MM 096 - Digital Marketing - How it Works for Manufacturing


    This week our guest expert Marcelo Prado and I discuss the huge importance of digital marketing for manufacturers. It is really a matter of survival. Those manufacturers who are willing and able to build their go-to-market strategy around the digital world will win, those unable or unwilling will become extinct. Marcelo shares the why and the how.


    • See a webinar by MAPI, Invent to Survive.
    • One of the problems is that many manufacturers and the leadership do not understand what 'digital marketing' really means. First you have to educate about what it means. A pilot program helps to demonstrate the strategy. [5:30]
    • The most exciting part of digital marketing is that it allows manufacturers to engage with their audience in many different ways as they go through their buying process. [7:00]
    • It is critically important to understand that customers are in charge of the buying process. When they finally contact the manufacturer, if you have not already been providing information, you may never make the short list.   [7:40]digital marketing
    • Digital adoption among B2B manufacturers is very low. This is the opportunity. But, it's hard because there are so many options available. [10:00]
    • Fresh off the virtual press - Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic from MarTech.
    • Marcelo's team finally told him, enough with pilots, let's go make a decision and go ahead. [12:50]
    • The leadership team can be your biggest hurdle. You must bring quantifiable KPI to show them that there is a contribution to revenue. [14:20]
    • The very term "marketing" can be a problem because everyone has a pre-conception and, many times, negative. We need to change that perception! [16:00]
    • Marcelo shares a case study of a product launch that was wildly successful combining digital marketing with traditional marketing tactics. [18:30]
    • Digital marketing is not meant to take a sales person's role but is meant to enhance that role by making the salesperson more effective. [23:45]
    • If you think your customers are not going online to research a product, you're fooling yourself!  Even for multi-million dollar products, they go online to research and self-educate. [26:15]

    Interview Questions:

    Question 1 –  First, let’s level set. Marcelo, would you offer a definition of digital marketing, the contrast to non-digital marketing and a few examples would be great?

    There are probably some listeners out there believing that they can survive without digital marketing. After all, trade shows, print ads and a field sales team have always worked.

    Why is digital marketing so important for manufacturers?

    Question 2 –  What are you seeing when you attend conferences, talk to colleagues and such when it comes to adoption of these digital marketing strategies and tactics amongst the B2B manufacturing companies?

    Manufacturers are enthusiastic adopters of digital technologies on the production end and supply chain side, why is adoption so low for digital marketing?

    Question 3 – You shared an interesting case study for the MAPI report about a product launch that combined digital and off-line tactics. I know a lot of our listeners would love this idea for their own product launches, would you share that story (Video Borescope)?

    Question 4 – What would you say is the biggest challenge most common to manufacturers adopting a digital marketing culture and how can they overcome that challenge?

    Is it really a question of survival or am I being overly dramatic?

    Challenge Question:

    This week our challenge question comes from a test and measurement company in Connecticut. “We manufacture test instruments for the aviation industry. We’re in the early stages of advancing our marketing function from “old style” to “digital”. A big question we have is about the tools. We’re contemplating purchasing a marketing automation platform. Do we need one or can we be modern without that tool?”

    • Yes, you need the modern tools to be successful with digital marketing. Just maintaining the database is critically important and you can't maintain the database without a CRM (customer relationship management).  A big opportunity for manufacturers is to manage the list of existing customers.
    • Another important aspect of a tool, there are privacy laws that must be adhered to, it is impossible to manage it without a marketing automation or email service tool.
    • You need to have the tools to prove ROI to really excel at digital marketing.


    • Customers are now in control of the sales process. Understand the customer buying process and how they engage, not just from your firm, but how they buy in general.
    • When you get started with digital marketing, start with experimentation and pilots, but move quickly from that phase and scale to product stage. Digital marketing is really a 'must do'.


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