Industrial Marketing – Budgets, Challenges and Performance

Curious about how your peers and the competition are spending their industrial marketing dollars? You are in the right place at the right time.

I just finished reading the research report, 2018 Budget Trends in Industrial & Technology Marketing published by To put their findings in the right perspective, the top three segments of their demographics were:

  • Demographics for industrial and technical marketing32% Manufacturers
  • 20% Software companies
  • 16% were companies that provide Consulting/Engineering services

See the chart on the right for a complete breakdown.

The average industrial marketing budget is under $100,000 for more than half (52%) of these companies. There are a few (7%) with a budget of more than a million. Raise your hand if you are one of them!

Avergae size of industrial marketing budgets

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Industrial Content Marketing — Goals are Misunderstood and Misaligned

Industrial content marketing is used by an overwhelming majority of manufacturers. It stands at 85% according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 survey. According to ENGINEERING.COM’s 2017 survey, 87% of engineering marketers use content marketing.

The CMI survey also reported that that 80% of manufacturing marketers rated themselves as “Not At All Successful” to “Moderately Successful” with content marketing.

Success with industrial content marketing

Dissatisfaction with industrial content marketing

C-suite executives at large industrial companies and owners of smaller family-owned manufacturing and engineering companies have plenty to be unhappy about with their lack of success with industrial content marketing. The big reason – MONEY! (or the money spent on content marketing).

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What’s Hot and What’s Not in Digital Marketing for Engineers in 2014

I just downloaded my copy of the 2014 Digital Marketing for Engineers survey published by John Hayes and his team at There are some interesting and encouraging findings.

I’ll use a few of the charts from the survey results that show what they found and then add what I am seeing firsthand with my industrial clients.

Survey Question: Will your 2014 budget for the following activities be smaller, larger or about the same? Bar length indicates respondents who chose “larger”

Digital marketing for engineers 2014 budget increases

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Boost Email Relevancy With Dynamic Content

Email marketing has been a staple of industrial marketing for a long time. However, many of these marketers are now experiencing declining open and click through rates.

With all the buzz about social media, blogs and RSS feeds, are email marketing and eNewsletters dead?

Not so fast!

IMO, they are and will continue to be very useful provided your content is relevant.

That’s the standard advice you are likely to get from most marketing consultants. It’s easier said than done as you’ve probably already discovered.

The solution – use dynamic content to boost relevancy of your emails and make them highly personalized in order to truly engage with your audience of engineering, technical and industrial professionals.

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How Videos Tell Compelling Stories About Consulting Engineering

In an earlier post, (see More Manufacturers Are Using Videos For Content Marketing) I had mentioned that 48% of manufacturers were using videos as part of their content marketing. That is slightly higher usage than other B2B marketers in general (41%).

How about consulting engineering firms, do they use videos too?

I figured this would be an interesting sector to checkout since consulting engineers come from a variety of engineering fields including civil, electrical, structural, mechanical, chemical, metallurgical, geotechnical and highway engineering. Many of these engineering firms serve both private and public clients.

Most of the videos on consulting engineering that I found on YouTube were from professional associations and universities and a few from engineering firms.

These videos have very compelling stories to tell with a strong human connection. They would make any engineer feel proud of the work that they do in shaping communities and affecting people’s lives on a daily basis.

These videos can inspire young people to pursue an engineering education and make a rewarding career out it.

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Breaking the Rules of Content Marketing Pays Off Big Time for Engineering Companies

As part of a new Web design project that I’m working on for an engineering company, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the past two weeks reviewing Websites of well-known engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies.

These EPC companies not only have a substantial presence (major employers) in Houston, Texas but they also have a large global footprint.

I figured these companies would be great examples of marketing with content. What I found contradicts the rules of content marketing as practiced today.

Yet, these EPC companies are extremely successful in how they are marketing themselves to generate sales and grow their revenues.

And the numbers don’t lie. Here are four EPC companies that I looked at and their sales figures:

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Why More Engineers Ought to be in Sales and Marketing

Think aligning sales and marketing is difficult? Think again.

In most manufacturing and industrial companies, engineering, sales and marketing operate in their own silos, barely acknowledging each other’s existence. The disconnect is strong and distinct.

As clichéd as this may sound, it seems Engineers are from Mars, Marketers are from Venus.

I feel I am qualified to talk about this problem because I am an engineer who makes a living as an industrial marketer. I see and experience this problem first-hand with my engineering and manufacturing clients. One of the reasons I am retained is to bridge this gap between marketing and engineering.

This misalignment is destructive and disruptive to the entire organization. The insults and accusations come hot and heavy from both sides of this great divide.

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