Marketing in manufacturing has been B2B marketing strategies and now B2C tactics are creeping in.
Marketing in manufacturing really isn’t much different than any other hard good and tangible product. However, some would argue that marketing in the B2B space is different than marketing in the B2C space. I disagree. There is a convergence between B2B and B2C marketing strategies.
Here is why.
If manufacturing companies want to get serious about revenue growth, it’s time they got serious about their marketing.
Marketing needs to take on the challenge of becoming a growth engine for manufacturing companies.
The digital trends in marketing that are growing B2C manufacturing companies are just as relevant to the B2B manufacturing world.
Multi-channel, multiplying customer touchpoints, changing customer behaviors, and massive floods of big data are driving this trend. And like their B2C counterparts, B2B manufacturing companies need to put the customer at the center of everything they do.
While other business processes like in the manufacturing industry have improved by leaps and bounds thanks to supply-chain technology innovation and Six Sigma.
The revenue process is still one of the most inefficient areas of manufacturing enterprise today.
Did you know forty percent of sales reps’ time is actually spent figuring out where to spend their time?
If nearly half of a plant’s robots were stuck ‘processing’ was to drive their welders – there would be some serious retooling of the plant and management. You get my point.
It’s time to do the same in the way a business produces revenue. It starts in marketing.
Who has their finger on the real pulse of your revenue growth investments (marketing and sales spend) and results across the entire revenue process?
For example, if you spend more money on pay-per-click ads today, how much revenue will come next quarter? Should you hire more sales reps or add more web content next month?
These all can be answer easily. When is marketing as transparent, measurable, and accountable for revenue growth as sales?
When you start in a digital marketing campaign that is done right, you will see more sales and lower customer acquisition costs. The return on investment (ROI) is on the revenue side as well as the cost side.
Generating a comprehensive marketing strategy that stands above the noise in the over-populated manufacturing industry can be difficult.
Time is a scarce and precious resource so focusing your project efforts is a must. But how will you measure the return on investment of your marketing programs?
With today’s competitive setting the bar higher than ever, your manufacturing marketing strategy needs to be performance-based.
Don’t worry, though, Matrix Marketing Group has compiled what your manufacturing marketing strategy needs to succeed. So take a quick step back, and dive into this challenge head-on.
Overview of Marketing for Manufacturing and Digital Marketing
It doesn’t matter if you are a start-up entrepreneur with a few cents in your budget or the head of a large manufacturing enterprise organization with millions of dollars at your disposal. The blueprint of your company’s marketing strategy should consist of these 10 marketing activities.
- Situational Review
- Current Marketing Report
- S.M.A.R.T Goals
- Buyer Personas & Target Audience
- Software Stack Selection
- Inbound Marketing Activities
- Outbound Marketing Activities
- Sales & Marketing Process Identification
- Marketing Budget
- Measure Return on Investment
Anyone who has taken business 101 has probably heard of a S.W.O.T. analysis. Its sole purpose is to connect strategy and objectives by establishing where a company stands in four key areas. This overview consists of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your business, while opportunities and threats are external. It is essential to prepare a thorough review as it will be the underlying message for all your marketing efforts going forward.
Your organization’s strengths should revolve around the superiority of your product over close competitors. Either that or define how the services offered alongside the products are more inclusive.
Whichever you choose, these should be compelling to your niche audience as strengths are undoubtedly the focal subject of future communications.
Conversely, address possible weaknesses, and get to know how to present the relevant solutions. Understand that your market research might be slightly outdated and be ready to address concerns based around it.
External opportunities present themselves in many ways, high product demand, loyal customers, changing the target landscape. Plan extensively for openings, but to successfully position your product in the market, you must mitigate external threats as well.
Don’t be caught off-guard, analyze your product and as efficiently as possible, predict the outcome of your marketing efforts. Know what your customers want and execute on your full situational analysis.
Once this is completed your first step marketing for manufacturing is done.
2. Current Marketing Report
A contemporary marketing report takes a look at your marketing team’s approach to gaining new leads and customers. What has been your general marketing procedure?
You can’t move forward with your marketing in the manufacturing sectors with knowing where you are.
If you haven’t done a marketing audit in the last year you should do one immediately. This will help you uncover sales and marketing gaps in your current strategy. There’s always some blind spots.
An issue we often come across at Matrix Marketing Group is small teams typically have one or two specialists that have extensive knowledge in one or two sub-categories but cannot craft a full marketing strategy.
Additionally, over 50% of marketers don’t feel prepared to provide their executive team with hard metrics. So let’s make our company stand out from the crowd and take care of business.
If you are not getting any leads from your website it might be time for a website redesign project. On the other hand, if you’re getting a bunch of leads on your website but none of them are being accepted by your sales team you might want to look at the user experience.
Your Digital Reach:
Your digital reach is important manufacturing companies that have a significant amount of social followers, a large in-house database, they are able to move the dial on their revenue model very easily. It’s because it doesn’t take much to amplify their message through the channels.
