Industrial marketing challenges & how to overcome them

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Here are some of the main issues that make marketing an industrial brand more of a challenge, and some ways they can be overcome:

Content Marketing for Complex Products

If you are marketing an industrial product, it’s often going to be more intricate than a consumer product, and therefore, requires significant technical knowledge to sell, such as a switch or pump used in the nuclear sector for example.  Whether it’s off-the-shelf parts or tailor-made machinery, technical products are complex, with strict build standards and compliance regulations.  The more custom the product, the more bespoke the marketing strategy needs to be.

One good way to drive sales for industrial brands is through a solid content marketing campaign, but be realistic.  Going from publishing content to landing a sale is not usually a linear path, and anyone working as a manufacturer of custom-engineered products will know this.  It is nearly impossible to generate leads in the absence of multiple conversations with one (or more) key decision makers – so simply publishing a few blog posts and sending out some emails will not cut it.

That said, many industrial companies understand full well that their pool of prospective suppliers is limited, and as such, they are not in the habit of waiting for you to find them but would rather reach out to you proactively.

When they do decide to start making contact, if they have been reading press releasesblogs and social media posts that answer their unique questions and address their specific needs, they will be far more likely to prioritise you as their dealer of choice.

Inspiring Buyer Confidence Through a Website

Consumer marketing concentrates on powerful sellers and passive, trusting buyers that are easily influenced into making a purchase.  In stark contrast, industrial markets consist of highly-informed buyers (and teams of buyers) who will scrutinise products and purchases in minutest of detail – often sizing it up for overall return on investment.

One way to plant the seed of trust in your buyers is through your website.  While most content on the websites of industrial brands focuses heavily on product specifications and technical accuracy, it’s important also to ensure that buyers know the financial benefits of choosing your product over another according to the application.

The types of content most valued by industrial buyers are case studies (where you have ample opportunity to demonstrate, in great detail, the ROI your products offer) as well as white papers and videos.  So integrating these into your on-site content strategy is key.

Put Your Request for Proposal Forms Online

Industrial products are generally sold following a request for a quote (RFQ), which can be a long and elaborate process; including extensive specifications and all the details of a solution, right down to cable length and fastener types.

One way to encourage potential buyers to include your company in the RFQ process, is to make it easier for them to request a quote.  Consider adding a dedicated RFQ form on your website that includes fields for key data on the project in question, such as; description, application, technical requirements, quantity and more.  Not only will this make the process easier from the buyer’s perspective, but also, it will help to ensure that the proposal is accurate.

Digital Marketing for an Industrial Brand

Common Marketing Challenges Industrial Brands Face 1

Many industrial brands struggle to appreciate the true value of a strategic digital marketing campaign including SEO and email marketing.  Sometimes, they have implemented some activities but are unsure how to quantify their efforts, not really sure what they can attribute to marketing.

However, in today’s world, not having a robust online presence is unthinkable.  Industrial buyers are often in a self-serve / self-select mode thanks to modern developments in technology, so reaching them can be a real challenge unless you are ranking #1 on Google.

Before talking to your sales people, buyers may want to read your information online and decide then if they will initiate contact.  Relationships are still crucial to sales, but how they are initiated, fostered and built has changed over the years dramatically.

Read any article on getting sales and all will agree, trust is essential.  This is exactly what a solid digital marketing campaign will do for an industrial brand.  Content that establishes you as a thought-leader in the industry and differentiates you from other manufacturers or engineering companies, leaves your rivals struggling to compete.  They can copy you and outspend you here and there, but they cannot duplicate your expertise – so use it to your advantage.  Fresh, new content will also help elevate your brand in the search rankings for targeted keywords, which is a key part of an SEO strategy.

In general, industrial brands are navigating uncertain waters, thanks to things like outsourcing and the importation of products from overseas.  In order to compete in the current climate, there is a need for industrial brands to diversify and find new customers.

One of the best ways to do that… is marketing.