customer experience across channels. With the right shared agenda and goals manufacturers can avoid blocks on their way to Omnichannel.

Mapping Progress

The following diagram summarises performance of the manufacturing sceptre compared to global averages across six key areas of omnichannel which have been identified through the NBI project.

Green segments represent the progress of manufacturers versus global averages in orange.

omnichannel

Next Steps

Manufacturers can benchmark their own progress towards achieving an omnichannel customer experience by taking the NBI online assessment completely free of charge. The test takes around 20-30 minutes to complete online and will profile your organisation against global benchmarks in six key areas. Additional stakeholders within your company can be invited to take the survey, to provide a more rounded cross-department view of your current situation. Click here to access the survey.

Furthermore Sagittarius is well experienced in working with manufacturers to align their digital strategy with their distribution chain and progress their digital transformation journey - from developing intelligent web platforms which personalise the user experience for your different audiences such as end users or specifiers, to multichannel digital marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness, drive traffic and influencer your sector’s influencers.

* NBI is run as a global collaborative network, bringing together businesses, academics, professional advisors, media, and industry associations. The network shares and distributes data, knowledge and best practice regarding digital transformation and business success. Sagittarius is partnering with NBI and Sitecore is to pilot the programme within the UK.

Josh Whiten

Digital Marketing Director

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