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b2b industrial marketing

How to Make Your B2B Industrial Marketing REALLY Work

By B2B Marketing Strategy, Blender B2B Marketing Blogs

From mining and transportation to construction and manufacturing industries, industrial companies have high-ticket sales and LONG sales cycles with many stakeholders. This complexity makes it easy to have a sales-centric mindset and focus on closing the next big deal instead of on how to fill the pipeline long term. But industrial product and service companies can ONLY remain competitive through economic ups and downs if they take a big picture view and build a B2B industrial marketing strategy that includes the most effective tactics. 

As a bonus, branding and marketing actually helps accelerate the sales pipeline and close deals faster!

Strong Branding Is the Cornerstone of Industrial B2B Marketing

Brand identity, awareness, visibility, and reputation are all critical to survival in the revenue cycles of a typical industrial products or services company. Even in challenging times, brand should be a key area of investment. Consider this: your sales team may be unable to make much progress in the “bust” times that impact your customers’ ability to buy industrial products. But you want to make sure

 YOUR brand is the one they remember when the money starts flowing again. Your brand should make a consistent and lasting impression so it builds trust and is the obvious choice to consider in the buying process. Brand building primes your buyers to choose YOU instead of the competition. It also allows you to compete on trust instead of just price.

b2b industrial marketing example

Here’s an example of B2B industrial marketing for one of our clients.

What should Your B2B Industrial Marketing Brand Look Like?

In one word: SIGNIFICANT. The amazing thing about industrial companies is that they are usually building or creating things that can be represented really well in a visual way. After all, companies like yours are doing important things in the overall market for your customers and the people they serve. You are literally keeping the wheels of industry turning. 

The mind believes what the eyes see, so your brand identity should be striking. When your brand makes a powerful and positive impression, this creates a positive expectation about what your brand will deliver. This helps attract your customers and also your future employees. 

From our CEO, Dacia Coffey,

“The humanity and realism in industrial environments can be so stunningly beautiful. The photography can be incredibly cool and it can really resonate with core values to communicate about the way an organization specializes in serving your customers.”

Marketing B2B Industrial Products and Services During the Good Times

Boom times in the economy and specific industries can make it seem like the gravy train will never end. It is easy to think you have your pipeline all sorted out when things are easy. However, this is not the time to slack off on industrial B2B marketing. It’s the time to double down and focus on investing in and building REPEATABLE marketing processes. This means you need to explore WHY you are winning so you can keep doing those things on purpose when the purse strings tighten again in the future. 

You should also focus on perfecting your systems to make the most of the good times by maximizing the effectiveness of the sales team and their processes. This is all about data. That means your CRM needs to be helping you track the real length of your sales cycle (hint: it’s probably longer than you think). It should also be helping you systemize and automate as much of the buyer journey as possible. 

Making everything in your marketing system work is doable, but it is complex. That’s why there are very few B2B industrial marketing agencies out there doing what we do here at Blender!

Don’t Let Competitors Outmaneuver You 

Here’s a scary thought: When times are good for you, they are good for your competitors too.

  • What if your competitors are actually growing faster than you? 
  • What if they are using the boom times to grow and innovate and prepare to outpace you? 
  • What if an alternative outside your competitor pool is coming into play and you aren’t aware of it?

These are all very good reasons to invest more in market intelligence to know the emerging threats and stay ahead of competitors in developing what customers will want to buy next.

Want more insights from the experts in our B2B industrial marketing firm? Watch our recent podcast episode about “5 Tips for B2B Industrial Marketing” on YouTube.

What About Marketing Industrial B2B Products and Service During a Downturn?

Again, this is the time to keep your brand piping hot and top of mind for your target market. Don’t assume that your brand reputation and your brand visibility are the same thing. Just because your customers say good things about you doesn’t mean that the market at large knows your brand position – or even that you exist. Word of mouth is fantastic, but it is not repeatable, scalable, and systematic. That means it should NOT be the only lever you are pulling to get your brand known. Be prepared to spend on brand visibility even when no one is in a buying cycle. 

From Dacia Coffey, CEO of our industrial B2B marketing agency:

“Your brand reputation should extend beyond the relationship your sales people have with their contacts. You need true brand authority and the correct market perception if you want long-term viability and scalability.” 

What about the segment of your market that does know who you are but doesn’t yet have the budget to make a purchase? Make sure you are continuing to help them solve problems and make progress even if it’s just with knowledge resources and tools. 

This is also when you want to focus on building out rapid lead generation and sales activation campaigns that you can rapidly switch on and optimize when things start turning around. That way you can ramp up quickly to capitalize on revenue opportunities and profitability as soon as the deal pipeline opens up again.

Know the TRUTH about Your Customers and Competitors

Often, when our industrial marketing firm starts working with a new client, our digital audit reveals competitors they didn’t even know they had. They might assume they are up against a handful of companies that they have routinely competed with over the past 40 years. But a look at the online landscape, especially around keywords they want to be found for online, tells a different story. 

