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industrial marketing strategy

Industrial Marketing Strategy Must Be Documented for the Best Results

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A documented industrial marketing strategy is critical for success. Did you know 80% of successful content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy? (Source)

Unfortunately, only 32% of manufacturing marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, even though one in four manufacturing marketers reported that their organization spends 25% to 49% of their total marketing budget on industrial content marketing. (Source)

Why is that? In my experience working with manufacturers and industrial companies, too many are in a rush to pump out more content without a strategy in place. Implementing hit-or-miss content marketing tactics is not likely to produce the results you want.

This is why, at my industrial marketing agency, Tiecas, we believe in a strategy-first process with a data-driven strategy that is documented. See Why You Need an Industrial Marketing Engineer to Create Your Strategic Roadmap.

Bottom line— A documented industrial marketing strategy provides clarity, alignment, and measurable results.

What is an Industrial Marketing Strategy?

Industrial marketing strategies often encompass multiple channels like trade shows, SEO, and targeted paid advertising.

I’ll focus on industrial content marketing in this post since it is the dominant strategy used by most manufacturers and industrial companies.

Let’s start with a short definition of content marketing. It is…

“Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating valuable content … to drive profitable customer action.

Understanding the last part of the definition is critical—it’s where industrial and manufacturing content marketers face their toughest challenges.

The hurdles in industrial marketing strategy for manufacturers can seem daunting because the long and complex sales cycles involve many stakeholders, from engineers to purchasing and executives. Each one has different content needs at different stages of their buying journey.

Creating content for the buyer’s journey, aligning sales and marketing, and internal communication are significant challenges manufacturing marketers face. 62% of manufacturing content marketers cited this as their biggest challenge. (Source)

I suggest you read my pillar post, “Struggling with B2B Industrial Marketing? Your Essential Guide to Proven Strategies & Tactics,” to understand these challenges better.

Product datasheets and technical specifications are essential when your core audience is engineers and technical professionals. However, you have to go much deeper and broader than just that to logically move your audience through the funnel with relevant content.

Your content can’t be overly ‘salesy;’ instead, focus on educational and thought leadership content that will differentiate you from the competition. See How Manufacturers Can Use Content for Differentiation and Create a Competitive Edge.

What content do engineers and industrial buyers prefer when considering and making a purchasing decision? See Content Preferences of Engineers and Industrial Buyers.

An industrial marketing strategy defines your goals, audience, and content mix.

Why Document Your Industrial Marketing Strategy?

A documented industrial marketing strategy provides the roadmap and guardrails you need to navigate the complexities of your market. It eliminates guesswork and fosters purposeful action, even during unexpected shifts or changes.

Clarity & Focus

  • Targeted precision: Documenting buyer personas ensures laser-focused content and optimizes channel choices for niche industrial audiences.
  • Avoid scattered efforts: Written goals prevent reactive tactics, streamlining decision-making in long sales cycles.
  • Smart allocation: Documenting prioritizes tasks and budgets, crucial for maximizing ROI with technical content.

Accountability & Measurability

  • Prove ROI: Clearly defined KPIs make it easy to justify marketing investment in manufacturing/industrial contexts.
  • Early course correction: Track metrics against written benchmarks to pinpoint strengths/weaknesses, minimizing wasted effort.
  • Data-driven decisions: Documented data procedures ensure reliable insights for critical technical decisions.

Agility & Adaptability

  • Pivots with purpose: A strategy becomes your baseline during change, enabling informed strategic shifts.
  • Confident innovation: Document past wins/misses to build on what works and improve future campaigns.
  • Weathering crises: A plan provides a framework for proactive communication, protecting brand reputation.

Collaboration & Consistency

  • Team alignment: Bridge the gap between sales, engineering, and marketing with a unifying document outlining shared goals.
  • Seamless partnerships: Streamline onboarding and set expectations for industrial marketing agencies or external vendors with clear guidelines.
  • Smooth transitions: A well-documented strategy allows for knowledge transfer, minimizing disruption during personnel changes.

How to Document Your Industrial Marketing Strategy

Start with a simple, achievable document. Even a basic outline brings clarity and helps you measure results against defined goals. As your strategy evolves, your documentation will too.

Key Elements to Include in your documented industrial marketing strategy:

  • Industrial buyer personas: Detail who your ideal customers are, their pain points, and where they seek information.
  • Goals mapped to the buyer journey: Outline SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) for each stage of the long industrial sales cycle.
  • Channel mix: Prioritize where you’ll reach your audience (website, trade shows, SEO, etc.), focusing on those your buyers use most.
  • Content calendar framework: A simple structure for content planning and consistency.

Need help turning your strategy into a tangible action plan? Our Strategic Roadmaps provide a clear path with expert guidance to achieve your industrial marketing goals.

Beyond Content—Aligning Your Industrial Marketing Strategy

Job #1 for industrial marketers is creating realistic sales opportunities for the sales team to have meaningful conversations and close more deals. This is why close alignment between Sales and Marketing is vital. Neither can do it alone since today’s industrial buyers prefer to complete a large portion of their buying journey on their own without ever contacting the supplier.

Your industrial marketing strategy should support that journey with:

  • Sales enablement: Ensure salespeople are equipped with case studies, thought leadership content, and competitor analysis tools for successful conversations.
  • Strategic trade shows: Pre-show promotions and post-show follow-up driven by your strategy will maximize trade show ROI. (in-person events made a strong comeback in 2023).
  • Demand generation: Targeted campaigns aligned with your strategy drive qualified leads and build a robust pipeline.

Need a partner to seamlessly integrate your marketing initiatives across all channels? Our Strategic Roadmaps ensure your industrial marketing strategy drives success.

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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