Manufacturing companies of all sizes are learning to interact with consumers and business customers in important new ways, creating strategies that use anything from content marketing to paid web advertising.
Traditionally, lead generation was the responsibility of the sales department. Manufacturers developed products and services, educated internal and outside sales staff, and sent them out to meet with potential clients. For example at trade exhibitions, in offices, and through strictly regulated advertising campaigns in industry magazines.
This sort of sales-only connection with business partners was effective even a decade ago. However, in today’s competitive economy, manufacturers are no longer exempt from marketing.
It used to be all about who you knew and who could suggest you to someone else. This may still be true to some extent now. However, content marketing, social media, SEO, and a number of other inbound marketing initiatives modify that narrative, allowing you to climb above the referrer and expand your brand in new directions.
So let’s take a look at marketing strategy for manufacturers companies vs marketing strategy for consumers.
Differences In Consumer And Manufacturer Marketing
Before you begin a marketing strategy, you must first understand the client. Are you targeting companies or consumers with your marketing? Or maybe you’re marketing to both? If this is the case, you’ll need a strategy that addresses both channels.
1. Manufacturing Marketing.
Manufacturing marketing is usually business-to-business (B2B) marketing. So, a marketing strategy for a manufacturing company is more complicated, and the sales cycle is longer than in business-to-consumer (B2C).
Who is the target audience? Other businesses, such as downstream supply chain manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or business end-users. You should be aware of the sector you’re targeting, the sizes and types of businesses that require or desire your products, and who inside those organisations has purchasing power.
What are the customer requirements? Business customers want high-quality goods that are compatible with their procedures and budgets. They must be able to provide and serve their customers with confidence while still generating a profit.
What are the drivers? Whether or not a business chooses your products is determined by factors such as price, credit, and terms; what consumers think of your brand; how much support you provide in the form of technical, marketing, and other resources; and whether or not you can get buy-in from all of the right decision-makers.
What’s the purchasing process? The purchasing procedure in company can be challenging. The process includes discovery and pricing comparisons, estimations, demos, and final purchase decisions. You may need to impress more than one level of decision-makers; frequently, the more levels you must impress, the greater the transaction.
Managers, procurement leaders, senior decision-makers, accounting or finance teams, and other personnel may be involved in the acquisition.
2. Consumer Marketing.
When you advertise directly to the consumer or end-user, this is B2C marketing.
Who is the target audience? The demographics of your target audience will vary depending on the product. To properly focus marketing efforts, you need to understand your target consumers’ age range, interests, geography, income bracket, career, and family status.
What are the customer requirements? The customer wishes to purchase something that will assist them in solving a problem or making their life simpler or more enjoyable. In certain circumstances, they desire a thing because of the message it conveys or the status it displays, such as with specific brands or luxury products.
What are the drivers? Price, quality, brand reputation, how often they can picture themselves using the goods, customer experience, and recommendations or reviews from others are all factors that influence consumer purchase decisions.
What’s the purchasing process? All consumer purchases follow a fundamental process that includes awareness, consideration, and decision making. The intricacy of the purchase process influences how quickly a buyer progresses through it. The purchasing process for a McDonald’s takes seconds or minutes. Consumers may spend days or weeks shopping for a bed or sofa.
In most situations, the customer is accompanied by a significant other or a close family member.
B2B Manufacturer Marketing Obstacles
B2B marketers may face difficulties that most B2C marketers do not. Relationships inside your organisation, such as those with sales, and relationships outside of the manufacturing business, such as those with vendors, supply chains, and clients, are complicated.
According to Hubspot statistics, for example, just around half of B2B marketers believe they can effectively work with sales teams.
Check out some of the additional marketing strategy obstacles that manufacturing companies may encounter.
1. Precise Requirements.
Manufacturing marketers have unique requirements, particularly when compared to typical consumer marketers.
Website traffic, for example, is one of the most important KPIs for consumer marketing. If you can get enough of the correct people to visit a consumer ecommerce site, you should be able to meet your sales targets.
However, manufacturers cannot just direct massive volumes of traffic to a well-designed website and cross their fingers.
Depending on the specialty or vertical of your business, you may not have a lot of traffic to utilise.
You must also strike a balance between how much information you want to provide on your website and how you want to manage your customer interactions. To effectively help your business partners, you may need to limit access to information about your items in some instances.
