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3 min read


Digital Marketing for Manufacturers


In the old days of sales in the manufacturing industry, it was all about having a representative commissioned to a territory to find new leads and build relationships with potential customers.

But times have changed. It’s not as easy as it used to be for a sales rep to go to the brick-and-mortar location and speak to someone with purchasing power. Decision-makers are more protective of their time. Sales rep and customer turnover are much higher than they used to be.

Simply put, retaining and attracting people today is much more challenging than it was in the past.


The Decline of the Manufacturer’s Representative


Two major factors have led to the decline of the manufacturer’s representative:

The first shift happened in the 1990s with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

This trade agreement led to a major shift in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and caused companies that did stay to slim down their staff. This shift was only exacerbated by the global market becoming more competitive in the manufacturing space.

As such, getting ahold of the right person has become more challenging than ever before.

Read More – Are Your Manufacturers' Representatives Obsolete?

A second major shift came with the rise of the Internet.

Before the web, a manufacturer’s representative was the primary way your potential customers could learn about your business’ product offerings, deals, and industry insights.

But with all this data available online, who needs to talk to a sales rep?

As a result, manufacturer’s representatives are less effective overall, with some companies abandoning hiring them altogether.

Instead, they’ve opted for a completely digital approach.




Internet Marketing for Manufacturers

In the modern digital age, most sales transactions are initiated by the customer. They want to discover industry trends, research products, and talk to sales reps but do so on their terms. For this reason, cold selling just doesn’t work anymore.

But if potential customers take the purchasing initiative themselves, how do you get in front of them? The answer is by building a digital presence.


Search Marketing: An Inbound Approach for Manufacturers

As mentioned above, your potential customers are taking the first step in the sales process by researching what’s going on and what to buy. As such, your website needs to provide them with exactly what they are searching for.

Your potential customers want to know what’s trending in the industry. By having a regularly updated blog, they can get that information directly from you. They want access to product information without being bothered by someone calling them. By having those resources readily available on your website, they can get just that.

By turning your website into a hub of industry and product information, you naturally attract leads to your digital platform. These leads qualify themselves and are already warm by the time your sales team gets to them, meaning less wasted time cold calling and more time closing deals.



B2B Marketing for Manufacturers

As a manufacturer, digital marketing isn’t just about posting helpful content and resources. Your marketing efforts will likely include using paid ads, emails, and relationship management tools.


Paid Advertising

A lot of marketing directors know they need to run paid ad campaigns, but for many, this looks like throwing money at an algorithm and not knowing what happens after that.

For successful paid ads, you need to have your campaigns properly segmented by platform (LinkedIn v. Google), device type (mobile v. desktop), and customer function (decision-maker v. user).


Email Marketing

One of the difficulties of marketing your manufacturing company is that you have so many buyer personas that use your website.

Sometimes, your website attracts decision-makers who have real buying power – excellent! Other times, these visitors can be a vendor or reseller who works for/with your company. But still, your website attracts non-decision-makers, too, such as end users or even students doing research for a project.

By properly segmenting your audiences, you can craft emails to keep your contacts aware of your products, build your name as an authoritative source in your industry, and nurture decision-makers toward a purchasing decision.


Everything you need to know for successful b2b email marketing


Dealer Relationships

Lastly, if you’re like some manufacturers, you have dealers that also sell for you. Keeping these dealers informed and happy can lead to them pushing your products over others. With a helpful digital platform in place, your marketing efforts can work towards making them proud evangelists of your brand.


Open Path: Proven Digital Marketing for Manufacturers


Whether you’re starting from scratch and need to build a digital platform from the ground up or just need a little assistance with paid ads or email marketing efforts, Open Path Digital Solutions is here to help.

We’ve helped manufacturers in the construction, furniture, and luxury appliance industries to reach record website traffic and company revenue and can do the same for your business. Simply schedule a call with one of our growth strategists to review your website, and we’ll provide you with some recommendations and a plan for digital marketing success.



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