Skip to main content ↓

Did you know that over 75,000 new manufacturing jobs are expected to be created in 2024? That’s just one of the changes coming for manufacturers this year — and there are plenty of others, too.

Some of those changes happen across the whole industry, while others are more specific. But all of these 2024 manufacturing industry trends are worth learning about. If you fail to keep up with them, you could fall behind in your industry.

To help you stay competitive, we compiled a list of the most significant manufacturing trends for this year. 

Keep reading to learn more about each of these trends. Then, for help optimizing your manufacturing marketing strategies, get in touch with WebFX! We offer a full suite of digital marketing services that can help you drive more traffic to your website, outshine your competitors, fuel business growth, and much more!

WebFX helps companies like yours reach their business goals

“Our marketing department has a lot of key performance indicators that WebFX has always helped us achieve… WebFX has always worked hard to make sure that we’re getting what we need out of the partnership, not just what may seem like the best result.”

HydroWorx

See Case Study

7 manufacturing industry trends

Let’s start off by looking at some trends we’re currently seeing in the manufacturing industry as a whole. The seven biggest manufacturing trends of 2024 are: 

  1. Sustainability and decarbonization
  2. Talent attraction and retention
  3. Customization
  4. Supply chain issues
  5. Smart factories
  6. Digital twins
  7. AI and machine learning

Read on to learn more about each one.

1. Sustainability and decarbonization

Over the past few years, the public has become more and more active in holding companies to a high standard in terms of sustainability. Calls have increased for businesses, including manufacturers, to be responsible with their business practices.

For manufacturers, specifically, there’s a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions and using more sustainable practices. And in response to this, many manufacturers are placing a greater emphasis on these efforts in 2024. In fact, 88% of companies have made sustainability a priority.

Expert insights from webfx logo

A smiling young man wearing a dark polo shirt with a BYU logo on the right chest.
Logan Torrey Internet Marketing Consultant at WebFX

[Manufacturing clients in 2024] are all trying to highlight how they are sustainable.

Not only does this help improve these companies’ public image and draw in more customers, but it also attracts more employees — which is important because of the next trend on this list.

2. Talent attraction and retention

Another recent manufacturing trend on our list actually stems from a problem the manufacturing industry has been experiencing — namely, a struggle to attract talent. Resignations have gone up significantly in the past few years, particularly among younger generations.

In fact, the manufacturing turnover rate is currently 28.6% — significantly higher than the national average of 3.6%!

For that reason, many manufacturing companies have astutely identified talent acquisition as a top priority in 2024, continuing from the past year. These companies are working hard to offer competitive salaries, benefits, and working conditions to ensure that their factories are attractive to prospective workers.

Acquiring good employees is imperative to the success of any business, so it makes sense that this is one of the most important trends to follow this year.

3. Customization

For a long time, manufacturers were more or less limited to mass production. They had certain machines that made certain parts, and they couldn’t afford to create a whole machine just to manufacture a custom part for a single buyer.

Today, though, that’s not the case. New manufacturing advances — especially 3D printing — enable manufacturers to create plenty of customized products. That expands the range of products they can sell, as well as the range of buyers they can sell to.

Because these advancements are still somewhat recent, this is one of the biggest trends for manufacturing in 2024.

4. Supply chain issues

An unfortunate trend for the manufacturing industry in 2024 is supply chain issues. These issues stem from several different sources, but at the end of the day, what’s important to know is that many manufacturing companies are facing material shortages.

This has led to problems with lead times, as manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demands and deliver products on time.

Expert insights from webfx logo

A smiling young man wearing a dark polo shirt with a BYU logo on the right chest.
Logan Torrey Internet Marketing Consultant at WebFX

Almost across the board, manufacturing clients are having issues with lead times due to supply chain issues.

One way that many companies are addressing this is by reshoring — that is, bringing operations closer to home. But many manufacturers already operate from their local region to begin with. For those businesses, one of the best options available is simply waiting it out.

5. Smart factories

Next on our list of manufacturing industry trends is smart factories. What are smart factories? Basically, they’re factories that rely heavily on automation and interconnected “smart” devices — something often referred to as the “Internet of Things (IoT).”

As of now, the smart factory market size is expected to reach $322 billion by 2032. These automation tools are very helpful for dealing with some of the negative trends on this list, helping make up for the lack of talent and streamlining the sales process to account for slow lead times.

Smart factories are also popular because of the way they can quickly gather and analyze data about the manufacturing process.

6. Digital twins

Another of the most important trends for manufacturing — continuing from the past year — is digital twins.

When you manufacture products, it’s essential to test them out and ensure that they work properly. That’s especially true if you manufacture parts for heavy machinery, in which case the integrity of the parts is vital to keeping the machine running. But it can cost money to test out prototype after prototype.

