MM 018- B2B Manufacturers Still Learning about Content Strategy

content strategy research

New Research from CMI shows that B2B Manufacturers Are Stuck When It Comes to Content Marketing – Episode 018

Guest Expert: Michele Linn, VP of Content, Content Marketing Institute 

Topic: Discussion around recently released research about content strategy for manufacturing, “B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing”


  • Only 18% of B2B manufacturers stated they know what success looks like.  Do you know what success or effective content marketing looks like?
  • It takes 15 to 18 months to start to seeing results with a content strategy for manufacturing.
  • Use short term, outbound advertising to promote your content, not your product.
  • Those marketers who can become effective with a content strategy for manufacturing can increase sales leads and revenue.
  • Chris Moritz – content marketing is like a 401k plan, it takes time to see benefits.

Question 1 –  As an overview, what is the intent or goal of the research? Would you say the results are representative of the state of content marketing in B2B manufacturing in North America or should we consider any possible research biases?

Question 2 – Regarding the overarching results, there seems to be a big discrepancy between utilization of content marketing and effectiveness.  Why do we see high adoption of a marketing strategy/tactic, high commitment to continue it and commitment to continued funding of something that is just not working? Do you predict the adoption number will continue to drop over the coming years as some manufacturers give up on content marketing?

Question 3 –  Based on the research, only 18% of those firms that claim to use content marketing see themselves as being effective (accomplishing overall objectives).  Last year 26% said they were effective.  Why is it so hard for B2B mfg firms to be effective at content marketing? Follow up, time allowing:  Is being ineffective related to the actual content marketing process or is it because they are not able to correlate CM to their goals?

Question 4 –  There also seems to be a discrepancy in specific tactics. In many cases a certain tactic is the most widely used, but it is the least effective or less effective. For example Social Media is #3 in usage but not in the top 10 for effectiveness. And webinars are not in the top 10 for usage, but are #5 for effectiveness.  Do you think there is a fundamental issue around measurement and metrics? What is your sense of the reason behind this discrepancy?

 Question 5 – What is the opportunity and/or advantage for those elite firms who are effective with their content marketing strategy?  Should B2B Mfg marketers continue to strive to improve their CM effectiveness or should they re-evaluate the strategy?

Challenge Question:

This week’s challenge question comes to us from a marketing manager at a Florida mfg company. “We’ve been listening to your podcast and really appreciate the great information.  We are working on our audience facing mission statement, but we’re having a hard time understanding (lot’s of heated discussions with sales and product) how educating the audience without pitching the product will help us grow the business.”

  • People gravitate towards information that is helpful before they gravitate towards product information.  Helping them to solve a pain or to be better creates strong relationships.  It’s a really powerful marketing tactic.


  • You must have differentiated content, stay true to the mission.
  • Give it time, be patient.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” if it is not inline with the content mission statement.

Check out the documentary, The Story of Content, Rise of the New Marketing, do a lunch and learn, download the screening kit.

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