It isn’t unusual for us to identify half a dozen previously unnoticed competitors that have high visibility online (where many purchasers go to research and select vendors). They may also have competition that “owning” the narrative on one or more social media platforms. You can’t afford not to know who these people are and how their brand positioning and messaging is shaping the minds of your prospective buyers. Since the mind of your buyer is where competition really happens, the digital landscape where they are being influenced is something you need to know in detail.

That brings us to our final point: Know Your Buyers. Not just their demographics, but their psychographics. How they do research, how they make decisions, their emotional triggers, what they care about, and who they trust. Then, you need to put the RIGHT message in front of them everywhere they go. This messaging has to be choreographed based on where they are in the buyer journey. This is how we define what you say when so it sinks in and helps buyers progress through their journey faster. 

Want to Supercharge Your B2B Industrial Marketing?

Our fractions Chief Marketing Officers are well-versed in helping industrial companies improve their revenue, reputation, and resilience. If you want help from a B2B industrial marketing agency with over a decade of experience, contact Blender today.

B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

5 Steps for Creating a B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

By B2B Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing Strategy, Blender B2B Marketing Blogs

A robust B2B digital marketing strategy can and WILL drive growth in revenue, reputation, and resilience for your business. But you have to know what’s important and what isn’t. Otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed by ALL the options available for marketing online. These are our best tips for helping you focus on what matters. 

Understanding B2B Digital Marketing Strategies

Unlike B2C marketing, which focuses on reaching individual consumers who can often make an immediate decision, B2B marketing typically involves multiple decision makers, longer sales cycles, and higher price points. It requires building strong relationships with potential business clients, understanding their specific needs and pain points, and tailoring marketing strategies to address those concerns effectively.

Because B2B digital marketing involves targeting a specialized audience, it requires in-depth market research and the use of targeted messaging and content to engage and educate potential business customers. Sometimes, you need to influence multiple decision makers or a “buying committee” through your digital marketing if you want to drive conversions that result in revenue. 

Learn about B2B digital marketing strategies from our own expert, Ramsey Sanchez in this episode of The Marketing Blender Show.

Steps in Creating a Your Digital Marketing Strategy

#1 Identifying Your Target Audience

The first step towards building a successful B2B digital marketing strategy is identifying your target audience. Understand their needs, pain points, and decision-making processes. This knowledge forms the foundation of your digital marketing efforts. Go deeper than demographics and even firmographics. The psychographics of your audience is where you will find the levers that will move marketing forward. Even the most logical business decision has emotion at its core. From a digital perspective, you can research commonly searched problems or pain points to understand how to position your marketing and advertising.

#2 Setting Measurable Goals

What do you aim to achieve with your B2B digital marketing strategies? Whether it’s boosting brand awareness, generating leads, or improving conversion rates, setting clear and measurable goals is crucial. This allows you to aim your marketing budget and resources and solve the right problem. If no one knows about your brand, awareness is the top priority. If plenty of people visit your website, but you aren’t getting leads, then conversion should be the focus. 

#3 Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Channels

Not all digital marketing channels yield the same results. Select the ones that your target audience frequently uses. These could include LinkedIn, email marketing, content marketing, or SEO. Maybe you are targeting busy CEOs. They often listen to podcasts or YouTube videos. You cannot afford to be everywhere. Focus on going where your buyers go. If you aren’t sure where this is, it’s time to start interviewing your existing and potential customers to find out. 

#4 Creating Engaging Content

Content is king in digital marketing. Create engaging, relevant, and value-packed content that resonates with your audience. This can help position your business as a thought leader in your industry. Every touch point matters, so put the same attention into writing great ad copy as you would into a blog or a social media post. Today, it’s popular to use AI to generate content. We find it is OK to use for helping create outlines, dig up research, and give you a starting point. However, you MUST add your own unique viewpoint and expertise. Remember that the goal is to help your audience make progress toward their goals. Everything you put in front of them with your B2B digital marketing content should aim at serving them.

#5 Implementing SEO Strategies

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital part of any B2B digital marketing strategy. It helps improve your website’s visibility on search engines, thereby increasing traffic and potential leads. It’s often ideal if you can focus your organic and paid keyword strategy on commercial or “bottom of the funnel” keywords that indicate your target audience is about to make a purchase decision. However, these are often the most expensive to bid on. This means you may need to look farther up in the funnel for how you can engage your audience while they are still learning about their problem. That’s a great way to help them start trusting YOU to be the one who helps them solve it. 

Bear in mind that organic SEO is usually a long-term strategy that helps fill top of funnel (awareness and nurture). Paid is often targeted at direct lead generation. Set your expectations around timelines and outcomes accordingly.

Go here for tips on creating a winning digital marketing plan.