You can alleviate that problem by using digital twins. A digital twin is where you scan a physical product and recreate it perfectly in simulation software. The digital replica has the exact same properties as the physical product, and the simulator lets you test it out in all kinds of ways without you having to do so in real life.

That saves you money on having to continually build physical prototypes and run machinery to facilitate the tests.

7. AI and machine learning

Last on our list of manufacturing trends is artificial intelligence (AI). This trend isn’t unique to manufacturing by any means. You’ve probably heard how tools like ChatGPT have been making waves ever since they began to release in late 2022.

To some extent, AI fits in with the earlier trend of smart factories. But machine learning doesn’t just help with running your factories. It can also assist with tasks like:

  • Equipment failure predictions
  • Predictive sales analysis
  • Customer support
  • And more!

Of course, if you want to use AI in your own strategy, you should be careful — it’s still a rapidly developing field of technology. But if you tread with caution, you can harness the power of AI to streamline your business processes.

7 manufacturing marketing trends

Now that we’ve looked at some of the general trends in your industry, let’s take a look at marketing, specifically. Marketing is hugely important for you to keep up with because it’s the driving force behind your sales and revenue. That means you need to keep up with the latest marketing trends in your industry.

As of 2024, the seven biggest marketing trends for manufacturers are:

  1. Generative AI for explaining complex manufacturing topics
  2. Targeted advertising for reaching an extremely specific audience
  3. Multiple touchpoints for reaching key decision-makers
  4. SEO for teaching your audience about manufacturing
  5. Personalization and ABM for more specific and compelling campaigns
  6. Email marketing for tailored manufacturing content
  7. Video marketing for behind-the-scenes looks

Read on to learn more about each of these trends.

1. Generative AI for explaining complex manufacturing topics

Wait, didn’t we just include AI on the list of general trends? Yes, but there’s more than one type of AI, and each type can do multiple things. So, certain types of AI are ideal for helping you run smart factories or predict equipment failure. But then there’s generative AI, which is ideal for marketing.

Generative AI refers to tools like ChatGPT that respond to human-given prompts by creating text or images. This can be useful for helping you create marketing materials like website images and blog posts.

For manufacturers, the best way to use generative AI for marketing is to help you generate content about niche or complex aspects of manufacturing. Writers may not understand some of the most complicated manufacturing topics. Manufacturers will understand them, but they may not know how to explain them to a lay audience. AI can help bridge the gap.

Having said that, you should only use generative AI as an assistant. If you try to let it create all your content for you, you’ll end up with very subpar content that doesn’t drive the conversions you want — and may even contain inaccurate information that will cause you to lose the trust of your clients.

2. Targeted advertising for reaching an extremely specific audience

Targeted advertising isn’t anything new, but it’s still a big trend as we delve into 2024. By directing your paid ads to the right audience, you can significantly increase your chances of converting people into clients.

Here’s the thing about manufacturing. More than almost any other industry, manufacturers produce and sell hyper-specific products, because their factory equipment is designed to build those precise items. In many cases, only a select few types of industries and companies will buy those products. That means it is essential for manufacturers to target their advertising to those select industries.

Which industries are those, exactly? That entirely depends on your company and what you manufacture. It could be anyone from aircraft companies to retailers. Whoever it is, you probably have a good idea already, but you can always take a look at your existing clients to help clarify it.

By targeting your ads toward decision-makers at those types of companies, you can pull in a lot more leads and ultimately convert more clients.

By the way, Google is phasing out third-party cookies, so one of the best ways to reach your target audience is to use first-party cookies — that is, cookies that only function on the sites people actually visit. You can also use contextual targeting, which is where you simply place ads on manufacturing-related sites that you think your audience might visit.

3. Multiple touchpoints for reaching key decision-makers

As a manufacturing company, you most likely sell to other businesses, not to consumers. That means that in most cases, you don’t have the luxury of marketing solely to a single person. You might begin by targeting one decision-maker, but ultimately, you’ll have to sell yourself to multiple people at each company.

This is something that manufacturers are becoming more aware of as they move into 2024. Without making an effort to reach multiple decision-makers across multiple channels, you won’t get very far. So, what does this mean for your company?

Essentially, you need to use multiple avenues to put yourself in front of your audience so you have a higher chance of reaching the senior leadership at your target companies. Take advantage of multiple marketing channels and run multiple campaigns.

And once you successfully connect with a prospect, be sure to end each interaction by setting up the next touchpoint so you don’t ever lose that connection that you worked so hard to establish. If you have a meeting with someone, don’t leave the meeting without establishing when and how you’ll next be in touch.

4. SEO for teaching your audience about manufacturing

Okay, this one is sort of cheating — search engine optimization (SEO) is never not a marketing trend. It’s unquestionably one of the most important marketing strategies out there, so it continues to be popular with manufacturers year after year. But that’s exactly why we’re including it on this list.

