October 12th, 2023

Marketing Assumptions Are Killing Your Business

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

Advanced manufacturers lack the industry data necessary to make more informed decisions. We’re changing that.

We’ve noticed a contradiction at the heart of the manufacturing technology industry. Although many businesses operate at the cutting edge of their field, the way they present themselves online is years out of date. With so much at stake, we would expect to see these companies leveraging every competitive advantage at their disposal. Instead, they’re leaving some of their most valuable digital tools on the table. Why?

Unfortunately, the answers aren’t straightforward, and a big reason why has to do with lack of direct insight into the mindset of industry leaders.

Over the years, we’ve heard a range of explanations offered for a lack of digital marketing investment. These include:

  • “The last guys we worked with promised a lot and didn’t deliver.”
  • “We’ve made it this far without marketing. Why start now?”
  • “We don’t consider our website to be a leading driver of sales.”
  • “We’re not sure what a brand is—or why it matters.”
  • “Our product is too technical. We don’t want an empty hype machine.”
  • “We have someone on it, they just don’t have the bandwidth to take on more.”

These views aren’t universal. Along the way, we’ve also watched innovators in manufacturing technology use their digital marketing to position their brands as leaders within their fields—and even championed that effort ourselves. Their experiences provide important case studies on the power of brand-driven marketing.

But the difference between these attitudes—the skeptics and the true believers—has sparked our curiosity. It raises further questions, such as:

  • How widespread are these differing viewpoints?
  • What strategies have shown the greatest ROI?
  • Do these companies handle marketing in-house or with an agency?
  • Where do industry leaders see the most promise?
  • How much budget do companies devote to marketing, and how does the size of that budget compare to the satisfaction they feel about their marketing or the ways in which they measure success?

We have our own intuitions about these questions gained from experience and observation. But we prefer to back our intuitions with concrete data. Fortunately, we’ve found a solution.



If there’s one thing we hate, it’s making up explanations to fit a convenient story. If there’s another thing we hate, it’s being in the dark. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that the shortest cut to enlightenment is asking the right questions of the right people.

We want to know what decision-makers in the manufacturing technology industry think about marketing.

So, we’re launching a survey to find answers.

To get the kind of results we’re after, we’re looking for partners to share our survey with their audiences. Here’s what that means:

  • If you have a network or audience within the manufacturing technology industry (advanced manufacturers, developers or resellers of enterprise manufacturing software, Industry 4.0 innovators, etc.), then we will share a unique link with you that you can use to invite your audience to participate in our survey.
  • The survey is anonymous, and we will not be gathering any personal data from your audience. We will not have access to your audience after the survey, which means no unsolicited follow-up communications.
  • We will send you instructions, key details, and other messaging to make it as easy as possible for you to send out survey invitations. Once responses have been fielded, we will invite you to a partner webinar to discuss the results.
  • All respondents will be entered into a random drawing to win a $500 Visa Cash Card.

3 Reasons our survey is big news:

We’re obviously excited to be putting this research together, but there are plenty of reasons you (and your network) should care, too. Here are our top three.

1. The manufacturing technology industry needs more regular marketing insight.

The Internet is flooded with generic marketing advice, but much of this received wisdom doesn’t apply to B2B businesses in highly technical fields. Advanced manufacturers face unique strategic challenges, such as:

  • What if my keywords are so niche that my audience doesn’t know what to search for?
  • How can I write a case study without violating my NDA?
  • How do I manage brand confusion between my different products and service lines?

The lack of strategic insight around these challenges leaves many businesses struggling to make effective decisions about their marketing resources. Our survey will discover which challenges are most pressing.

2. As an attitudinal survey, it will reveal mindsets: the “why” behind the “what” and the “how.”

Many surveys focus on basic demographics, the age and job role of respondents, or the size and revenue of their companies. While these are interesting statistics, they are far less compelling than information about an organization’s goals, priorities, and underlying mindset.

We’re not interested in talking about how the age of an industry leader correlates to their company size. But we are interested in hearing what companies of a certain size view as their biggest opportunity.

3. The answers we gather will guide advanced manufacturing companies toward practical marketing strategies.

There’s a difference between information that is actionable versus that which is merely interesting. Our goal is to mine the survey data to deliver thoughtful, practical advice that can help companies of all sizes dig themselves out of messaging holes, connect with strategic partners, recruit talented employees, and position their brands for success. We think that’s worth getting excited about.

Join us in laying bad assumptions to rest.

We’re gathering our final round of partners with the plan to field the survey in early November and begin sharing results by Q1 2024. If you’re interested in working with us to gather a large sample size of high-quality respondents, send me an email, and I will reach out to coordinate details.

We’ve also put together a brochure outlining the purpose and process of this survey in more detail. Download it and share it with anyone who might be interested in participating!

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