Marketing has been experiencing a shift in recent years. Previously, there were two major forms of marketing: business-to-consumer marketing (B2C) and business-to-business marketing (B2B), but now industrial marketing is being introduced. So how is industrial marketing different? What goes into industrial marketing, and what are the benefits of it?
Industrial marketing focuses on materials, products, and components used to manufacture end products such as machinery, buildings, and vehicles. This is different from B2C marketing which focuses on things like entertainment and clothing for consumers, or B2B marketing which focuses on reaching business with products like office supplies and accounting services. Industrial marketing is similar to B2B, they both involve marketing to businesses, but industrial marketing involves factors like marketing complex products, expert buyers, and niche marketing strategies.
Complex products can be a range of different things. Products can include things like off-the-shelf bearings, to complex heavy machinery. These machines are also made up of millions of components which are each manufactured by a supplier who is carefully selecting them based on their fit, features, and performance. Selling these products can be difficult, and marketing them requires a high level of technical knowledge. There needs to be an understanding of who is buying these products and how they are finding out about them. Industrial marketers are also often selling their products into multiple industries so there is the added layer of trying to market to many different categories of businesses.
Another factor of industrial marketing are the expert industrial buyers. These buyers are uniquely knowledgeable and analyze the products they are researching very closely. Engineers and procurement departments evaluate industrial products based on measurable specs. Data, lead time, and return on investment. Industrial marketing strategies ensure that all of these categories are touched upon so that buyers have access to the information they are searching for. It is important to market online as well since 62% of engineers complete at least half of their buying process online.
Niche marketing is another factor of industrial marketing that is very important. B2B and B2C marketing often rely on statistical marketing research methods. These methods don’t always find the right data because they are looking for very specific patterns that are not always present with expert industrial buyers. Buyers can also be researching and looking for the right products for weeks, months, or even years, so patterns can be hard to pinpoint. Seeing this, it is important to choose a very specific audience so that products are resonating with at least one group.
So now we know what industrial marketing is, but what are the benefits? Well first off, industrial marketing strategies improve overall customer experience. By marketing to a niche group, businesses can be sure that the customers they are selling to are receiving the goods and services that they are expecting. Industrial marketing also reduces the burden on technical resources and saves engineers design time. Effective industrial marketing also communicates accurate part specifications which generates high quality leads and increases sales. All of these different factors all contribute to the overall increase in productivity, lessened stress on engineers who are trying to create new designs constantly, and overall satisfaction for both businesses producing products and the businesses who are buying these products.
On the opposite end, there are some challenges of industrial marketing. There is a lack of transparency from manufacturing companies. Theft of intellectual property is a fear of manufacturers, and so many are afraid to share the data that engineers are looking for because they don’t want other people stealing their designs. Industrial marketers also have to find ways to influence engineers who specs parts into their diesings as well as the purchasing teams who are in charge of purchasing their parts. Industrial marketers need to be ready to deal with changes in location and delivery of goods, order cost and scales, as well as length of sales cycles, because all of these factors can change the way they market.
Industrial marketing can be intimidating. There are lots of moving parts that go into marketing such niche products to such experienced buyers, but with the right strategies it can be done. Industrial marketing strategies can be very beneficial for businesses who are trying to get engineers to use their parts and components and are much more effective than the common B2B or B2C strategies that are often used. Learn more about what industrial marketing is and how to implement it into your business in the infographic below: