Intergage and The Manufacturer have taken the temperature on the manufacturing industry's attitudes towards marketing in the first edition of The Marketing In Manufacturing Report.
UK sales, marketing and business leaders have been asked about their feelings towards marketing and business development during a pivotal time for the industry. The Marketing In Manufacturing Report covers four main topic areas:
- Attitudes towards marketing – how do industrial firms feel towards investing in business development?
- Marketing activities – which initiatives are being used more frequently and which drive the most success?
- Marketing budgets – how much are manufacturers and engineers spending on marketing and what is the outlook for budgets?
- Measuring results – how is marketing measured and how do key decision-makers feel about the success of their marketing efforts?
The full report is now available to download here.
So, what do the results look like?
Attitudes towards marketing
The general outlook is positive with 63% of manufacturing and engineering companies rating marketing as a ‘high priority’. That said, there is a clear disconnect between sales and marketing teams with only 29% of salespeople rating marketing as a ‘high priority’ compared to 64% of marketers and 75% of business leaders. This indicates a potential barrier to growth for industrial firms who desperately need their marketing and sales teams to work together to propel them away from a difficult trading period.
Other significant marketing challenges included targeting the right audience, creating enough high-quality content and measuring success. Budget on the other hand, was only rated a significant marketing challenge by 25% of the industry.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of industrial firms invest the largest proportion of their marketing budget in digital marketing over more traditional forms. With the complete shut-down of events and exhibitions, it appears manufacturing and engineering organisations have had more to invest in digital means.
These digital activities also appear to be driving more success. Organic social media promotion, regular written content on your own site and SEO were voted the most successful marketing initiatives. In comparison, only 25% of respondents voted attending exhibitions amongst the most successful marketing activities.
Furthermore, it seems that the industrial sectors are behind the curve when it comes to adopting marketing automation. Only 22% of respondents currently use marketing automation platforms with a further 37% stating they plan to invest in marketing automation over the next 12 months. This is surprising considering two of the top four most common marketing challenges are resource issues with marketing automation solutions often being used to remedy overworked, under-resourced marketing departments.
73% of engineering and manufacturing organisations are spending 5% or less of their annual turnover on marketing. 42% of respondents state they will be increasing their marketing budget in 2021 when compared to 2020. A positive move as industrial firms begin to reinvest in their sales and marketing production lines, they also begin to push money through the supply chain.
Measuring ROI was one of the key challenges outlined in the attitudes towards marketing section of the report and that theme is continued here. 62% of respondents rated their marketing a six (out of ten) or below when it came to helping the business meet its objectives. Industrial firms are notorious for long sales cycles, complex buying journeys and selling big ticket items – all of which can make it difficult to measure marketing success accurately.
It’s safe to say that while the majority of manufacturers and engineers feel they should be investing more in marketing, there are definite reservations as to how success should be measured and whether ROI can be determined.
The outlook is certainly positive, but not without its challenges. Industrial organisations must align their sales and marketing teams, focus on initiatives that generate revenue and build their brands as much as their production lines.
Those who do not disrupt the market now, will be displaced later on.
This first edition of the report is now available to download and Intergage has already started working on the survey for the 2022 edition.
Download your FREE copy of The Marketing In Manufacturing Report here for further industrial marketing insights!