Industrial marketing for manufacturers is a complex process that takes time, expertise and money to produce tangible and repeatable results (aka more quality sales leads). And I’m not talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) either. Marketing to engineers and technical professionals has always been a challenge.
FYI, I’m one of the keynote speakers at the Industrial Marketing Summit organized by CADENAS PARTsolutions as part of Content Marketing World 2019. The title of my presentation is “Unique Challenges of Marketing to Engineers and Industrial Buyers” which is scheduled for Friday, September 6 around 11:15 a.m. (See box at the end of this post). Stop by and say hello if you are going to be at CMW2019.
Based on my experience working with different industrial companies, I can say that some of these challenges in industrial marketing for lead generation can be daunting, especially if you are a manufacturer of complex, custom-engineered systems that are considered big-ticket purchases or CapEx projects. I’ll be talking more about these challenges in my presentation at CMW2019.
I was provided an advance review copy of the latest research report published by IEEE GlobalSpec. It is called 2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing. I’ll highlight some of their key findings here and you can download the full report from their website.
Goals of industrial marketing for manufacturers
It shouldn’t surprise you that the number one goal of industrial marketers is Customer Acquisition. That has been the case every year since I have been reading these reports. The terms Customer Acquisition and Demand Generation may seem vague and confusing, they are related but separate. There are plenty (About 179,000,000 results) of online articles available if you Google Demand vs. Lead Generation.
Challenges in industrial marketing for manufacturers
You’d think, lack of resources would be the number 1 challenge, but it is a close second to accurately measuring ROI. This is a big one because it not just a marketing problem, but also has a strong impact on getting buy-in from management and accountability of the marketing team.
Marketing channels used by manufacturers
You would think that with all the talk about industrial content marketing, it would be the preferred channel by most manufacturers. The survey found that 81% of manufacturers use a balanced approach of mixing both push/outbound marketing and pull/inbound marketing. That doesn’t mean manufacturers are satisfied with their mix. Industrial marketers want to diversify their mix more—only 24 percent are satisfied with their current marketing mix.
Budget allocation between channels
Here’s the good news—31% of respondents will spend more on marketing this year than they did last year.
How are these bigger budgets going to be allocated between channels? Even though manufacturers use a mix of push and pull tactics, notice that some of the traditional or push marketing tactics such as direct mail using rented/purchased lists, trade magazine advertising, and printed directories will get a smaller share of the total budget.
Use of technology in industrial marketing
IIoT, AI and Industry 4.0 are some of the popular trends for factory of the future or the smart factory. Can industrial marketing benefit from technology? YES!
Lead scoring and automated personalized emails for lead nurturing are two of the key benefits of Marketing Automation (MA). These are must-have features for fully qualifying Marketing Qualified Leads into Sales Qualified Leads. MA also provides much deeper insights into your customers than Google Analytics alone can do.
This is particularly important for manufacturers as they must deal with long sales cycles and have to interact with multiple stakeholders at different stages of the buyer’s journey. MA can optimize your industrial marketing efforts by saving you considerable amount of time and taking some of the guesswork out of it.
However, only 37% manufacturers are currently using MA, but this number is expected to go up as these companies become more comfortable using marketing technology.
Instead of reinventing the wheel here, let me direct you to an excellent e-book called “Build a Better Customer Experience with Marketing Automation for Manufacturers.” It is published by Pardot, B2B marketing automation by Salesforce.
I don’t want to come across as promoting Pardot, I have always been technology agnostic and plan to remain that way. I help my industrial clients evaluate different MA packages; select the right one based on their needs and budget; have integrated various packages with front-end WordPress websites and CRMs.
As a manufacturer, you want to maximize every dollar you spend on industrial marketing. I hope this post with the research findings will help you optimize your industrial marketing efforts for the best results.
I have been invited to present at the 2019 Content Marketing World Conference and Expo to be held from Sep. 3 – 6 , 2019 at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, OH. I’m part of the Industrial Marketing Summit. The topic of my presentation is “Unique Challenges of Marketing to Engineers and Industrial Buyers.” It is on Friday, September 6 around 11 am. You’ll find an outline of my presentation on the CMI World’s website. I hope to see you there.
Save $100 off the event registration by using the code MITRA19.