How to Craft the Perfect Marketing Strategy for Manufacturing

Get ahead of your competitors with a results-oriented manufacturing marketing strategy. Read this guide to take your business to the next level.

by Jon Arancio, Vice President

Marketing Strategy for Manufacturing

Marketing is a challenge for any business, but it’s even more complicated in the manufacturing industry. Your marketing strategy needs to target customers but also can attract vendors, suppliers and even government contracts.

Manufacturing companies need to differentiate their brand from competitors by creating or uncovering an edge that sets them apart from industry peers. A successful manufacturing brand needs to communicate its uniqueness effectively through marketing efforts.

In this post, we’ll explore how to develop a successful marketing strategy for a manufacturing business, including key components and how to implement them efficiently.

Unraveling the Keys to Manufacturing Marketing

Manufacturing marketers face an uphill battle with B2B marketing. Selling products and services to businesses can be a long, complex process. To be successful, you must understand the keys:

Target audience

Customer needs

Motivations to buy

Decision-makers involved

Knowing your target industry is essential. It’s not enough to identify potential buyers—your customer base should include downline suppliers, wholesalers or retailers, and end-users like restaurants or construction companies.

Next, assess the wants and needs of companies looking for products like yours. Examples are quality control, optimal fit with processes and budgets, and reliable service support.

Once you know these things about your buyer, you can focus on other factors that play into their decision. These could include:

  • negotiating best prices while receiving excellent credit terms
  • building positive connections with existing consumer markets
  • providing resources such as technical and marketing support
  • getting buy-in from key decision makers

Of course, each company will require a customized presentation based on specific needs and objectives.

Successful manufacturing marketers understand that preparing for sales conversations takes time and patience. But if done right, having a carefully crafted sales story can convert prospects into new customers.

A CRM pays you $8.71 for every dollar you spend.

Creating Your Marketing Strategy Around the Industrial Buying Journey

The industrial buyer’s journey (or buying cycle) provides a framework for developing an effective strategy tailored to meet a prospect’s specific needs. This process consists of six overarching steps, from identification and research of potential solutions to selection and purchase.

At each stage, companies should provide prospective customers with relevant content that informs and persuades them. This can include brand and reputation information, presence in the market, client testimonials and case studies, as well as ratings and reviews. By engaging prospective buyers at every stage of their journey, your business can position itself as a trusted partner that provides value throughout the entire process.

Who are Your Buyers?

Understanding your buyers and their motivations is the building block for a successful marketing plan. It also makes it easier to create content that resonates with prospects and keeps you in front of them throughout the buyer’s journey.

Manufacturers should develop target buyer personas, which are fictionalized representations of their ideal customer, crafted from market research studies and data about their existing customers.

Typical buyer personas in the industrial manufacturing industry are Design Engineers, Procurement Managers, and MRO Managers. Examining current customer behavior for patterns or supplementing the data from online research or external sources can provide insight into creating personas.

Inbound Marketing for Manufacturing

The shift in buying habits for B2B customers shows that a change in the sales process is necessary. Manufacturing companies must now consider complex products and services and target multiple influencers and decision makers, such as engineers, scientists, purchasing agents, and plant managers when marketing their products or services. Cold calling without a well-structured marketing strategy isn’t an effective approach anymore.

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Adopting an inbound marketing strategy can be an effective solution. This type of marketing draws visitors to the business website through content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and email marketing. By providing useful resources tailored to your customer’s needs, you can engage prospects and build trust with them before ever capturing a lead. Most prospects prefer this type of marketing because it isn’t intrusive. As a result, they are also more likely to convert into paying customers.

Inbound marketing requires manufacturing companies to provide value to prospects by being informative. Inbound marketing is also easy to track and provides quantifiable results over time, which makes it more efficient that other forms of traditional techniques, like cold calling.

Marketing Technology and Automation

Marketing technology can streamline, standardize, and automate certain marketing processes. It enables manufacturing businesses to become more efficient by saving time and money while increasing productivity. Marketing tools can generate metrics-based insights used to optimize a strategy.

By utilizing a range of automation software such as G Suite, Trello and CRMs (i.e., Maximizer CRM), businesses can manage their marketing efficiently by centralizing contact information, managing workflow processes, tracking customer interactions, and fostering collaboration among teams. In a highly competitive environment, real-time data can give marketers the information they need to create content that appeals to target audiences.

Marketing integrations help eliminate manual labor-intensive tasks, allowing you to extend campaigns beyond traditional media outlets and creating personalized experiences for customers. You will also be able to streamline workflow by sending automated emails and track ROI through tailored analytics dashboards.

In the remaining sections of this post, I will share how your manufacturing company can use a CRM software solution to automate marketing processes. Using this software not only saves time but can help boost engagement rates across channels, driving higher conversions leading ultimately to increased ROI.

CRM for Manufacturing: Supercharge Your Productivity

A CRM for manufacturing streamlines operations, automates work processes and helps you manage customer relationships. Read our guide to learn more.

Implementing a Marketing Strategy with a Manufacturing CRM

Now, let’s review the key components of a marketing strategy for manufacturing companies and how a CRM can help you implement the plan faster, cheaper, and with less effort.

