Marketing for Manufacturing: Going Beyond Traditional Tactics

Manufacturing floor

Do you sell metal, machinery, or components for sophisticated medical equipment? 

Whatever you do in the manufacturing world, there's one thing we know for sure: many manufacturers don't take advantage of all the modern marketing tactics available. There are several reasons for this — including an inability to link past marketing efforts to sales increases and underestimating the power of SEO.

With the right tactics, manufacturing companies can get astonishing results. Unfortunately, that's exactly where many fall flat.

Why traditional marketing tactics don’t always work for manufacturers

Ever notice how companies in some industries all start to sound the same? They all have “excellent customer service,” and your call is obviously “very important” to them. Words begin to become meaningless when everyone is using the same ones.

In marketing, you can’t stand out and blend in simultaneously. And that’s true for tactics as well. So…are you using the exact same marketing tactics as your competitors? Does your website look similar and say the same things? Are you making the same cold calls or sending out identical postcards? Then chances are, you all seem the same to your customers. 

To break out of a marketing rut, and give your customers a compelling reason to choose you, time and time again, think about your short and long-term goals and then decide which tactics will most likely get you there. 

Cultivating an effective manufacturing marketing strategyInbound strategy wheel graphic

You understand your customers better than anyone. In fact, they’re probably not unlike you. They’ve got a lot on their plate, and they really don’t like being interrupted. That’s why, when it comes to marketing for manufacturing businesses, there’s no better formula for success than an inbound strategy.

Instead of disrupting your customers’ activities with unsolicited promotions and content, an inbound methodology entices them with content and messaging that caters to their needs, wants, and desires. It creates a mutually beneficial connection between your brand and audience that keeps them returning. 

3 essential goals of inbound marketing

A comprehensive inbound marketing strategy aims to attract, engage, and delight your customers. And there are a variety of ways to do just that to stand out. 

1. Attract

In addition to optimizing your website to improve your visibility, attracting your audience starts with creating and publishing content that provides value to them. A few examples include:

  • How-to guides for using your products
  • Current customer testimonials 
  • Special offers, promotions, or discounts
  • Informative blog posts and e-books that provide valuable information to potential customers about your industry and products
  • Posts on social media that share industry news, offer tips, and showcase your products in action

2. Engage

Once you’ve attracted your audience, your next step involves engaging them effectively. To do this, you need to interact with them in a way that shows your commitment to helping them rather than pushing sales. Here are a few examples:

  • Offer free quotes or estimates
  • Provide complimentary demos
  • Use clear calls to action, forms, and lead flows
  • Feature multiple communication methods (email, chatbots, video calls, etc.)
  • Use email marketing campaigns to nurture leads with targeted content based on their interests and behavior
  • Offer live webinars, workshops, and events to educate potential customers and showcase your products
  • Create interactive content such as quizzes, polls, and surveys to encourage engagement and gather feedback from your audience

3. Delight

The work doesn’t end after a customer has made a purchase. You must actively ensure customers are happy, satisfied, and supported. This involves your sales team becoming advisors and guides who assist at any point in time, such as:

  • Following up to ensure products work as intended
  • Sharing new product releases, re-order notifications, and other relevant support pieces 
  • Offering exceptional customer service with prompt responses to inquiries and proactive communication throughout the sales and post-sales process
  • Providing user guides, videos, and FAQs to help customers get the most out of your products
  • Requesting customer feedback and using it to improve your products and services while thanking customers for their input and loyalty

Marketing experts who get manufacturing 

Marketing in manufacturing looks different than what you’ll see in other industries, but it can still offer the same impact. Start by comparing your current strategy to the inbound methodology and look for areas of improvement. Find ways to provide value to keep prospects and customers returning for more. And once you’ve figured out what works, stick to it. 

If your strategy could use a little work, we’re no stranger to helping businesses like yours flip the script and yield impressive returns. We help marketing departments, sales teams, and C-suite executives reimagine what marketing can do by putting data, technology, and creativity to work. See for yourself.

Check out what happens when a metal company goes inbound

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