- 27% of manufacturing marketers believe that their marketing activities are outdated.
- About 49% of manufacturing businesses struggle to create enough high-quality content resulting in poor engagement and lead generation.
- Demonstrating the value of their complex products is a key marketing challenge for manufacturers.
- Investing in digital marketing strategies and innovative technologies can help overcome certain challenges.
Post-covid, the manufacturing industry has been highly competitive.
And the competition demands overcoming your marketing challenges and walking with trends.
However, 27% of manufacturing marketers believe their activities are outdated. Following obsolete marketing practices is limiting the opportunities for manufacturing firms.
There are many more major issues faced by manufacturing marketers that we’ve covered here with their absolute solutions. So, let’s dive in.
- Top 14 marketing challenges manufacturers are struggling with
- 1. Limited marketing budget
- 2. Unlocking the potential of digital marketing
- 3. Understanding of your target audience
- 4. Demonstrating the product value
- 5. Attracting qualified leads
- 6. Building a powerful email list
- 7. Poor management of leads
- 8. Creating enough high-quality content for manufacturing marketing
- 9. Optimizing top marketing channels and improving content delivery
- 10. Engaging with your prospects throughout the buyer’s journey
- 11. Inability to measure the ROI
- 12. Adopting marketing automation to the fullest
- 13. Bridging the multi-generational skills gap in the manufacturing sector
- 14. Hesitant to technology and ineffective handling of data load
- 1. Limited marketing budget
- Conclusion: Manufactures businesses ignore the long-term effect of marketing on sales
- Frequently asked questions
Top 14 marketing challenges manufacturers are struggling with
1. Limited marketing budget
32% of marketers believe that a limited marketing budget is one of manufacturing firms’ most significant marketing issues.
Moreover, companies often face employee layoffs and budget cuts, so dealing with this challenge may seem unsolvable.
Also, a limited budget becomes a hurdle in practicing new growth tactics like producing top-quality content or optimizing the marketing channels.
It further restricts adopting analytics and optimization tools, leading to inadequate resources.
- A possible solution might lie in closely looking at your marketing strategies and tracking the ROI of each channel.
- Then you can strategize the budget allocation to invest most of the money on those channels that yields the highest returns.
- Invest in organic marketing channels like content and social media to engage and attract the potential target audience.
- Look for free digital tools that can assist you in building a good content resource and optimizing your current marketing efforts.
2. Unlocking the potential of digital marketing
Covid impacts marketing significantly in all industries. Many manufacturing firms are switching to modern marketing way – Digital.
However, it is still a challenge for many manufacturing companies with a long history of conducting business traditionally.
Transformation isn’t easy, but start taking baby steps, as this is the current marketing trend that you must follow. Try implementing the following points:
- Develop a powerful digital marketing strategy tailored to your manufacturing business for generating leads.
- Enhance your online presence with a professional and user-friendly website.
- Implement search engine optimization techniques to improve organic search rankings.
- Leverage potential social media platforms to engage with your target audience and share industry-related content.
- Utilize email marketing campaigns to build and nurture customer relationships.
- Consider pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on search engines to target specific keywords.
- Explore influencer marketing to gain credibility and reach a broader audience.
- Invest in a video strategy to showcase your manufacturing processes and products.
Moreover, the efforts will result when you closely monitor and analyze data using analytics tools. Also, you must stay updated with the current manufacturing marketing trends!
3. Understanding of your target audience
As per the Brandpoint survey report, 31% of those surveyed said audience understanding is one of the greatest marketing challenges when the business is trying to grow in the digital space.
Since digital marketing is a boom for manufacturing businesses nowadays, overcoming this challenge is crucial for effective targeting.
- Leverage data analytics tools for actionable insights into audience behavior and engagement metrics.
- Create a detailed buyer persona to craft a successful marketing message specific to the target buyer. Get your free buyer persona templates here.
- Engage directly with customers through surveys and feedback to gather valuable insights and refine your marketing strategies.
Moreover, follow trustable resources like industry magazines or join top social media online communities to stay updated with the changing market demands.
4. Demonstrating the product value
About 42% of manufacturing marketers reported that demonstrating product value is one of the biggest marketing challenges.
Most of the manufactured products have complexity and are technical. So this results in the lack of ability of many marketers to understand the true value of their products.
Eventually, this lack of understanding of the product leads to poor demonstration, which can be solved with some efforts in the right direction.
- Provide comprehensive product training to each of your marketing professionals to help them understand your product’s features, benefits for the target buyers, and USPs.
- Build marketing collaterals and ask each of your new marketing professionals to go through them thoroughly during their initial training.
- Align your sales and marketing team to gain deeper insights into customer pain points and tailor the best marketing strategy and message accordingly.
- Simplify complex technical concepts using relatable language, visuals, and real-life examples.
- Create demonstration videos and leverage them through online marketing channels (website or social media posts or ads).
- Leverage social proofs like testimonials and case studies to demonstrate your product’s value.
5. Attracting qualified leads
40% of marketers believe attracting high-quality leads is one of the significant manufacturing marketing challenges. The reason lies in the poor understanding of products by their marketing team.
Another reason for this issue can be the lack of proper tools and strategies. When you lack adequate tools, strategies, or content attracting qualified leads becomes challenging.
We’ve presented the ideal solution to the lack of understating of product value below.
- For effective targeting, use data analytics tools to get more insights about your target audiences, such as their preferences, needs, engagement timings, etc.
- Develop a targeted marketing campaign to reach your potential audience and attract qualified leads.
- Implement top digital marketing lead generation strategies like content, SEO, PPC advertising, etc.
- Produce high-quality content and distribute it across key marketing channels like websites, emails, and social media platforms to drive sales-worthy leads.
- Optimize your website to boost visibility and turn visitors into leads with smart lead generation tools like Web Forms, live chat, chatbots, and meeting scheduler.
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6. Building a powerful email list
Manufacturing marketing knows the potential of email marketing; however, building an email list for marketing is a challenge they face.
Many marketing professionals rely on buying the email list, which isn’t a good way as there’s no guarantee that the contacts on the list will be interested in your product.
Email marketing drives lucrative results, but you need a robust email list and an effective email marketing lead-generation strategy to attain such success.
- Implement a targeted lead generation strategy to capture email addresses through valuable content, landing pages, and lead magnets.
- Offer compelling incentives and exclusive benefits to web visitors persuading them to subscribe to your email list.
- Leverage social media platforms, online advertising, and partnerships to drive traffic and expand your reach for email list building.
- Optimize your website’s content and strategically place email subscription forms to maximize conversions.
Once you have the email list, segment and target them with personalized email campaigns to generate sales-worthy leads.
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7. Poor management of leads
Manufacturing services have complex products, long sales cycles, and typical buyer journeys for varied products.
Now targeting varied audiences with specific personas results in poor handling of leads many times. However, this can be solved effectively.
- You just need to implement a robust manufacturing CRM system to track and manage leads throughout the sales cycle effectively.
- Also, define clear lead qualification criteria to qualify a marketing qualified lead into a sales-accepted lead.
- Establish a powerful lead scoring model to prioritize the most promising leads.
- Speed up your lead management with automation. You can automate your lead management tasks like data entry, lead scoring, and assigning.
- Continuously analyze your lead data and performance metrics to identify bottlenecks, optimize strategy, and improve conversion rates.
8. Creating enough high-quality content for manufacturing marketing
49% of manufacturing businesses struggle to create enough high-quality content, considering it a common marketing challenge.
As the buying cycle begins with an online search, manufacturing marketers must compete and dominate search engines. The below image will help you better understand the role of content in the customer cycle:
Let’s find out how you can overcome this challenge.
- Develop a leading content strategy that aligns with your target audience’s needs and preferences.
- Focus on creating relevant, informative content addressing your prospect’s pain points.
- Repurpose your existing content into varied formats, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts, to maximize content output and reach a wider audience.
- Leverage user-generated content and customer testimonials to showcase real-life experiences and build credibility for your manufacturing brand.
- Collaborate with your industry experts or influencers to co-create content to expand your library and reach.
Also, if you lack in-house talent, consider outsourcing skilled content creators or agencies to achieve your desired goals.
9. Optimizing top marketing channels and improving content delivery
Marketing isn’t a one-time fixed strategy. It changes with the market demands, buyer preferences, and industry trends.
So, to be on top of your prospect’s mind, you must invest and consistently make efforts.
- Continuously analyze marketing channel performance and content engagement metrics to optimize strategies, allocate resources effectively, and improve ROI.
- Routinely audit your content quality and performance to identify the scope of improvement and fix that.
- Keep up with the manufacturing marketing trends, industry demands, and current buyer preferences to ensure your content aligns well with the needs,
Moreover, you must invest in smart technologies and tools that facilitate content delivery, such as CMS (content management systems), CRM (customer relationship management software), and marketing automation platforms.
10. Engaging with your prospects throughout the buyer’s journey
Nearly 70% of B2B buyers of their decision-making process before communicating to sales reps. Hence, building a solid strategy to engage your prospects throughout the buying cycle is vital.
Firstly, you must understand the evolving B2B buying cycle. The below image will give you an explicit knowledge of the same.
The manufacturing buying process has majorly changed after covid. It has become more of a digital journey. Also, it is a complex process that involves multiple stakeholders and critical decision-making.
However, you can improve your engagement greatly with the following tips.
- Create informative and valuable content for each stage of the buyer’s journey to educate and guide prospects through their decision-making process.
- Leverage digital channels to reach and engage with prospects throughout their digital buying journey.
- Use analytics tools to gain insights into prospective behavior, preferences, and pain points, allowing for targeted and relevant communication.
- Foster strong relationships with key stakeholders with an account-based marketing strategy.
- Invest in a powerful marketing automation platform to boost engagement and deliver personalized experiences.
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11. Inability to measure the ROI
Not being able to measure the ROI is a significant challenge for manufacturing marketers. Moreover, nearly 74% of B2B marketers lack sufficient data for ROI assessment.
Consider the following solution to overcome your challenges.
- Clearly define your marketing objectives and identify key metrics that align with your business goals.
- Invest in data analytics tools to track and measure campaign performance for ROI assessment.
- Deploy automation and tracking tools to collect insights on customer interactions and conversions, enabling precise ROI calculations.
- Align your marketing activities with sales objectives. Gather feedback on lead quality from the sales team to assess your efforts’ outcomes from each channel.
- Moreover, follow this process routinely to identify areas for improvement and optimize efforts for better ROI.
12. Adopting marketing automation to the fullest
Covid- 19 impacts and encourages the manufacturing sector to take a 180-degree shift in marketing style.
Still, B2B manufacturing marketers need to catch up in adopting smart technologies.
As per a recent survey, only 22% of manufacturers have utilized marketing automation in the past year (2022).
See below to discover the tremendous benefits of implementing automation in your marketing efforts:
- Assess your current marketing processes and identify areas where automation can bring the most value.
- Invest in user-friendly marketing automation tools ensuring to maximize your results.
- Provide comprehensive training to your marketing team to facilitate the transition to automated processes.
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13. Bridging the multi-generational skills gap in the manufacturing sector
One significant challenge in manufacturing companies is the generational gap, where younger and less experienced workers replace experienced ones.
This can impact your growth because valuable knowledge and expertise leave the industry and the retiring talents.
As a result, younger generations have fewer opportunities to learn from experienced employees and sustain the industry’s smooth operations.
- Introduce LMS to develop and share in-depth content to train your baby boomers.
- Implement comprehensive training and mentorship programs that facilitate knowledge transfer from retiring employees to younger generations.
Moreover, you must cultivate a continuous learning and professional development culture within the organization.
14. Hesitant to technology and ineffective handling of data load
Traditional mindsets within the manufacturing industry often resist adopting new technologies and digital marketing approaches. This further results in slowing down the process.
Additionally, some manufacturers may lack awareness about the potential benefits that technology and data-driven marketing can offer.
Managing the immense data generated by manufacturing operations can be complex, especially without the support of smart tools and expertise.
Moreover, resource constraints, integration complexities, and lack of awareness can be some significant reasons for this challenge.
- Promoting a culture of innovation within the organization can bring great results. This involves creating awareness, providing education, and inspiring the adoption of new technologies.
- Allocate resources to implement robust customer data management systems and analytics tools to ensure effective handling and utilization of the vast data.
- Implement strong data privacy and security measures to protect sensitive information.
By addressing concerns and building trust, manufacturers can confidently leverage data for marketing purposes, unlocking its potential while ensuring compliance with regulations.
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Apart from the above, other top manufacturing marketing challenges include:
- Aligning sales and marketing.
- Preparing for mobile, poor marketing strategy as they lack in-house talent.
- Failing to update their website.
Hope this was helpful!
Conclusion: Manufactures businesses ignore the long-term effect of marketing on sales
The role of marketing has been significantly increased in the B2B buying journey.
But unfortunately, many manufacturing marketers still don’t see marketing as the driving channel and don’t see their sales.
Moreover, effective marketing has a long-term effect on your brand sales.
So, your marketing efforts should be on point to bring surprising results in your sales.
Also, most issues end when you leverage digital marketing strategies and advance technology in your marketing operations.
Frequently asked questions
What are the top 3 marketing challenges for manufacturing companies?
1. Digital transformation
2. Understanding the target audience
3. Attracting qualified leads
What are the top content marketing challenges for industrial marketers?
1. Creating relevant and engaging content
2. Lack of internal resources and expertise
3. Measuring content effectiveness
What are the top digital marketing challenges for manufacturing companies?
1. Limited or no online presence
2. Generating high-quality leads
3. Adapting to changing algorithms and platforms
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