How to Start Tracking Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Every digital marketing tool has its own reporting and analytics that you will eventually learn to use, but where do you actually start? Always begin with Google Analytics and get your tracking set up for your website. If your web development or hosting company set this up for you, they should help you get access. That way, you get more insight into your user base, the people that are finding you on your website or on Google or Bing. You might need some coaching to figure out what a user is, how to use a behavior map where you can track how users go from one page to the next. That’s OK. It’s worth the time to learn. Being able to see and interpret this data will help you optimize the digital journey.

For more advanced businesses, the path forward is setting up a CRM such as Sharpspring or HubSpot. There are many CRMs out there that help with that attribution and tracking. They can also help you with everything from managing email outreach  and social to tracking lead flow and viewing your entire marketing/sales pipeline. You should also connect your ads to your CRM so these tools can communicate with each other and drive automated optimization. Your CRM reporting tools are gold for helping you make informed decisions.

Your pipeline does not start the first time you have a conversation with a sales rep. It starts when these prospective buyers start researching you. So if you can’t answer how many people are visiting your website and how long are they staying on your website and what are the most important pages, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. If you layer in more advanced tracking, how are they finding your website, what keywords, what pathways are leading them, you are really establishing pipeline management. 

But you shouldn’t just look at the data in the system. Have real conversations with your team. If leads are coming in, Sales and Marketing NEED to talk. Were those good leads? Is the sales team being accountable and working the leads? What was the outcome? How can this insight be used to improve marketing?

5 Additional Elements of a Successful B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

In the world of B2B digital marketing, several key elements contribute to a successful strategy. These elements play a significant role in attracting and engaging potential clients and driving business growth. Let’s explore some of these crucial components:

  • Strong Brand Identity: Developing a strong brand identity helps differentiate your business and builds recognition, trust, and loyalty among clients. From a digital marketing perspective, you want to surround your prospective buyers with your brand wherever they go online. Familiarity engenders trust and primes them to buy from you.
  • Multi-channel Approach: Utilizing multiple channels such as paid advertising, organic SEO, social media, and email helps you build a strong ecosystem with your B2B digital marketing.
  • Lead Generation and Nurturing: Implementing effective lead generation strategies and nurturing those leads through targeted campaigns are crucial for converting prospects into customers. B2B companies that fail to follow up consistently with the leads in their pipeline are missing out on most of the revenue potential they have paid good marketing dollars to generate.
  • Personalization: Customizing marketing messages based on individual preferences and behaviors enhances customer experience and fosters stronger connections. This can mean creating targeted campaigns for different audiences, segmenting your email list, or even using automation tools to create a curated website experience.
  • Data-driven Insights: Leveraging analytics and data-driven insights enables informed decision-making and optimization of marketing campaigns for better results. With your B2B digital marketing, identify the metrics that actually matter for each tactic. For example, impressions actually are important for brand awareness in B2B. But if you aren’t also getting conversion actions like form fills, you are likely missing a puzzle piece in the journey from awareness to consideration.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Failing to track outcomes appropriately
  • Pivoting too slowly in the face of data insights
  • Paying attention to ALL the data instead of figuring out what really matters
  • Forgetting to continuously optimize the digital funnel
  • Not following up to nurture leads
  • Ignoring what the competition is doing
  • Using the wrong tools and tactics to reach your specific audience
  • Not being mobile friendly

Many companies are also failing to leverage all the different kinds of B2B marketing assets (paid, owned, earned and shared). Here’s where to go to learn about the 4 types of B2B digital marketing assets.

The Future of Digital Marketing for B2B Companies

Emerging trends like AI, machine learning, and voice search are shaping the future of B2B digital marketing. Staying ahead of these trends can give your business a competitive edge. A well-planned B2B digital marketing strategy can help your business reach its goals, build strong relationships, and stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape. Always remember to keep your customers at the heart of all your marketing efforts. By implementing our tips for creating a B2B digital marketing strategy, you will have a head start on achieving your marketing goals and driving your business forward. 

Want to have Blender run your digital marketing to maximize your ROI? Talk with us today.

Fractional CMO Services

What Should Fractional CMO Services Include?

By Fractional CMO, Outsourced CMO

Fractional CMO services should include strategy and planning, brand messaging and positioning, budgeting, tracking, reporting, and managing execution across all marketing resources (internal team,  freelancers, agencies, and the marketing tech stack). These are the typical accountabilities for a Chief Marketing Officer. 

  • Building Strategy 
  • Managing Execution 
  • Tracking and Optimization
  • Growing the Ecosystem 
  • Maturing MarTech

Building a Marketing Strategy, Plan, and Roadmap

Creating an effective B2B marketing plan requires a thorough understanding of all opportunities and prioritization of those that will have the highest impact short term and long term. Every item that ends up on a marketing plan should align with business goals to drive profitable revenue, improve brand reputation, and strengthen business resilience. This requires a deep dive into the business model including current and potential opportunities with existing customers, current prospects in the pipeline, and future prospects that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) or buyer persona. 

