Industrial and manufacturing marketing is never a one-size-fits-all practice. For every niche and every objective, there is a different approach. With the right tools, strategies, and marketing tactics in place, industrial and manufacturing companies can reach their ideal turn high-quality leads into buyers.
What Is B2B Industrial Marketing?
Business-to-business or B2B marketing is the practice of marketing products and services to other businesses or organizations. Unlike business-to-customer or B2C marketing, the sale cycles of B2B are much longer due to:
For these reasons, industrial marketing needs to be focused on cultivating long-lasting relationships.
How is Manufacturing Marketing Different from Traditional Marketing?
In industrial manufacturing, large quantity or high-ticket orders are accommodated to maximize the investment in labor, machines, and research. In a manufacturing marketing plan, long-term buyers who are willing to make large purchases are the priority.
To make this possible, the strategy should focus on information and organization. For example, in a sample marketing plan, manufacturers and sales teams must convince the decision-makers that they are offering the best. To illustrate, it could be the products or services, a strong supply chain, affordable pricing, flexible financing, along with hands-on customer care.
To grow your business, marketing and sales must work together. In particular, this allows your company to optimize all resources. Furthermore, it improves brand reputation and the ability to attract big clients at the same time.
Why Marketing is Important for the Industrial World
A marketing strategy in place is still the key in moving the goods to distributors and other large-scale intermediaries.
What is the point of making products and providing services if you are not making your target buyer aware? Marketing to OEM’s and distributors ensures that the industrial solutions and innovations reach the buyers that they are intended to support.
Benefits of Marketing for Your Manufacturing Business
Every industrial marketing strategy aims to address a set of goals determined by the niche and the type of consumers that the company serves. Here are some reasons why you should have an industrial marketing plan for your business:
- Build brand awareness to attract customers and leads.
- Inform and provide education to stakeholders to aid in their evaluation process.
- Build brand reputation to sustain customer base. Establishing trust with your customers increases brand loyalty.
- Be able to contribute to the development of the industry through innovation. Once your marketing strategy has turned your capital into profit, grow your business by developing new product solutions to new markets.
The Manufacturing Buying Cycle
From a business perspective, the ultimate benefit of marketing is to generate revenue. But to get there, you have to take your target market through a series of purchasing stages as seen below.
In this stage, the buyer identifies a problem and manufacturers provide solutions to those problems.
Buyers explore the solutions offered by manufacturers. They look for suppliers through referrals. Many explore their options online through keyword searches.
Consideration & Comparison
After extensive research, collects details, such as product built, pricing, etc., to narrow down choices to the best ones.
In this stage, the consumer selects and establishes an agreement with the manufacturer. It is important to have this buying cycle in mind when creating your marketing plan for manufacturing.
Creating and Executing an Industrial Marketing Strategy
How can you lead your customers and prospects through the customer journey? You must have an industrial marketing strategy in place. Evaluate your current strategies and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Consider the external factors that can be classified as opportunities and threats. Find inspiration from what worked and what did not. The gaps in your previous marketing strategy will help you decide your new objectives.
Your next marketing strategy should be better than the last one. Incorporate key performance indicators to track your progress. The more detailed and intentional you are with your strategies, the easier it is to execute your manufacturing marketing plans.
Creating Customer Personas
To properly plot your customers’ journey, determine the right audience for your marketing efforts. One tool that you can use for this is the creation of customer personas.
Target personas, even if they are hypothetical, must be well-researched. They must also represent your ideal customer in a particular segmentation of your market.
Are your promotional efforts trying to get the attention of distributing firms, engineers, CEOs, or other manufacturers? Deciding this is the first step.
The second step is specifying the traits and behaviors of your ideal consumer. A solid method to go about this is through keyword searches and analytics. Look at the top searches in the industry. This will help you ¬ the values of your target consumers and be able to layout their attributes.
Another way is through qualitative data collected by your company via surveys and consultations. The latter is a more accurate method to determine your customer base’s specific needs and suggestions. Having specific customers in mind while doing this can also help you be more empathetic and create better insights.
Roadblocks When Developing an Industrial Marketing Strategy
Once you have created your customer personas for your manufacturing business, it is time to turn those insights into action. However, it is inevitable to have some obstacles and unforeseeable changes along the way.
If you are specific with your goals in the planning stage, it will be easier to tweak your strategy and adapt. Here are some common challenges to consider as you develop an industrial marketing strategy:
Long buying cycles are common in the industry
This is what differentiates B2B manufacturing marketing in manufacturing from other types of B2B and traditional B2C marketing. As a solution, automate your systems and processes to make purchasing easy and fast for all the decision-makers.
Complex products that may be hard to communicate to your audience
Find the best content type to explain the technical details of your products and services. Make sure these materials are accessible, value-rich, and indicative of your expertise in the industry.
Limited targeting on digital channels
Most of the time manufacturing companies are discovered via search engines. Because of this, most manufacturing companies compete for the top results using SEO and SEM. While search-based marketing is effective, it is important to use other content and digital strategies to maximize your visibility. You can increase your sales through social media posts and email marketing, among other methods.
Helpful Marketing Tools and Resources
Online platforms provide marketers and businesses the tools and resources that can be used to surmount any hurdles in their marketing strategy execution.
Different social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn and Facebook, can help you build brand awareness, lead your audience to your website, and generate leads.
