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Marketing for technical product manufacturers: a step-by-step guide to success

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Over the last 5 years most of my clients have been manufacturers of slightly technical products. My typical client is a business owner or CEO with sales of $4- to $20 million. Usually their product or service is a little technical, such as software, manufacturing, materials handling, logistics, or some combination of those. All my clients are themselves B2B. About half my customers are in the US, and the rest could be located anywhere and are selling to the US.

If this sounds like you, follow along and get some marketing tips and insights!

1. Know your target market

Understanding your target audience is a critical step in developing an effective marketing strategy. Without a clear understanding of your customers, it can be difficult to determine the most effective marketing channels, craft a message that resonates with them, or create products and services that meet their needs.

To identify your target audience, start by conducting market research. This can include analyzing customer data, surveying your existing customers, and studying demographic information about the market. The goal is to gather information about your customers' pain points, challenges, and goals so you can tailor your marketing efforts to their specific needs.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can use this information to develop customer personas. A customer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on the research you've conducted. Personas help you to think about your target audience in a more concrete and relatable way, and they can be used to guide your marketing efforts and product development.

Consider the following information when creating customer personas:

  • Demographic information (age, gender, location, income, etc.)

  • Pain points and challenges they face

  • Goals and motivations

  • Buying habits and decision-making process

  • Preferred communication channels and types of content

By taking the time to understand your target audience, you'll be better equipped to develop a marketing strategy that resonates with them and meets their needs.

2. Develop your marketing plan

Developing a marketing plan is crucial for the success of any marketing effort. A marketing plan outlines your marketing strategies and tactics, as well as the goals and metrics you will use to measure success. A well-defined marketing plan helps you stay focused on your marketing objectives and ensures that your marketing efforts are aligned with your overall business strategy.

When developing a marketing plan for technical products, it's important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of marketing is to support and drive sales, not just increase brand awareness. To develop an effective marketing plan, consider the following steps:

  1. Define your marketing goals: What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Be specific and focus on goals that are tied to sales, such as increasing the number of leads generated, or increasing the average order value.

  2. Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your marketing efforts? Use the customer personas you created in the previous step to help guide your marketing plan.

  3. Determine your budget: How much money do you have available to invest in your marketing efforts? Your budget will help you determine which marketing channels you can afford to use, as well as how much you can spend on each channel.

  4. Choose your marketing channels: Based on your target audience, budget, and marketing goals, choose the marketing channels that will be most effective for your business.

  5. Develop a content strategy: A content strategy outlines the types of content you will create, when you will create it, and how you will distribute it. Content should be tailored to your target audience, and should be designed to support your marketing goals.

  6. Measure and track results: Regularly track the results of your marketing efforts, and use this information to make data-driven decisions about your marketing plan. Adjust your marketing plan as needed to ensure that you are achieving your goals and making the most of your marketing budget.

By following these steps and regularly measuring and adjusting your marketing plan, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are driving sales and supporting your overall business strategy.

3. Best marketing channels for technical products

When it comes to marketing technical products, it's important to choose the right channels to reach your target audience. Here are some of the best marketing channels for technical products in a B2B environment:

  1. Content-rich website: A well-designed, content-rich website is essential for any B2B technical product manufacturer. Your website should provide clear, concise information about your products, services, and company. It should also include helpful resources such as white papers, case studies, and data sheets. Your website should be optimized for search engines, making it easier for your target audience to find you when searching for solutions to their challenges.

  2. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a powerful marketing channel for B2B companies, particularly for those in the technical industry. LinkedIn allows you to connect with potential customers, partners, and industry leaders, as well as share content that showcases your products and expertise. Consider sharing blog posts, case studies, and other content that demonstrates your thought leadership and expertise in your field.

  3. Trade shows: Attending trade shows can be a great way to get your products in front of potential customers, but it can also be a waste of money if you don't have a proper system in place to capture leads and turn them into sales. Having a booth at a trade show is only the first step in the process - you also need to have a plan for capturing leads and following up with them after the show. Without a system in place, you may collect a large number of leads, but you will not be able to effectively convert them into sales. To avoid this, it's important to have a clear plan for capturing leads at the trade show, such as using a lead capture form or business card scanning system. You should also have a follow-up plan in place, including a way to track leads and ensure that all leads are followed up with in a timely and effective manner. By having a system in place, you can ensure that your investment in attending a trade show results in tangible sales and business growth.

  4. Direct mail: Direct mail, such as brochures or product catalogs, can still be a great way to reach potential customers who may not be actively searching for solutions. Direct mail allows you to get your products in front of potential customers in a more personal and tangible way. Some industries benefit from having physical samples delivered through the mail, even if the sample is only to demonstrate a finish or small piece of hardware.

  5. Online advertising: Online advertising, such as Google AdWords or Facebook ads, can be a cost-effective way to reach potential customers. These ads can be targeted to specific demographics and interests, making it easier to reach your target audience.

By choosing the right marketing channels, you can effectively reach your target audience and generate leads for your technical products.

4. Visual Storytelling: Showcasing Your Business Through Photos

One effective way to connect with your target audience and attract new clients is by visually showcasing what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors. This can be achieved through taking photos of your day-to-day operations, events, products, and team members. By sharing these photos on your website, social media, and other marketing channels, you can create a strong visual story that highlights your company's unique strengths and values.

Regularly updating your audience with behind-the-scenes photos and stories can help humanize your brand, build a personal connection with your audience, and demonstrate your expertise and experience in your industry. For example, you can share photos of your team working on a new project, showcasing a new product, improving a process, or attending a trade show. These types of photos give your audience a glimpse into your day-to-day operations and allow them to see the passion and commitment you bring to your work.

In addition, sharing photos of your team members can help build trust and credibility with your audience. People are naturally drawn to stories and images, so by showcasing the individuals behind your company, you can create a more personal and relatable connection with your audience.

Overall, incorporating visual storytelling into your marketing strategy is a powerful way to showcase your company and attract new clients. By sharing interesting and engaging photos, you can bring your brand to life and help your audience understand why they should choose your products and services.

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