So be sure that you are capturing leads on your website and growing your email database continually.
This is a reliable indicator if your content has been loved by your viewers and consumed or if it has been a dud. Where are these observers coming from, email, PPC, social channel, or organic search?
If your reach hasn’t been growing at a healthy rate, you might be missing out on new marketing leads. When you miss out on leads, you miss out on revenue, and no executive will be happy with that.
If it’s hard for you to get some of this information, I’d highly recommend that you go and learn something about Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Once people find your website you have to start thinking about the user experience and how to get your conversion rates up. there’s a lot of tools in psychology that go into this so don’t take it lightly.
The number of visitors to your site details how many people came to your site during a given period. More importantly, though, is where these visitors originated.
As you enter the nitty-gritty of the marketing strategy, you’ll naturally want to treat referral traffic differently than organic and social traffic. If efforts aren’t paying off on social media, it’s nice to know so that you can refocus and adapt.
Your marketing leads are what fill your sales pipeline. It’s important to know the conversion ratio between a marketing lead and what your sales team accepts.
I like to know when a marketing lead comes from the website and all the analytics that are involved through the close of the sale.
If you map out your sales funnel and measure each gate with ratios can improve it continually.
Leads will show the direct return on investment of your efforts and how beneficial the marketing department has been for the sales team. Ideally, divide your leads generated by source to identify the most efficient producing channels.
What’s on everyone’s mind, the total amount of clients gained from marketing campaigns. New business is what drives your companies to grow.
Couple this section with conversion rates on business closed by the sales team to understand the quality of leads that are flowing through the sales funnel. Are you experiencing a low closing rate? It might be time to change the basis of how you are handing off leads to the sales team.
It’s essential that you understand how your buyers purchase your products or services. Once you understand that you can begin to map out your sales cycle and add metrics to measure and improve it.
3. S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. Goals is another one of those acronyms most of us know by heart: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. Nonetheless, structuring plans around these parameters increases the likelihood of success. So let’s structure a sample goal.
Being specific on what your team intends to accomplish drives them forward.
Who is involved, what are they trying to achieve, where will this be executed, when will they finish, which requirements or constraints are in place, and why are these individuals included?
These points all relate to transparency, and they aim to make sure everyone is up-to-date when it comes to fulfilling their goals.
Your business goals are vital when marketing for manufacturing companies.
Goals need to be measurable to establish criteria for progression. Just like when reporting marketing metrics, you want reliable standards that will relay where the goals stand regarding completion.
Understand questions along the lines of when will “X” be finished and how much of “Y” do I need to achieve that?
Begin determining what developments are most important to you and figure out how to make these things a reality. What skills and abilities will have to be improved to make this goal attainable?
Remember, if you develop your goals wisely and with uninhibited motivation, almost anything can be achievable.
That being said, if you were never realistic in the first place, then you are just wasting everyone’s time.
An automobile manufacturing company probably won’t make a seamless switch to selling SaaS products, but you never know. Balance your goals with realism and driving substantial progress. Just because you might have to reach doesn’t mean it’s unrealistic, motivate the team to perform their best.
Finally, draw a line in the sand. Create a sense of urgency and follow a time frame right from the beginning. Don’t allow procrastination to take over. Set alternate due dates to drive productivity.
So let’s wrap all of this together with the example promised earlier.
“Our marketing team would like to increase inbound lead flow by 25% through content marketing. Within two weeks, we would like to develop and approve a three-month-long content marketing plan that will describe how to attract, convert, close, and delight future inbound leads.
One marketing team member will be responsible for search engine optimization, two will be responsible for blogging, one will be responsible for premium content (white papers, ebooks, videos, etc.), and one will be in charge of design. At every two week duration during our three-month plan, we will generate six blogs and three premium pieces of content.
At six weeks, we will review metrics and determine if our long-tail keyword strategy needs an adjustment based on new lead generation rates.”
4. Buyer Personas & Target Audience
A buyer persona is your ideal customer. Properly defined, buyer personas are semifictional characters that are created through substantial research.
Your buyer persona is meant to help you refine your marketing strategy and align them around your target customer. The process of identifying your buyer persona will help you to uncover their pain points for your products.
Your marketing for manufacturing plan needs to align with customer pains and gains.
An ideal customer profile (I.C.P.) can either bring total success or total failure and therefore is a crucial make-or-break decision for marketing managers. Try to envision who your business buyers are and how much information is known about them.
In thinking about consumers, you begin the process of developing buyer personas. Matrix Marketing Group offers an excellent free buyer persona template to help organize your thoughts and walk through the entire creation process.
Buyer personas are fictional generalizations of users who fit into an I.C.P. These personas are not only beneficial to marketers but also sales, product development, and customer services.
Future marketing content generation will be dependent on who these dynamic fictional characters represent. The excellent news is buyer personas aren’t challenging to form under the right circumstances.
