5 ways manufacturing companies find new customers with digital marketingThrough working with manufacturing companies, MassLive Media Group has discovered three main challenges that are causing them to miss out on customers and revenue:

  • Generating website traffic and leads
  • Converting leads into customers
  • Creating relevant, engaging content

If your company is like many, you’re just not able to focus on marketing.  You don’t have the budget or the time.  Maybe you don’t know where to start.  Maybe your company just “doesn’t do marketing”… or any marketing you have done is an afterthought, sporadic, and traditional (tradeshows, a print ad here or there in your boss’s favorite trade publication, emails to your current customers, and of course, the beloved cold call – *insert moan*)  You don’t know if it’s working.  But “it’s the way we’ve always done it.

You’re not alone.

The way your potential customers want to learn about you has changed.  Today, 60% of engineers’ buying process happens online before they even reach out to your company1, and more than 80% of companies have millennials in B2B purchasing roles2 (yes, I mean folks born in the 80s and 90s – gasp!)  They – or their even younger interns – are scouring the internet for solutions.  And they want them fast.  So, how do you reach them in a way that’s authentic, targeted, measurable, and cost-efficient?  Enter digital marketing.

Here are five ways manufacturing companies are using digital marketing to find new customers right now.

1. Voice of Customer (VoC) survey

“Whoever knows their customer best, wins” has never been more relevant.  VoC is about learning about your customers to drive your marketing strategy, guide your customer relationship strategies, and provide competitive insight.  A VoC survey customized for your company can uncover the reasons your customers do business with you (or stopped); whether they have purchased from anyone else in recent months and why; and even what they want from tradeshows.

I know what you’re thinking: “But I already talk to my customers all the time.”  Consider this:  You’re in the market to buy a new home.  You’re at the open house and the owner is present (wonderful).  She asks you what you think of the place and you tell her “It’s beautiful!” – but in reality you’re thinking of all the things you would change (carpet in the bathroom…really?)  VoC works the same way.  People are more comfortable and open when talking confidentially with a third-party you’ve partnered with.

2. Content

92% of engineers are more likely to do business with companies that regularly produce new and current content3, and 47% of B2B buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep4.  What kind of content?  Anything from whitepapers to infographics, blog posts, podcasts, videos, case studies, and reality print materials.  Content creates brand awareness, educates your prospects, builds credibility, develops relationships, drives traffic to your website, helps with your SEO, produces leads, and provides your sales people with tools to attract, engage and convert leads into customers.

If it’s so important, why isn’t everyone doing it?  It’s hard.  And it takes time.  The right marketing partner can help ease the burden by mapping out a content strategy tailored just for you, providing experienced technical writers, and sprinkling in important keywords throughout to help your content get found.

3. Targeted email

Reach outside your database and connect with brand new prospects using targeted email.  First, identify your target audience.  For instance, design and product engineers in the food processing, military, and pharmaceutical sectors, on the east coast, with more than 100 employees and at least $30 million in annual revenue.  With an email marketing partner, identify the appropriate NCAIS or SIC codes, refine the list with the parameters you’ve selected, craft compelling messaging and creative, and deliver your message directly to their inboxes.

4. Geofencing

Also referred to as latitude-longitude targeting.  First, you draw a virtual circle around a location that is important to you, like a tradeshow or your dream customers’ headquarters. Next, you capture the mobile IDs of anyone who enters the circle. Finally, you deliver display on their mobile devices.  Maybe it’s messaging on why they absolutely need to visit your booth, invaluable content that positions you as the authority in your space, or information on your newest product launch.  You’ve now built a custom audience you can continue to talk to weeks and months down the road.  Now that’s targeted.

5. Search Engine Marketing

Also called SEM, pay per click, paid search, or Google AdWords.  If you’re not on page one of Google, you’re irrelevant.  SEM gets you on page one with the flip of a switch.  Sure, you want to come up organically when someone searches for your product or services, but that takes time.  Your content strategy will help you get there.  In the meantime, come up with a list of keywords you want to be found for, and rise to the top of the page through SEM.

