Written By Daniel Martin, chief editor at Altitude Marketing.
Gone are the days of manufacturing industries employing offline tactics such as word-of-mouth, referrals, trade shows, and sales calls. To stay relevant, it’s absolutely essential that manufacturers craft marketing strategies that cater to their audience.
Millennials, the new bosses, are the key decision-makers now. Those born between 1997-2012 find it easier to adapt to new trends, harness AI to automate as many tasks as possible, and experiment with new ideas.
If you want to redefine your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy, embrace the latest technologies like AR/VR and IoT, and focus on delivering the best customer experience while creating sustainable solutions.
Adapting to these trends will be critical in staying competitive and building lasting customer relationships. If you are on the lookout for the discovery stage of developing fresh strategies, you are in the right place. Read on to learn more about how you can align your strategies with new audiences and stakeholders.
- Harness Data Analytics for Informed Decision-Making
In today’s data-driven world, relying on guesswork is a recipe for failure. Instead, B2B manufacturing marketers should tap into data analytics to derive actionable insights. The following chart shows the reaction of B2B marketing leaders towards data analytics.
- Research shows that 70% of B2B companies believe data-driven marketing is crucial for success.
- Businesses using data analytics are 3 times more likely to see increased revenue.
- Around 90% of B2B marketers use data to segment and target their audience.
To thrive in today’s highly data-driven manufacturing landscape, you need to fully embrace analytics across your business. Invest in manufacturing-specific analytics tools to uncover hidden production insights that can significantly optimize operations.
Analyze sales and marketing data to pinpoint your most profitable customers and effective campaigns. For example, you may find customers purchasing high-efficiency models generate the most revenue. Use this to guide the development of new energy-saving product lines and target marketing towards sustainability-focused segments.
Or, you may discover email nurture campaigns with educational content have higher conversion rates. Tailor future lead nurturing to feature more thought leadership assets. Examine production metrics to identify potential bottlenecks impacting output. Address these through process improvements or technology investments to increase manufacturing efficiency.
Look at after-sales service costs by product line or region. This can inform decisions on quality control initiatives or prioritizing support resources. With the right analytics foundation, you can evolve into a lean, data-savvy manufacturer. Use data-driven insights at every step, from R&D to sales and marketing strategies.
- Personalize for Maximum Engagement
Buyers are demanding relevance. Personalized content and messaging tailored to individual needs deliver higher engagement. For B2B manufacturing marketers, personalization should be a core tenet of marketing strategy in 2023.
Hyper-customized campaigns aligned to buyer personas’ needs are proven to resonate 5X more than generic outreach. As manufacturing marketing strategy evolves, data-driven personalization and segmentation will be key competitive differentiators.
- Personalized content generates a 20% increase in sales on average.
- 91% of B2B buyers prefer interactive and visual content formats.
- Segmented email campaigns have 14.31% higher open rates.
Leverage your data to build detailed buyer personas based on current customers’ demographics, behaviors, and motivations. Use these personas to craft targeted content and campaigns. For example, create personalized landing pages showcasing the most relevant products and features based on the visitor’s industry and persona.
Implement marketing automation platforms to deliver customized email nurture tracks aligned to each lead’s interests. Develop interactive configuration tools and ROI calculators that serve up tailored pricing or specifications. Use site personalization to showcase popular accessories and attachments based on the product they are viewing.
Tailor trade show booth interactions based on attendee personas by training sales staff. Take it further by serving up promotions, case studies, and other assets matched to the individual. Hyper-personalized engagement across mediums is now essential for marketing success.
- Embrace Cutting-Edge Technologies
From artificial intelligence to extended reality, transformative technologies are reshaping B2B manufacturing marketing.
- The market for AR and VR solutions will reach $94.4 billion by 2023.
- 80% of manufacturers plan to invest in Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
- Per Accenture, 80% of executives believe AI improves worker performance and creates jobs.
Leverage AR/VR to create immersive product demonstrations and virtual showrooms. This allows prospective customers to visualize and interact with products remotely. Use AI and machine learning to gain deeper insights into customer data and preferences.
Identify new customer segments, optimize pricing, and personalize marketing campaigns. Implement predictive analytics to anticipate demand fluctuations and inventory needs. This enables more agile and adaptive marketing strategies.
Test chatbots to qualify leads, answer common questions, and handle other simple customer service needs around the clock. The possibilities are vast but focus on technologies that solve tangible business challenges. With the right adoption strategy, cutting-edge tech can give you a distinct competitive edge.
- Make Sustainability a Priority
With climate change concerns growing, sustainable practices have become a competitive advantage.
- 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
- Sustainability-focused companies outperform industry peers by 15% in terms of stock performance.
- 64% of B2B buyers factor sustainability into purchasing decisions.
- 72% of customers say companies have a responsibility to minimize environmental harm.
- Brands with renewable energy commitments see 1.5x more engagement on social media.