Strategy also includes market research to analyze your industry, current and emerging competitors, and any changes in customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. By identifying market trends early, your CMO can help you uncover and capture opportunities to seize competitive advantage and drive growth.

Your fractional CMO should develop a strategic plan that includes a roadmap outlining marketing activities over the next 3-6 months along with the KPIs that will be used to measure success. These tasks should be prioritized based on urgency, impact, ease, and resources. Your CMO should also align budget and spend with these priorities so that you can maximize marketing ROI.

Brand Development Is Included in Fractional CMO Services

Brand development is a key component of any marketing strategy, and it should be a major focus of any fractional CMO’s services. This involves defining or refining elements such as:

  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Differentiation
  • Brand Identity
  • Brand Messaging
  • Brand Character

And much more.

Your fractional CMO should help you create a strong and consistent brand that resonates with your target customers as well as your current and future employees. They will guide you in communicating your brand’s truth, values, and personality. They should also have strategies in place for managing your brand’s reputation, both online and offline.

Wondering if an outsourced CMO can REALLY get to know your business? Find the truth here.

Fractional CMO Services Include Managing Resources & Execution of Marketing Tactics

From project management to overseeing external resources and developing marketing team members, a fractional CMO uplevels your results across the board. A good CMO proactively works with your 3rd party agencies and freelancers to ensure you are getting the most for your marketing dollar. This includes ensuring they have access to and adhere to all brand guidelines, have a full understanding of how their results are being measured, and negotiating to get the greatest value for your marketing dollar.

With your internal team, a CMO should be managing project workload for each member and making sure everyone is able to make the best and highest use of their time. Your fractional CMO can also help with the interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training process for new marketing hires. Mentoring existing marketing team members and helping them uplevel their skills is another important fractional CMO service. 

From a project management perspective, a fractional CMO is accountable for managing the team to hit deadlines. They should also help with developing processes that make future projects more streamlined by identifying and helping the team document repeatable systems and frameworks.

Tracking and Optimizing Marketing Efforts/Outcomes

A Fractional CMO should begin with an audit to uncover areas of risk and opportunity. This can include:

Backend/Technical SEO Audit – How is your website performing and what needs to be improved?

Organic SEO Audit – What search terms are you being found for and what terms should you target to rank higher and get found more often?

PPC (Paid Ads) Audit – What keywords are your competitors bidding on? What keywords should you run ads for to gain more visibility and drive more traffic?

Social Media Audit – How is your brand perceived on social? What is your competitive landscape and how can you better connect with your audience and build a “tribe”? 

Your fractional CMO will also provide regular performance analysis and reporting. This means tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), analyzing the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing initiatives, and providing regular reports on your marketing performance including what to start, stop, and change, how you stack up against the competition, and how you are tracking toward goals. 

Typical tracking often includes metrics from the following sources:

  • Visibility and web traffic trends from Google Analytics 
  • Search behaviors from Google Search Console
  • Marketing pipeline health and Marketing/Sales alignment from your CRM 
  • Nurture health based on email performance data from your ESP
  • Social presence including reach, engagement, and market sentiment from LinkedIn, YouTube, and other platforms
  • SEO rankings from tools like SEMRush or UberSuggest

This fractional CMO service is critical as it allows you to understand the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and make informed decisions. Your Chief Marketing Officer should provide clear, concise, and comprehensive reports that give you insights into what’s working, what’s not, and what can be improved. Don’t get lost in the details. Remember that your CMO will be accessing potentially hundreds of points of data and distilling this into those that are decision-making criteria for leadership.

Still on the fence? Here’s why you should hire a fractional CMO.

Growing Your Marketing Ecosystem for Brand Awareness & Lead Generation

Your Fractional CMO should understand the latest digital marketing trends and tools, and know how to leverage them to reach your target audience across multiple platforms. The guideline is “Go where your buyers go.”  The CMO should direct their creative and digital team to develop and deploy engaging content, build a strong online presence, and use data-driven strategies to optimize your digital marketing efforts to improve awareness, increase brand authority, and generate leads.

Examples of what should be included in a Digital Marketing Strategy are diverse and can significantly enhance the online footprint of a business. Here are a few:

  • SEO: Implementing keyword research to understand what potential customers are searching for and optimizing website content to rank higher in search engine results.
  • Content Marketing: Creating valuable, relevant content tailored to address the needs and questions of the target audience, such as blog posts, whitepapers, and infographics.
  • Social Media Marketing: Developing a social media calendar and engaging with the audience through regular posts, stories, and interactive sessions across various platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • Email Marketing: Crafting personalized email campaigns with segmented lists to target different groups within the audience, ensuring content relevance, and fostering customer relationships.
  • Paid Advertising: Using platforms like Google Ads or social media advertising to generate immediate visibility for key campaigns or promotions, with carefully tailored targeting to reach the desired customer demographics.

