You wouldn’t buy an industry-specific component from a general store. In the same way, industrial marketing requires a specialized team who understands the complexity, unique positioning and alternative sales channels required to compete in a highly specialized industry. Learn how Momentum can help you engineer a successful marketing campaign and create a successful industrial marketing strategy.
What Is Industrial Marketing?
Many marketing departments and how-to guides incorrectly compare industrial marketing to all business-to-business marketing. While most industrial companies focus on B2B sales, industrial marketing is unique in a few key areas.
When searching for a marketing firm for your industrial company, be sure you find a firm that understands these important differences. In general, when working with industrial products and services, your marketing needs to include:
- Industry-specific language
- Lead generation with lasting partnerships in mind
- Corporate-level business-to-business communication
A generic marketing company may only skim the surface of your marketing needs. Because you’re working with a highly specialized product and a relatively small customer base, there are a few areas where general marketing won’t cut it.
For example, a popular lead generation data collection method for marketing is website views. This means that a typical marketing firm will announce that a 25% growth in views should translate into greater sales. However, this may not always be the case with industrial marketing.
Your smaller customer base and slower transaction cycles require a customized marketing strategy and specialized set of data collection tools.
Benefits of Specialized Industrial Marketing Strategy
Your industrial marketing strategy is about far more than putting your name on a billboard or designing a basic website. When you market to your intended audience, you’re seeking a long-term relationship with another corporation. This means that your marketing needs to understand the complex relationships, communication channels and essential information being passed on.
Specialized industrial marketing gives you access to a team that understands your needs. You’re not looking to attract a wide audience of consumers. Instead, you need marketing that is engineered to communicate essential product information.
If your marketing team has difficulty understanding the types of products or services you provide, they won’t have the resources necessary to effectively reach your intended audience. You need a team that doesn’t just understand marketing but has intimate knowledge and previous experience working with companies and customers in your industry.
A heat treatment company that uses quenching, case hardening and carburizing requires a marketing team capable of clearly communicating the differences, effects and intended market for these services.
If you’re considering partnering with a dedicated industrial marketing team, here are five of the key factors that should be included in any marketing strategy for optimal performance.
Refine Positioning With Your Audience in Mind
Marketing your industrial products and services all comes down to positioning. Whether you’re selling customized presses for manufacturing lines or providing heat treatment for aerospace components, your marketing should position your company as the most competitive provider for your highly specific customer base.
This isn’t a market for generalists. Even if your industrial manufacturing components and techniques are applicable to a wide range of industries, you still need to target a highly focused customer base. Craft a base that is representative of your current market, as well as your ideal area of growth.
Once you and your marketing team have hammered out a representative customer base, nail down every detail about them. From geographic locations to purchasing habits, you need to understand your customers clearly before you can position yourself as the premier provider of the necessary parts and services they require.
Your audience may not change, but the buying procedure may. As rules, regulations and industry standards change, your customers may shift their interests in certain areas when making purchases.
Part of repositioning in industrial marketing is highlighting the relevant certifications and procedures that may come and go as the industry shifts. Even if you don’t change your customer base, there are still many ways that repositioning could improve your company’s marketing strategy.
Generate Quality Leads
Now that you understand who your customers are and how you’ll position your company, it’s time for your industrial marketing to get to work. Successful marketing forges new partnerships with customers. Your company isn’t interested in one-time purchases or trial runs. Instead, connect with corporations that are expanding their services and in need of a long-term partnership to supply their growing demand.
The nuts and bolts of lead generation can vary dramatically, depending on your positioning. Trade shows, direct marketing, dynamic web design, Google Ads campaigns and even cold calling can all be used to generate leads and create sales opportunities.
Of course, these are all highly specific to your company. Depending on your company, you may have as little as 20 potential customers throughout the US. This laser-focus requires an equally focused marketing strategy. Generating leads could be a year-long proposition, so you need a team that is prepared for the long haul.
Increase Sales Channels
Industrial and manufacturing companies are understandably slow to make a deal. Lengthy contracts and highly specialized components require far greater levels of research than many other industries. Because of this, industrial marketing typically sees a far greater divide between leads and sales than other companies.
Don’t spend all your resources on lead generation only to turn up a long list of unmotivated buyers and figurative window shoppers. Industrial marketing can use inbound lead generation successfully, but it needs the right tools for the job.
