How Can Manufacturers Redefine Marketing Strategies in the Age of COVID?

What do you need to create a killer B2B marketing plan or scale it to support a new marketing business in the age of COVID-19? Many manufacturing companies struggled when the coronavirus started. Some of them paused all marketing activities, waited for the lockdown to end, and then made up for potential losses.

Looking at this situation, where does your business stand when it comes to marketing planning in 2021?

Simply copying and pasting the old calendar, changing dates and campaign names will be far from being sufficient for the years ahead. Instead, establishing steady and tangible SMART B2B manufacturing marketing goals, which are specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and flexible, is crucial for marketers. And such goals should be made every quarter and bucketed under a planned manufacturing marketing strategy.

Aren't you sure what to include in your B2B manufacturing marketing plan? Read on the following ideas that will help you do marketing in the age of COVID-19.

Redefine your Budget Season

As marketers in industrial manufacturing face planning failures such as inevitable spreadsheets, board meetings, sales, and client handling that accompany for an entire year, they're also facing dwindling budgets. So, redefining your manufacturing marketing budget in 2021 will be one of the most important aspects of marketing for manufacturers.

Digital Marketing

AMA's latest CMO Survey found that manufacturing marketers anticipate an 8.4% rise in digital marketing spending throughout 2021.

What is your digital marketing goal in 2021?
  • Generate double-digit leads for products and services?
  • Promote or launch a new product or service?
  • Expanding reach by ranking in Google's first search engine result page (SERP)?

Creating a proper digital marketing plan will leverage to know beyond its tip of the ice. The digital platform will keep your marketing activities on track and in one place, and you will see what's working and what doesn't. This way, you can create a solid budget to implement digital marketing in your marketing business.

Customer Experience

A survey found that customer experience expenditure surged 10% from past years after companies started marketing budgeting. This prominently included A CRM (customer relationship management) platform. So, including a CRM will benefit your business to track and manage contacts present in your marketing pipeline.

Social Media Platforms

Interestingly, social media expenditure has soared by 74% since February 2021, and the investment by other manufacturers has paid off. Manufacturers report that social media has contributed to the company's performance 24% more after the pandemic.

In general, 62% of marketers report that the importance of social media marketing for manufacturing has grown during the pandemic due to its critical role in reaching customers digitally. It's clear that companies that already implemented digital marketing see the value of budgeting for social media, which increased the positive results of marketing. So, when you set up a new budget, include social media to grow your business.

5 Things to Consider while Marketing your Business


A Lead Scoring Model

One of the most important aspects of marketing in manufacturing is implementing a lead scoring model. Investing in it will allow you to see through the valuable metric of your leads that will make you determine which ones are qualified.

Metrics include your ideal customer's demographics such as company size, revenue, industry, and main pain points. Also, these have a number of website visits, specific page views, content downloads, contact forms, emails unlocked, engagement with social posts, and more.

Regularly evaluate your lead scoring model and update to ensure your metrics are closely related to your ideal prospect. It would lead both sales and marketing for manufacturers to identify valuable leads in your database easily.

 Invest in A Video Marketing Strategy

Video Marketing is a great deal. As per Cisco's research, by 2021, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. In addition, being one of the internet’s traffic sources, it’s practical and reasonable. Video marketing for manufacturers has been profitable by 83%. From creating more leads per year to a rise in sales, 80% say that video marketing has aided their business significantly.

If you haven't invested in video marketing yet, or if you've only dipped your toes in the water, 2021 is the year to dive in completely. As per HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing report, video beats content forms like blogging, email, and infographics. Also, video is the most-used marketing content type for manufacturers.

So, there are many tools and resources that make it easy to get started with video marketing. Videos help to sell industrial manufacturing products and create a brand story. So, think about it and include this when budgeting your marketing plan.

 Move Beyond Basic Marketing Analytics

Through digital marketing, manufacturing marketers have been trying to determine the ROI of their efforts. But do you know that most of them have been doing a lousy job? That's because they, and the tools they use, tend to focus on things that don't matter. These include views, clicks, etc.

More than 600 manufacturers and industrial companies in the U.S. have learned that their marketing and sales are going wrong. Out of which, 35% of manufacturers are not using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. So, it is advisable to move beyond basic marketing analytics to track how much traffic is coming to your website.

The latest tools can identify companies visiting and allow salespeople to engage them in their research phase.  It will result in creating and maintaining promising relationships with clients.

Content Isn't Optional

A rock-hard content marketing plan is the core of your online business's success. Keep in mind; a few blogs are not sufficient to get accurate results!