Apart from these integrations, document management systems, collaboration apps, and meeting calendars can assist sales reps in managing their communication activities effectively while saving them valuable time.

Craft a Sales Funnel

A sales or marketing funnel is a system that brings prospects into a single point of contact and qualifies their “sales readiness” and business fit. It helps companies focus on leads that are ready to be converted into customers and nurture leads that need more contact.

It’s important to remember that not every lead intends to buy at first contact. It can take multiple touches before they commit. So, it makes sense to gather data in stages rather than asking for extensive details straight away.

You can begin by requesting basic details, like an email address or phone number. Once you’ve earned their trust, you can engage them further to move them down the sales funnel—and finally, to conversion.

How to Use a CRM to Reinvent the Sales Funnel

Manufacturing companies can convert the traditional sales funnel into a CRM funnel.

A CRM funnel is an automated sales process designed to take leads through each stage of the customer experience, from becoming a first-time buyer to a loyal repeat customer. Using CRM automation increases efficiency by tracking activities and interactions with your prospects, enabling sales reps to respond in real time with relevant information regarding their needs and behavior.

The key benefit of utilizing a CRM funnel is that it will allow teams to focus on driving conversions across all marketing channels and speeding up lead generation and qualification processes. Automation also reduces the effort required throughout the sales cycle—both internally and externally, with existing customers and leads alike.

Let's look at an example of how to automate the sales process using two popular CRM integrations: Zapier and Mailchimp.

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Zapier is an automation tool that allows you to connect your most-used web applications to a CRM to streamline workflow processes. The platform has a simple to use drag-and-drop editor that enables you and your team to perform up to 100 actions in a single "Zap" with no code required. This makes it easy to integrate critical business tools by connecting over 5,000 of the web's top apps.

By integrating Mailchimp with Zapier, businesses can track customer responses, which helps tailor campaigns to each individual's interests and behavior. Mailchimp keeps track of potential customers, allowing businesses to nurture relationships even before customers make a purchase. Using automated emails sent at regular intervals regarding offers or discounts, companies can keep paying customers coming back for more. Its powerful repeating functions make it easy to create automated loyalty schemes or nurture leads through an initial purchase funnel.

Generate Leads with Website Forms

Lead generation forms are usually used on website landing pages to promote valuable content, such as white papers, webinar recordings, e-books, and more. By asking visitors to provide contact information, website visitors receive the content they want. As a result, they become a lead.

This form acts as a gatekeeper for businesses and gives them a list of interested leads to contact. By filling out the form, visitors provide contact details that allow the business to better understand who is engaging with them, which can help companies create targeted marketing campaigns.

Using lead generation landing pages is an effective way to produce more leads at a low cost. The success of these campaigns relies on having multiple landing pages available for visitors. Forms serve as an efficient means for organizing contact databases and enable businesses to gain insight into customer demographics. This low risk-high reward approach presents significant benefits and should be a component of your manufacturing company’s digital marketing strategy.

Customers have leveraged their existing web forms by setting up Zapier automation to grab the leads as they are entered and drop them into MailChimp. The newly captured leads are now part of the ongoing marketing conversation coming out of MailChimp.

How to Use a CRM to Manage Lead Generation Forms

Lead generation can be automated with a CRM’s web form builder feature. This powerful tool allows HTML to be designed without programming and can be embedded into any website. Lead information is then automatically logged in the CRM as a new contact, streamlining the entire process. Alternatively, you can use your own web forms and industry software like Zapier to capture form content and pass it into the CRM directly.

With this functionality, lead capture is on autopilot, saving valuable time and effort previously needed for manual data entry. Such automation provides more accuracy and reliability compared to manual entry. Built-in email validation ensures that all contacts are legitimate before entering them into your database.

This efficient system improves performance by automating repetitive data entry tasks and providing scalability for growing businesses that require multiple forms connected to the same database. Your business can speed up customer acquisition through an easy integration of forms with your CRM system. Automation makes lead nurturing more efficient, which results in higher conversion rates and higher ROI.

Create Content to Build Authority with Prospects

Educational content is integral for successful inbound marketing. Throughout buyers’ journeys, suppliers will research manufacturing companies and their offers, which should be addressed with original brand content.

However, this content should focus on informing rather than selling. By providing expertise through the information, you can stay in front of the buyer while boosting brand awareness and building trust with potential clients.

To make sure your website entices people to stay and engage, it needs to provide content visitors find interesting, as well as displaying visible calls-to-action that make is easy for prospects to contact you. If done correctly, quality educational content can help you gain an edge over competitors while helping build better relationships with customers at the same time.

How to Use a CRM to Manage Content Marketing 

With CRM software, marketing teams can get an understanding of the customers they want to target and can effectively personalize messaging. The software facilitates data collection from prospects, customers, and leads to further define and refine the target audience for enhanced campaigns. This in-depth data analysis can also help marketers understand which products or services are most attractive to each segment, and how effective current campaigns are.

As a result, companies can create a better content strategy that consists of white papers, case studies, and other information to educate prospects about the company’s products.

