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Tuesday 2¢: B2B Manufacturing Marketing: It’s Time to Lead not Lag

Tuesday 2¢: B2B Manufacturing Marketing: It’s Time to Lead not Lag

Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott urges B2B manufacturing marketers into content marketing action!

Brace yourself cool marketing kids, this week I want continue the theme of last week and plunge into another vertical and its needs. So, I spun the bottle and this week it’s the turn of the manufacturing industry.

Actually, I was inspired by a Forrester webinar that came to my attention through their email updates. Now, my marketing budget doesn’t quite stretch to being able to share reprints of everything I think you might find useful from Forrester, but I will try and steer a course through their citation policy and share what interested me.

Recently, Senior Analyst, Paul Miller presented a webinar called “From Grease To Code: How Industrial Firms Are Betting Their Future On Software” (Forrester clients can view it here ). Fantastic title!

In it, Miller predominately refers to the Internet of Things (IoT) and how Manufacturers can leverage this technology. One slide, however, jumped out at me, as it talked about the evolution of manufacturing:

Now, I omitted the title from this image (probably highly illegal according to the Forrester citation policy), because I think that Miller’s perspective on this can be applied to how manufacturing companies need to adapt, not just perspective on software and IoT, but also to get with the contemporary content marketing program .

Phrases like “rich ecosystems of interactions”, “engage”, “outcomes” and “values defined by customers” have all been in the lexicon of the B2C marketer for years now.

But, of course, it’s supposedly different for B2B manufacturers - they don’t communicate with C’s (or people), they communicate with B’s, businesses! So the manufacturing industry’s laggard approach all makes sense: I am B2B buyer, I buy services and software and when choosing a service or software, like say Hubspot, I am unmoved by their content marketing as I am a business and not a person.

Which is, of course, bollocks. I am, most definitely, a person, most definitely moved by the story, and most definitely touched by the presentation of my aspirations.

Yes, there is a bit more of a process behind my B2B purchase compared to when I am buying shiny things from Amazon for myself, but if you get me excited enough then I’ll do my damndest to make this thing happen.

Manufacturing marketers are considered by the Content Marketing Institute to still sit in the “First Steps” or “Young” phases of content marketing maturity, with only 10% having a documented content marketing strategy.

And yet, wow, is there an opportunity for disruption here! If only 10% of your competitors have got their collective content shit together, you have the chance to look like Zappos in comparison, if you have even a half decent plan. You know, the really cool people that sell shoes.

Selling shoes may seem easy, as most of us wear them, but of course lots of people sell shoes, so differentiation is the hard part. If you manufacture something, you probably have a niche, a niche which is purchased by an easily identified buying persona. These two things can give you the kernel of a unique story, so you are already on your way.

And in content marketing a unique story is a fabulous thing:

"Content marketing is about celebrating what makes your business unique. It is, inherently, about making the business more social and more human."

― Robert Rose, Managing Content Marketing

So, B2B manufacturing marketers - it’s time to lead not to lag!

Ian Truscott Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott has a passion for creating ART (Awareness, Revenue and Trust) for B2B software companies as a marketing leader and is a censhare alumni. Wanting to connect a like minded community and share something useful, he founded Rockstar CMO, a monthly digital publication, and is currently helping B2B companies create ART at appropingo.