- Companies in the top 25% for sustainability saw over 20% higher profit margins.
As an environmentally-conscious manufacturer, showcase your efforts towards sustainability. Highlight energy and water conservation initiatives that make production more efficient. Offer customization options with renewable, recycled, or reduced product packaging.
Pursue eco-friendly certifications like ISO 14001 to validate your commitments. Promote product durability, reusability, and end-of-life recycling capabilities in your messaging and content. Source raw materials from suppliers with ethical, environmentally-friendly practices. Weaving sustainability throughout your operations and marketing boosts brand reputation.
- Optimize Social Media and Influencers
Despite being a B2B sector, manufacturing buyers rely heavily on social media and influencers.
- 84% of C-level manufacturing executives use social media for purchase guidance.
- 49% of B2B consumers depend on influencer recommendations.
- Companies with active social media presence generate 67% more leads.
- LinkedIn ads generate 62% higher CTR compared to other social platforms for B2B.
- 75% of B2B buyers are influenced by thought leadership content on social media.
- Authentic collaborations with nano-influencers drive 3.5x higher engagement rates.
While manufacturing is a B2B sector, social media and influencers play a growing role in brand awareness and purchase decisions. Engage industry experts on LinkedIn to establish thought leadership in your niche. Sponsor relevant trade shows and events to gain social media exposure.
Partner with nano-influencers in manufacturing to create authentic sponsored content that engages. Share behind-the-scenes production processes on YouTube to humanize your brand. Participate in discussions on Twitter and LinkedIn Groups to be part of the conversation. An optimized social strategy lets you connect with buyers in new ways.
- Adopt Targeted Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Stop marketing at faceless crowds. Account-based marketing focuses on tailoring messaging to strategic existing customers and high-value accounts.
- 87% of B2B marketers agree ABM provides higher ROI than other approaches.
- Companies using ABM for over a year report 171% greater annual contract value.
- 91% of established ABM users have seen larger deal sizes.
- 90% of marketers engaged in ABM meet or exceed their revenue goals.
- Tailored campaigns increase deal closure rates by over 10%.
- ABM improves customer retention by over 15% according to 59% of users.
For impactful marketing, identify and target your key accounts with personalized campaigns. Determine the most profitable customers and prospects to focus your efforts on. Equip sales with messaging and content tailored to specific account needs and pain points.
Use retargeting ads across the web to stay top of mind. Create customized landing pages and lead nurture tracks for priority accounts only. Take an orchestrated approach across channels including email, social media, and sales plays. While time-intensive, strategic account-based marketing delivers results for manufacturing.
- Continuously Measure and Refine
In our rapidly evolving marketplace, standing still means falling behind. Successful marketing requires agile measurement and refinement.
- 73% of companies regularly review marketing analytics to adjust strategies accordingly.
- 60% of marketers cite ineffective analytics tools as a top challenge.
- Per Harvard Business Review, agile marketing teams demonstrate 20% higher productivity.
Ongoing measurement and refinement are key for manufacturing marketing success. Establish processes to track performance metrics across all channels – monitor website traffic, lead generation, sales velocity, and campaign ROI.
Regularly review production efficiency metrics like OEE to identify areas for operational improvement. A/B test landing pages, emails, and ad creative to optimize conversion. Analyze campaign effectiveness to shift the budget to high-performing initiatives.
Survey customers for feedback to guide new product development and marketing. Stay on top of emerging technologies, buyer needs, and competitors. Adjust strategies based on changes in the market. While complex for manufacturers, commitment to continuous optimization provides a competitive advantage.
The B2B manufacturing marketing playbook is being rewritten. As we’ve explored, data, personalization, technology, sustainability, social media, ABM, and agility are reshaping strategies for 2023.
Companies that embrace these trends will gain a competitive edge, while those who lag behind risk becoming obsolete. The time is now to redefine your approach. With manufacturing at an inflection point, bold moves count more than ever. Will you lead this revolution, or will you become obsolete? The choice is yours.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I use data analytics in B2B manufacturing marketing?
Focus on key metrics like website analytics, lead generation, sales velocity, lifetime value, and campaign ROI. Use tools like Google Analytics, CRM, marketing automation, and A/B testing to capture and analyze data to guide your strategy.
- Is sustainability a fad or a necessity for B2B manufacturing marketing?
Sustainability is a competitive necessity rather than a fad due to growing environmental concerns, regulations, and buyer demand. Make it central to your brand and messaging for the long haul.
- What are some ABM challenges specific to manufacturing and how to tackle them?
ABM scaling is difficult – expand gradually. Long sales cycles – use ABM for nurturing. Data quality issues – invest in robust data maintenance. Cross-channel coordination – ensure marketing and sales alignment. With planning and execution, ABM can overcome manufacturing complexities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Martin has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. In his previous work experiences, he has developed expertise in digital marketing, e-commerce, and social media. When he’s not working, Dan enjoys photography and traveling.