Marketing challenges in manufacturing explained

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Manufacturing is enjoying a rosy period of economic growth in 2018 – but experts are cautious as uncertainty around Brexit continues.


A new report from the EEF Manufacturers’ Organisation shows considerable growth for the industry in 2018 – but reflects the trade risks posed by uncertain Brexit negotiations.

To protect themselves, manufacturers often react by making cuts to the marketing budget until the financial issues improve. But despite looming fears about the potential barriers of customs and border checks that could come from Brexit, the economy is thriving. And it seems marketing spend is up according to the results of our survey.

We conducted a survey earlier this year to get under the skin of management in manufacturing and to learn more about the attitudes to marketing, and the challenges faced.

Key findings

Our report, The UK Manufacturing Landscape, revealed what is getting in the way of achieving real success as a result of marketing activity. It uncovers exactly which channels are being utilised already, including online advertising, social media and online content – as well as more traditional marketing efforts such as print.

We've collated the insights that will empower you to improve on your existing marketing strategy below.

#1. 52% of companies said they thought marketing could possibly be improved.

Just over half of respondents said there was room for improvement in their marketing efforts demonstrating a desire for increased value from marketing activity and better ROI. In fact, 66% measure success on return on investment at least in part. So we know that marketing could be improved. But what is getting in the way of success?


#2. The lack of a dedicated team came out as one of biggest challenges for a third of manufacturing businesses

For a large portion of manufacturing businesses, there is a short supply of manpower to get the job done when it comes to marketing. In terms of technology, respondents were not aware of the power of marketing automation, with only 9% of companies saying they thought it will impact manufacturing. As well as providing a centralised hub for managing marketing, sales and customer service activity, utilising marketing automation offers:

  • Integrated software to help you manage leads and customers
  • Targeted social media publishing, email activity and web content to deliver the right messages at the right time
  • Tracked links, campaigns and detailed analytics and insight reports


#3. 27% of managers said their marketing is outdated

Outdated marketing can be the death of a well-intentioned campaign. Whether because the technology creates a poor user experience or it fails to communicate the brand, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends in marketing to rival your competitors. To stay ahead of the curve, consider these points:
  • Are you investing in paid campaigns? With the right planning and strategy, paid channels can deliver impressive results.
  • Is your marketing reflecting the surge of online channels as well as utilising traditional methods such as print?
  • Are you effectively measuring the results of your campaigns?


For further insights, read the full results in our 2018 manufacturing report, 'The UK Manufacturing Landscape'.


Or for more information on marketing support, please schedule a call with one the team. Simply complete the form below and one of the team will be in touch.


Contact the team at Cognition Agency for all your digital marketing requirements.