How to market your B2B manufacturing company to boost market presence

All articles | Marketing
Published Jun 12, 2024 | Written by Megan Clack
How to market your B2B manufacturing company to boost market presence


Sales have been at the forefront of the B2B manufacturing industry's growth since time immemorial, with companies relying on the expertise of their salespeople and responding to relevant RFQs for a steady flow of business. However, as industry competition increases and buyers’ purchasing habits shift, the need to boost market presence and drive new opportunities requires a more strategic, data-driven approach.

Potential clients now research almost exclusively online before engaging with a supplier. This shift means that without a robust marketing presence, B2B manufacturers risk being overlooked by prospects unfamiliar with–but in need of–your business's services. 

Investing in marketing and adopting technology can help you extend your reach online, better align sales and marketing efforts, leverage data for highly targeted campaigns, and ultimately generate better-fit leads that are more likely to convert into valuable long-term customers​​​.

So, given the strategic imperative to evolve from a purely sales-led organisation to one that integrates comprehensive marketing strategies to complement your well-developed sales function, the question remains;

"How do you market a manufacturing company?"

How to market a manufacturing company in 14 tried-and-tested steps

Marketing your B2B manufacturing company isn't easy–especially considering that most contract manufacturers operate unseen to support more customer-facing OEM businesses. It isn't all doom and gloom, though. 

The key is to remember that marketing is a long-term game, requiring continuous iteration and improvement for best results. By committing to a marketing programme for the long haul, you will see ROI, albeit a case of "slow and steady wins the race".

Here are the high-level 'how-to' steps you can take to start marketing your manufacturing company.

A checklist of the 14 how-to steps to market a manufacturing company

Understand your audience

A customer-centric approach is what differentiates a purpose-built marketing strategy from a one-size-fits-all one. Here's how to put your customer at the heart of your marketing and sales efforts.

Step 1: Identify your ideal customer

Understand industry needs: Identifying your ideal customer begins with understanding overarching industry needs. For contract manufacturers, ideal customers often include OEMs, startups needing manufacturing expertise, and large companies looking to outsource specific processes.

Segment by vertical: Identify key industry verticals such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences, and segment potential customers based on these categories. This ensures you align your services with the right audience most likely to benefit from what you have to offer.

Assess company size and revenue: Focus on companies with revenue sizes and scales that match your manufacturing capacity to ensure a good fit and to build sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships​​​​ that minimise the risk of clients churning.

Step 2: Create a detailed buyer persona

Develop detailed profiles: Creating a detailed buyer persona starts with developing comprehensive profiles. Use data to build semi-fictional personas of your ideal customer, detailing their challenges, goals, and decision-making processes.

Incorporate demographics and psychographics: Include age, education, role, professional responsibilities, personal attributes, and behavioural traits to create comprehensive personas that closely resemble your ideal customer in reality​​​.

Identify pain points and success factors: Understand their specific challenges, such as achieving growth goals or maintaining margins, and define what success looks like for them, such as predictable delivery timelines and improved supply chain visibility.

Step 3: Research everything from your customer to your competition

Market analysis: Regularly conduct market research to stay updated on industry trends, competitor strategies, and emerging technologies. Researching the market allows you to identify notable shifts and adapt your strategies accordingly.

Customer insights: Use surveys, interviews, and analytics to gain insights into customer needs and preferences and get feedback on your services. This is invaluable for tailoring your offerings to improve customer satisfaction, keeping your buyer personas accurate and up-to-date, and driving business growth in line with customer expectations.

Competitive intelligence: Studying competitors' marketing tactics, service offerings, and customer engagement strategies provides valuable competitive intelligence. By identifying gaps and opportunities in the market, you can develop marketing strategies to differentiate your company and capture a larger market share.

Build a strong brand identity

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: branding is absolutely essential to an effective marketing strategy that successfully sets your B2B manufacturing company apart in the market. Beyond just an appealing logo and catchy slogan–here are the key steps to define your brand positioning:

Step 4: Define your brand personality 

Define who your company is: The more personable and relatable a brand is, the better its business growth will be. Building a connection with your customers, establishing lasting brand trust, and driving customer loyalty begin with a memorable and relatable brand personality.

Articulate core values: As part of your brand personality, identify and articulate your core company values that drive your business and ensure your brand personality resonates with your target audience's own values and expectations.

Consistency: Be sure to maintain a consistent brand personality across all your marketing channels and customer touchpoints as you start rolling out your brand.

Step 5: Create your brand's visual identity

Professional design: Invest in professional design services for your logo, website, corporate identity kits, and marketing collateral to visually encapsulate and reflect the personality you defined in the previous step.

Consistent visual elements: Use consistent colours, fonts, and imagery across all platforms to create a cohesive, recognisable visual identity from one channel or platform to the next.

Adapt to mediums: Ensure your visual identity is adaptable to various digital and physical mediums, including online platforms, print materials, and product packaging.

Step 6: Find your brand's voice

Tone and style: Develop a unique tone of voice that reflects your brand's personality. Whether your brand is authoritative, friendly, or technical, the tone of voice should consistently convey your core values and mission, making your communications consistently 'on-brand'.

Brand guidelines: To ensure your brand's voice is uniform in all communications, create comprehensive brand guidelines outlining tone, style, and key messaging elements for all team members to refer to when communicating on behalf of your brand.

Engage authentically: Use your brand voice to authentically engage with your audience, fostering trust and credibility by being genuine, transparent, and responding in line with your brand's values. 

