Industrial companies continue to shift resources away from traditional marketing and into online channels. The reasons are simple: potential customers go online to search for products, services, and suppliers; the results are measurable; and manufacturers can implement a robust portfolio of online marketing options to meet their needs and connect with their target audience.

A number of trends are emerging in industrial marketing, as reported in GlobalSpec’s recent white paper: “Trends in Industrial Marketing 2010.” Download your copy.

Here are the top eight trends in industrial marketing.


1. Lead generation and customer acquisition are top marketing goals.
In 2010, 74% of manufacturers stated that customer acquisition or lead generation is their primary marketing goal. In 2009, the percentage was 73%. What this translates to is that it’s all about sales—regardless of the state of the economy.

2. There aren’t enough marketing resources.
For the third year in a row, 49% of manufacturers reported that one of their top three marketing challenges is that they don’t have enough resources: dollars, people, and time. Is there ever enough? This challenge makes it all the more important that manufacturers invest the resources they do have in the most effective way possible, to get the greatest return on their investment.

3. E-mail is the most frequently used online marketing tactic.
65% of manufacturers use e-mail marketing to in-house lists and 16% use e-mail marketing to rented or purchased lists. Although e-mail is the granddaddy of online marketing, it remains an effective and affordable marketing tactic in the industrial sector.

4. Manufacturers are investing more marketing resources online.
Manufacturers know the vast majority of their audience goes online to search for products, services, and suppliers—and in response are investing more marketing resources online to connect with this audience. The majority of companies (51%) will shift more of their budget to online marketing in 2010. 47% will spend more than one-third of their marketing budget online. Online marketing channels occupy the top six areas where manufacturers are increasing marketing.

5. Online channels deliver the best leads.
Manufacturers continue to report that their best sources for leads are online channels. Three of the top four sources of leads are online channels, including the company Web site, e-mail marketing, and search engine optimization. Online channels often provide near real-time delivery of lead information and full contact data on potential customers.

6. Quality of leads is the most important factor when allocating marketing budget.
Over the past several years, manufacturers have consistently stated that the quality of leads is the most important factor when determining where to allocate their marketing budget. Sales teams would agree: they’d much rather have a manageable number of high quality leads than a boatload of unqualified names or anonymous Web site clicks they can do nothing with.

7. Social media is starting to gain traction.
68% of manufacturers plan to increase their spending on social media in 2010. LinkedIn is the most popular social media application in the industrial sector—used by 59%. While only 23% are currently using video, 37% are planning to implement it in 2010. As with audiences everywhere, the industrial professional is both reading and watching online.

8. Traditional media continues to decline.
While online marketing experiences growth, spending on traditional media continues to decline, a trend GlobalSpec has documented over the past several years. In 2010, 25% of manufacturers are decreasing trade magazine advertising and 24% are decreasing use of printed directories. The truth is simple: you must be online to connect with your audience.

To access the complete survey results, including analysis and recommendations for manufacturers, download your copy of the white paper: “Trends in Industrial Marketing 2010: How Manufacturers are Marketing Today.


  1. this article uses “the top six areas where manufacturers are increasing marketing” in the 4th trends, but, what is “the top six areas “? pls show me the details. thank you!

  2. I would like if any one can conduct similar survey on “Purchasing process for Industrial Products”. I would like to understand how need to purchase is generated. Is it from shop floor, project planning dept?. Purchaser looks where to send leads?, is it through google search,directories on line,or hard copy of yellow pages or any other source.How buying decisions are made?. Is it just lowest bidder or market leader who gets the order.Who plays key role in decision making?.Is it user, purchaser or manager.

  3. When we started operations in Y2000, we could manage to hire a few good men. As years passed by, options such as call centres cropped up that paid well for an 8 hour job. Since 2004, we have relied on the web (website, social media, blogs, press releases, etc) to raise awareness on our products and generate sales leads. We have now no field sales model, except for visits for technical discussions on request.

    Most new customers come through word of mouth or internet leads. Products such as Birkosit used for turbine sealing we have relied on Google Adwords program to generate new leads from across the country.

    This has helped us tremendously to cut costs and offer competitive prices to customers. Once we have a supply contract or job on hand from a key account, we assign a team of people to service this account. Happy customer bring in more customers.

    Just go onto Google and search for “Project Sales Corp” and you can see our online presence.

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