How to Humanize Your Business-to-Business Manufacturing Brand


Let’s face it; your customers are tired of distant and detached corporate websites. Now, more than ever, they want to be engaged in conversation and find valuable information with ease. We say it all the time; people want to buy from people, not from companies. Keep reading to learn three ways to humanize your business-to-business manufacturing company’s brand.

Write content from your customer’s perspective

It is essential to highlight the value proposition for your prospects and customers. When developing content that resonates with your target audience, we always suggest starting with a review of form submissions and social media comments to find inspiration. Jot down common themes, and if you don’t have content on each of these topics, develop it! Also, keep in mind, if someone has asked a question once, it is safe to assume more people have that same question.

When writing your content, focus on educating your readers, rather than promoting your brand. The perspective of a common challenge your customers face and the solutions you developed really personalize the story for your readers. Read ‘How to make this year ‘the year of content’ for more helpful content ideas!

Showcase your employees

Consider launching a “Meet Our Team of Experts” campaign in which you share blogs and video stories of the people behind your services and products. Buyers are motivated to purchase when they know the story behind your products and recognize the very people they speak to regularly.

Also by showcasing your employees on your website, you are empowering your employees by allowing them to highlight current projects and why they are passionate about their profession. The best and most authentic way to humanize your brand is to show the humans working at your company! This not only looks great to your prospect and customers but also can serve as a great recruitment tool. Check out our client, Grand River Rubber & Plastics’ employee ownership page here. They do a great job of showcasing their incredible tenured staff in videos to recruit new employees at their Ashtabula, Ohio plant!

Highlight customer case studies

Manufacturing case studies are a fantastic way to show your company’s capabilities and expertise. Case studies add third party credibility and could be the difference between your prospects choosing you over your competition.

Yet, many times when we ask our business-to-business manufacturing clients if they are utilizing case studies, a surprising number of them will answer: “We don’t do case studies. Our customers won’t agree to work on them with us.” We cringe when we hear this because they are not only losing a valuable content opportunity for both their website and even the industrial trade media but missing an opportunity to deepen their customer relationship (hence turning customers into promoters!)

Read ‘How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies’

We hope these three strategies will help you humanize your manufacturing content. Find your style. Some manufacturers find a nice balance between being informative but also conversational. We suggest avoiding jargon and aiming for simple, straight to the point messaging to resonate with your audience.

Are you looking to generate more content? We have 27 years of business-to-business manufacturing communications experience. Our writers will help you unlock the content vault.

3 Tips to Eliminate Cold Calls

Salespeople around the world just might be able to exhale a collective sigh of relief.  Why? Because today there are more effective strategies to reach buyers at exactly the right time in their purchasing journey, than conducting endless (and frustrating) cold calls.

First, let’s define what a cold call is.  Cold calling is a traditional sales technique that involves calling people with whom you have no existing relationship. You may suspect they use your products and services, or might in the future, but you have absolutely no idea if they are currently in the market for your offering.

                           “Cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time”

                                                            ~Harvard Business Review

Instead, I offer the term “warm calling”.  Warm calling, by contrast, means you have established contact with a prospect before you pick up the phone and try to sell them something. “How”, you say, “are you supposed to do that?” Well, it requires flipping the script.

Here are three tips for approaching the situation in a completely different way:

  1. Share helpful content online that is relevant to your prospective customer.

 When someone is in the market for a product or service, what do they usually do?      They “Google it”.  Having your content on the web is one of the best ways to drive new leads to your company website. How to develop strong downloadable content offers that generate leads

  1. Encourage visitors to self-select or opt-in for more information.

You must have a way to capture and segment lead information once a prospect has bounced over to your website.  This can be accomplished by inviting them to sign up for your newsletter or blog postings by simply supplying their name, company name, and e-mail. For more valuable content like a white paper or e-Book ask for a little more like title, industry, and perhaps, the number of salespeople at their organization. Here are a few eBooks we’re proud to offer:

  1. Implement a customer relationship management tool (CRM).

Tools like HubSpot, track prospect engagement, and can notify you in real-time when a lead has interacted with your company content. This activity signals they have entered into the buying journey.  Reaching out during this phase is a lot less daunting for you and less intrusive for them.  Additionally, the chances of securing an appointment, and ultimately closing a deal, increases significantly. Here’s another article about what to do when they do visit your site: Top Tips for Cold-Calling Prospects on Your Website

In short, let the buyer dictate when they should be contacted. Don’t be “that” salesperson who constantly interrupts them with unwelcome phone calls and irrelevant offers.  Use your website, social media channels, e-mail campaigns, blogs, and newsletters as a lead generation machine that helps and informs.   Your potential customers will appreciate it and be more receptive when you do reach out to them.

