How To Create an Effective Marketing Plan For B2B and Manufacturing Companies

In today’s B2B landscape, marketing presents an opportunity that is too good for manufacturing companies to ignore. However creating a marketing plan for manufacturing companies is key to achieving success. 

Many B2B and manufacturing companies struggle with finding the right approach for their company. In this article, we’ll provide you with our manufacturing marketing plan template, broken down in five simple steps.

Dive Deeper: The Global Growth Methodology for B2B and Manufacturing Companies

Smart Goal Setting

Time to get specific. The start of any solid marketing plan is setting SMART goals. This well-known acronym for goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) should be overarching throughout the whole marketing effort. Setting specific and measurable targets helps manufacturers identify the strong and weak points of their plan. This way they can gradually improve upon their marketing strategy and become more effective, pivoting towards actions that are the most effective.

Aligning Marketing & Sales

When working on creating a marketing plan for manufacturers, alignment of marketing and sales goals is required. Oftentimes businesses overlook this factor and marketers end up working towards vague targets such as website traffic and SEO ranking. This is just one example of many activities a marketer can carry out without knowing how it will practically affect the company’s bottom line when there is no alignment with sales. 

A good starting point is to define the required number of sales opportunities per period. Using that number and considering an assumed conversion rate, you will be able to define how many leads you need to capture through marketing. By setting goals in this fashion, marketing efforts will directly benefit the company in a clear and effective way.

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Setting an Annual Planmanufacturing marketing

Creating a marketing plan for manufacturing companies that is outlined for less than a full year is insufficient. Setting a full-year plan provides a structure that enables companies to move forward with marketing. It is most effective to segment the annual plan into 4 quarters, listing the general content topic and marketing direction for every quarter. This provides consistency and a better focus for the marketing efforts throughout the year.

This kind of annual plan is especially important for manufacturing companies who’s educational content will often involve highly technical industry jargon.

Creating a Detailed Quarterly Plan

Detailing Marketing Actions

The first step is to define the most impactful actions that will help reach our goals. Deciding which persona your company is targeting for each quarter and what content campaign is needed to run for lead generation. Moreover, it is important to have clear content and distribution plans. A content plan should include details beyond just the essence of the copy but also where will the relevant content be published. A checklist should be made for the factors to include for attracting the most qualified traffic to the website.

Creating a Content Plan

A clear content plan allows manufacturers to define exactly the content that will be created about each quarter’s topic. A well-thought-out quarterly content plan is the best way of ensuring systematic, timely publishing of high-quality content.


marketing kpi table

Defining KPI’s

Defining the quarter’s KPIs allows manufacturing companies to track marketing results. By working toward a KPI, marketers can focus on creating a funnel and specify which actions were most effective at converting leads to sales opportunities.

Measuring the Results

No amount of marketing effort is complete if it cannot be measured quickly and effectively. The recommended approach is to use a platform to track and analyze your marketing activities. Although many such platforms exist, we prefer using Hubspot because it provides us with tools to monitor and track results for any type of activity all in one place (for example social media, content, analytics, and SEO), all in one place.

Is Your Company In the Loop?

How effective is your company’s marketing plan? Does your strategy provide enough sales leads, separating you from the competition?

At StepUp, we offer marketing services designed specifically for B2B and manufacturing companies like yours. With a diverse team of seasoned inbound marketers and content specialists, we help build authority and create predictability for increased sales.


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Content Marketing Examples for Manufacturers

In the last couple of years, industrial B2B companies are increasingly investing in content marketing. The first step they take is to regularly publish content appealing to their target audience. However, even though this is a logical first step, much more is required to maximize the effects of content marketing for manufacturers.

The biggest challenge is devising a strategic content marketing plan, which can convert good content into sales leads for your company. In this post, we will outline the core principles of an effective content marketing strategy, and 5 prominent examples of content marketing for manufacturers.