To start the process, you can use market research reports, customer surveys, interviews, and focus groups of anyone in your target audience.
These don’t have to be customers only; they can consist of sales prospects, referrals, and database contacts. The better understood a profile is, the more valuable it becomes. Begin asking questions along these lines:
- What is their job title, role, experience?
- What does an average workday look like?
- Do they possess a specialized skill set?
- Which industry are they involved in?
- How big is their company?
- What are their responsibilities?
- What does their personal life look like?
- Do they have shopping preferences?
- Educational background?
Take this raw data and compile it into the top reoccurring trends. Organize and fill in the essential background, demographic, and identifying information.
Your target market segment is vital when marketing for manufacturing businesses.
5. Software Stack Selection
The sales and marketing technology industry has become exponentially overcrowded in the past few years. In 2016, the industry offered over 4,000 different solutions.
The good news is this provides marketing teams with the ability to create a marketing software stack that fits their exact needs. The bad news is finding the software to match your requirements has become a daunting task in the face of 4,000 options.
Every manufacturing marketing strategy will require a personalized software stack for efficiency, but we have some favorite combinations that we’ve come across with multiple clients at Matrix.
Our Setup at Matrix Marketing Group in Denver, Colorado
As a Denver digital marketing agency, we tend to use a lot of technology.
Since 2002 Matrix Marketing Group has changed over time into a system integrator for sales and marketing technology. It was a natural evolution for us since most of the staff have been in technology for years.
Are you not getting the results you had hoped for with your current marketing agency? Let the experts at this digital marketing agency help you generate more web traffic, convert more leads, and close more sales.
We use Outreach to structure our outbound email campaigns. It allows for personalized correspondence with prospects and statistical analysis to let us know which emails are working and which emails need tweaking for better results.
A majority of the activity generated is directing towards our website. The outbound activity here is typically cold-emailing or old leads that need some reinvigorating. Outreach is where new data starts in our full-cycle sales and marketing system; it is the beginning of our cycle.
Our favorite Outreach alternatives:
Hubspot and Marketing in Manufacturing:
This is our marketing stack middleman. Hubspot manages our web presence and everything related to our inbound marketing strategy.
They have a broad range of services from web content management, inbound email marketing, marketing automation, and digital analytics.
Their core is inbound marketing, but their team endlessly pumps out new innovations like P.P.C. management, an advanced reporting add on, and their sales sidekick.
We use ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, MailChimp, and Nimble as well.
Our favorite Hubspot alternatives:
Salesforce and Marketing for Manufacturing:
To end our full circle software stack, we implement Salesforce CRM and integrate its functionality with Hubspot and Outreach.
After leads have taken enough predetermined action on the website, they are passed along to the sales team to be qualified or sent back to Outreach for further lead nurturing. Salesforce provides limitless features and upgrades to keep the sales process on track.
Our popular Salesforce alternatives:
It’s easy to get lost in all these software options, and we didn’t even get into niche solutions for content creation, collaboration, social media marketing, paid media, project management, and contact discovery.
Take the time to devise a strategic framework that works with your team. Most of the software listed offer free trials so you can play with organization structure and operating different options in unison.
Salesforce and marketing for manufacturing go hand in hand.
Wrap up on Marketing in Manufacturing
Marketing and manufacturing require planning for success that will increase revenue and customer engagement. This starts with a solid brand foundation.
This doesn’t have to be a big rebranding project or even any changes at all. You’re messaging and positioning might need to be aligned with what your customers I looking for and trying to solve.
Is your goal to increase your ROI of your marketing investment? You’re not alone in the manufacturing industry.
Marketing strategy for manufacturing may involve content marketing for manufacturing, digital marketing for manufacturing companies, SEO, website redesign, branding or a combination of these marketing strategies.
Follow these 10 steps that I’ve outlined in this post and you’re on your way to better marketing for manufacturing.
Have something to say about your thoughts on marketing for manufacturing?
Are you not getting the results you had hoped for with your current marketing agency in the manufacturing sector? Let the professionals at this Colorado marketing company help you generate more web traffic, convert more leads, and close more sales. Our team knows just what it takes to build and maintain a proven marketing strategy that drives high-quality leads. For more information, check out our marketing services or contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs and our services.
If manufacturing companies want to get serious about revenue growth, it’s time they got serious about their marketing. Marketing needs to take on the challenge of becoming a growth engine for manufacturing companies.
How do you market a manufacturing company?
Here’s how you market a manufacturing company:
Create thought leadership.
Leverage keywords, PPC (pay-per-click) ads, and SEO.
Publish great written content.
Humanize the brand.
Use videos for marketing your products.
Delight your existing customers.
What is a manufacturing firm?
A manufacturing business is any business that uses components, parts, or raw materials to make a finished good. These finished goods can be sold directly to consumers or to other manufacturing businesses that use them for making a different product.