Target Marketing in the Manufacturing Industry

Business development in the manufacturing industry is changing rapidly. It's harder for small to mid-sized manufacturers to compete with larger ones on cost, recognition, and range of capabilities. The constant push to vendor consolidation heightens market pressure. It’s not the family business or the “old-boys” network it used to be. That’s why the services of smaller manufacturers are increasingly targeted to precise verticals. Similar runs and reduced set-up time produces efficiencies and increases quality, thus distancing the manufacturer from low-price quotes. The predictability widens the margin in client-coveted prototyping, decreasing the cost of onboarding new customers.

So how does an established manufacturer shift from responding to any viable request for quote (RFQ), to gaining more requests from preferred industries for specific services? It’s pretty much the same process any tech-centric, innovative business has to work through. Analyze the competitive landscape and identify the most promising market segments.

When the desired targets are locked in, how to proceed in marketing becomes much clearer. You create precise content and case studies to attract new producers and disrupt current providers who have an inferior service.

Finding Your Target Market When Everyone Seems Like a Good Fit” is an article I wrote for StartWheel, a resource to the start-up community in the emerging Hampton Roads tech hub of Southeastern Virginia. In reality, every business is constantly “restarting” or pivoting in the marketplace. The approach is the same and it can change your whole business, just as it has for all high-growth business-to-business (B2B) brands.

Wondering what marketing and sales should look like for you, based on the lifecycle stage of your business?

Start here: Download this matrix to compare your desired outcomes to other companies. Discover what other businesses do in terms of sales and marketing strategy and tactics (and investment!) depending upon the stage of their life as a company.

Marketing and Sales by Lifecycle Stages for High-Growth Businesses


Marguerite Inscoe

Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for B2B Brands

Business owner, business developer, marketer, and consultant based in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Marguerite helps proven business-to-business (B2B) brands create environments for growth, be it a sales team refining their strategy with the marketing department to generate leads or engaging a prospective customer. Her areas of specialty are workplace training and performance, digital marketing, and sales enablement. She’s also authored an e-Book, “Frameworks for B2B Sales and Marketing — An Overview of Innovative Practices, Processes, and Technology.”