Each of these strategies should be integrated into a comprehensive digital marketing plan that aligns with the brand’s overall objectives and encourages growth and engagement in the digital space.

Maturing The Marketing Technology Stack for Automation & Efficiency

One of the fastest ways your fractional CMO services will deliver ROI is by helping you realign your MarTech stack around what you actually need. There is often unnecessary spend in this area that can be immediately switched off. As an example, you might have old social media management tools that have been replaced with new, native functionality on social platforms.

Your CMO will also help you maximize ROI on the technology you do keep and help you determine the next solutions to add. As an example, the CRM is one of the most common areas for overinvestment and underutilization. By activating features from automation to analytics, you can rapidly improve your marketing.

Explore Our Strategic Fractional CMO Services

Fractional CMO capabilities can be much more extensive than those listed above. At Blender, our CMO services can also include:

  • Sales & Marketing Alignment
  • Pipeline Acceleration
  • Customer Retention Strategy
  • Comprehensive Brand Experience Development
  • “Big Idea” Innovation and Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Merger & Acquisition Strategic Support
  • Mission, Vision, and Values Alignment
  • Marketing Team Leadership & Mentorship
  • Board and Investor Communications
  • Employee and Internal Communications
  • Learning & Development Asset Creation
  • Employer Branding, Talent Branding and Culture Branding/Messaging

In addition, our fractional marketing team can fill any gaps in your current marketing department. This include branding, creative, digital marketing, social, copywriting, email marketing, and much more.

Are you ready to find out what an experienced fractional CMO can do for your business?

Contact Blender today.

b2b manufacturing marketing strategy

B2B Manufacturing Marketing Strategy: Beyond the Tradition of Trade Shows

By B2B Marketing Strategy, Blender B2B Marketing Blogs

The emphasis on a digital-first B2B manufacturing marketing strategy has become crystal-clear. As in-person sales became less viable, the need to transition to a more robust, digital-centric approach became urgent. In this discussion, we’ll delve into effective strategies that can transform the B2B manufacturing marketing landscape and ensure a steady flow of high-quality leads.

Rethinking Trade Shows for Your B2B Manufacturing Marketing Strategy

Trade shows have been the cornerstone of a traditional B2B manufacturing marketing strategy, prized for their networking and deal-making potential. Yet, their steep costs and modest ROI present clear downsides. B2B manufacturing companies are now recognizing that without a meticulous strategy before, during, and after the show, they lose out on maximizing opportunities. Pivoting to digital marketing strategies provides a precision-focused and cost-effective alternative that can enhance global outreach and optimize resource allocation.

Unleashing Digital Strategies in B2B Manufacturing Marketing

A solid B2B manufacturing marketing strategy leverages the power of digital channels to penetrate markets and engage audiences more effectively. By utilizing real-time tracking and data-driven decision-making, manufacturing companies can gain a competitive advantage that traditional strategies often lack. Digital methods not only provide the agility and reach necessary for success, but they also offer opportunities for targeted marketing, personalized communication, and seamless customer experiences. With the ability to adapt quickly to changing market demands and consumer preferences, manufacturing companies can truly thrive in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Want an even deeper dive into the best practices for B2B manufacturing marketing? Catch this episode of The Marketing Blender Show.

Maximizing PPC in Your Manufacturing Marketing Strategy

Incorporating PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising into your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy can be highly effective. By leveraging platforms like Google AdWords and LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to generate leads rapidly. Take Bison IP as an example. This manufacturing leader understands the importance of strategically bidding on targeted keywords that potential customers are actively searching for. By doing so, they position their offerings in front of an audience with high intent, resulting in improved conversion rates. With the right approach to PPC advertising, your B2B manufacturing business can also achieve remarkable growth and success.

Harnessing Display Advertising and Retargeting

Integrating display advertising into your B2B manufacturing marketing is a powerful way to ensure your brand remains visible to your target demographic. By utilizing retargeting techniques, you can reconnect with potential clients who have previously engaged with your website. This not only reinforces your brand’s presence in their minds but also increases the likelihood of conversion. With an expanded reach and enhanced brand recognition, your marketing efforts can drive more impactful results and ultimately contribute to the growth of your business.

LinkedIn Social Selling for B2B Manufacturing

Leverage the extensive network of LinkedIn to develop a robust B2B manufacturing marketing strategy. Cultivate meaningful relationships and foster inbound inquiries, ultimately resulting in organic lead generation. Concentrate on creating valuable and insightful content that not only establishes your company as an industry authority but also engages your target audience and drives business growth.