Creating content helps (by answering) your potential buyer's queries in their research process and throughout their buying journey. A survey found an online search or a blog acts as a key source for finding answers to questions.

As most sales are happening online now, Hubspot suggests that manufacturing businesses' sales will surge incredibly in 2021. An average B2B manufacturing marketing has involved 68% of stakeholders. Prospects are now making more decisions by reaching out to a company than ever before because they want your website and social channels to educate them completely. If they can't find the information on your owned channels, they might turn to your competitor's website instead.

This makes content the most important aspect of marketing. When it comes to steady and consistent lead generation for b2b manufacturers, content is at the front and center of all the B2B manufacturing marketing trends. So, take content seriously instead of keeping it just as an alternative.

What's Important for 2021?


Plan in quarters

Many companies create full-year planning calendars in November and December. The pandemic in 2020 has taught us that to plan too ahead in advance can get your business to flow in the wrong direction. Because who knows whether those plans or events would fall digitally or be back to in-person. Will your target audience be as approachable as to emails and webinars or not?

So, plan your marketing things quarterly from annual to ensure your business leads in the right way.

Audit Constantly

It's not advisable to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric, for example, tracking traffic to your website. Instead, it's the whole picture that matters.

2021 is the year to evaluate every goal, every channel, and every message related to your business. With this, think about creating a big picture as well—company positioning and values, competitive research, and even business goals.

Here are some standard audit actions recommended:

1. Conversion rates
  • Visitors converting to leads
  • Leads converting to customers
2. Email engagement
  • Number of sent emails
  • Deliverability metrics
  • Subscriptions/unsubscribing
3. Revenue attribution audits
  • How much revenue can be credited to marketing campaigns?
4. Campaign success
  • How did all of the individual elements of your campaign perform? That includes:
  • The site and landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • Paid ads and PPC
  • Social messages
  • How did the campaign perform against other campaigns?
5. Social media audit
  • Engagement by channel
  • Overall reach and growth
6. Funnel audit
  • How effectively contacts are moving through the funnel

In addition, conduct an audit and analysis vertical to ensure all the automation is taking place or running appropriately. Doing it will help your marketing team keep a constant check on all the processes and cater to you with exact marketing activities. Keep this activity active throughout the year.

Continue Shifting Budgets—Don't Be Afraid

Much of 2020 has been experimental in marketing for manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies moved away from in-person events to a webinar, shifted expensive prospect meetings to internet meetings, trade events to PPC, website, and content creation. In these cases, you might have to shift your budgeting when needed. Consider revising the budget to create advertorials, creative virtual events, and strategic lead generation tools if you plan in quarters.

Along with these, 2021 brought a good time to invest even in intent data, ABM, SEO, and other automated technologically advanced digital initiatives. According to a recent study, manufacturing companies are now 21% more likely to invest in automation and technology. As they are now inclined towards the use of webinars & virtual events (20%), search & social media (14%), and website (12%). All of these increased in light of COVID-19. So, start planning for what's sure to have a better year ahead with your marketing strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry?

Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company. 

How to use social media marketing in manufacturing?

Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways:
  • Choose right platform
  • Share useful content
  • Create advertisements
  • Create creative posts
  • Connect with in-market participants
  • Encourage engagement
  • Create videos and share
  • Address problems and provide solutions through content

What are the important aspects of marketing for the manufacturing industry?

Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are:
  • Website
  • Brand name
  • Platform
  • Promotion
  • SEO
  • Sales

How can Email Marketing help to market in the manufacturing industry?

Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers.

Spotlight

FELIXprinters

FELIXprinters, based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, is a young, dynamic and fast growing business developing and manufacturing professional, reliable and versatile 3D printers. The philosophy of FELIXprinters is to combine professionalism, reliability, upgradability, versatility and a high level of customer services.