One tool that is successful for many industrial companies is an eCommerce/catalogue website. Creating a website that offers highly specific details, figures and sales information can help quickly weed out the unmotivated buyers.
This frees up your sales reps to talk with only the most motivated buyers and partners. Whether you’re interested in bulk sales of products or a single contract that guarantees months of dedicated work, your sales strategy needs to be highly specific to your needs.
Creating the Strategy
No matter who you’re targeting or what channels you’re marketing your products/services on, the best way to create an effective marketing strategy is to spend a lot of time planning and research.
Before you create your industrial marketing strategy, you must first ask yourself: what are my goals? Most likely, your goal is to sell more products and services, but who will be purchasing your products and services? What does your ideal customer look like?
Once you know this, you can create buyer personas. A buyer persona is an in-depth description that outlines a specific prospect who is likely to purchase your products or services. You can have as many buyer personas as you need. These buyer personas will help you understand what type of content you need to create.
After you create your buyer personas, you’ll also need to define your marketing objectives and goals, otherwise you won’t be able to measure your campaign’s success. Then, you’ll need to develop a budget for the entire strategy.
When you’ve created your buyer personas, budget, and list of objectives/goals, you’re ready to start your strategy. Your strategy should include how you’ll reach customers (social media platforms, email newsletters, phone calls, trade shows, etc.,), what types of marketing materials you’ll need, and clear steps on how to analyze the progress of your industrial marketing strategy.
If you plan on using more than one type of channel (e.g. email, social media, SEO, etc.), your marketing strategy will need to outline the specific types of communication that will take place on each channel, which buyer persona is on which channel, etc.
Measure, Adjust and Improve Your Lead Generation
HubSpot, a leader in marketing software, conducted a study that found 40% of sales require at least 5 follow-ups. There are two takeaways from this research. First, lead generation is often a long-term strategy of attrition, rather than a quick fix. Second, most lead generation strategies have significant room for improvement.
Perfect industrial marketing positioning is always a moving target. As industrial marketing channels change, customers come and go and new research emerges, your marketing team should be constantly working to refine, revise and relaunch your marketing strategy.
From heavily-researched lead generation to continued refinement, your industrial marketing team should be always working to report the effectiveness of your lead generation, troubleshoot any low periods or issues that may be turning away customers and refining the entire process to experience a steady upward trend.
Because of the nature of industrial sales and marketing, you may not experience an immediate sales upswing as you launch a new marketing campaign. However, a specialized industrial marketing team uses the latest research and analytics to keep track of every movement on your website, sale and other vital statistics to record the effectiveness of a marketing strategy.
Create a Winning Website Design
In the end, the face of most companies is their website. Whether your website is the first point of contact with a potential customer or not, nearly all of your customers will inevitably visit your site.
A dynamic website can provide a number of advantages to your company. Here are just a few reasons that you need to invest in a quality website:
- Increased lead generation
- Improved positioning
- Increased professionalism and industry clout
- Ease of navigation
- Streamlined ordering and contact channels
Web design changes constantly. Don’t work with a team that isn’t willing to continue to revisit your web design and use the latest technology to constantly update, improve and reposition your marketing strategy through web design.
An outdated website can reflect an outdated company. If your business prides itself on providing state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment or repairs, you need a website that puts you at the forefront of popular web design. Improve the navigation, communication, aesthetics and SEO of your online presence with an experienced industrial marketing team.
Once your website is up-to-date, consider how a blog or other online tools can help you promote your expertise and aid in lead generation. Organic marketing can be incredibly effective in industrial marketing. Because the field is narrow and highly specialized, your articles may contain insights that are few and far between online. This makes it easy for you to quickly improve your industrial SEO and increase visibility for your website.
Want to learn more about lead generation in 2019? Visit What Is Lead Generation in 2019 for a guide on lead generation.
Start a Campaign Today
Just like your products and services, your marketing should be a partnership, not a one-time purchase. Start a conversation with the team at Momentum today to learn how you can continue to develop a reputation as an industry leader, promote your products through researched lead generation and enable streamlined sales.
Contact us online or call our sales team at 586.265.2562. We understand industrial marketing and have a proven track record of promoting long-term growth and sustained partnerships through the latest marketing innovations.