Optimizing Websites for Manufacturing

The ability of your website to convert visitors is crucial for your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy. To optimize this, consider incorporating engaging features such as compelling video content. Not only can this enhance your SEO rankings, but it also captures the attention of potential clients. Additionally, interactive elements like chatbots can be utilized to engage with prospects promptly and provide them with the necessary information they seek. By implementing these strategies, you can maximize the effectiveness of your website in attracting and converting leads.

Speaking Engagements for B2B Manufacturing

Secure speaking slots at industry events to assert your position as a thought leader. By sharing your expertise and insights with a targeted audience, you can establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field. This strategic approach complements your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy, enhancing your visibility and credibility among key stakeholders. Even in the digital age, the power of in-person engagement cannot be underestimated. So seize the opportunity to connect with industry peers, build valuable relationships, and showcase your knowledge to drive success in your business.

Leveraging Co-Promotion in Your B2B Manufacturing Marketing Plan

Embrace co-promotion to extend your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy’s reach. This tactic allows you to access new audiences and reinforce your standing by associating with respected industry peers.

In summary, adapting your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy for the digital era is not just about damage control—it’s a strategic move towards a more resilient and scalable business model. By integrating digital marketing methodologies and selectively incorporating traditional practices, B2B manufacturing companies can craft a dynamic approach to lead generation and sustainable growth. Contact us at The Marketing Blender to learn more about how we can help you achieve success in your business.

fractional CMO agency

How to Select a Fractional CMO Agency for B2B

By B2B Marketing Strategy, Blender B2B Marketing Blogs, Fractional CMO, Outsourced CMO

The complexity of business-to-business sales and marketing can make it hard to find a marketing agency or Chief Marketing Officer with the right experience to help you hit your revenue targets. Here is our guide for how to select a fractional CMO agency if you run a B2B company.

It’s Time to Contact a Fractional CMO Agency When…

Here are a few key indicators that your organization should look for a fractional Chief Marketing Officer.

  • You are a sales-led organization that has hit a revenue plateau
  • You have a marketing manager or director in house, but no one in the C-level role to set strategy
  • You have tried working with traditional marketing agencies with mixed or disappointing results
  • You are poised for growth but face challenges have no systematic lead generation working to drive sales
  • You have challenges with budgeting for marketing or knowing how to get ROI for your spend

Understanding the Role of a Fractional CMO

A Fractional CMO is a marketing leader who offers extensive marketing expertise to companies on a part-time, outsourced basis. This arrangement provides businesses access to high-level marketing expertise, without the commitment, expense, or risks of hiring and onboarding a full-time executive in-house. 

In a B2B context, a fractional CMO is responsible for helping create and implement strategies to drive business growth and health. 

Here’s what that looks like when your CMO is doing a great job for you:

Revenue – You are landing more near-term, larger, or recurring deals and cultivating long-tail opportunities

Reputation – Your brand is known for the right things by more of your target audience of decision-makers 

Resilience – You have more stability in future pipeline, lead generation ecosystem, opportunity for next big innovation collaboration

These Are Some of the Accountabilities for a Fractional CMO

  • Building Marketing Strategy (Including Tactics, Priorities, Budget, and Timelines)
  • Managing Execution of Marketing Tactics and Resources
  • Tracking and Optimizing Marketing Efforts/Outcomes
  • Growing Marketing Ecosystem for Brand Awareness & Lead Generation
  • Maturing Marketing Technology Stack for Automation and Efficiency

What Is a Fractional CMO?

Assessing the Experience & Expertise of a Fractional CMO Company

Experience and expertise are crucial when it comes to choosing a Fractional CMO agency. You want an agency that has a proven track record in B2B marketing, with a deep understanding of its nuances and complexities. Ask potential agencies about their previous work, the results they’ve achieved, and the strategies they used. 

One interesting fact is that it doesn’t matter as much as you might think whether a CMO has experience in YOUR specific industry or niche. It matters more that they know how to use B2B marketing to drive results across a variety of industries. This means they KNOW the fundamentals and can easily pick up on the nuances of your business. It also means they won’t just be rinsing and repeating what all of your competitors are doing because they bring a broader perspective to the table.

Learn more about how well an outsourced CMO can REALLY know your business

What Should a Fractional CMO Engagement Look Like?

A well-run fractional CMO agency will have standardized frameworks and processes that are used for onboarding all new clients. This is a simple example of what a roadmap might look like over the first 3-6 months of your engagement from building a B2B marketing plan to accelerating execution.

