Best Industrial Marketing Strategies for Your Business
Every company needs to have marketing strategies in place to promote their business online and offline to get more visibility, increase traffic, and grow their customer base. Without marketing, businesses will often go unnoticed by their target markets.
However, there are vast differences between marketing to customers and marketing to another business, and beyond that, there are even more significant differences depending on the type of business you are and who you’re selling to.
First, we’re talking about the difference between B2C and B2B marketing. For instance, a flower shop selling flowers to customers is different from a wholesale flower supplier selling flowers to a florist. Selling to a customer is, in some ways, easier than selling to another business. And second, we’re talking about small business to business marketing vs. B2B industrial marketing.
What is Industrial Marketing?
It’s simply a word to describe your marketing efforts as a business in the industrial sector. Industrial marketing focuses on providing industrial products and services to other companies, vs. selling products and services directly to customers.
From the beginning, the process is more complex because industrial marketing usually deals with large order volumes and the development of long-term relationships between the two businesses, which isn't typically the case with B2B sales and marketing. B2C marketing and sales often focus on one-on-one interactions between the seller and the customer, while B2B efforts involve many stakeholders.
Factors Involved in Industrial Marketing
Some of the factors a business considers before buying from another business include the quality of manufacture, cost, purchase process, and shipping times/pricing of a large volume of products. When selling to a customer, the business uses salesmanship and knowledge about his target audience, but selling to another business or store takes a lot more work than just attractive packaging.
For example, the manufacturer has to strategically market the cost, quality, and appeal of its products and convince the store that its products are worth buying. Industrial marketing strategies focus on achieving this.
Additionally, a business might be selling to customers for years, but when it plans to sell to other stores, it needs to amp up its marketing strategies. What works for customers, will not work for another business. Therefore, proper industrial marketing strategies are required.
Marketing Strategies to Put in Place
Let’s take a look at the best industrial marketing strategies to help one business successfully sell to another.
Every marketing strategy, be it B2B or B2C, starts with identifying the target audience. While in B2C marketing, the pain points and desires of the individual customer is the guiding light, in industrial marketing, the challenges faced by another company is what should help shape your strategy.
Some of the important questions to ask are:
- What is the ideal company you want to attract?
- What separates them from others?
- Which industry do they operate in?
- How many employees do they have?
- What is their annual revenue?
- Do they operate in a specific geographic region, or do they operate nationally or globally?
- What are the things they can buy from you?
- Which person from that company interacts with your company during the buying process? (Managers? Engineers? Designers? Director? CEO?)
- What challenges would lead them to you?
- What information do they seek during the buying process? What questions do they need to be answered?
- What can you offer that your competition can't?
Creating a buyer persona is an important exercise when targeting customers. The same process can be applied in industrial marketing also. Instead of an individual customer profile, you have to create a target company profile. It is necessary that the whole sales and marketing team gets together when doing this. Unless everyone in the team is on the same page, it isn't possible to achieve a successful industrial marketing strategy.
Website Design & Development
Everything is virtual these days. Even before people ask where you are located, they want to know where they can find you online. Your website is that critical link between you and your buyer. Only when you understand who your ideal buyer is and how you can attract them, can you create a website that helps you achieve your goals.
Websites are also changing form, as they can’t just sit there as a static brochure site anymore. Today’s websites need to perform various important functions to help bring the right buyers to you. Your website is the online face of your company, and the destination for your prospects to learn more about you. It is also where you can convert those prospects into leads.
To make your website successful, it must be:
- Created on a flexible CMS such as Magneto or WordPress which allows your website to grow along with your business
- Responsive and mobile-friendly, making it easy for visitors to check out your content on any device, from PCs to smartphones to iPads
- Optimized for search, for prospects to find you easily
- Full of useful, informative content to inform and target the pain points and challenges of your buyers
- Equipped with calls to action on every page, to help the visitor contact you easily
- Appealing to all types of visitors, whether they’re already a customer or planning to buy
- Directly linked to a CRM or marketing automation platform so your team can collect leads easily and take prompt action as business opportunities arise
With a website in place, manufacturers must develop a strategy to attract more visitors. Some of the traditional ways to get more traffic are attending trade shows, sending direct mail to targeted lists, print advertisements, paid banner ads on targeted websites, running a PPC campaign, email newsletters, and cold calling.
However, while these traditional methods do yield results when done right, you can also attract more visitors to your site at little to no cost using methods such as search engine optimization, content marketing, guest blogging, and social media marketing. These methods help manufacturers get measurable results with attracting buyers. Usually, using a combination of both paid and organic methods yield the best results.
A SWOT analysis basically involves analyzing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the marketplace. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:
- Strengths = What you do better than your competitors (better price, better customer service, etc.)
- Weaknesses = What others do better than you or things you need to improve in
- Opportunities = The sudden demand for a product that you make, or a competitor going out of business
- Threats = Things like the rise in raw material prices, etc.
Performing an analysis of your situation helps you recognize your position in the market exactly where you stand and how you fare when pitted against your competitors. This also helps you come onto the field totally prepared so that no new surprises crop up along the way. A SWOT analysis should always be part of an industrial marketing strategy.
Have an Action Plan
It isn't enough to have strategies on paper; you also should be able to execute them in the proper manner. This is why an action plan is required if you want your industrial marketing strategy to be successful. Be sure you put a team in place to ensure that the right strategies are implemented at the right time. And, don’t neglect to track your efforts as you go, so you can periodically make improvements as needed.
Determine the Budget
Achieving significant success with your industrial marketing strategy requires a monetary investment. Any marketing effort requires money. If you don't have enough budget, you may not be able to reach businesses on a large scale. The more robust your plan, the more money you need.
Therefore, determining your budget comes even before you start executing your plan. If you don’t have a budget in place, your marketing costs will keep expanding without limit. To prevent this from happening, get your team together and figure out how much money you are going to require at each stage of the marketing campaign.
Winning at Industrial Marketing
Industrial marketing is quite like marketing to customers, but instead focusing on another business. Whether you’re a candy manufacturer supplying to a candy store, or a wholesale clothing company selling to retail stores, without B2B marketing, it is difficult to expand and grow or make profits.
If you’re new at B2B marketing, it can initially be a little hard to figure out the right strategy. However, armed with the above tips, it shouldn’t be long before your marketing strategies get rolling and bringing in results. You aren’t alone in this journey, of course. If you need strategic industrial marketing services that yield results, get in touch with the team at Smile MEDIA today.