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Manufacturing marketing is moving to digital media


Manufacturing marketers run different campaigns than their colleagues in software and services, and not just because they spend more on print media.  They are also more likely to allocate big budget dollars to content creation and distribution.  This is just one finding from a 2016 survey of engineering marketers about how they will allocate their budgets in 2016.


This finding represents a change from 2015 when manufacturing marketers said that their digital budgets were going to search advertising.  In 2014, 75% of manufacturing marketers said that they would allocate more than 10% of their budget to search.  That figure is down to 41% in 2016.  Allocating more money to content marketing represents a more nuanced approach to making sure that manufacturers connect with their target audiences.

Overall, manufacturers are now embracing digital marketing in general and content marketing in particular. I was wondering why that might be, so I asked Jennifer Wanzel, our Manufacturing Account Manager here at 

According to Jennifer, these marketers have long been interested in moving to digital media and conducting more content marketing campaigns.  In prior years they struggled to convince their senior management of the wisdom of making this move.  However, in 2016, it appears that manufacturing marketers are finally winning their senior managers over.

Many manufacturing marketers were able to pry some funds out of their 2015 budgets to test new aspects of digital media, such as content creation and distribution.  Their early wins have led to increases in these categories in 2016.

For many manufacturers, the switch to digital media has been through their longstanding relationships with trade publications.  Many of those publishers offer a digital complement to their print publications. Over-reliance on a single publisher can be a shortcoming, according to Jennifer. 

She points out that no single publisher can reach the entire pool of prospects.  So while many manufactures believe that they are already well-known in their industry, that’s only true if the “industry” is made up of only those people who attend trade shows and read the print publications.  There are more people in every industry who don’t attend trade shows than those who do. The same goes for readers of print magazines.  Those prospects who aren’t at shows or reading magazines use digital media to find suppliers, so companies whose online presence does not measure up risk missing leads from these prospects.

Please join us for a webinar on Jan 28 at 12:00 noon Eastern time to dig into more fascinating findings from our study of 2016 marketing budgets.

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