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Manufacturing Marketing Matters

Oct 23, 2017

Guest: Tom Repp, Owner and Principle of The Repp Group

Tom and I made these predictions back at the end of December. There's only 2 months left this year, how are we doing so far?

Manufacturing Business Development Predictions:

Tom Prediction 1 -  In each mfg. sector there will be one company that will emerge as brand leader by virtue the fact that they hired a marketing evangelist that knew how to leverage the web for brand awareness & lead generation. [3:20]

  • Tom also talks about the idea of content saturation to get first page results on the SERP.
  • Manufacturers who embrace this idea and develop educational content will emerge as winners in their markets while others may languish and, perhaps, even perish.

Bruce Prediction 1 - The idea of increasing sales by sharing expertise will start to accelerate.  I’m starting to see it more often. For example, manufacturers will catch on to the power of producing useful, helpful content that is about the problems of the people in the target audience and not so much about themselves. [8:30]

  • Bruce cites CMI research that demonstrates a high usage of content marketing. Manufacturers who adopt this concept will beat the others, but the train is leaving the station. Now is the time to get on board and start sharing expertise.

Tom Prediction 2 - Manufacturers will budget & hire digital marketers rather than another traditional sales person. [11:15]

  • Manufacturers will understand that they get higher ROI by hiring a digital marketer than by hiring a sales person. Marketing must lead the engagement where sales works on the lower funnel. This is another reason for the huge opportunity because most manufacturers will not catch on to this secret.
  • Check out Tom's blog post "Fire a sales person and hire a marketer".

Bruce Prediction 2 - Manufacturers will start to realize that they can gain significant advantage by shifting their mindset from sales oriented to marketing oriented go-to-market model. Their buyer’s behavior has changed. Buyers want to learn and self-educate first.  This is a paradigm shift that will get significant traction with manufacturers during 2017. [16:00]

  • Is there a stigma attached to the term "marketing" or a preconception for the marketing function?  That will change.
  • Teach first, pitch later.

Tom Prediction 3 - Millennials will start to take over buying decisions and also ownership (i.e. off spring) of many of these industrial companies...thus accelerating the shift to online branding and marketing. [20:15]

  • Millennials are telling their parents and grandparents in family owned manufacturing business that getting on board with a digital marketing mindset is a must for survival.

Bruce Prediction 3 - Social media use a a tactic or channel for manufacturers (B2B) will decline in 2017. [22:30]

  • Two big problems with social media; it's hard to prove attribution to social media and getting attention with social media is pay for play on all major channels.
  • Manufacturers will start to realize that the resources they are pouring in to social media just isn't paying off.


  • Tom's takeaway - here's a way to get proof. Type in the word 'allintitle: (your keyword)' to see the results of your competitors websites.  If the number is under 10,000, then if you build content around those keywords you can get your company on page 1 of the search engine results within weeks.
  • Bruce's takeaway - Before any of the manufacturing marketing predictions can happen for your company, check in on your fundamentals of marketing. If you don't have a proper, full marketing plan, step back and get it done. It will pay off big-time for your business and it will help advance your marketing function within your manufacturing company.