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  • Writer's pictureBen Nordman

Marketing in MFG: Making the Most of a Small Budget

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

It can go without saying that manufacturers put a majority of their focus on production and direct sales, which has worked for manufacturers for nearly forever. With the rise of social media in the early 2000s, manufacturers everywhere needed to start looking at other avenues of generating sales as more and more B2B buyers went online for information.

Manufacturing companies with large budgets were able to easily adjust to the digital age, but smaller companies with less resources and people find it difficult to make that transition to the digital world over what has worked for them for years. For those small manufacturers that don’t know where to start, here’s a guide from another small manufacturer on utilizing tight marketing budgets to keep pace with, and possibly jump ahead of, your competitors.
Marketing is turning from an extra in small businesses to an essential.
Marketing is turning from an extra in small businesses to an essential.

The first step: develop a good website

There’s nothing more essential than a good website for businesses today. It can make or break a sale or interest in your company.

Providing the bare minimum can be enough to give your stakeholders enough information to understand your business and the products that you offer. Giving product info, a bit about your business, and contact info can sometimes be enough if presented in a neat, clear way.

Now what are your options in ensuring your website is up to par with the standard of business today?

There are a few different options. Keeping the work in-house can be a bit of a large task work but can also be worth it, nobody knows your products like you do, so why have anyone else marketing those products?

Of course, there is a learning curve to managing websites but there are website developing companies that take care of the technical aspects of the website, while you control the content side and manage all changes.

There can be more marketing practice needed to fully utilize this option, such as search engine optimization (SEO), but just like learning how to operate a new machine in your shop, practice makes perfect and makes you more efficient.

Another opportunity is out-sourcing, working with professional marketing agencies to handle all of the website nurturing, while you get to focus on other parts of your business. Saves you some time but also can cost you some money.

Weighing your money versus your time is the important distinction and ultimate decider between the two options.

Web design can have a big learning curve but there are easy and cheap options to setting up a well-performing website.

The second step: using email marketing to your advantage

Utilizing email marketing to keep in touch with your customers can be a huge benefit in keeping them coming back to you and can help with new product launches and more.

According to Statista, there are 4 billion daily email users with that number jumping to 4.6 billion by 2025. Additionally, email marketing revenue is estimated to reach 11 billion dollars by the end of 2023. The business world is utilizing email marketing at a growing rate and it does not take much time to get started.

Using email marketing is a popular choice among small businesses, with 64% of small businesses using it as a marketing tool, according to Campaign Monitor. With email being used more and more in general, businesses of all sizes will be increasing their email marketing use. It’s time to get on board.

So what are your options for starting some email marketing?

There are a long list of email marketing services that you can control and are easy to use. Doing research into those companies and comparing them would be beneficial before putting a nominal amount of money into them.

When constructing a marketing email, think about what you click on when a marketing email comes through your inbox. How can you do the same for your email marketing so that your recipients will click?

LinkedIn has put an emphasis on being more than a job search application,  pushing it's users to start business transactions through the platform.
LinkedIn has put an emphasis on being more than a job search application, pushing it's users to start business transactions through the platform.

The third step: Social media marketing

The digital age of marketing really started to take off with social media providing an avenue for businesses of all sizes and kinds to find their customers. Since then, social media has only grown and will continue to do so over time. It’s here to stay.

The best thing about social media is that it is free to make accounts. The only true cost of setting them up is the time you decide to put into it.

This gives a free way to reach potential customers and future job candidates alike. Many career seekers are researching companies by going to their social media accounts and seeing what they are all about. Providing content on social media that will show what you do, the behind the scenes of how some products are made or a certain process can be beneficial to supplement marketing efforts.

As a small business, starting on LinkedIn would be the first step to developing social media marketing strategies. That is where your buyers will be and creating content that will appeal to them in a digital sense can help you secure a sale.

According to LinkedIn, companies that utilize LinkedIn to supplement their sales outsell their competition 78% of the time.

If you want to start marketing straight to your buyers, not necessarily the companies they work, get started on being involved on LinkedIn and go from there.

All in all, marketing is changing and taking a higher priority in manufacturing, especially at small businesses. Focusing on a good website, delving into email marketing, and connecting with your customers online via social media are three of the top ways to get a marketing effort started on a small budget.

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is a Rockford, Ill. manufacturing company and is the OEM for Magna-Lock USA workholding, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and Arter Precision Grinding Machines as well providing surface grinding services. They are located at 5015 28th Ave. in Rockford, Ill. with a phone number of 815-962-8700. Check out more at

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