Digital marketing for manufacturers: how to automate and accelerate sales growth

All articles | Strategy
Published Jun 25, 2024 | Written by Megan Clack
Digital marketing for manufacturers: Automate & accelerate sales growth


Traditionally a sales-driven sector, the B2B manufacturing industry is experiencing radical change as market habits become increasingly online-based. Buyers are using the internet to guide their purchasing decisions, and businesses without an established online presence risk being overlooked, no matter how well-solidified their sales are.

In this digital-first era, digital marketing gives contract manufacturers a golden opportunity to enhance their sales efforts for evolving purchasing behaviour. By harnessing the opportunities presented by digital marketing, contract manufacturers can capitalise on automation, accelerate sales, and easily discover new business prospects. This approach enables them to expand the influence of their sales team and foster sustainable growth.

What opportunities can digital marketing offer B2B manufacturers?

Here's an overview of what digital marketing can offer the modern-day marketer looking to increase business for their B2B manufacturing company:

  1. Global reach: Because it’s all in the virtual space, digital marketing allows manufacturers to breach geographical barriers and reach a global audience–particularly useful for the manufacturing industry, where offshoring is common practice.
  2. Scalability: Digital marketing also enables scalable marketing campaigns that can size up or down based on factors like budget and audience behaviour without taking the risk of committing to a channel that may not work, like a poorly placed print ad, for example.
  3. Enhanced client engagement and loyalty: Through social media, email marketing, and personalised content, B2B manufacturers can build stronger relationships with existing clients, fostering loyalty and repeat business, which can be just as lucrative as acquiring new clients.
  4. Data-driven decision-making: Digital marketing provides real-time data and analytics access, providing invaluable insights into online audience habits and how they engage with your marketing efforts. This allows for informed decisions and optimised marketing strategies.

Why marketing should be the foundation of your manufacturing growth plan

Automating your digital marketing efforts

Not unlike digitally transformed manufacturing, digital marketing is also particularly well suited for automation, which streamlines processes and ensures consistency and accuracy in marketing activities.

Automation in manufacturing brings numerous benefits, such as speeding up processes, saving time, optimising resources, and reducing errors. Similarly, marketing automation can provide parallel advantages by making certain repetitive tasks and processes instantaneous, thus minimising human intervention, saving marketers time and decreasing the risk of errors. It can also automatically update marketing campaign parameters based on data tracking and insights, such as ad expenditure, reducing waste and optimising strategies.

Must-have digital marketing automation tools

Popular Marketing Automation Platforms worth integrating into your marketing toolbox include HubSpot, Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, Microsoft Dynamics, and Omnisend. These platforms offer comprehensive solutions for managing marketing efforts more effectively and have a range of pricing tiers to suit any budget.

Not sure where to start with marketing automation? Try automated email campaigns

Email is one digital marketing channel that can be automated quickly and with little effort. Automated email workflows can tailor messages (either once off or as part of a sequence of emails) based on buyer behaviour and preferences, enhancing engagement and the impact of your email outreach efforts.

It is also particularly useful for nurturing leads and retaining clients in a fraction of the time. These automated campaigns support ongoing, relevant communication with leads and clients at key stages of their buying journey or lifecycle, fostering long-term relationships and driving retention.

Accelerating sales growth

Because digital marketing is inherently powered by technology and data insights, it can significantly accelerate sales growth–even if the sales cycle is long and complex.

The importance of data analytics

Digital marketing tools help teams define, track, and measure KPIs to proactively monitor the effectiveness of marketing strategies and their subsequent impact on sales. Because these tools can integrate sales and marketing data, they provide a holistic view of audience interactions across activities and channels, making marketing and sales-related decision-making more accurate and purposeful. 

Predictive analytics for effective sales

Another powerful perk digital marketing offers sales is the ability to use data for predictive analytics. By anticipating future buyer behaviour or market trends before they occur, B2B manufacturers can stay ahead of the curve and outpace competitors.

Predictive analytics can identify patterns and forecast future sales trends, helping businesses prepare and strategise accordingly. Similarly, by analysing market data, predictive analytics can highlight potential market opportunities and risks, enabling proactive management and any necessary campaign preparation and adjustment.

Process diagram showing how digital marketing for manufacturers can accelerate sales.

Successfully integrating digital marketing with sales

It should be clear by now that combining digital marketing with sales strategies can enhance B2B manufacturers' sales functions and deliver improved ROI because of the advanced capabilities digital marketing offers. 

However, integrating marketing and sales goes beyond technology. It also requires cultural and strategic recalibration to ensure that all efforts are working in synch, that teams have full visibility into each other's workflows, and that they can collaborate seamlessly.

Improving sales and marketing alignment

Aligning sales and marketing in this way has notoriously been a challenge for businesses, as most teams are accustomed to working in silos on their respective, disjointed strategies. 

To get the most out of their digital marketing, B2B manufacturers should align sales and marketing people around shared objectives to foster a collaborative culture and ensure cohesive growth strategies. They should also provide the means for continuous communication between departments to help refine strategies on an ongoing basis and address challenges promptly. 

Achieving sales enablement

Aligning sales and marketing efforts effectively should support sales enablement. Still, to actively enable sales for maximum performance, B2B manufacturers need to equip sales teams with relevant content and tools to support their efforts and enhance their effectiveness. This includes learning resources, communication and collaboration platforms, focus groups, and open team dialogue.

Training and support using both online and offline materials are also important for ensuring that sales teams can effectively leverage digital marketing tools and strategies and, conversely,  that marketing teams understand sales mechanisms and practices. Combined team training can also establish camaraderie and encourage teamwork between sales and marketing.

The expertise of a marketing agency partner can prove useful for aligning teams and enabling sales, especially if the agency has experience working in the B2B manufacturing space. The agency can also recommend the best digital marketing tools for your needs and provide the training to get your teams started.


Digital marketing offers contract manufacturers a powerful way to support and enhance their traditional sales efforts for the new era of buying behaviour. By embracing digital marketing, automating processes, leveraging data analytics, and integrating these efforts with sales, B2B manufacturers can drive growth, improve efficiency, and achieve better results. 

Investing in digital marketing is no longer optional but essential for sustainable revenue growth and increased competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. For insights and support on embracing digital marketing in your B2B manufacturing business, get our guide to Manufacturing Marketing or contact our team now.

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Published by Megan Clack June 25, 2024
Megan Clack