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CMI Uncovers Manufacturing Content Marketing and Sales Disconnect

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) just published the results of their 2015 North American Content Marketing Research for Manufacturers.

CMI noticed and reported a huge disconnect; “Sales is a top goal, but only 48% use sales as a metric. Eighty-five percent of manufacturing marketers cite sales as a goal for content marketing (versus 56% last year), putting sales right behind brand awareness (89%). However, fewer than half use sales to measure content marketing success.

Here’s our take:

  • It’s excellent news that, in the last year, manufacturing marketers have shifted significantly to focus on sales as a primary goal of their content marketing.
  • The ‘disconnect’ shows that, for many, the intent hasn’t yet translated into measurement. We think that may be either because manufacturing content marketers haven’t yet got round to measuring against sales or they’re not sure how to do that?
  • If they don’t know how to do it, here’s a suggestion for industrial suppliers of components (e.g. bearings, gears, springs, etc.) and of engineered products (e.g. motors, gear boxes, etc.). Focus on using the highest sales converting type of content available – 3D CAD models of industrial products. Offer them for download from your website and syndicated online to CAD download sites like
  • Why?Design engineers today search online for parts instead of talking to potential suppliers. Their research is online and contact is via your website. If you don’t have a website, you’re likely not even in contention for the business. If they can easily find the part they need online and can download it as a CAD model, they save time. They are also assured of accuracy because the part model and BOM info come straight from the manufacturer. This type of content is especially effective for most industrial suppliers because:
    • Inclusion of their part CAD model gets their part ‘locked and loaded’ into a customer’s new design. If and when the design is approved, buyers will source the parts as spec’d in the design. Rarely will a buyer seek to change what the engineer has spec’d in. Suddenly your content marketing is directly connected to sales.
    • When parts are designed in, they are purchased – nearly 50% of the time in this specific case study for a national distributor and more broadly in this survey of 276 suppliers. Of all types of content we haven’t heard of any other converting to sales at anywhere near a 50% rate!
    • There’s also a way for suppliers to ‘inject’ their sales teams (carefully) into the process so as to influence it. With email registration prior to the CAD model download, sales leads get collected (25% more in this case).
    • CAD models of products really engage at the top of the funnel. A CAD model download can be a ‘trigger event’ that alerts suppliers to a possible new design being initiated – astute and helpful sales followup can be timely!

3D CAD Model content is specific to industrial contecn marketing for both mechanical and construction industries. You can use it to drive sales, measure content marketing’s contribution to sales and resolve the ‘disconnect’.

Please let us know what you think below. As always, if you’d like our opinion on your situation or want see an online demo, call or click either button below:

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