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5 Challenges in Industrial Marketing | Manufacturing Marketing

5 Challenges in Industrial Marketing


To succeed in marketing, as in life, we have to overcome our own barriers.

After working with business owners and executives for many years, I see certain challenges appearing over and over again. As an outside consultant, I’m able to make observations and recommendations which are either unseen or which can’t be stated by folks inside their own business.

The five most common marketing challenges I often see:

1. Perspectives are limited.

The majority of marketers often spend a large proportion of their working lives within a single profession. They know and understand their corner of the world exceedingly well. However, without a wider perspective of how what you do effects other processes and people. Your ability to see the big picture is limited and blind to what may be obvious.

To gain a wider perspective why not visit your customers to see how your product is used. You can also gain a broader view by talking with your competitors, attending conferences and trade shows. It might be time to hire an outside consultant.

2. Change is constant.

The only thing which we can all count on is change. Technology is woven into our lives in so many ways that it becomes invisible. Software capabilities have replaced hardware as the driving force of progress. Download the latest upgrade and you have new abilities almost instantaneously.

The downside of change is that those new capabilities have to be learned and understood to be applied.

More. Better. Faster. 

As soon as you know the program, it will change. You must embrace learning.

3. Writing is painful.

Our greatest challenge and frustration in industrial marketing is the written word.

Without fail, nearly every industrial client assures me that they will be writing the text for their materials. I can count on one hand the number of clients who have actually provided their own written text – with fingers left over!

Good intentions run into the wall of reality when staring at a blank screen. Finding the time and space to write while juggling all of your existing responsibilities is nearly impossible.

The cost of a good writer is money well spent.

4. Saving time but having to do more.

For all of the devices and technologies which are supposed to save me time, I sure don’t have less to do.

Being able to do more translates into doing more. Productivity is a great thing but we are now doing what two people used to do and we need to know more than both of them combined.

Any so-called down time should now be devoted to reading and learning so you can stay ahead of the curve of technology.

5. Generational differences.

While it is true that my 86 year old mother and 23 year old son are both online, how we use and relate to internet technologies vary immensely.

Industrial marketing speaks to multiple generations of engineers, buyers, managers and owners. Before you discount the effectiveness of either new or old marketing techniques, consider which generations are in your audience. Twitter and printed trade advertising can both be valid, depending on your industrial marketing target.

Let me know your thoughts or if you have additional challenges to add. Please share them in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: Editor5807  Island Games 2011

One Response to “5 Challenges in Industrial Marketing”

  1. Lori Meloche says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the informative post on marketing challenges. Our company asked over 500 of our industrial clients the question what their greatest marketing challenges are, hopefully you will enjoy these results.