OTHER ARTICLES
Manufacturing Technology

Connected packaging: A new era of smart products

Article | January 19, 2021

These days, smart can be added to the front of just about everything. And unsurprisingly, packaging is no different. Being influenced by digital transformation, smart packaging is a way for brands to connect their online and offline offerings. And as ecommerce sales continue to rise, Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, a packaging solutions provider for luxury retailers such as Coach and Tom Ford, believes the smart trend in packaging will too. In this piece, Robert shares his predictions on how the new era of smart packaging and consequently, products, will connect, improve and transform industries and shape new consumer expectations. Smart packaging refers to a container or outer shell of a product that has extended functions. Now, the concept is nothing new as these functions are often the reason specific materials are chosen for use in the packaging of certain products. For instance, in the food market, it’s common to find fresh produce wrapped in film with ethylene absorbers in order to lengthen shelf life. Or, for bottles to be fitted with oxygen absorbing caps to keep drinks fresher for longer. But typically, in other FMCG markets, packaging has largely remained disconnected from the product it is containing. Packaging is merely seen as a means for transportation or a protective outer layer. However, we are seeing a shift in perception. Increasingly, brands are investing in the smart functions of their packaging in order to add value to their products. And consumers are beginning to expect such things from brands as a result. Consumer benefits of smart packaging As the trend prevails, there are a number of reasons why brands should consider introducing smart packaging to their product offering. The most significant of these being the ability to improve the overall customer experience of shopping from your brand and encouraging greater customer engagement. Although in traditional retail customers are presented with various physical touchpoints before making a purchasing decision, ecommerce is different. Unless a customer has visited a store first, which is unlikely at present due to COVID-19 restrictions, the package is often the first physical point of contact a customer has with a brand. Therefore, from the moment the package is delivered, before it is even opened, it needs to make an impression on your customer. An impression that reflects your brand and the intended customer experience. This way, consumers will already have positive perceptions of your business, encouraging a better reception of your products, greater overall engagement and a higher likelihood of a repeat purchase in order to go through the whole experience again. And smart packaging is a way for brands to do exactly that. Packages can offer customers additional benefits and an improved customer experience by integrating within them various technologies and features. Face value features may include illuminations, sounds, and aromas, enticing customers by appealing to their sensory needs. But other smart technology integration can be much less obvious, yet equally as advantageous. For instance, through use of connectivity and augmentation features, whether that be scannable QR codes, sensors or microchips, this can be used to improve communication with customers and the functionality and use of the product. By scanning a QR placed on the outside of a box or bag with a smartphone for example, customers can be provided with more information on the product inside, including details of ingredients, origins and production. QR’s can also provide other marketing content such as competitions, product recommendations through digital discovery channels and the offering of virtual brand experiences. Or, if the package itself is not “smart” in function, perhaps brands can look at using customer data and insights to inform designs and even tailor the outer materials to the needs of individual customers or groups, making them smart in design instead. Either way, smart packaging is becoming a way for brands to differentiate themselves from competitors by improving customer interactions and supplementing their product offering with additional features and benefits and overall, creating a more favourable customer experience. Commercial value of smart packaging However, smart packaging isn’t just about giving your customers more. Rather, there are many benefits for the business, too. Ultimately, there are advantages for connectivity and transparency in the supply chain as well as on the customer facing front. And of course, this is exactly what is offered with smart packaging. Through the inclusion of chips and systems, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) which identify packages wirelessly, tedious processes involved with scanning at various logistic points can be removed, making the entire process from order to delivery much more efficient. Naturally, this would reduce administrative tasks as well as costs for the business due to a much more streamlined chain. For more sensitive items, particularly in food or even in the health and beauty industry, temperature can also be both managed and monitored through smart packaging. Readings can then easily be displayed on packages, giving both the brand and customer assurance that the items inside have not been breached and remain compliant and safe to use. Consequently, smart packaging is on track to transform industries by offering both brands and consumers new ways to deliver and use products. Although barriers do exist at present, namely the costs related to manufacturing, it will be interesting to see how more and more brands begin to innovate and integrate smart technologies to more than just their products.

Read More

State of Industrial Media: 2022 and Beyond

Article | August 29, 2022

Lew Weiss, founder of Jacket Media Co, host of Manufacturing Talk Radio and publisher of Manufacturing Outlook. No longer is content consumed as a form of education, professional development, or comparative analysis. Solution-seekers perform a Google Search, find matches based on the algorithms of search engine optimized rankings. There is no triangulation. Top ten rankings constitute information gathering, little else. Out of sight, out of mind. This is neither good nor bad; it is. In this vast media paradigmatic shift, survivors of the media miasma live by the maxim: eat or be eaten. Many in the media have failed to look ahead. Many keep running content that could have been authored twenty years ago. No contemporaneous insights, contexts, or prognostication are offered. Just more of the same.

Read More

Business Insurance Solutions for Your Manufacturing Company

Article | April 20, 2020

Both my grandfather and my father were business insurance brokers, so needless to say, I’ve been around insurance all my life. As a young child, I remember picking my dad’s brain after coming home from a long day at work. I found the insurance business fascinating. He built a business from the ground up back in the ’90s, and 80% of his clients were manufacturers. He insured companies in pharmaceuticals, metal, plastics, wood you name it.