Step 7: Craft your brand story

Brand narrative: Develop a compelling brand narrative highlighting your company's history, mission, and vision for the future​​–the narrative framework that will inform the stories you tell moving forward. 

Customer-centric stories: Incorporate customer success stories to showcase your services' impact and position your brand as the preferred choice by making customers feel recognised and understood.

Emotional connection: Storytelling is a big part of what connects us, so using storytelling to create an emotional connection with your audience will make your brand instantly more relatable and memorable.

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Create valuable content

Content marketing is crucial for marketing a manufacturing company. It tells your brand's story, highlights solutions for your audience, and educates them about your industry and services.

Step 8: Identity content types that are relevant 

To effectively engage and convert your target audience into sales leads, it's crucial to identify and create content types that are relevant to them and more likely to stick long after they've finished engaging with it. 

Video: Video is arguably the most popular content type and is especially effective for demonstrating products and processes.

Educational blogs and articles: These informative content types are relatively easy to create and address common challenges and solutions within your industry. 

Case studies and white papers: Use these highly detailed, often sought-after content types, particularly for sales, to specifically showcase your expertise, capabilities, and successes.

Step 9: Decide on distribution channels

Once you've settled on the content types most likely to drive results, it's time to define your content distribution strategy or where to put content once complete.

Owned channels: Including your website, email newsletters and blog, these require minimal effort and resources and contribute to building up your online presence.

Social media: In today's B2B sales landscape, you should be using LinkedIn specifically for highly targeted and relevant marketing and sales efforts.

Industry forums and publications: Industry-specific forums and publications allow you to get your content in front of the largest possible audience, increasing your brand visibility where audiences already are.

Step 10: Create content that's helpful 

Address pain points: Remember the value of an engaging story, so ensure your content is compelling, relevant and specific. Focus on creating content that speaks directly to your audience's specific pain points and stresses​​ (think back to your buyer persona and their challenges and goals).

Provide solutions: Offer practical solutions and insights to help them overcome these challenges and improve their situation.

Engage with data: Use data and case studies to back up your claims and make your content (and, therefore, your brand) more credible, useful and desirable to your audience.

Build a formidable tech stack

Marketing and sales technology advancements have introduced numerous tools to improve and streamline efforts, mainly through data utilisation. For B2B manufacturing marketing success, assembling a tech stack that supports your strategy from beginning to end is crucial.

Step 11: Adopt basic marketing tools

  1. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system: A CRM like Salesforce is vital for managing customer relationships and streamlining communication​​ across the entire customer lifecycle, reducing friction between departments and increasing client satisfaction.
  2. A Content Management System (CMS): A CMS like WordPress or HubSpot allows you to create, manage, and optimise your website easily. It ensures that your site is always up-to-date and secure and provides a seamless user experience.
  3. Marketing Automation Platform: Marketing automation tools like HubSpot or Marketo automate repetitive tasks like email, social media, and ad campaigns. They also support lead nurturing and increase conversions by delivering timely personalised content.

Step 12: Leverage data analytics

Data is a hot commodity today, providing invaluable insights into customers' buying behaviours and preferences. Here are the data metrics you should be following to understand your target audience better:

  1. Performance Tracking: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your marketing campaigns and content, like emails and ads, to ensure maximum performance and resource usage.
  2. Customer Insights: Analyse customer data to gain insights into behaviour, preferences, and trends. Use these to hone your content marketing, inform future strategies and tailor sales campaigns.
  3. Engagement Metrics: Track metrics like click-through rates (CTR), bounce rates, and average session duration to gauge how well your content engages your audience. High engagement indicates effective content and messaging.
  4. Conversion Rates: Measure the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action (e.g. filling out a form or making contact). This helps assess the effectiveness of your campaigns in driving valuable actions.
  5. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Calculate the total revenue you can expect from a customer over their lifetime to understand the long-term value of customer relationships and inform retention strategies.

This data should be available within the basic tools you use, but other data analytics tools worth exploring include Google Analytics, Hotjar, and SEMRush.

Engage with your industry

There's something to be said for good old-fashioned networking and industry participation. Being present and engaged with your industry and professional community, online and in-person, can provide rich opportunities to boost your market presence.

Step 13: Get out there, virtually

Webinars and online workshops: Host webinars and online workshops to share knowledge and engage with your audience.

Virtual trade shows: Investigate participating in virtual trade shows specific to your industry to network with relevant audiences and showcase your capabilities. 

Online communities: Join industry-specific online communities and forums where audiences are already congregating and contribute to the ongoing conversations to show your expertise and knowledge.

Step 14: Get out there, physically

Trade shows and conferences: Back in full swing after the pandemic, trade shows and conferences are worth attending and exhibiting at to increase brand visibility and network with peers and customers.

Customer visits: Site visits and face-to-face meetings with existing and potential customers can be hugely beneficial for solidifying customer relationships, driving upsell opportunities, and positively impacting customers' perceptions of your business.


When faced with the dilemma of how to market your manufacturing company to boost your market presence, remember that you aren't alone, and there are tried-and-tested tactics worth leveraging to jump-start your business's marketing efforts. 

By understanding your audience, building a strong brand identity, creating valuable content, leveraging technology, and actively engaging with your industry, you can position your B2B manufacturing company for long-term success, no matter what the future brings.

Need help getting your B2B manufacturing market programme off the ground? Contact Equinet for a bespoke solution that combines trusted strategic approaches with the nuances of B2B manufacturing marketing.

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Published by Megan Clack June 12, 2024
Megan Clack