And don’t forget about Bing.  While Google accounts for the majority of search, much of corporate America uses Bing because Internet Explorer is installed on their machine by default…and IT has their browsers on lock-down or users just don’t think to change it.  Because people often don’t think of Bing first, there is less competition among advertisers for the same terms and a lower cost per click.  You can even include a special call tracking number in your SEM ad, a phone number created just for you which dials through to your already existing number when someone clicks to call – allowing you to track the number of phone calls which come through from your ad.

It all sounds great, but how am I supposed to work it into my budget?

Baby steps.  Marketing strategies in the manufacturing sector are becoming more defined, and as a result, marketing budgets are growing.  In fact, manufacturing companies on average increased their annual marketing investment nearly 400% between 2010 and 20174.  But that doesn’t mean you have to jump in right away both feet to the fire.  According to The CMO Survey August 2017, manufacturing companies in the U.S. invested, on average, 3.2% of their annual revenue into marketing, but even a fraction of that can get you in the game.

Start slowly, measure it, make adjustments, and scale accordingly.  Discover how MassLive Media Group’s digital solutions can help.

By MassLive Media Group Marketing Staff


  1. Smart Marketing for Engineers Global 2017 Survey
  2. http://info.snapapp.com/b2b-buying-habits.html
  3. Smart Marketing for Engineers Global 2017 Survey
  4. Demand Gen Report, 2016
  5. Schonfeld & Associates


Manufacturing Recruitment Strategy

Worker shortages in manufacturing industry is real. Highly skilled positions remain open as a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce is nearing retirement age. For manufacturers, building and maintaining a robust and skilled talent pool is key for both short-term and long-term hiring success.

Recruitment Marketing as a Relationship Builder, Not Just Candidate Sourcing

Don’t wait to be present until a position is open – consistently position your brand in front of both passive and active job seekers. Consistent branding creates a talent pool who is familiar with your company, benefits, culture and therefore more likely to consider you when looking to make a career change. Top of the funnel marketing tactics such as video and display make your brand presence known.

Build A Connection By Understanding Your Best Potential Candidates 

Develop personas, marketing strategies and campaigns specific to your common open positions. Different positions attract different types of candidates. Understanding the nuances allows you to more directly content with job seekers, to communicate your company story and to welcome them into your culture with a personalized approach. Seek out a recruitment marketing partner with a deep data bench, capable of developing audience segments, media placements and creative to speak directly to specific candidate audiences.

Enhance Your Job Board Presence with Display & Video

Placements on job boards are effective in reaching those actively seeking a position. However, other traditional marketing methods like targeted display and video allow companies to share their full story. More visual formats let prospective candidates see your benefits and experience your culture. Both elements that can cause them to choose you as their next employer – over your competition.


Healthcare Recruitment Strategy

A growing aging population, pandemic burnout and a ramp up of traveling nurse opportunities have put a strain on healthcare recruitment. Nurses are in high demand – with an abundance of employment options to choose from. How does your healthcare facility standout in this mad dash for employment?

Invest in the Community You Serve

Healthcare is essential to the community. Consider supporting the community you serve by sponsoring local events, job fairs and awards to keep your organization top-of-mind. Not only will these positive associations bring your organization front and center, it will also generate positive word of mouth among the community – reaching friends and families connected to potential candidates.

Showcase Company Culture

Give a glimpse of what its like to work at your organization on any given day. Show the people who work there, the halls to be walked and the benefits to be had. Video succinctly communicates positive culture through virtual tours, testimonials and more. Written testimonials and other content featuring current employees lend authenticity to your showcase.

Replenish Talent Pools with New Grads

New graduates are critical in helping to fill staffing gaps and to replenish talent pools. Utilize highly targeted strategies to reach new graduates, while still on campus, where they are spending their time. Hyper local mobile targeting puts your organization front and center among soon-to-be-graduating adding you to their consideration set for post-graduation employment.


Education Recruitment Strategy

Like most categories of business, education providers are facing faculty and staff shortages. Finding experienced and passionate educators and faculty continues to be a challenge. Education institutions should look beyond salary and benefits to larger strategies to drive interest and applications for the upcoming school year ahead.

Build Your Talent Pool with Year-Round Strategy

Primary education recruitment season begins at the end of the previous school year, with many schools starting from scratch every year. Establishing a year-round recruitment marketing strategy, allows you
to reach faculty and staff considering a change throughout the school year, adding them to your talent pool as the year progresses. Having a year-round plan also puts your institution front and center, outside of the more cluttered traditional recruitment period.

