A Recession and Other Economic Concerns Have Dominated Headlines, but 2023 May Not Be All Doom and Gloom

Fortunately, there is a silver lining that many are beginning to see. For example, reshoring is expected to continue increasing thanks to significant delays from overseas manufacturers. Additionally, potentially lower demand will allow companies time to clear backlogs and expand investment into technology. As a result, leveraging industrial marketing services for manufacturers will put your business in a stronger position should the country formally enter a recession or other challenges arise.

However, companies in manufacturing industries — corrugated, flexographic packaging, metals, electronics, medical devices, plastics, custom tooling, and more — often lack the talent or expertise to market themselves effectively. This is particularly true with winning new accounts. Traditional methods such as trade shows still abound, but recent years have shown firsthand that prospects are looking for partners and suppliers in new ways. Thus, companies that want to continue growing should look to meet prospects where they’re at. In 2023, this means leveraging outside assistance for industrial marketing services for manufacturers to ensure they’re effectively competing for — and ultimately winning — that new business.

Here, we’ll explore three distinct marketing services for manufacturers — and how working with a reliable partner helps to accelerate speed to impact.

1. Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is a traditional strategy that involves directly reaching out to customers to engage them or using “push” tactics to capture attention.

Examples include direct mail, print advertising, paid media (TV, radio, etc.), trade shows, and more. While greater emphasis has been put on digital marketing strategies over recent years, outbound industrial marketing services for manufacturers remain a crucial part of your toolkit. The disruptive nature of outbound can force prospects to reconsider their current position and whether change is needed. Often, companies need to be shown how or why a current model isn’t working because they’re too in the weeds. Outbound is a great first step in a larger chain reaction of moving from old to new.

Advantages of a third party:

  • Outbound strategy requires time and coordination that you may not have
  • Multiple disciplines are involved that you may not have in-house
  • Without past expertise, it can be difficult to build a targeted strategy
  • A third party brings a fresh perspective/tactics to initiate disruption
  • Experienced partners are more likely to effectively measure progress

2. Inbound Marketing

While outbound is the “push” of a marketing effort, inbound is the “pull.” It strategically positions your business where prospects are already searching.

B2C organizations leverage digital channels to get in front of consumers — and this method has widely been met with success. This trend has largely carried over into the B2B realm, with companies seeking suppliers and service providers online and via other digital channels. Inbound-focused industrial marketing services for manufacturers establish and improve your position in these channels through the use of strategies such as SEO, PPC advertising, opt-in email marketing, content marketing, and more. Combined with outbound marketing, your business is better able to engage prospects or already be present where they’re looking for support.

Advantages of a third party:

  • Inbound often requires more technical expertise that you may not have in-house
  • Skills in SEO, web development, writing, and more are all available in one partner
  • Hiring for these disciplines will be more costly than outsourcing for them
  • Building an effective strategy takes time, measurement, and refinement; it’s better for your team to be more focused on closing deals while an inbound marketing is running concurrently

3. Sales Support and Coordination

While this is not a marketing service per se, it’s important that your sales team is able to act upon the results of outbound and inbound marketing.

Leads are great, but your team needs to take them across the finish line. Sales teams today are often tasked with more non-sales responsibilities than they can or should handle. These non-revenue-focused duties detract from sales productivity and reduce the overall accountability of the team. With a more structured, effective approach to sales, your team can stay focused on what matters most: winning new business and growing your revenue.

Advantages of a third party:

  • Reduces the overall administrative workload of your more experienced sales team
  • Offloads time-consuming front-end sales processes such as lead nurturing
  • Supports the sales team throughout the process to ensure a successful close
  • Measures overall sales performance and uses that data to make decisions
  • Provides extra sales support without the cost of an in-house FTE

Take Your Marketing and Sales Further in 2023 with Athena

As a manufacturer in an industrial market, you’re already looking ahead to identify the trends, risks, and opportunities that stand to impact your business. With marketing and sales directly responsible for your revenue growth, there’s never been a more crucial time to implement solutions that will help you maximize your team and capabilities in the year ahead. Don’t allow time to pass only to find that your business has let opportunity pass you by. Don’t allow the same outdated or ineffective approaches to stay in place and continue to produce lackluster results.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. Learn how we can support your growth.