The advantages of manufactured stone veneer over natural stone are:
cost (cost of material, cost of application)
weight (ease of application)
variety of designs and colors
Manufactured veneer is cheaper than natural stone, approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of natural stone. Its light weight eliminates the need for wall ties or footings and make it easier and cheaper to build. The variety of designs and colors makes available options which would not be available with natural stone, since natural stone is used in the general area around the locality which it is extracted.