SEO and SEM Tools
Search engine optimization and search engine marketing are the best ways to increase your discoverability on the internet. Tools such as Google Analytics and Search Console can help you determine the best keywords to include in your blogs. Incorporate these into the most-visited visited website pages. At the same time, this will help to improve your search-engine-based marketing plan.
Through advertising aimed at users with specific job titles, companies get the chance to be discovered by industry leaders, OEM’s, distributors, and new leads.
Customer relationship and management tools help manufacturing companies organize the contact information of their existing customers and lead. CRM tools are especially useful for customer tracking and email marketing campaigns. These tools and resources can be used to improve your content strategy in the manufacturing industry.
Types of Content to Create for Your Manufacturing Customers
When creating content, think back to your marketing strategy, particularly your customer personas. Moreover, find the best ways to hit the right target audience and deliver your messages effectively by exploring different content types for your industrial company.
- Social Media Post
- Industry e-books
- Case Studies
- Digital spec sheets and brochures
- Product comparisons
- Live Chat
- White Papers
- Video Content
- Thought Leadership
With this in mind, the content marketing of your manufacturing company can be overwhelming. Especially if you are trying to produce all these content types regularly. Even so, the impact of content will rely on the quality of what you publish about your manufacturing brand. Moreover, ensure consistency of the message as well as posting content. Likewise, with the right balance, you will be able to walk with your customers along their journey as buyers.
Build a Global Manufacturing Brand with Campaigns
A great manufacturing marketing plan has the potential to take your industrial company from being a local supplier to reaching audiences and customers on a global level. To reach customers around the world, including the following:
Adapt your website to a global audience
Be searchable to other countries. Do not rely on automatic translations. Hire a translator who is a native speaker of your target countries to apply search engine optimization. At the same time, the website must also go through localization testing to ensure that the images, placements, and word choices are appropriate to the location you are targeting.
Work on logistics and talk about it on your channels
Specifically, let your international audience know how your products can be delivered to them. For example, you can post about it or write about it on your blog. It is important to discuss how your product or service.
Digital Ad Campaigns
For the same reason, use targeted ads on social media and relevant manufacturing websites to attract your audience to your own landing page.
In addition to ad campaigns, another way to reach your target audience is through niche media in digital or print. To emphasize, local readers of your target country can find out about your global expansion through manufacturing magazines or the business section of their favorite newspaper.
Presently, global expansion is a sign of success in the industrial world. Given these points, use specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound performance indicators to determine the efficiency of your manufacturing marketing plan.
Track and Measure Your Industrial Marketing Efforts
The most common key performance indicators (KPIs) for manufacturing marketing can be categorized based on the channels where you put out your content including:
- Website metrics
- Web and blog traffic
- Click-Through Rates
- Search Engine Metrics:
- Keyword Impressions
- Click-Through Rates
- Social Media Metrics
However, KPIs are not limited to these listed alone. Additionally, they must be set in the planning stage according to your marketing strategies and sales team goals and objectives.
Top Digital Marketing Mistakes Made by Manufacturers
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. It is normal for decision-makers in business leaders to make mistakes with their digital marketing strategy. Some common mistakes that we notice include:
- Not analyzing competitors
- Sales and marketing teams not working together
- Trying to create content for multiple social media platforms that affects the quality of the posts
Furthermore, these common missteps just highlight the importance of a strategic industrial marketing plan. To clarify, manufacturing brands should not impulsively carry out digital marketing activities without backing up the decision. In addition, use your company’s data and analytics to ensure you are making informed decisions.
Setting an Industrial and Manufacturing Marketing Budget
To determine your marketing budget, use your detailed manufacturing marketing plan with a definite timeline. To clarify, see below some steps that companies follow to know how much to allocate for their industrial marketing efforts.
Calculate your revenue and consider company size
Depending on the size of your business, marketing budgets will vary within each industry. At the same time, costs will vary according to your marketing strategy.
Know the industry standards
A study in June 2020 showed that manufacturers usually spend 6.91% of their overall revenue on marketing. However, for starts-ups, expect to spend around 15 to 20 percent of your projected revenue.
Have a priority list of marketing activities that align with your goals
Likewise, the total cost of your marketing plan will also depend on the activities that you plan to execute. Nevertheless, figure out which channels you want to focus on. This will provide a close calculation of the projected cost and avoid overspending.
With this in mind, a manufacturing marketing agency can help you by presenting different marketing strategies that suit your needs and budget.
How to Choose the Right Manufacturing and Industrial Marketing Agency
Besides knowing how to work within your budget, your agency must be an expert in the industry. This should be proven by years of experience and a history of working with established manufacturing companies. Your agency must also offer a unique understanding of your company’s products, services, sales cycle, and target demographic.
Moreover, it must offer a multitude of professional services in content marketing, social media, digital advertising, website, and search engine optimization. You should not have to work with multiple agencies for your marketing needs.
As the leader in industrial marketing, MFG Tribe has been helping Industrial companies from $2 million – $3 billion dominate their competition with the most aggressive marketing tactics that work in today’s competitive environment for over five years. Our strategy adjusts based on what’s most effective for YOUR company, and we only work with industrial companies. If you’re looking to set up your marketing efforts with the Industrial Marketing leader, schedule a discovery call today!