EXAMPLE ROADMAP

  • Deep Dive Buyer Personas 
  • Define Brand Truth and Build Messaging Choreography
  • Explore Full Marketing/Sales Landscape and Opportunities
  • Build Strategic Marketing Plan
  • Validate Plan in Alignment with Revenue Goals
  • Determine Budget and Resource Requirements
  • Build Execution Roadmap and Onboard Creative/Digital Team 
  • Launch Top Priority Marketing Initiatives 
  • Build Scorecard to Track Outcomes
  • Begin Brand Building Activities for Near and Long-term Growth
  • Capture Immediate Revenue Opportunities with Sales Activation
  • Develop Marketing/Sales Alignment
  • Initiate Marketing Automation
  • Track, Optimize, and Create Reporting around Marketing Efforts
  • Investigate and Improve MarTech Stack (e.g., CRM usage)
  • Mature the Marketing Effort for Repeatability and Scalability
  • Continue Ideation for Fresh Opportunities

Understanding the CMO Agency’s Approach to B2B Marketing

Every agency has its unique approach to marketing. Some might focus on digital strategies, while others may excel at traditional marketing methods. Some might be data-driven, while others might prioritize creativity and storytelling. Your Fractional CMO should have experience across the range of marketing tactics that are most effective for reaching your target market.

It’s essential that the agency’s approach aligns with your business goals, target market, and brand identity. Ask potential agencies to explain their methodologies, and how they tailor their strategies to meet the specific needs and challenges of each client.

Evaluating the Cost and Value of the Service

Hiring a Fractional CMO agency is an investment, and you want to ensure you’re getting good value for your money. Find out what the agency’s services include, and compare this against their fees. Also, consider the potential return on investment. An agency that can deliver strong results and drive significant growth is worth a higher investment. Also, consider how long they can stay with your organization. A good fractional CMO will continue providing value long term.

Factors to Look at in the Cost of a Fractional CMO Agency

  • Transparent Fee Structure: Ensure the CMO agency provides a clear breakdown of costs, including any additional expenses that could arise during the partnership. Flat rate monthly arrangements that cover a bucket of hours to be used for strategy, research, team oversight, and execution on key deliverables make it easy for the CMO to allocate their time wisely month to month.
  • Flexible Payment Models: Check if the agency offers different payment models that align with your business cash flow and risk preferences. For example, having a package that is the same amount of money each month can help you manage your budget more effectively. You might want to sign up for a 3-6 month initial engagement before signing an annual agreement. Or, you might choose for a longer-term option if it brings the total cost down.
  • Scope of Services Offered: Confirm the breadth of services included in the cost— from digital marketing to strategic planning and execution. The more comprehensive the services, the higher the potential value (but only if the services are aligned with the marketing problems you need to solve).
  • ROI and Performance Metrics: Investigate the agency’s track record for generating return on investment for their clients. High-value agencies will have strong case studies and metrics that demonstrate their impact. For example, you may look at # of MQLs and SQLs generated, YoY revenue increases, and the impact on brand visibility and reputation.
  • Expertise and Specialty: Higher fees are sometimes justified if the agency possesses rare expertise or specializes in high-impact areas of marketing that promise better results for your specific industry. For example, few B2B CMOs have experience with true Marketing/Sales alignment. This is a significant value add for most B2B companies.
  • Long-Term Strategic Value: Consider not only immediate gains but also the long-term strategic value that an experienced Fractional CMO can bring to your brand and market position. For example, an experienced CMO can help you find ways to attract investors, attract key talent, or improve the valuation of your business for a profitable exit.

See typical fractional CMO rates here.

Checking Agency References and Reviews

It is always appropriate to ask to speak with an agency’s past and current clients. Ask for references, and take the time to contact them. Inquire about their experiences working with the CMO provided by the agency, the results they saw, and any challenges they encountered. 

Online reviews can also provide valuable insights. Look for patterns in the feedback – consistent praise or criticism can give you a good idea of the agency’s strengths and weaknesses. LinkedIn recommendations are another place to look for insight into a specific fractional CMO from a B2B marketing agency.

Are We the Right Fractional CMO Agency for Your B2B Business?

Fractional CMO Agency

Our Team of Fractional CMOs Has Decades of B2B Marketing Experience

At The Marketing Blender, we have been helping B2B companies build and execute EFFECTIVE strategies for over a decade. Our fractional CMOs are hand-picked for their ability to drive results for B2B companies and equipped with Blender’s proprietary and proven systems to enhance your business revenue, reputation, and resilience. 

Contact us today to inquire about hiring a fractional CMO for your business.

b2b manufacturing marketing

Master B2B Manufacturing Marketing with These Tips

By B2B Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing Strategy, Blender B2B Marketing Blogs, Marketing Plan

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.

Want a Deep Dive on Manufacturing Marketing? Watch Dacia Coffey and Daisy McCarty in this episode of The Marketing Blender Show.

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.

marketing plan template

How to Use Our B2B Marketing Plan Template Effectively

By B2B Marketing Strategy, Blender B2B Marketing Blogs, Marketing Plan

Maximize online success with a comprehensive marketing strategy that boosts your online presence, increases visibility, and drives targeted traffic to your website. Stay ahead of the competition by implementing proven methods, leveraging social media platforms, optimizing search engine rankings, engaging with your target audience, and crafting compelling content that resonates with your customers. With expertise and a tailored approach, achieve online goals and reach new heights in your digital journey. Enhance your B2B marketing plan with this free template.