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Turn Your Website into a Resource for Buyers

In today’s digital-centric B2B environment, it is essential for companies to have up-to-date product information on their websites. This enables customers to research and spec products until they find what fits their business needs.

To start, all spreadsheets, CAD drawings, notes, and other relevant information should be consolidated into one catalog. This will become the primary source for product data. Once all of this information is together, companies should provide as much detail as possible—including descriptions, categories, pricing info, technical specs, etc.

It would also be wise to ensure that the company website is optimized—navigation must be intuitive and mobile friendly. Ultimately, giving customers easy access to comprehensive product data can make a significant difference in gaining purchase preference over competitors.

How to Improve Your Website with CRM Analytics

Assessing CRM analytics is a powerful way to gain insight into the effectiveness of your company’s efforts in sales and customer service. By combining CRM data with organic traffic statistics from Google Analytics, marketing teams can determine the website content customers are interested in and what content corresponds most strongly to purchases.

Knowing what customers are looking for enables you to refine your strategies, ultimately increasing revenue. If a method of delivery proves to be more successful with a subset of target customers, it would be beneficial to explore that group further.

CRM analytics also reveal customer data that can be used to categorize website visitors and assess engagement. This allows you to focus on the most interested audiences to maximize ROI. With an understanding of who is visiting your web pages and at what frequency, you can make strategic decisions regarding your company’s online presence.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an effective tool for manufacturing companies, particularly with its ability to reach high-intent customers and reduce the resources otherwise required for manual operations. It allows teams to streamline their processes without compromising the quality of customer service.

With email marketing, manufacturers can target new customers who have asked about their services. By providing helpful information such as newsletter subscriptions or discounts on goods, a manufacturing team can draw potential buyers down the funnel and encourage them to purchase products or services. Automated emails enable manufacturers to send messages promptly and eliminate the need for manual management or supervision.

Besides engaging potential leads with tailored content, email gives companies an opportunity to track user actions using analytics tools such as click-through rate (CTR) and open rate. This feedback provides insights into audience preferences so that marketers may further improve campaigns. For example, a company may compare two versions of an email blast and measure which one resonates better with their audience based on the CTR metrics received.

How to Use a CRM to Automate Email Marketing Campaigns

By automating active campaigns or setting up automated emails based on customer interactions, businesses can create highly targeted promotions and deliver them with a personal touch.

A typical email marketing system integrates with a CRM platform, allowing marketers to keep track of new users and easily manage any unsubscribes. It also helps organize the contact information and communication records you need to maximize efficiency.

Marketers also save time by using branded email templates for simple announcements or entire campaigns and can insert headers and footers that customize the brand’s look and feel. They can add signatures, custom fields and components like buttons, images or videos as well.

A comprehensive CRM platform will also allow marketers to track drip campaigns (i.e., a series of emails sent out at certain times over a period of days) for highly personalized messaging that are designed specifically for each subscriber segment.

By leveraging the features of an integrated CRM and email marketing automation platform, businesses can streamline their promotional activities while delivering specialized messages tailored to each individual customer profile. Automation allows them to respond quickly so they don’t lose out on opportunities because of delays in replies or forgetting altogether.

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Track Marketing Performance to Increase ROI

Establishing a metrics-driven marketing program allows you to assess how successful your campaigns are and quantify the return on your investments.

Analyzing customer surveys, reviews, or website user data can tell your team what your customers are saying about you and help you identify trends in customer behavior. For example, understanding whether people prefer one product over another can help focus on improvements to future products or services. Customer feedback helps to inform future campaigns.

When measuring ROI, it’s important to consider both short-term results, such as conversions per day, and long-term results like improved search ranking and brand recognition. Tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can reveal how customers respond along their buying journey. This feedback helps shape future campaigns with greater precision and will yield higher ROI down the line.

How a CRM Increases ROI

CRM systems bring tremendous value to an enterprise. With organized sales databases, most businesses can get more out of their CRM investment. From managing leads to tracking relationships with customers, these platforms offer a robust set of features that can increase revenue generated from each lead.

Third-party integrations with a CRM also makes performance management easier. This enables cross-departmental coordination across various functions like marketing, sales, and inventory management, facilitating a smooth flow in data synchronization and offering total visibility into every aspect of operations.

CRM strategies also bolster ROI by making sure that all digital assets are being used efficiently. Organizations can use data-driven marketing initiatives to launch campaigns with higher conversion rates and potential to expand market share.

Partner with Wintec Group to Transform Your Manufacturing Company's Marketing

Wintec has been helping businesses grow for 25 years with Maximizer CRM--the highest quality customer relationship management tailored to manufacturing businesses.

We make it easy to create meaningful reports, stay on top of leads, and analyze marketing data like never before. Wintec Group also offers CRM support, implementation, and training to make sure you get the most out of your software and marketing system.

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Jon Arancio, Vice President

Jon is the co-founder and Vice-President of Wintec Group Inc., a CRM software reseller and application support specialty firm. He helps clients implement Maximizer CRM, and provides outsourced application knowledge to firms who need the additional skills sets but are not looking to add support staff for this technology.


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