If you’re not up to date on what your marketing peers are doing and the latest trends in industrial marketing, keep reading this post. For the complete story, download your complimentary copy of the white paper, “Trends in Industrial Marketing: How Manufacturers are Marketing Today.”

A recent IHS survey revealed a number of interesting insights about what’s trending up for industrial marketers—and what’s trending down.

Increased Competition is the New Number-One Challenge
Forty percent of survey respondents chose this statement as representative of one of their top three challenges: “Increased competition is making my marketing job harder than ever.”

There could be a number of reasons for intensifying competition. First, with the rise of digital media channels, engineers and other technical professionals have more discovery resources at their disposal than ever before. They are exposed to more suppliers and a more level playing field in their search for products, services and information.

Second, with more players in the game, the noise is increasing. It’s becoming more challenging for industrial marketers to differentiate their companies from others.

Content Marketing is Important, but Needs to Mature
The majority of industrial marketers are increasing their spending on content marketing, and 46% are using content marketing. However, 39% are just getting started and only 12% can show how content marketing contributes to sales.

To gain more maturity in content marketing, marketers should develop a strategy based on achieving specific, measurable objectives. A key component of the strategy is producing content for all stages of the industrial buy cycle, distributing content across multiple channels and tracking where and how customers access the content.

Marketers are Spending a Greater Percentage of Budget Online
Forty-two percent of industrial marketers stated that online marketing will receive a greater share of investment than in the past. On average, industrial marketers spend 41% of their budget online, and digital represents four of the top five marketing channels in 2015.

Why are industrial marketers spending a greater percentage of their overall budgets online? They understand that online and digital resources are where their customers turn first to find information to support their buy cycle. And industrial marketers who are focused on performance and ROI know that online marketing is easier to measure than traditional marketing channels.

Social Media is No Longer a Worry
Social media has become business as usual in the industrial sector, and marketers are becoming more comfortable using it. Only 13% of industrial marketers stated that incorporating social media into their marketing mix was one of their top three marketing challenges.

Exactly half of industrial marketers are using social media as a channel in 2015. Facebook and Twitter usage is slightly down, while LinkedIn remains the leading social media platform in the industrial sector. At this point, most industrial marketers have found out what works best in social media to support their overall marketing strategy, and are focusing their efforts on those channels and tactics.

Previously Popular Channels are Trending Down
Some mainstay marketing channels have experienced a slight decrease over the past year. Email marketing using in-house lists has declined in usage to 60% from 73%. Marketers may be devoting more resources to advertising in industry e-newsletters and other third party email providers to reach a broader, yet still targeted, audience.

Tradeshows have also declined in use, from 69% to 59%. They tend to be costly, and engineers and technical professionals are more reluctant to spend the money and take time away from the office to attend tradeshows. Search engine optimization and generating paid traffic from search engines have also declined this past year.

These are just a few of the latest marketing rends. To keep up with all the trends, and to find out what they mean and their impact on your marketing efforts, read the white paper, “Trends in Industrial Marketing.” A special section of the paper offers recommendations for industrial marketers.

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