FREE eBook

Another LinkedIn milestone, approaching 5,000 connections

In July of 2018, I was approaching 4,000 connections on LinkedIn. A mere year and a half later, I’m approaching 5,000 connections. For perspective, read: Reaching 4,000 Connections on LinkedIn– What I’ve Learned

In business and life, it’s simply about helping. Helping people connect, helping them get introduced to potential employers, and helping people grow their businesses. For historic purposes (and those reading this in 2023), we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, more than ever we need to look beyond our day-to-day needs and see how we can help.

  • Help a friend grow their network
  • Impact a businesses reputation by sharing their content
  • Introduce your customers to one another
  • Or, simply acknowledge a colleague’s success in their career

For me, there is no better world-wide network designed to connect like-minded manufacturers and owners than LinkedIn. Are you still struggling with how to use this platform? Read: Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturers, 2nd Edition. Even if you are not in manufacturing, the principles are valuable and applicable to anyone in business.

Are we connected? 

– Rob Felber

How Account Based Marketing Tools Help Manufacturers

Recently, HubSpot launched Account Based Marketing Tools. We’re excited to share these new tools with our clients because they fit seamlessly into how manufacturers connect directly with their best-fit, highest-value accounts. At Felber PR & Marketing, we have been utilizing an Account Based Marketing strategy to target prospects for years. We’ve helped our clients ditch old, time-intensive tactics such as cold calling prospects; prospects that are just not ready to buy are a huge time waste for sales teams. As a manufacturer, you know the sales need to be nurtured. Sales cycles are often measured in months and even years.

By utilizing the new account based marketing tools, your marketing and sales teams align, and greater focus is placed on engaging with prospects and customers. Below, learn what account based marketing is, and how HubSpot’s new tools can help your manufacturing company sell smarter, not harder.

What is Account Based Marketing?

 Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales teams collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts. By establishing the same goal, an agreed-upon revenue goal, teams develop their own paths and tactics to ultimately arrive at the same result – more revenue.

Why Manufacturers Should Utilize Account Based Marketing

ABM boosts the marketing and sales process by allowing you to weed out less-engaged companies early on and ensure that marketing and sales teams are working on the most valuable prospects. As a result, your marketing and sales teams can better engage and build relationships with companies that are more likely to buy quicker and more efficiently. ABM helps you to personalize the buyer’s journey and tailor content, email campaigns and messaging by identifying the buyer’s motivations, goals, and habits through monitoring real-time data and engagement patterns. By utilizing an ABM strategy, manufacturers can expect to see an enhanced return-on-investment from marketing and sales strategies and greater customer loyalty.

How to Get Started with Account-Based Marketing Tools in HubSpot

●     Develop Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

For those who have used HubSpot or an inbound marketing strategy for a while, these are similar to buyer personas, however, you build these around entire companies rather than individuals. Your ideal customer profile should include information regarding revenue, industry, location, and the size of the companies you’d like to target. HubSpot’s ABM software has an ICP-driven workflow (automated email) templates to help you identify common traits and classify companies in your database by how well they match the ICP you have developed.

●     Set Up Target Accounts

Once your ICP has been established, you will be able to set up target accounts in the ABM software. By tagging “Target Accounts” in your HubSpot platform, you can manage your audience from your new Target Accounts Dashboard. In the ABM software, once you’ve tagged an account as a “Target Account”, you will be able to rank them with an ICP Tier Property (Tier 1 for high priority to Tier 3 for lower priority accounts). The ABM software utilizes artificial intelligence target account recommendations which help manufacturers automate the researching process of finding good fit companies.

These types of tools will help you manage and then segment your lists so you can deliver personalized content to your target accounts. Once your ABM tools are activated, your HubSpot account automatically creates contact lists based on ABM contact and company properties from your existing database.

●     Create a Clear Plan for All Accounts

It is essential that there is a team put in place from both the marketing department and/or your marketing agency, and sales departments to make ABM effective. That way, your marketing team can develop a more personalized experience that reflects the same value propositions that your salespeople are using in their meetings, and that will put systems in place to close the deal quicker.

Interested in discussing how Account Based Marketing can help streamline your manufacturing sales strategy? At Felber PR & Marketing, we are a proud HubSpot partner agency and help our clients sell smarter not harder by utilizing account based marketing strategy and real-time data and analytics through HubSpot.