B2B Marketing Plan Template

Goals for This Marketing Plan Template

The primary goal is to increase brand awareness and drive sales. To achieve this, a multi-faceted approach is taken. Firstly, the aim is to position as thought leaders in the industry through sharing valuable insights and expertise. This helps build trust and credibility and attracts potential customers seeking reliable information. Additionally, digital advertising is leveraged to generate leads and reach the target audience effectively. Targeted campaigns are employed to maximize reach and ensure the message resonates with the right people. 

Lastly, prioritizing customer education about products and services showcases commitment to providing value. Through these marketing strategies, success and a strong market presence are confidently expected.

Key Objectives of a Marketing Plan Template

Clearly defined key objectives serve as stepping stones towards achieving goals. These objectives are designed to guide progress in the right direction and ensure alignment with the overarching vision. Focusing on these objectives enables effective measurement of success and informed decision-making.

Each objective plays a crucial role in shaping the path and propelling towards success:

  1. Thought Leadership: Generating interest and awareness by presenting new ideas and becoming thought leaders in the field.
  2. Lead Generation: Using digital advertising and media to generate leads.
  3. Customer Education: Building credibility, authority, and rapport by educating customers about products and services.
  4. Sales Effort: Strengthening sales efforts by delivering value and staying top of mind.
  5. Closing Deals: Accelerating closing times and improving the ratio of deals won.
  6. Customer Loyalty: Rewarding customer loyalty and building brand champions.
  7. Marketing ROI: Creating a repeatable process for driving ROI from marketing efforts.
  8. Accountability: Implementing processes and accountability measures.

Sales Cycle Stages

The strategy is divided into three distinct stages that encompass the sales cycle. These stages serve as a roadmap to guide the sales process, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in every step. By strategically segmenting the approach, efforts can be optimized and success maximized at each stage of the sales cycle.

  1. Awareness: Making potential customers aware of the brand and what is offered.
  2. Consideration: Helping potential customers consider whether the product or service is right for them.
  3. Decision: Encouraging customers to make a purchase decision.

Outcomes from Using Our Free Template

Implementing this plan anticipates several positive outcomes. Improved efficiency across operations allows streamlining of processes and effective resource allocation. Increased productivity enables accomplishing more in less time. Enhanced customer satisfaction is expected as improved efficiency and productivity translate into better products and services. Ultimately, realizing these outcomes builds confidence in the ability to achieve greater success in reaching goals and driving organizational growth. Increased brand awareness, more leads generated, stronger sales effort, faster closing times and more deals won, loyal customers who become brand champions, a repeatable process for driving ROI from marketing.

Tools and Tactics from a Marketing Plan Template

To achieve objectives, a wide range of tools and tactics are employed. These tools and tactics are carefully selected and implemented to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in reaching goals. By utilizing a diverse array of strategies, chances of success are maximized and challenges overcome. Commitment to utilizing the right tools and employing the most effective tactics drives towards achieving desired outcomes.

  • Educational Content: Utilizing blog posts, white papers, and webinars to educate customers and generate interest.
  • Digital Advertising and Media Campaigns: Using digital advertising and media campaigns to generate leads.
  • Public Relations and Outreach: Utilizing PR and outreach to build credibility and authority.
  • CRM Software: Managing and analyzing customer interactions and data using customer relationship management software.
  • Marketing Automation Software: Automating repetitive marketing tasks using marketing automation software.

KPIs to Track in Your Marketing Plan

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) play a vital role in monitoring progress and success. These measurable metrics allow gauging performance and ensuring progress towards goals. By defining and tracking relevant KPIs, informed decisions can be made, areas for improvement identified, and continuous growth driven. Keeping a close eye on these KPIs serves as a compass on the journey to success.

  • Website traffic
  • Lead generation
  • Sales conversion rates
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Return on investment (ROI)

Assigning Personas in Your Marketing Plan

To gain a deeper understanding of the audience, identify the key personas that are the focus of your marketing efforts. These personas help tailor strategies and messages to effectively engage with the target customers. Developing a comprehensive understanding of their needs, preferences, and behaviors enables creating personalized experiences that resonate with each persona and drive impactful results.

Marketing Plan Template Completion

B2B Marketing Plan Template

This comprehensive and targeted digital marketing strategy is poised to drive growth, increase efficiency, and yield substantive, measurable results. By building on a foundation of thought leadership, customer education, and sales effort, and through the effective use of diverse tools and tactics, we aim to heighten brand awareness, generate leads, and foster customer loyalty.

Monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will ensure that we remain on track and accountable to our goals. This template is flexible and adaptable to the unique needs and objectives of our business. As you embark on this journey, and look forward to seeing the positive impact and success that your efforts will undoubtedly bring. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company reach its full potential through innovative marketing strategies and solutions.