Internet marketing is a driving force in the success of modern businesses, including manufacturing.
Even manufacturers in the B2B space can benefit greatly from effective B2B marketing plans geared toward digital marketing for manufacturers. While leveraging B2B marketing strategies can ultimately drive success, it can be a bit of a challenge.
There's a lot to consider in marketing, and it can feel overwhelming. There are many marketing tools, dashboards, analytics software, and database systems from which to choose. It's also common for industrial businesses to get stuck in traditional marketing ruts or get sidetracked by "shiny object syndrome." But, failing to choose the right tools and not having a clear B2B marketing strategy means you're at risk of falling behind in your marketing efforts, giving your competitors the chance to get ahead.
With a clear marketing strategy and execution roadmap, your B2B manufacturing business will stay on track to meeting growth goals.
What is a marketing plan? Do I really need one?
Think of your marketing plan as the navigation system in your car. It’s a guiding document for every marketing initiative you want to undertake. It identifies what activities will work the best and aligns your sales and marketing strategies with company goals and brand messaging.
A B2B marketing plan extends beyond the turn-by-turn directions of your daily marketing activities. An effective B2B marketing plan can:
Create baselines and goals for marketing to contribute to your overall business success
Communicate what you’re doing to others on your team (both internal & external help)
Help prioritize the most critical goals & efforts
Act as a consistent guide for strategies & tactics
What qualifies a B2B marketing plan as “good?”
We’ve seen a wide array of B2B marketing strategies over the years, and honestly, most of them usually have some good core components. But, the most effective B2B marketing plans contain high-level initiatives, not all the nitty-gritty details. This can be tricky at first. There’s a tendency to want to know exactly how and when all the things will get completed. And we get that. It’s important to understand how a marketing strategy gets turned into actionable items, but marketing plans are not meant to include executional items.
A B2B marketing plan for solid digital marketing for manufacturers should include:
- Short and long term goals
- Your target audience (personas, competitors, etc.)
- Overall messaging strategy
- Definition of unique differentiators
- Description of your core focus
- Be simple and clear
- Be easy to make agile updates
- Able to act as a guide to daily, weekly, and monthly activities
Your marketing plan will serve as a guide. It will contain the strategies you plan to implement and the goals you’re striving to reach.
Start outlining and building a simple marketing plan today.
To start building a marketing plan, you have to understand what and why. Determine whether you need a plan for your entire business, a specific division, or a particular product or service.
A simple structure to follow for an effective B2B marketing plan includes:
- Audience & Competitors
- Messaging Strategy
- Business Goals & Key Performance Indicators
- Marketing Initiatives & Activities
- Analytics & Reporting
Get Started Creating Your Digital Marketing Plan Today
Use our digital marketing plan template to get your HubSpot digital marketing strategy up and running.
High-impact initiatives and tactics drive success in B2B marketing plans.
In the B2B marketplace, we know the stakes are high for your customers. They spend time researching options and are often more educated by the end of the buying cycle. Because of these reasons, your marketing plan must include the best and highest performing tactics to set your products apart with authority and as the trusted solution. Here are a few high-impact tactics we often recommend to our B2B and manufacturing clients.
A Great Website
It’s no secret. Your website is your greatest marketing tool. And it’s one of the most important foundational pieces to your efforts. You need a website that works alongside all of your marketing efforts. Start by completing a website assessment to understand where your website has opportunities to improve.
High-converting Landing Pages
You need to have high-converting landing pages as part of your marketing plan. These pages produce leads. Their sole purpose is to capture leads through a compelling offer or CTA. These should be tailored to your specific target audiences.
Leverage a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform
Not only can you store all of your customer data in a single location, but you should leverage your company’s CRM for marketing automation, too. This takes the manual work out of some of your initiatives and ties revenue back to marketing activities.
Add Additional Methods of Lead Generation
In the B2B industry, it’s essential to consider additional methods of reach in your marketing plans. These initiatives may include industry events, trade shows, printed collateral, and many others.
Keep innovating your B2B marketing plan.
While you don’t want to be too reactive in your marketing plans and strategies, it’s okay to revisit your plan to make ongoing changes and adjustments. Consider this a living document, and be open to conducting regular “checkups.” This allows you to evaluate what’s working well and what could be improved. Circumstances around your business are constantly changing, and your plan needs to evolve with them.
Ready to create your marketing plan? We’ve created a digital marketing plan template to get you started.
Use this template in conjunction with the persona creation workbook and our growth goals calculator, and you’ll have a solid baseline for getting your digital marketing strategy for manufacturers up and running in no time.
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