If you are new to looking for a manufacturing marketing company to support your business – or even if you are not new to it – you know that it can be a challenge finding exactly the right fit. There are many different agencies out there, with all kinds of different focus areas and marketing capabilities. To compound this, if you are a manufacturer, you want to make certain that the agency in question is going to understand your business, your customers, and your partners.
So, you’ll most likely be looking for a B2B agency, and have started to put together a shortlist of ones to contact. What are the next steps and how do you ensure that you get an agency that will really work for your specific business?
Does the marketing agency have an in-depth understanding of manufacturing?
First and foremost, you should check to make sure that the agency has genuine manufacturing experience. Do they have a track record of working with other manufacturers in similar or adjacent areas to your own? Take a thorough look at their case studies and portfolio. If a B2B marketing agency has predominantly worked with companies in, let’s say, finance and legal, and only touched on manufacturing, then they may not have the in-depth knowledge needed to get to grips quickly and thoroughly with your business model. Without the understanding of how manufacturing works, it will be harder to build a marketing plan and put together the right marketing mix to support you.
The greater the understanding of manufacturing and your particular sector, products, and processes, the better your marketing outcome will be.
Can they deliver manufacturing marketing – from strategy to content?
Once you have established that the agency does have the right sort of manufacturing experience, the next step is to make sure that the agency can deliver. They need to be able to fully understand your strategy and business goals, all the way through to delivering creative content that will have the right impact. A full understanding of your products and priorities will ensure that you can build a communications plan that works for your business.
Does the agency understand your customers enough to develop relevant campaigns and content?
Unlike most sales to consumers, there will no doubt be several people involved in the purchasing decision for your products or services, and sales cycles are often long-running into months and years and can involve tendering. Understanding the user journey, from the view of all stakeholders involved in the purchasing decision is crucial for intelligent website design, that will engage with key decision-makers and influencers.
Business decisions are made from a rational standpoint, but it is worth remembering that your customers are consumers as well in their everyday lives, so are influenced by their experiences of purchasing in the B2C world. Those influencers and decision-makers that have grown up as digital natives, and even those that have not, will be doing more and more research online before purchasing and use of social media is the norm. Having an easy-to-navigate, up-to-date website is still important, even if you are B2B, and you should also make sure that the manufacturing marketing company has experience in running campaigns to manufacturers through platforms such as LinkedIn.
Does the marketing agency have the people to get to grips with your technology and manufacturing processes and products?
A real plus point is being able to work with a manufacturing marketing company that has an understanding, not only of how your manufacturing business works but the underlying technology or process that you are selling. Agency staff who have both experiences in marketing and sales in your industry, but also have staff with a background, say, education in chemistry, engineering or an area related to your business, will quickly get to grips with your product offering and the processes involved. This can make a real difference in getting the unique selling points of your product or process across.
Can the marketing agency get your technical message across in the right way?
With such a complex sales cycle in manufacturing, multiple people on the team each doing their own research, plus the added complexity of manufacturing processes, products and services, it is incredibly important to have content that is written for all the different audiences who will be evaluating your product. According to Forrester, 63% of purchases have four people involved, versus just 47% in 2017 and this includes different buyer roles from champions and influencers through to users, decision-makers and ratifiers. Content writers need to have the industry experience to get the message across to technologists and engineers. Internal creative need to understand your target audience to get the branding of your website and social media right. And, a good background in manufacturing will make it easier for the digital team to target SEO and social media campaigns, such as LinkedIn, to target the right companies and job roles and other key digital marketing priorities for manufacturers.
Technical information is very difficult to put across concisely, so ask the manufacturing marketing agency if they have some solid examples of website development, content and infographics that show that they can get across a technical/manufacturing message. For example, Cyclone, specialists in lifting and handling equipment approached Motion Marketing to develop a brand and website that was going to help them to achieve modernization and growth targets. Motion Marketing developed a logo that maintained their industry connection, alongside developing content for their website and social media both organic and paid via LinkedIn and Google Ads.
An integrated marketing agency with a thorough understanding of manufacturing and solid experience can make your business a real success.
Some manufacturers shy away from marketing, as they see it as something just for consumer companies, or feel they just need to “rely on the sales team”, but marketing is critical if you want to grow. With more and more research being carried out by your customers online, and Gartner predicting that by 2025 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels, if you are not present online, then your competitors will be gathering the leads. So, make sure that you have an agency with a solid mix of creative, technical marketing, content writing and SEO capability to support you.
5 things to check your manufacturing marketing company have:
- A large number of case studies with genuine manufacturing industry experience.
- Technical marketing strategists, content writers, creative, and digital experts (Linkedin campaigns and SEO) who have manufacturing experience.
- A team of people educated in manufacturing or related technology fields.
- An understanding of your target customer base to create intelligent website user journeys.
- Solid examples of manufacturing infographics and content.
Motion Marketing has recognised experience across a broad range of manufacturing and process industries, including Steel, Aluminium, Pharmaceutical, Health Sciences, Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Water, Paper, Power Stations, Co-generation, Liquified Natural Gas Plants, Renewable Energy, Automotive, Food and Beverage. Find out more about our manufacturing marketing services here >