When it comes to a marketing plan for a manufacturing company, you can never do too much preparation. Embarking on a marketing campaign armed with a full manufacturing marketing plan will give you the best chances for success.
Many marketing activities can be costly. Without a close eye, marketing campaigns have a nasty habit of spiraling out of control. They can cost companies a lot of money and time with very little in return.
If you sell B2B, you need to get yourself a solid manufacturing marketing plan so that you can keep track of your spending, your success, and your ROI. Follow these tips to find out how.
Give Yourself A SWOT Analysis
Before you formulate your marketing plan for a manufacturing company, be clear about your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information will allow you to identify how you are different or stronger than your competitors. It is wise to understand what aspects of your company may not measure up to the industry standard. Note your opportunities to grow as a business, and the threats that may prevent you from achieving your goals.
After a thorough analysis, you will be better equipped to look at how your manufacturing marketing plan can fall in line with your business needs.
What Exactly Are You Trying To Achieve?
Following your analysis, you need to establish why you are running a campaign. What are your goals and objectives? Are you trying to increase sales? Launch a new product? Build customer relations? Whatever the reason, they’ll generally fall into the following three categories:
- Informing: This category relates to a new product or service launches. They are about adding value and relating your products and services to your market.
- Persuading: This is about why people should choose you over your competitors.
- Reminding: Here, you give the market a refresher on why your customers love you and what makes them loyal.
Your goals will form the basis for your overall manufacturing marketing plan.
Research The Current Market
Elaborating on who your customers are for this particular campaign will improve the accuracy of your targeting.
- The size of the business purchasing from you
- The industries they work in
- What they typically buy from you
- Who their customers are
- The roles of the people you interact with
- The types of people you sell to
- Your direct competitors
- The size of the market
Try to be as comprehensive as possible in providing the information for this step. By building an accurate picture of your target audience, as well as the landscape of the current market, you will be more likely to produce a refined marketing campaign that hits the mark.
Choose Your Media
You need a strategy for reaching your target audience. It’s no good focusing solely on TV ads, for example, if most of your customer base is found online.
We’re fortunate to be living in an age where there are many advertising media options available. While it can be tempting to try to run your campaign on all media types, this becomes incredibly expensive, as well as diluting the impact of your campaign.
Select a couple of media channels to run your campaign. Base your decision on where your audience can be found and develop a plan for how you want the campaign to run on each channel, so it remains consistent throughout. If you need some inspiration, check out these 5 marketing ideas for manufacturing companies.
Create A Schedule
Make sure that one of the factors you consider carefully is how long you want to run a campaign. When does it start, when does it end, and what happens in between? Be specific by creating a detailed schedule for when you want things to happen.
Campaigns that meander lose traction and often end up boring your audience. On the other hand, campaigns that end too quickly don’t allow enough time for your audience to take notice.
Here are some questions to consider to make sure that your manufacturing marketing plan schedule is on point.
- When is the launch date?
- If you’re using multiple media channels, what dates are you launching on each channel?
- If you have a series of content, how will it run? For example, a series of social media posts explaining the benefits of a new product might have a new post published weekly.
- When will supporting media (such as emails, newsletters, and coupons) go out to your audience?
- What is the end date for the campaign?
Determine Your Budget
A manufacturing marketing plan without firm budget constraints won’t give you an ROI (return on investment). The amount you gain from the campaign needs to exceed how much you’ve spent on it. Otherwise, it isn’t worth running.
Determine what percentage of your income you wish to attribute to marketing. Keep it at a manageable amount. The usual amount is between 2-5% of your sales revenue. This way, you can always ensure that your budget is manageable and affordable. Most importantly, it won’t land you in the red.
If you don’t track your performance, you won’t know when to celebrate or what areas need improvement. Identify your key performance indicators that will determine how successful your campaign has been. Also look at which channels have gained the most traction and engagement vs. those that aren’t working so well for you.
Refer back to your goals and objectives to see if you’ve achieved them. This is one of the most important parts of a marketing plan for a manufacturing company. If your business has not achieved its marketing objectives, analyze the data to work out what went wrong and how to do better in the future. Even if the campaign was a success, you could use this information to improve on things next time.
A successful marketing plan for a manufacturing company needs to be well thought out and comprehensive. Like anything in business, there are risks associated with marketing campaigns. Good preparation is the key to ensuring you stay on track, as well as reducing the chances for something to go wrong.
If you’re looking to run a campaign in 2020, gather your team, go through this guide, and get planning for your best marketing campaign yet.
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