2. Long Sales Cycles.
Long sales cycles are common in manufacturing. In B2B marketing, a PPC ad campaign will not provide the same results as it does in B2C marketing, where many individuals see practically instantaneous conversion outcomes.
Instead, your marketing strategies may focus on brand awareness and lead creation. The leads are then sent on to the sales department for nurturing over the course of several weeks, months, or even years until a contract is closed.
3. Complicated Products.
Manufacturing companies that provide sophisticated products are unlikely to have much success promoting direct internet sales to B2B buyers. For example, if your product costs £10,000 and has customisable options, someone is unlikely to click a “purchase now” button and input corporate credit card information.
Determine how customers engage with your products and what they require from you early in the purchase process.
4. There Are More Individuals To Persuade.
B2C marketing may rely on tried-and-true strategies, such as using micro-moments, to contact consumers at precisely the appropriate time to push a purchase. Creating a feeling of urgency to drive an impulse purchase or sending cart abandonment emails are tried and tested B2C marketing techniques that sometimes fall short in manufacturer marketing.
Many of these strategies don’t work as effectively – or at all – when marketing to other businesses since there are so many more stakeholders to persuade. In medium and large businesses, purchasing choices may include:
Someone in middle management sees the need.Who then has to persuade others that there is a need. The original individual may do preliminary research to establish that there’s a demand. Executives may then appoint someone (or a team of people) to go on with research. Who may then propose alternatives or ask probing questions to get more information, and the field is limited further through demos, quotations, and debates.
Finally, a choice is made.
The difficulty is that your marketing activities must continue to enhance your chances of closing the transaction throughout the process.
Advantages Of Using Manufacturer Marketing
According to research published by Chief Marketer, B2B marketers frequently struggle to engage prospects or obtain high-quality leads. That is where a solid marketing strategy for manufacturing companies comes into play.
1. Increased Lead Conversions.
According to the 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark study from the Content Marketing Institute, over 70% of the most effective B2B marketers have a written content marketing plan. Only 16% of the least successful organisations can say the same, and the lack of marketing commitment is evident.
Other characteristics of successful B2B organisations include the use of KPIs to monitor marketing success, the nurturing of prospects, and the preference for educating the target audience over selling to them.
2. Brand Recognition.
Online marketing is a tried-and-tested method for increasing brand recognition. In turn, this boosts client loyalty and helps you persuade stakeholders that you’re the best business to work with. And B2B marketers understand the significance of this; they constantly rank it as a top priority in polls.
When you invest in social media marketing, strong website content, PPC advertising, and SEO, you are investing in the development of your brand. Here are a few examples of potential rewards on your investment:
- You’re the first manufacturer that springs to mind when someone realises their company has a need. Right away, brand recognition puts you ahead of the competition.
- Your client’s customers may be familiar with your brand and want your product. Alternatively, because you have a high brand reputation, your customer may utilise your name in their marketing message, which adds value to working with you.
3. Position Your Business As A Thought Leader.
Thought leadership establishes you as a resource to whom clients can turn for trusted, professional advice, useful information, or training and education. It’s especially great for manufacturing businesses.
Case studies and white papers are two popular digital marketing formats that lend themselves well to thought leadership, especially because they can be used to generate leads. For example, for a user to obtain a worthwhile white paper, you should ask them to submit their email address. You suddenly have leads who are interested enough in what you have to offer that they have exchanged their contact information in order to learn more.
However, not all thought leadership should be hidden behind a paywall. Blogs and social media are excellent places to establish your industry position by sharing your material or sharing someone else’s work and providing value with your own remarks.
4. Increase Consumer Loyalty.
Customer loyalty may be increased with the right marketing. To begin, all of the benefits listed above contribute to the creation of a culture of trust in your brand. Customers can trust your brand, so can businesses. Executives will be more likely to trust your organisation if middle management believes in it. Brand awareness helps to build trust.
Your marketing job isn’t over once you’ve captured and even converted a lead. Engaging clients on social media, sending well-planned and timed email newsletters, and offering incentives through internet marketing are all tactics to increase the possibility that customers would return for another purchase.
If you’re a manufacturing company looking for a solid marketing strategy then get in touch with Sarah today at email@example.com or call her on 07816071112. Additionally, if this blog was useful, you may wish to read a previous one: Specialist Web Design For Manufacturing Companies