A Guide on How to Market a Manufacturing Company
Marketing isn’t a new practice; it’s been around since the beginning of human civilization. In fact, some historians say that it’s even older than that. But what exactly does “marketing” mean anyway? Is it just about advertising? Does it include traditional forms like print ads, radio spots, and billboards? Or does it encompass newer methods like digital marketing, social media, and influencer marketing?
In today’s world, it seems like every industry is becoming increasingly dependent on marketing strategies to acquire customers, increase brand awareness, and generate revenue. So it makes sense that marketing departments now exist across nearly every type of organization, including manufacturing businesses.
But how effective are those efforts? What sort of return are manufacturers getting from their current marketing strategies? How much money could they potentially save if they implemented better tactics? These questions are answered in our guide to manufacturing marketing in 2022.
Inbound Marketing & Manufacturing
The practice that we’ve seen work best over the years is Inbound Marketing.
The term inbound marketing is often used interchangeably with social media marketing. In fact, many people think that inbound marketing is simply another way to use social media. But there are some key differences between the two.
As marketers, we know that without prospective customers coming to us, we don’t have a job. So, let’s talk about what inbound marketing looks like and why it’s such a powerful tool for manufacturers.
Inbound marketing isn’t limited to B2C companies either. Many B2B companies are adopting this strategy because it’s proven effective. Here are some examples of inbound marketing campaigns that work well for manufacturers:
#1: A manufacturer of high-end kitchen appliances launched a YouTube channel to promote their product line.
#2: An engineering firm used LinkedIn groups to connect with professionals interested in their field.
To get started, two things will help kick start your sales pipeline and revenue: integrating your CRM into your email campaign management system (marketing automation) and creating high quality content for your audience (content). Integrating these tools together will ensure that you’re able to effectively communicate with your prospects and customers.
Optimize Your Manufacturing Company’s Website
If you haven’t already set up a website for your small business, this is your first big step toward success. But it’s no longer just about having a website; you’ve got to optimize it to make it appealing and easier for potential customers to find. And while you’re at it, you’ll want to make sure that the domain name you choose represents your business name as closely to your business name as possible.
It will help you gain the trust of potential customers by giving them an idea of what they’re going to get from working with you. And it will help you avoid any confusion among customers who are looking for you online. So what does good web design look like? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Have a clear homepage.
2. Include important keywords throughout the site.
3. Use descriptive text.
4. Create a navigation menu that makes sense.
5. Make sure that each page includes at least four key pieces of information: a home page, a products and services page, a page explaining the history and values of the organization, and a page stating the contact information.
Digital Marketing is not an expense, its a revenue engine
In my experience, most manufacturers are not marketers. They’re good people who love their product and want to do whatever it takes to make sure their customers keep coming back for more. But the truth is, that mindset doesn’t work very well for us.
The problem is, we don’t really understand how to market our products. We tend to focus on making great stuff, rather than getting out there and selling it. And while that’s important, it’s not nearly enough.
We need to shift the mindset from expense to a revenue engine. This means focusing less on traditional advertising and more on developing relationships with potential customers.
That might sound counterintuitive. After all, isn’t marketing supposed to help sell things? Yes, but it’s just one part of the equation. Marketing is about generating leads and nurturing those leads into paying customers, and it requires a different skill set than simply making great stuff.
Think about it this way: When someone walks up to you and asks “Do you want fries with that?” you don’t say “No thanks.” Instead, you say something like “I’d love some fries. What type of fries would you recommend?”
Now, whether you agree with me or not, that’s exactly what manufacturers should be doing. Sure, we still need to build awesome products, but that’s not where our attention needs to go. Our focus should be on building long-term relationships with our customers.
Marketing a Manufacturing Company – Both functions can exist
Marketing and manufacturing are two key functions within most large corporations. Each function is responsible for different aspects of the corporation; however, each function must work together to produce products that meet customers’ needs and expectations.
While there is plenty of room for cooperation between these functions, sometimes conflicts arise because of misunderstandings and miscommunication. These problems lead to frustration on both sides, and ultimately cause antagonistic relationships to develop.
Marketing/manufacturing interfaces are important parts of the overall strategy of many companies, but there are certain problems inherent in trying to manage both sides of the equation simultaneously.
One area where you must work together is capacity planning and long range sales forecasting. If you don’t plan ahead, you’re likely to find yourself short of inventory and unable to meet customer demand. On the flip side, if you’re too far out into the future, you risk being blindsided by changes in market conditions and having to scramble to adjust production levels.
Another potential source of friction is how much control you want over manufacturing versus marketing. This is especially true in industries like automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace, where the products are highly complex and require extensive testing and validation before they go into mass production. In those cases, it might be best to let manufacturers handle the design and development process rather than micromanaging every step of the way.
Finally, there’s the question of whether you want to maintain tight control over the quality of your products. Some manufacturers prefer to keep final assembly in house because they believe it gives them better control over quality issues. Others argue that outsourcing allows them to focus on innovation and speed up the pace of change.
Marketing doesn’t have a single “silver bullet” strategy. However, if you combine different types of digital marketing efforts (such as social media, email marketing, etc.), you may be able to achieve better success than if you just rely on one type of digital marketing alone.