Read More
Additive Manufacturing

Software Can Assist in Identifying Prospects for Additive Manufacturing

Article | July 20, 2022

Even seasoned veterans can run into a long-standing barrier when the opportunity to use a manufacturing process with which they are unfamiliar arises. The problem is determining which parts are suitable for fabrication using a given process. Partial identification solutions have emerged, which is good news for additive manufacturing (AM). A powerful software tool can not only identify candidates but also advise on advantageous changes while comparing cost and time to other AM solutions and traditional manufacturing methods. This is true of additive manufacturing as an alternative to molding, machining, casting, and forming. When it comes to choosing an AM process, the task becomes even more difficult. To address these issues, software for part identification, design optimization, and cost comparison has been developed. Historically, these tools were either the intellectual property of service organizations that provided a wide range of manufacturing solutions, or they were limited to basic considerations such as part size and material class. Today's software is more intelligent, capable, and usable without the need for a service provider. To be sure, what can be done is still in its early stages, but progress will be made as the software matures and the algorithms are fed by larger data sets. Nonetheless, the software can assist you in conquering AM applications today. For starters, it will indicate whether a part (or an entire assembly) is suitable for additive manufacturing. This evaluation takes into account part design at the feature level, as well as the all-important cost factor. If a component has some unfavorable characteristics, a capable software solution will also recommend changes that can turn it into a good candidate. The analysis includes design modification guidance, such as where to reduce mass or how to consolidate parts, to round out the solution. While AM will be approved, recommendations for process classes and specific processes will be generalizations. This is a data problem, not a software problem. With the vast array of AM solutions and numerous user-defined controls, there is no deep, rich data archive. That data will become more available over time, possibly aided by machine learning, but for the time being, you will only receive rough guidance.

Read More

Spotlight

FELIXprinters

FELIXprinters, based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, is a young, dynamic and fast growing business developing and manufacturing professional, reliable and versatile 3D printers. The philosophy of FELIXprinters is to combine professionalism, reliability, upgradability, versatility and a high level of customer services.

Related News

Automated production cell brings 24/7 manufacturing capability to wheelbarrow manufacturing

April 07, 2016

The engineering design consultancy Ingenium Integration has developed a multifunction automated production cell for H & E Knowles, the UK-based wheelbarrow manufacturer. The innovative cell will speed the production of wheelbarrow full and part frames by eliminating many labour-intensive aspects of production. It is scheduled to be commissioned in Q2 2016. According to Dave Ashworth, Ingenium Integration’s MD, “We have developed automated production cells for a number of production processes involving tube bending. The system under construction is the most integrated system we have designed to date – fully automating most of the stages of wheelbarrow frame production, including tube bending, hole punching, swaging and cut-to-length – and is designed for unattended 24/7 operation.” Ingenium Integration bases many of its automated production cell designs around all-electric tube benders from Unison – its parent company. In this instance, the system being built for H & E Knowles is a 38 mm (1.5-inch) twin head model from Unison’s all-electric Breeze range. It features a left and right head on the same carriage that facilitates precision symmetrical bending to reduce cycle times with an off-set facility to enable asymmetrical bending of the final tight bend at the wheel end of wheelbarrow frames, while avoiding collision with machine architecture during the process.

Read More

Automated production cell brings 24/7 manufacturing capability to wheelbarrow manufacturing

April 07, 2016

The engineering design consultancy Ingenium Integration has developed a multifunction automated production cell for H & E Knowles, the UK-based wheelbarrow manufacturer. The innovative cell will speed the production of wheelbarrow full and part frames by eliminating many labour-intensive aspects of production. It is scheduled to be commissioned in Q2 2016. According to Dave Ashworth, Ingenium Integration’s MD, “We have developed automated production cells for a number of production processes involving tube bending. The system under construction is the most integrated system we have designed to date – fully automating most of the stages of wheelbarrow frame production, including tube bending, hole punching, swaging and cut-to-length – and is designed for unattended 24/7 operation.” Ingenium Integration bases many of its automated production cell designs around all-electric tube benders from Unison – its parent company. In this instance, the system being built for H & E Knowles is a 38 mm (1.5-inch) twin head model from Unison’s all-electric Breeze range. It features a left and right head on the same carriage that facilitates precision symmetrical bending to reduce cycle times with an off-set facility to enable asymmetrical bending of the final tight bend at the wheel end of wheelbarrow frames, while avoiding collision with machine architecture during the process.

Read More

Events