Technology continues to drive innovations, and expectations, in manufacturing. Customers are demanding higher-quality, longer lasting parts, and they want them turned around more quickly and for less money. Better, faster, cheaper.
The dynamic is similar in many ways in marketing to manufacturers. Despite the fragmented, impersonal nature of digital marketing, manufacturers must know their buyers better than ever, and be able to reach them sooner in the long industrial buying process.
The Industrial Marketer podcast explains and explores these ironies of marketing to manufacturers. You’ll want to listen to the show to get the lowdown, and hear some actionable items you and your manufacturing stakeholders can use, but here is the quick version.
Building Relationships via Marketing to Manufacturers Depends on Timeliness
In most cases, you have to get prospects into the purchasing funnel early in order to leverage the power of relationships.
Unlike the legacy sales ecosystem of trade shows and personal sales networks, you may not actually know your buyers personally. But you’ll need to know what kind of questions are being asked by engineers, supply chain managers, those on the shop floor and in purchasing or finance. And in many cases, you’ll need to have content available on demand to reach each of them at different stages.
Marketing to manufacturers involves small target audiences and long, complex sales cycles with multiple personas. The questions people are asking about your solutions, products and services are what you should be building content around on your website and the other digital channels in your ecosystem. The “needs awareness” portion for a potential buyer may be six months long. And potential buyers may be doing 50 percent of their research before contacting you.
That’s why, when marketing to manufacturers, it’s essential to get prospects into your sales funnel early in order to establish your differentiations and benefits. If your selling points include high quality and versatility, you may be the highest-cost vender in the field. Your chances will be better if you can raise the question of quality early on in the buying process, prompting prospects to ask competitors about their capabilities sooner rather than later, as opposed to allowing competitors to frame the conversation about a factor that plays to their advantage (e.g., price).
Like with manufacturing operations, technology is driving changes in marketing to manufacturers. Do you know what questions your prospects are asking?
Listen to the Podcast to Learn More About Marketing to Manufacturers
What does this mean for industrial marketers? Listen to the podcast to find out. We discuss the nuances and ironies of marketing to manufacturers in the digital age.
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