95% of manufacturing businesses invest in digital marketing and 80% plan to increase or maintain their marketing budgets for 2022 (The Marketing In Manufacturing Report). However, marketing for manufacturers is complex and often, industrial businesses have relatively small marketing teams so investing in a marketing agency is a big topic.
In this article we’ll look at the different types of marketing agency, why manufacturers need a marketing agency and how to choose the right one for your business.
For manufacturers, finding the right marketing agency can be a daunting task. There are dozens of different types of agencies out there, and the one you choose should be in line with what you are looking to achieve. Here’s a brief outline:
Digital marketing agencies (such as Intergage) focus on leveraging new technologies and modern techniques to help their clients boost their online reputation and sales. In other words, they're experts at helping businesses succeed using digital techniques such as SEO, marketing automation, email marketing and website development.
If you're looking for expertise in offline marketing, a traditional marketing agency is your best bet. They're experts in media such as print, TV, radio, and direct mail advertising.
These agencies specialise in placing ads in the most effective channels, whether it's print, digital or out-of-home (OOH). By working with networks and negotiating the best deals, media buying agencies can help ensure that your brand gets exposure.
A web design agency can be a great partner when it comes to boosting your online presence - but only up to a certain point. They will help you build and optimise your website, making sure it is technically sound and converting well. But when it comes to other aspects of marketing, such as copywriting, email marketing or even sales messaging, you are likely to need additional help.
Most manufacturing companies report having small or one-person marketing teams who are responsible for generating leads, supporting sales, creating content, providing collateral and running marketing campaigns. It’s hardly surprising that industrial marketers struggle to get this all done. In fact, 49% of industrial marketers report ‘creating enough high-quality content’ as their most significant marketing challenge (The Marketing In Manufacturing Report).
Partnering with a marketing agency allows manufacturers to lighten the load and outsource some of the more time-consuming but all-important tasks such as content creation. Manufacturers can rely on the industry experience of an agency while knowing they will output content that search engines and readers love!
Employing a marketing agency to help with content creation doesn’t just mean you’ll have loads of great content to share. It will have a significant effect on how visible your site is in search engines. Your prospects are looking for solutions and products like yours now – if you aren’t regularly putting content out there, you won’t be found. Simple!
With 61% of manufacturing marketers outsourcing at least one content marketing activity, employing a marketing agency to take care of content for you is not unusual and it will most certainly save you time and generate great results!
Sales messaging is a huge problem in the manufacturing sector. All too often we see manufacturing businesses talk too much about what they do, and not enough about their target customers' challenges.
You might have the best product or service on the market, but everyone is a consumer first and if you’re not connecting with people, you’ll struggle to stand out from the competition. With many manufacturers up against competitors with very similar products, it’s crucial they demonstrate a true understanding of the customer, placing them at the centre of everything – including sales messaging!
However, generating compelling sales messaging can be difficult to do without an outside-in perspective. A good marketing agency will be able to support manufacturers by drawing the relevant information from them and turning this into great sales messaging! This often involves looking at a manufacturer’s:
Having that outside-in perspective will mean you can draw out crucial information to form pertinent sales messages that make you stand out from the competition. This is usually information that you take for granted as you’re in the business every day!
We’ve already established that many manufacturing firms have a small or one-person marketing team. How likely do you think it is to find one, or even two people with all of the following experience?
It’s unlikely you’re going to find all of that in a small team. Hiring a marketing agency will give you access to all of these skills under one roof, meaning you can plug the gaps around your in-house marketing team.
A common misconception is that marketing agencies look to replace in-house marketing resource. That simply isn’t true! In fact, in our 20+ years’ experience working with manufacturers, we’ve found it works best when clients have an in-house marketer for us to work with.
We’d always advise choosing a marketing agency that has experience in the sectors/industries you work in. Doing this will mean you get access to wider industry experience with a partner that has worked with businesses just like yours.
It’s likely that a marketing agency will have solved your marketing challenges time and time again and will have developed proven processes to do so. They’ll know what works and what doesn’t and will be able to advise you on the best way forward for your marketing. This helps remove any guesswork and allows you to benefit from a team that uses past experience to inform your marketing strategy.
As a manufacturing business, your focus is around optimising and improving production, creating great products and building relationships in the supply chain. Not necessarily looking at marketing data and using digital tools to measure success.
That’s exactly what a marketing agency should do.
Their sole focus is marketing and generating you great results so, any good marketing agency will have invested in the tools required to do that. You can benefit from having a clearer understanding of how your marketing is performing, where you stack up against the competition and which parts of your campaigns need improvement.
Digital marketing is a constantly moving beast, so being constantly aware of performance is crucial to success – something you will only get from working with an experienced marketing agency!
Finding a marketing agency is easy. The hard part is finding an agency that is right for your manufacturing business. You should always keep the following in mind when considering your options:
Make sure you get some insight into how successful the marketing agency has been in the past. You could ask to see case studies, example campaign metrics or even ask to speak to one of their existing customers. Any good agency will be able to prove they can achieve results for businesses like yours.
It’s always best to choose an agency that has proven experience in your industry/sector – especially when it comes to manufacturing. You’re selling complex products into niche markets, so you need a partner that understands how to generate results in those conditions.
Ensure your chosen agency is well-aligned with your goals. If you’re looking for lead generation and a real difference to your bottom line, you may not find what you’re looking for in an agency that specialises in growing social reach. Your marketing agency should be advising you on where to invest your budget, which channels you should be present on and even who you should target, so not being aligned from the very beginning can be detrimental!
The likelihood is you’re going to spend a fair bit of time with your chosen marketing agency so making sure they’re a fit culturally is really important. By asking them what their values are and getting to know several members of their team, you should be able to paint a picture of whether they’re the kind of business you really want to work with!
If you’re part of a manufacturing business and are looking for support from a marketing agency, take a look at how Intergage can help. We have 20+ years’ industry experience and have developed a proven process to help manufacturers grow. Not only that, but we are 100% manufacturing focused.
Find out more here and get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!