Utilize Your Community As A Recruitment Tool

Your community has the potential to be a unique selling point for your institution. Consider highlighting the quality of life – showing prospective employees the community you serve. Community events, local activities, cost of living and more can have pull over prospective employees looking to make a move or to enjoy a way of life your community offers. Partner with local events, local organizations and even your convention and visitors bureau to generate content about your community.

Job Fairs Help Build Awareness of Your Institution

Passive and Active job seekers join job fairs to learn more about prospective districts and institutions. By merely being present, among your competition, you can ensure that your district or institution is in the consideration set for educators looking to make a career move. Both in-person and virtual career fairs provide additional visibility and awareness for your institution.


Warehouse Recruitment Strategy

Warehouses are experiencing unprecedented growth thanks to a shift towards online shopping. As growth continues and timely shipping remains critical, warehouses face a continual shortage of workers.

Tout the Benefits That Make You Stand Out

Warehousing jobs are not historically known for good benefits and upward mobility. With changing demand and increased competition, more warehouse companies are adding long-term benefits and job training to their offerings. As an employer, tout benefits like 401Ks, employer matching and paid training as part of new hire packages. Talk about your openings more as long-term careers vs. short- term or holiday employment for additional appeal.

Get Connected In the Community

Grassroots community efforts and word of mouth tactics still hold strong in warehousing recruitment. Sponsoring local community events and job fairs raises brand awareness in the community, spreads positive sentiment about your organization and jump starts word of mouth. This simple activation makes your organization more likely to be noticed by potential job seekers and considered as a stable, future local employer in a future job search.

Local Jobs, Local Placements

Warehousing recruitment pulls most applicants and new hires locally. Very rarely to companies hire outside of their immediate market. Tap into the local job seeker scene through local job boards, job fairs and other local job posting opportunities. Local job seekers continually use these outlets to find new employment opportunities.


Trucking Recruitment Strategy

Facing an aging workforce and increased competition for new talent, the trucking industry struggles to keep recruitment pipelines full and trucking routes staffed. Trucking industries should look to implement full-funnel marketing strategies to not only attract active job seekers but it keep talent pools fresh with new prospects.

Address Trucking Industry Myths

Increase top-of-the-funnel prospects by introducing the benefits of a trucking industry careers to passive job seekers. Address potential concerns head-on, including hours, mileage goals and living conditions while highlighting employment benefits such as 401K matching, healthcare and time off. Video and written content are both great vehicles to communicate this information.

Stay in Touch with Prospects

Deciding to change careers can be a lengthy process for passive job seekers. Keep your talent pool active with periodic communication about your business, job openings and career benefits. Set up an email calendar, reaching out to a list of emails from those who you met at job fairs, submitted an inquiry or sent a full resume. Frequently post about your culture, the trucking industry and openings to keep your followers engaged.

Job Boards Are Important

Trucking applicants remain tapped in to local and regional job boards. A presence on local job boards and job aggregator sites provide you business with bottom of the funnel presence – reaching those interested in the truck industry and actively applying now.


Professional Recruitment Strategy

Finding outstanding talent that fits your culture is a concern for any business. Make the most of your time and resources by attracting qualified candidates that can hit the ground running and succeed within your organization. Identify quality talent and cultivate your talent pool with leading recruitment marketing strategies perfect for professional businesses.

Showcase Your Company Culture

Tell the story of your business, your history, your employees and more. The more a prospective employee knows about your operations and culture the more they are able to determine whether they are a match for your organization. Office tour videos, employee testimonials and other visuals can help to show daily life within your company.

Tailor Communications to Open Positions

Instead of deploying blanket recruitment ads for all positions in your company, consider developing custom creative and campaigns for each position. Messaging should focus on key benefits and operations of that role, showcase photos and videos of that segment of your business and speak directly to those candidates. Specific communication, drives more qualified applications – increasing your odds of finding a match while building up your talent pool - than general recruitment ads.

Use Job Boards to Reach Active Job Seekers

Job Fairs, local job boards and job board aggregators remain critical bottom-of-the-funnel tactics in securing applications for open positions. While other flashier tactics will fill the top of your funnel, these more nitty-gritty media elements provide a place for active job seekers to seamlessly apply for the positions they want – now.