companies that follow the latest trends in lean manufacturing and operational excellence in production, can do the same in content marketing.

Incremental Improvement in Content Marketing

manufacturers spend considerable time managing their supply chain. The latest trends in digital industrial marketing indicate they should also invest in media publishingMost discussion around content marketing is calibrated in increments.  Agencies offer 3 categories of plans (silver / gold / platinum or fast / faster / fastest) with increments in activity and cost - and implied increments in results.

Applying technology and ingenuity can deliver disproportional results, although the packages may look superficially similar.  So in reality, one of the biggest challenges for companies selecting an agency or content marketing consultant is discerning which can really drive superior results...when all appear alike.

Companies increasingly understand that success isn't built on the tactics, but on the industry expertise, business savvy and buyer familiarity of their advisors.  With strategy, vision and relentless execution small and lower middle market companies can achieve results which vastly exceed their relative enterprise scale.

Disruptive Success

The ultimate foreseeable form of B2B content marketing disrupts the classic incremental model.

MANUFACTURING JOURNALISM has the power to enable middle market B2B and industrial manufacturing companies to disrupt industries.  More than a step change, this can define industry leadership as surely as scale of manufacturing facilities and market share.

Media Publishing in Manufacturing Content Marketing

the manufacturing industry can benefit from using a journalism approach to manufacturing content marketing much like they use additive manufacturing to improve their production

  • A media business approach to content publishing for manufacturers transcends the traditional content creation model where content is an adjunct to a brand's core website and digital footprint  
  • Where commonly practiced B2B content marketing is optimized around specific challenges which products / services address, manufacturing journalism creates a distinct industry digital "Center of Excellence"
  • Content marketers are often told that success (volume and quality of content) lies in their ability to "think like publishers", in Manufacturing Journalism they become publishers - complete with distinct digital property, editorial staff and publishing philosophy
  • Typical content marketing makes infrequent and oblique reference to brand - but is implicitly branded as it resides on a common domain with common branding.  Manufacturing journalism steps back from a brand (although it often cites brand sponsorship) and takes a higher level, brand agnostic approach
  • At it's most effective, this media business mindset surpasses traditional trade journals by expanding the range of thought leadership beyond a narrow segment of considerations to a broader range of topics of interest to their ideal customers.  Instead of simply covering latest trends in capital equipment, for instance, a wide range of additional issues are addressed.  They may range from the finance, HR, strategy and operational challenges with which the customers wrestle to macro technology, economic and policy trends
  • Companies practicing effective manufacturing journalism can in time disrupt not only competitors and trade journals, but even trade associations which are commonly struggling to define and establish value for dues paying members
  • As inertia grows, community (real, contributing community - not the artificial proxy of subscribers) and high-profile, thoughtful and respected industry experts accept invitations to contribute and later request inclusion (extending the community to encompass theirs as well) 

Who's a candidate?

to excel in the manufacturing industry, companies must follow best practices. To excel in manufacturing marketing they must leverage the latest trends in digital content publishing and think like media publishersCompanies must have embraced fundamental content marketing and online thought leadership and have strong executive sponsorship and cultural buy in. Further, they must have a strong commitment to operational excellence and a mindset of process engineering and continuous improvement in their manufacturing management.

They must have adequate revenue to allocate at least $500K/year to this effort.  (This isn't incremental addition since it will typically replace other less productive legacy marketing spend.)  That means they are typically middle market (revenue >$50M) although an interesting model exists for several related smaller companies to develop a collaborative model.

The company must philosophically accept that their product/service isn't ultimately what's valued by their customers, but rather some combination of owners' interest, impact on business, ability to better serve their customers, etc.

If you think your middle marketing industrial manufacturing company may be a fit...and you've wondered what's next as traditional B2B content marketing has become more common, let's talk.  Share a couple details below and I'll give you a call.

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