In the dynamic world of B2B manufacturing, marketing can be a complex maze. Companies in this space face unique challenges, from intricate supply chain issues to global competition, long buying cycles, and specialized vendor requirements. For example, a manufacturer selling into the building materials sector may need to influence multiple stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and property owners, not to mention distributors or channel partners. That’s a lot of people who have to say, “Yes” to your marketing!
This complexity heightens the difficulty of marketing to multiple personas with different needs and tracking attribution amidst off-screen decisions that can sometimes span multiple organizations. However, despite these challenges, there are effective strategies that B2B manufacturers can employ to successfully navigate the marketing labyrinth. Here are proven tactics for your B2B manufacturing marketing.
Multi-Channel B2B Marketing: The Key to Success
In today’s digital age, relying on a single marketing channel is a mistake. Even if one channel seems to be performing well, it may falter tomorrow. Diversify your approach now. By leveraging brand marketing, demand generation, and search intent marketing, you can “own” your space, both in search results and in your target audience’s mind (which is where your brand lives).
Platforms like LinkedIn, Google, and YouTube offer excellent opportunities for targeted advertising in B2B Marketing. Meanwhile, partnerships with publications can boost your brand’s visibility. Email marketing also remains a powerful tool; starting with a LinkedIn newsletter can be a great first step if you haven’t built a large contact database.
What about Google Ads? Search ads that bring people to you at the point when they are most likely to buy is invaluable for rapid lead generation. But don’t forget to bid on your own brand name as well since this can enhance your organic search visibility as well. Remember, ceding any ground to your competitors is not an option!
Harnessing Thought Leadership in B2B Manufacturing Marketing
Thought leadership is a potent weapon in the B2B marketing arsenal. Investing resources into speaking engagements and presentations can position your company as an authority in your space. Each expo, conference, or trade show you choose to attend should provide an opportunity for a presentation, workshop, or educational track. This is the #1 way to maximize your trade show spend.
Building and marketing resources that aid your buyers’ progress is fundamental. For instance, in the architecture and building materials sector, topics like biophilic design and green roofs are gaining traction. By becoming a voice of authority on such subjects, one of our clients at Blender is seeking to influence a broad spectrum of entities, from “green city” non-profits to architecture firms.
Engaging Sales Teams in Your Social Media Marketing
Manufacturing remains a relationship-driven industry, making your sales team’s role in social media marketing crucial. They should be adept at making YOUR CUSTOMERS look great, spotlighting people, projects, products, and purpose. This can often mean sharing others’ content. Make this a measurable performance metric and streamline the process wherever possible for ease.
Invest in training around social selling and make SURE your sales team knows the difference between selling and spamming (hint: social selling is about being social!)
Understanding the Sales Cycle and Customer Triggers
If you have a lengthy sales cycle, this leaves a LOT of time for attrition to happen. Don’t let people fall out of your sales funnel when you could be using digital marketing to nurture them instead. Explore ways you can help your buyers make progress toward their goals and how you can touch base in a way that is serving instead of nagging. Being an expert on trends and bringing real considerations to the table will set you apart. Reach out on social or via email with insights and resources that make you a partner in their progress.
Knowing Your Real Competition B2B Manufacturing Marketing
Identifying your competition is more than just knowing who they are. It’s about understanding what you’re being compared to, even if it’s not a one-to-one comparison. Even if you disagree with the comparison your buyers are making, it matters if that’s how they think.
Make it your mission to understand what they are really buying and why. It might be a commodity that does the job “well enough” or an alternative product that solves the problem in a completely different way.
Also, don’t think you know all the names in your industry. This is often not all of your actual competition when it comes to SEO and PPC. A digital audit may uncover other companies bidding on keywords in your space, even if they are selling something completely different. They are still your competition if they are spending on the keywords you want to “own” online.
Navigating B2B2C Complexities
In a B2B2C scenario, understanding market demand versus strategy for your buyers is key. You need to craft different messages, metrics, and strategic thinking for selling through your distributor. You cannot rely solely on your B2B buyers to create demand for you. Instead, you should share the responsibility for making your products highly desirable.
Dealing with Distributed Sales Teams/Distributors
In some cases, your real buyer persona might be your distributors and their sales teams. Salespeople aim to hit their numbers and will sell what’s easiest to sell and message. Creating a “marketing in a box” campaign is a fantastic way to help distributors or resellers move your product. This can include creating a documented buyer persona, messaging choreography (what to say when), a sales cheat sheet for objection handling, a web page, and an email series or set of outreach scripts.
B2B Manufacturing Marketing Is a Solvable Problem
By implementing a multi-channel approach, leveraging thought leadership, engaging sales teams in social media marketing, understanding your sales cycle and competition, and navigating B2B2C complexities, you will see a major difference in your revenue, reputation, and resilience!
The Marketing Blender is the best agency for manufacturing companies because they excel in today’s highly competitive market. We can be your partner in standing out, driving sales, and creating a robust B2B manufacturing marketing strategy. With the Blenders expertise, they offer comprehensive campaigns that equip distributors and resellers with the necessary materials and resources to effectively promote your product. By understanding your target audience and crafting detailed buyer personas, they ensure your campaign is tailored to reach the right customers. Trust The Marketing Blender and contact us to elevate your manufacturing business to new heights.