Building an Industrial Marketing Strategy that Drives Results

Ed Marsh | Oct 4, 2023

Industrial Marketing Strategy Informs Tactics That Drive Results

Introduction to SignalsFromTheOP

Guide to Episode

  1. Companies often jump into digital marketing for manufacturing with some activity. It's great to just get started....but it has downsides too.
  2. Without an integrating strategy, it's likely that the resources invested in early activities will be wasted.
  3. Further, tactical execution matters. Seemingly simple tactics require rigorous, specific execution.
  4. A proper industrial marketing strategy will provide a framework and priority for the activities, and guide the precise implementation to ensure that early efforts generate measurable progress.

Transcript follows:

I’m Ed Marsh and this is SignalsFromTheOP, my biweekly podcast video that explores important revenue growth issues for industrial manufacturers. If you like it please hit the bell, subscribe and share it with others.

What Should an Industrial Marketing Strategy Include?

What do we mean by industrial marketing? How should an industrial manufacturer build and then execute an industrial marketing strategy? Let’s break this down.

First, what do we mean by industrial marketing?

Your manufacturing marketing strategy should at least consider the following elements. Strategy, product marketing, competitive marketing and intelligence, branding, content, PR, marketing and sales technology, marketing data, marketing and sales operations, sales enablement, analytics and reporting, trade shows, trade journal advertising, and partnerships.

That’s a lot!

Especially for companies who have a very traditional program of marketing for manufacturing – you know basically trade shows and journal ads, along with a typical industrial manufacturing website.

Before you say “Forget it. This is way too much. What we’re doing works OK.” Let’s look at how you can gradually build an industrial marketing program.

Playing the Long Game - Building an Industrial Marketing Program

Building your program doesn’t have to be a Sisyphean Task. The program will naturally flow from your strategy, and it’s critical that the strategy sincerely focuses on helping prospects, buyers and companies.

Leads and revenue will be byproducts when done right, but industrial marketing that’s built around those as the outcomes is increasingly ineffective as buyers become more savvy.

I share a variety of actionable industrial marketing tips through links throughout this article, but experience tells me when companies jump into a piece – for instance, marketing content – without the larger context, they invest lots of time, energy, and money without generating results.

Industrial Marketing Tactics Matter Too

The takeaway, therefore, is that tactical execution matters.

Let’s just pick one tiny example like on page SEO of the content that your team produces.

You could put 90% of the required effort into researching, writing, publishing, distributing, and promoting content…and get maybe just 20% of the value. The last 10% of execution is critically important.

Now, I’m not saying don’t start until it is perfect. We can't let great be the enemy of good – definitely start. But each tactic of each of the manufacturing marketing disciplines can be optimized with workflows, checklists, and processes.

A Framework for Continuous Improvement of Industrial Marketing

I’d encourage you to think of your industrial marketing program and the collection of these tactics as existing on a continuum -we could call it a maturity model or a rubric.

For example, we can identify a number of tactics under industrial PR. These could include media monitoring, subject matter expert placements, distribution of content, event appearances/speaking engagements for your leadership, and guest content.

Each of those could be tracked across 4 stages of maturity with several bullet points describing what success looks like for that tactic at each stage from Foundational, through Developing and Accomplished, on up to Expert. (Check out the ORE™ Framework for an example.)

A typical middle-market industrial manufacturer may not be doing any of these components of a best practice industrial manufacturing strategy.

Maybe you're doing just a couple. That doesn’t mean you’re failing; it means you have an opportunity to leapfrog your competitors. Translating strategy to execution built on consistent, granular detail is critical.

At the same time, skipping the strategy and jumping into some tactics may feel like a more actionable approach but rarely results in success.

The industrial marketing strategy will drive the activity structure, priority and integration from which the execution details will flow. Ad hoc activities are resource-consuming and generate little measurable value.

I’m Ed Marsh. If you found value in this episode of Signals from the OP check out the full playlist and maybe even like it, share it and subscribe – either to my YouTube channel EdMarshSpeaks.TV or at the related blog