The basic idea of SEO is to create content that ranks high in relevant Google search results. That way, when people search for terms related to your industry, many of them will discover your website.

The fact of the matter is, manufacturing is complicated! Even if you don’t think so, it can seem like an enigma to your prospects. How do these products get made, exactly? What goes into that process? They’re hungry for that information, which you can use to draw them to your website.

That’s why one of the best manufacturing SEO tactics is to create content that provides useful information about your products or services. Talk about what you manufacture, how you manufacture it, and what it can be used for.

You should also be sure to follow other SEO best practices such as making your site mobile-friendly and optimizing your page load speeds.

5. Personalization and ABM for more specific and compelling campaigns

Personalization is one of the biggest and most important trends on this list. More and more commonly, people are seeking out marketing materials that cater specifically to them. That could mean something as simple as using their name in an email, but it could also mean addressing specific concerns they have.

This strategy especially makes sense for manufacturing companies. After all, many manufacturers already make highly personalized parts and products for the companies they sell to. For that reason, you should include that same personalization in your marketing efforts.

So, how can manufacturing companies address this? One way is to create different campaigns for different groups, and then segment your audience into those groups so that each one receives a specific marketing message instead of a generalized one.

You might also consider using account-based marketing (ABM), which is where you target specific companies with your marketing. That allows you to personalize your campaigns to each company’s exact needs. However, ABM isn’t right for every manufacturer.

6. Email marketing for tailored manufacturing content

Like SEO, email marketing has been a major marketing strategy for a long time, but manufacturers are really leaning into it in 2024. Why? Because despite having been around for decades, email is an incredibly effective way to reach your audience.

For one thing, it’s super easy to personalize email campaigns by sending out different emails to different groups. We’ve already covered what makes personalization so great. Email marketing is especially great for this if you’re using ABM, because you can just send emails directly to the specific businesses you’re targeting.

For best results, be sure to segment your email audience. Going back to personalization, you should try to send out tailored content that’s uniquely suited to different groups based on, for example, which types of manufactured products they express interest in.

Also, try sending out emails at different times of day to figure out which time yields the best results.

7. Video marketing for behind-the-scenes looks

Finally, we have video marketing. If you haven’t taken advantage of the power of video in your marketing efforts, you’re already behind the curve.

You can create videos to show off your team, your manufacturing process, and your products. These “behind-the-scenes” looks are some of the best ways to draw in prospective clients. For the businesses that partner with you, these videos will answer a lot of the questions they have about what they can expect from the partnership.

Other manufacturing video ideas include:

  • A how-to video on cleaning your parts or equipment
  • An explainer video on the different terms of your industry
  • A company culture video that provides a peek at your company
  • An event video that shares your recent attendance at an industry event

You can put videos on your website, on a YouTube channel for your company, and across your marketing channels like emails and social media.

WebFX helps companies like yours reach their business goals

“Our marketing department has a lot of key performance indicators that WebFX has always helped us achieve… WebFX has always worked hard to make sure that we’re getting what we need out of the partnership, not just what may seem like the best result.”

HydroWorx

See Case Study

Get help optimizing your manufacturing marketing campaigns with WebFX

As you work to implement the 2024 manufacturing industry trends listed above, you may be interested in learning more about how you can improve your business practices, particularly your marketing. If so, you’re already in the perfect place.

WebFX knows manufacturing, and we know marketing even better. And if you want to harness that marketing expertise, you can partner with us for our manufacturing digital marketing services.

Our manufacturing marketing agency can help you funnel your marketing budget toward the strategies that will drive the highest possible return on investment (ROI) for your business. We’ve helped clients drive over $6 billion in revenue in just the past few years alone!

Just call 888-601-5359 or contact us online to get started today!

Explore our industrial case studies

Read our case studies for a more in-depth look at our results.

Sharretts Plating

60%

Increase in quote requests

York Saw & Knife

626%

Increase in Amazon sales YoY

Polymer Solutions International

126%

Increase in quote requests YoY

Your
Business

IS NEXT

Get a free proposal
today!

Solving key challenges for industrial companies

Our website isn’t driving enough traffic

When prospects look for industrial products online, your website needs to be one of the first results they see so you can maximize your web traffic. Make that goal a reality with WebFX.

Message being sent icon.

We’re not selling enough products

Reach your sales goals with custom digital marketing plans designed to optimize your website and campaigns to maximize your conversions and product sales.

Marketing icon with flame.

We’re struggling to retain customers

Our team specializes in helping your industrial company implement strategies that build long-term relationships with clients and foster brand loyalty so you can keep your clients coming back again and again.

Branch icon of a storefront.

Our marketing efforts aren’t providing a high return

Leverage the power of data to make smarter marketing decisions that drive a higher ROI for your company instead of relying on gut feelings with our data-driven marketing plans.

Target icon with archery arrow hitting target.
TO TOP