The Buyer’s Journey

A core principle of content marketing is serving prospects the right content, at the right time. To achieve this requires an understanding of “the buyer’s journey,” a core inbound marketing concept. It begins at the awareness stage when the customer is getting overall acquainted with your offerings and solutions. Next is the consideration stage when the buyer is considering your solutions or technologies. Finally is the decision stage in which the buyer is seriously deciding whether or not they will proceed with a purchase or cooperation.

Each stage requires a different marketing approach, along with its own type of content. As with most marketing concepts, the three stages follow a “funnel” pattern. Did you know that 97% of your audience is at the awareness stage? Most of your prospects will spend time researching information online before they move to the consideration stage and decision making. And even though the content is proportional to this trend, it is important to have content materials aimed at every stage, in order to result in sales conversions.

Dive Deeper: The Global Growth Methodology for Industrial Companies

5 Content Marketing Examples for Manufacturers

1. Blog Posts

The most common and most important type of content is blog posts. Best published in regular (usually weekly) intervals, blog posts can cover a wide range of concepts and work best for prospects in the awareness stage. A good blog example can be found over at Suzuki’s blog.

2. Product Datasheets

Equally good for both awareness and consideration stages, product datasheets are a basic form of content marketing for manufacturers that summarize the performance and technical characteristics of your product offerings. Erez Technical Textiles marine safety product datasheet is a good example of an informative document that supplies engineers with the required level of technical detail.

Product data sheet website

3. Specialized Guides & Learning Center

A learning center containing specialized guides can bridge the gap between the awareness and consideration stages. This will contain detailed information targeted at a specific issue or product/solution. Take a look at DRTS website for an example of a learning center.

Learning center manufacturer

4. Case Studies & White Papers

Case studies & white papers detail real stories, showcasing your products and offerings in real life applications. These are best suited for the advanced consideration stage, as they instill confidence to interested prospects. They can be published through a learning center or even as a part of the blog, as in this Quasar medical devices case study.

case study

5. Presentations & Demo Videos

Presentations & demo videos are usually targeted at buyers in the decision stage. They are the most visualized type of content, allowing technical companies to showcase their products in an appealing and easy to comprehend way. Here is a good example of a product demo video from Schneider Electric.


It is important to consider the buyer’s journey when building a content plan structure. It will provide a basis to facilitate the outlining of an effective content marketing plan. This way you will serve the proper content to all types of buyers, yielding better results.

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7 Best Strategic Marketing Ideas For Engineers and Industrial Professionals

Nowadays, strategic marketing for engineers and industrial professionals has changed dramatically. Engineers mostly use the internet for seeking information about technologies, products, or services, which is why industrial marketers increasingly turn to online and content marketing. And as GlobalSpec’s 2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers Survey demonstrates, the importance of digital marketing cannot be overstated. In this article, we take a look at the survey’s most effective strategies, show you exactly how engineers prefer to consume your marketing, and how to gain a competitive edge using this information.

Dive Deeper: The Global Growth Methodology for Industrial Companies

Best Ideas: Strategic Marketing for Engineers

1. Embrace Content Marketing

It is clear that engineers regularly seek to consume content, most of it in digital form. This runs the gamut from vendor websites to trade publications, newsletters and so much more. That’s why content marketing is an integral part of any successful industrial marketing strategy.

2. Use Alternative forms of Content

Datasheets, cast studies, product demos, and how-to videos are the most preferred content types for engineers. And it makes sense, knowing how engineers are bottom-line thinkers, always looking for informative, dense, to-the-point content.

3. Use Newsletters

When it comes to newsletters, the statistics are hard to argue with. Across all age groups, 86% of engineers are subscribed to 2 or more newsletters, 87% of which they browse through or fully read. So maintaining a regular newsletter and inviting engineers to subscribe, is an opportunity that is too good to pass up.

4. Keep an Up-to-date Website

The survey shows that engineers find supplier/vendor websites the most valuable source of information, outranking even search engines and technical trade publications. This is why companies must have a website with a professional look and feel, coupled with informative and original content. These factors are important in building trust with engineers and can highly influence their decision-making.

