Template is not defined.

How Small and Medium Manufacturers Can Market Like Large Manufacturers

4 min

Being a small or medium-sized manufacturer means your company has to work smarter and more efficiently to reach your buyers.

Manufacturing companies, large or small, typically spend less on their marketing efforts than other industries. A report found the average marketing spend for manufacturers is only 2.7% of annual revenue, 61% lower than the average across all industries.

Those numbers mean that small and medium-sized manufacturers have to be incredibly tactical when it comes to how they use their budgets to market and sell. If they miss the mark on a critical campaign it can have long-lasting effects that reverberate through the entire company.

Let’s take a look at some ways that small and medium manufacturers can increase the effectiveness of their efforts and give the big players a run for their money.

Laser-Focus Your Ideal Customer Profile

Every business likes to think they know their customer base perfectly. That may be even more true in the manufacturing field, as it’s an industry built on establishing relationships and building trust.

But there will always be factors that make a company an ideal fit that you can’t discover by picking up the phone or searching on Google.

To really understand your ideal customer profile (ICP), you need a clear understanding of your past performance, as well as historical data about who buys from organizations like yours.

The data that can help you understand your ICP includes:

  • The typical job roles of people who influence the decision to buy your services
  • The average length of your sales cycle
  • The specific industries your customers are a part of
  • Your company’s historical performance in all of your deals
  • Wider industry performance by companies similar to yours

As a small or medium manufacturer, you don’t have the time or resources to create in-depth analysis resulting in the perfect ICP.

You need to rely on technology that ingests all of your internal data, and leverages a huge database of wider industry information to help you unlock your true ICP — or what we called your IICP, In-Market Ideal Customer Profile.
. When you have a powerful platform identifying your real audience, you’ve just opened a lot more opportunities for your team.

Uncover In-Market Buyers

Most manufacturers have a good understanding of who their buyers are based on historical data and established relationships — but knowing who your buyers are doesn’t guarantee that they’re always ready to buy.

There are numerous reasons why your perfect customer might not be in the market for your services including:

  • Economic uncertainty
  • Recently signed with a competitor
  • Budget cycles

With limited resources, it’s crucial that you only target the buyers who are actually in-market and ready to buy.

So, how do you do that?

By uncovering what we call the Dark Funnel™. Your buyers are doing research all the time… but you probably aren’t aware of most of it, because they’re visiting third-party websites, or reading your website without filling out a form or contacting you.

With the right platform, you can uncover:

  • The research that buyers are performing about your brand
  • The topics they’re searching for about your competitors
  • The industry websites and publications they’re reading
  • The pages on your website they engage with most

This information gives you a complete picture of your buyers and their states of mind. Not only do you know who to target, but you know the right time to engage.

You can create detailed, personalized campaigns that are based on real evidence. You can also see when your customers are researching your competitors, empowering you to focus your efforts on keeping their business.

When you know who and when to target, you can now focus on how you’ll effectively reach your buyers.

Target Strategically

Smaller marketing and sales teams don’t have the luxury of entire teams devoted to creating campaigns to reach their target audiences. Often, smaller manufacturers will only have a handful of employees devoted to covering everything within the world of sales and marketing.

For these smaller teams to be effective — and not chew up too much budget — they must be incredibly precise with their outreach and campaigns.

Targeting your audience strategically requires understanding who they are and what they care about. Thankfully, we covered exactly how you can hone in on your in-market ideal customer profile (IICP) in the previous two sections, so now it’s about leveraging that information to create effective campaigns.

Advertising campaigns can seem like a money pit. You pick a message, a channel to place the ad, and then hope the right buyer sees it at the right time. If you’re lucky, you generate a few leads. If you’re really lucky, the leads are good.

But when you combine your knowledge of your target audience, the research they’ve been performing, and the topics that interest them most, you can launch incredibly focused advertising campaigns that only reach the buyers you know are interested.

By using these insights to create audience segments, you can create hyper-targeted and personalized campaigns that combine the right messaging with the right offer to win your buyer over.

Outside of advertising campaigns, your marketing team’s entire demand generation efforts get more precise with the information you’ve unlocked about your buyers. There’s no more need to create generic email campaigns and send them to your entire database. Instead you can deliver the right message to the right person when they need it the most.


Manufacturers don’t need to break the bank and increase budget to take their marketing and sales efforts to the next level. It just requires smart, targeted campaigns that are informed by insights into your buyers provided by the right technology.  Book a demo to see how 6sense can help.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

Related Blogs