Industrial Marketing Blog

Industrial Marketing Budgeting and Planning

Industrial Marketing Budgeting and Planning

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Industrial marketing budgeting and planning activities pick up at this time of the year. As they say, “ʼTis the Season.” Things begin to get very hectic as we go deeper into Q4 and it becomes harder to get people together as they start to take time off for the Holidays.

Are you in the midst of doing your plan for 2020? I have read various independent research studies on how manufacturers and engineering companies plan to spend their money on industrial marketing. I’ve compiled the key findings to help you get insights into what your peers and competitors are planning to do.

Digital channels dominate industrial marketing budgeting and planning

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but it helps to get validation before you assume something. According to Thomas Network (2019 Industrial Buying Habits), industrial buyers use various sources for gathering information during their buy cycle.

Industrial buying habits

I understand you may be somewhat skeptical about the findings given the source, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that digital channels dominate. Here’s another study done by (How Engineers Find Information 2019) that confirms the same overwhelming use of digital channels by engineers and technical professionals.

How engineers find information

Budgets for manufacturing marketing will increase next year

Here’s some good news – 83% of manufacturing marketers said their budget will stay the same or increase next year. Out of that, 31% said their marketing spend will increase in 2020. (Source: 2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing, IEEE GlobalSpec).

Industrial marketing budgets to increase

Using 2019 benchmarks in planning for 2020

I’ve seen many industrial companies use data from the current year as benchmarks to plan their marketing budgets for the coming year. Let’s look at how manufacturing content marketers have spent their dollars in 2019. The next two charts are from the Manufacturing Content Marketing 2019, Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).


Industrial content distribution

Notice in the second chart, Paid Content Distribution is at second place after Content Creation at 35%. Why are manufacturing marketers spending more on content distribution? The number one reason is to attract new a new audience as seen in this chart from the same report.

Why are manufacturing marketers using paid content distribution?

The key takeaway – don’t rely 100% on your own website and/or blog for your audience to discover your content. I have referred to this in the past as the “Post and Pray” strategy and also talked about it at the B2B Marketing Zone Webinar and in my presentation at the Content Marketing World 2019. You’ll find links to the recording and the YouTube video from the resources page here.

How are engineering marketers allocating budget?

Naturally, most digital marketing channels are getting a bigger share of the budget as seen in this chart from the report, Industrial & Technology Marketing Trends, the Tactics and channels marketers are Investing in to win in 2019 published by Notice how Trade Shows and Mobile Marketing are getting a smaller share of the marketing budget.

Engineering marketing budget allocation by channels

I hope this post helps you gather the background information for your own industrial marketing budgeting and planning. The more meaningful data you can provide, the stronger your business case will be to get buy in from upper management.

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 35+ years of practical manufacturing and industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., a manufacturing marketing agency in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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  1. Good article. With the person that commented “everyone uses Google for searching any query”, I would caution people on this. Yes, for well established and known products, people are likely to search on Google. However, for situations where people are looking for solutions to their problems that have not been solved by well known, established products – perhaps new or innovative technologies or products – one can’t Google it if they don’t know what it is called or if it even exists. First step is to understand where the product fits into demand from the market – is it a well established and known product? Or is it more of a new technology, emerging type product? Or something in between? Once one answers that question, then they can decide if the more passive inbound marketing makes sense, or the more proactive outbound marketing approaches are needed.

  2. Yes i am agree with that,
    Today i think everyone use google tool for searching any query and it will grow more. and this will same in case of videos for allocating industrial budget.

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