5 Mistakes NOT to Make When Marketing for Manufacturing

March 29, 2018 / By Nathalie Bassanesi

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

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Marketing for manufacturing companies is different from marketing consumer goods like clothing or household appliances. Industrial companies are often challenged by internal conflicts between marketers and production employees. While the former sometimes lack the technical expertise, the later may prefer a traditional approach to sales. But to increase brand awareness and become a leader in your industry, it is imperative to adapt to proven marketing strategies. Here are five things to avoid when marketing for manufacturers.

1. Underestimating the power of social media
There’s hardly anyone who’s not on social media these days. Even Princess Eugenie (Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter) has her own Instagram account. We know that you can’t go wrong with social media when you’re targeting the end consumer. But many people seem to think that social networks are not effective for B2B audiences. That may be true in some cases, but:

  1. Don’t automatically assume that you can’t reach a technical audience on social media.
  2. Not all platforms are right for every business, so go where your audience is.

As pointed out in this article on social media for manufacturing companies, it is imperative to consider not only in which platforms your audience is present, but whether or not they would be open to business-related topics while browsing those channels. If your research indicates that your audience goes to YouTube to see videos on products related to yours, consider building a presence there. However, if you find that your audience only uses Instagram to share pictures of food, you don’t want to advertise your furniture shop in there.


2. Focusing on the product
You spent a long time researching, planning and manufacturing your product. Now you’re proud of it and you want to show everyone just how great your “baby” is. Do yourself a favor and take a step back for a second. No matter how amazing your product is, people don’t buy products. They buy the emotions and feelings associated with products. That means your marketing should focus on how your product will make people’s lives easier, better or faster.

For example, if you’re selling a new model of aerodynamic road bike, you shouldn’t waste time talking about how light, stiff and smooth it is. Instead, show your audience how your bike will allow them to travel long distances appreciating the natural sights, how it can introduce them to a whole new social group or how empowered they will feel by challenging their own limits. Shoppers have thousands of brands to choose from. They will buy the one who speaks to their feelings.

3. Making it all about you
For a long time, Marketing was all about repeatedly pushing products onto consumers, hoping that they’d make a purchase if they saw the brand name often enough. But as times changed, the market became saturated with advertising and consumers needed to be approached differently. Today it no longer makes sense to make your marketing efforts all about you, your product, your company.

Outbound marketing has been losing momentum due to the new dynamics in consumer relations. This tendency is valid for both B2C and B2B audiences, as inbound is among the top three marketing trends in 2018. Research has shown time and again that putting the customer first and providing value is the only way to be successful with the modern consumers.

4. Trying to please everyone
Not even chocolate can please everyone. So you need to segment your list and personalize your content to each group. Even if you have a fairly narrow target group, there will always be differences between gender, age, budget, etc. The bottom line is that the more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor your message to address their concerns. People get too many emails and see advertising everywhere, so the only way they’re going to pay attention to one in particular, is if it’s a product that solves the problem they’re having at that exact moment.

You can sell the same product to a wide range of customers, but the way you present it needs to be personalized for each segment of your list. To take a very simple example, market research for a video-game showed that men responded better to ads that stimulated competition, while women responded better to the ads that focused on building relationships within the game. What you should take away from this is not to treat all your leads as if they were one homogenous entity. They are not.

5. Ignoring SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Manufacturing companies may still rely on traditional marketing channels, like printed and radio advertisement. But in 99% of the cases, it is worth combining those methods with online marketing. And once you have identified the need to build an online presence for your brand, it is not enough to put together a website and never update it again. Don’t fall into the trap of ignoring SEO.

Search engine optimization has many components, both internal and external to your website. A good SEO strategy takes all of these elements into consideration, measures and improves the parts that don’t perform well. Ultimately, that is what will help you generate more leads and conversions. So take the time to build backlinks, produce quality content and explore different strategies like video.

Are you ready to disrupt your manufacturing marketing?
Implementing changes take time, especially if you are in a conservative industry. But if you follow the advice in this post and stay clear from these five big mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to a successful marketing strategy. Just make sure to your plan includes social media, focus on emotions, inbound marketing, segmentation and SEO optimization.

Have you observed other mistakes as a marketer or as a manufacturing client? Share your experiences with us in the comments bellow. If you liked this post, help spread the word and share it with your network. You can also contact the author on LinkedIn.

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