5. Strive for Brand Awareness

Maintaining a uniform brand presence throughout all media is very important. For uniform visuals, invest in your brand’s logo & visual guidelines. Equally important is to invest in having a content marketing style guide, to ensure uniformity of content as well. With those two combined, you are guaranteed to keep your message consistent. This will ultimately breed brand trust and familiarity with engineers and industrial professionals, to your benefit.

6. Reach Out to Prospects Fast

Engineers are constantly dealing with challenges requiring immediate solutions. Once an engineer shows interest in your product or service, reach out to him as soon as possible. The ideal response time is immediate and up to 8 hours, although not always possible in our connected world of different time zones. However, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to reply within 24 hours.

7. Engage With Them Regularly

A large portion of engineers are either decision makers themselves or influence the purchasing decisions of industrial companies, mainly influenced by online content. That’s why it’s important to regularly engage with engineers through valuable and informative content, mainly achieved through inbound marketing and publishing material such as articles, newsletters, blog posts and white papers.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Research clearly shows that targeting engineers and industrial professionals is a very effective strategic marketing method for b2b companies. However, companies are often hesitant to take a deeper dive into this area. After all, targeting highly technical audiences requires specialization and skill, which can be challenging to master.

Now is your chance to act on this information. Today more than ever, getting the attention of engineers from all over the world can be achieved easily and quickly, using customized inbound marketing methods. But at the same time, you need to act fast, while the market is still new to inbound marketing targeted to technical audiences. This will ensure you stay ahead of the competition, giving you a competitive edge.

Do you want to create a proven industrial marketing strategy?

Read more about our “Global Growth Methodology” here >>>





What Is The Role of Advertising in Industrial Marketing in 2019?

Advertising was never about just increasing sales. Increasing brand awareness, reaching a larger audience, and establishing trust, are just a few of the reasons organizations are traditionally advertising for.

In the context of modern industrial marketing, advertising occupies a similar space. But this is where the similarities end. The advent of technology makes a big difference in if, why, and how industries advertise today.

Should industrial companies consider advertising in their marketing budget? We think so. Read along to find out what we believe is the modern role of advertising in industrial marketing.

Dive Deeper: The Global Growth Methodology for Industrial Companies

5 Reasons to Advertise in Industrial Marketing

1. Increase Brand Awareness

advertising for industrial

Very few things guarantee brand persistence like remarketing campaigns. These are the repeatable ads you see following you around the web after you visit a certain page. They are a great tool to make your brand look big. A word of caution though: don’t overdo it with remarketing campaigns. They can sometimes be perceived as a pressing tactic and make it backfire.

2. Expand Audience Reach

Promoting your content on social media is a great tactic to enter a new market or expand your audience. And since it only requires to know how – and a bit of planning – it is a very cost effective method as well. Platforms like LinkedIn have made reaching out to new and targeted audiences easier than ever. You just need a solid social media strategy and great content that gets your message across.

3. Accelerate Sales

We’ve all been there. Standing on the fence, needing just a little push to help us make a purchasing decision. It’s the same with industrial companies decision makers. And strategic use of ads can greatly accelerate their buying decisions. To achieve just that, you must follow both new leads and existing sales opportunities. Showing them targeted case studies and branded content will greatly affect their purchasing decisions to your benefit.

4. Generate Hot Leads

It’s no accident that Google Ads have become the new advertising standard. Tools like AdWords and Analytics allow advertisers to target audiences with pinpoint accuracy. Coupled with the appropriate keywords for your field, these ads can generate hot and relevant leads. However, as simple as it may sound, defining the most appropriate keywords requires advertising to know how.

5. Test New Marketing

ads for manufacturers

Marketing and advertising can drain your budget as fast as you allow them to. You should direct resources only to marketing that is effective for your case. That’s why it’s important to be able to test before deploying a new marketing strategy. And this is a significant advantage of online advertising: it offers fast testing and measurable results. These are your tools to check which advertising strategy works and direct your resources to the one that yields the best results.

