It seems like we hear most about the manufacturing sector when we’re being told about the trouble it’s in. Politicians bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs. Local economies suffer when manufacturers close their doors or re-locate their plants.
Manufacturing in the US is not without challenges. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) will tell you, however, that manufacturing output in the US has risen pretty consistently over the past decade.
If you work in B2B marketing, or aspire to work in B2B marketing, there are some interesting things happening in the manufacturing sector that are worthy of your attention.
First, digital transformation is taking hold in manufacturing, and it’s upending decades-old business models. In the past, manufacturers often sold through distributors. That meant brand awareness and end-user customer experience were not priorities for many manufacturers. But as manufacturers increasingly turn to the Internet to sell direct to customers, all of that is changing.
In addition to transformation, there’s the global pandemic, which as it has in other sectors, is acting as an accelerant for change. One example: manufacturers that make personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to adapt from selling gloves and goggles to a select few businesses or distributors, to promoting products to a vastly expanded market when the pandemic arrived.
Andrew Walker is the CEO of Shift7 Digital, a digital agency that specializes in helping manufacturers navigate digital transformation. Andrew has a front-row seat as digital marketing changes the manufacturing sector. He joins us to talk about it in this episode of B2B Nation.