Industrial marketing trends for 2021

Posted on 22 Feb 2021 by The Manufacturer

The annual Marketing in Manufacturing survey reveals that a whopping 68% of industrial businesses describe marketing as a ‘high priority’.

Intergage and The Manufacturer are co-sponsoring 2021’s annual Marketing in Manufacturing survey to take the temperature on the industry’s attitudes towards marketing.

Prior to the full report being released in the first quarter of 2021, we have taken an interim sample of the data to identify:

  • how the industry feels about business development and marketing
  • where the largest investments will be made in the next 12 months
  • how successful manufacturers feel their current marketing is.

UK sales, marketing and business leaders have been asked for their input to create a resource that will become invaluable to industrial business development teams following what has been an incredibly challenging year.

86% of manufacturing businesses believe their marketing budgets will either stay the same as this year or increase for 2021. This comes as a positive surprise, considering the hardships the industry has faced over the past 12 months.

It goes to show that manufacturers are investing in growth initiatives despite the need to conserve cash.


It also demonstrates the danger of quickly falling behind the curve, should businesses fail to consider marketing as a current priority. It’s easy to land on the back foot to your competitors if they are building an online presence and you’re not; ultimately, they are winning more of your market share.

However, it’s clear that many industrial businesses still need help realising the ROI from their digital marketing efforts. Only 16% of manufacturers feel fully confident that their marketing is helping them meet their business objectives.

In fact, ROI sits in the top three marketing challenges for manufacturers, along with targeting the right audience and creating enough high-quality content.


There is clearly a desire from industrial businesses to spend more on marketing to spark growth. However, it also seems that there is a need for training, support and consultancy to help these businesses create closed-loop reporting and prove that their marketing is making a difference to the bottom line – something that is traditionally quite difficult in an industry with typically long sales cycles.

There is a strong feeling amongst industrial businesses that SEO, regular written content and perhaps surprisingly, (unpaid) social media have been the most successful forms of marketing in the last 12 months.


So, which marketing technologies and activities do these manufacturing businesses plan to invest in during the next 12 months?

Register for the full Marketing in Manufacturing Survey Report and you’ll be one of the first to receive exclusive insights. This will help industrial businesses gauge:

  • how they should be investing in marketing
  • how other manufacturers plan to evolve their marketing strategies.

Request your report here!