Targeting the Right Audience

In marketing, it is often said that “if you’re talking to everybody, you’re reaching nobody”. Meaning that a targeted approach is always effective. After all, advertising is yet another tactic to accelerate marketing results; and targeting the right audience is the best way to achieve just that.

But it can only work if you know who your audience is. So the first thing to do is define your customer persona. Following that you need to tailor a solid marketing strategy. Only based on this strategy can you lay down actionable marketing and advertising plan. This will be your guide to delivering content that creates value for both you and your potential customers; which is what will truly accelerate your business.

Do you want to create a solid industrial marketing strategy?

Read more about our “Global Growth Methodology” here >>>







Best Practices of Digital Marketing for Manufacturers: Build Authority and Attract Qualified Leads

Today’s industrial sector is well aware that digital marketing is an integral part of reaching and interacting with their target audience, prospects, and customers. And even though they are tasked with engaging in online and content marketing, the majority of manufacturers still fall short of demonstrating a positive return from their digital marketing activities.

In this article, we present the challenges that manufacturers face when it comes to digital marketing. We’ll also share our Industrial Marketing Methodology, a digital marketing strategy geared toward the needs of manufacturers.

The Challenges of Digital Marketing for Manufacturers

Even though manufacturers and B2B industrial companies recognize the value of engaging in digital marketing, they face several challenges in doing so:manufacturers marketing challenges

  • Many manufacturers lack a clear plan on how to implement online and content marketing activities. A clear, actionable plan is the basis of all marketing activities.
  • Manufacturers rarely take advantage of tracking and measuring tools and therefore can’t demonstrate their digital marketing activities ROI (or lack thereof). As the saying goes, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
  • In some cases, manufacturers don’t have the necessary experience on how to target, reach, and appeal to technical audiences. This results in inadequate planning and budgeting, as well as slow corrective or pivoting actions when it comes to optimizing their online marketing.

Dive Deeper: The Global Growth Methodology for Industrial Companies [read more >>>]

Marketing Transformation for Manufacturers

GlobalSpec’s 2019 survey on manufacturing content marketing demonstrates how engineers and technical professionals primarily use the internet to research products and services, before reaching out to a company’s sales team. This points to a meaningful shift in marketing that manufacturers have to make.

customer_journeyDigital marketing has become vital in the technical customer’s journey. Where taking part in trade shows and running trade magazine ads used to suffice, manufacturers must now shift towards digital marketing to achieve results.


The StepUp Growth Wheel

StepUp Global Growth MethodologyWe at StepUp specialize in digital marketing for businesses, industries, and manufacturers that target highly technical audiences. In the last 4 years, our team has created a comprehensive Industrial Marketing Methodology, that guarantees company growth, generation of qualified leads, and building authority in the company’s corresponding industrial sector.

Here are the 7 steps of The StepUp Growth Wheel, chosen to help manufacturers dominate their market using digital marketing:

  1. Brand Positioning: A determining first step is to set the brand positioning strategy & statement, market research, and annual marketing plan.
  2. Infrastructure: Creation of clear visual and content guidelines, to maintain consistent messaging in all future marketing materials.
  3. Content Strategy: Defining a comprehensive content plan based on target audience characteristics, such as the buyer personas and mapping of the buyer’s journey.
  4. Media Distribution: Deciding on the most effective places and methods to publish and distribute content, in a way that resonates with your target audience.
  5. Lead Automation: Employing lead qualification and nurturing techniques, together with marketing automation tools, to ultimately convert leads into satisfied customers.
  6. Sales Enablement: The creation of seamless sales processes that guide prospects through your sales funnel and convert them into customers with minimal effort.
  7. ROI Tracking and Reporting: Setting up the necessary infrastructure to properly track and measure all marketing activities, in order to continuously optimize and achieve the best ROI.

While some manufacturers are having difficulties implementing digital marketing tactics, others are seeing exponential growth, building authority in their sector, and dominating their market. Contact us today to arrange a free 30-minute custom digital marketing session to find out how you can utilize automated digital marketing systems that will guarantee your success for years to come.

Read more about our “Global Growth Methodology” here >>>