The first quarter of 2020 is almost over. As we prepare to embark on the second quarter, now would be a great time to revisit your industrial marketing strategy, particularly if the first three months of the year haven’t been as fruitful as you otherwise anticipated.
As an industrial business owner, it’s important to stay on top of the current landscape. That means accounting for shifts and trends within your industry. Analyzing and adjusting your industrial marketing strategy at regular intervals is crucial if you want to make the most of opportunities.
What Is Industrial Marketing?
Industrial marketing is also known as B2B or “business to business.” The key difference between industrial marketing and consumer marketing is that you are not trying to appeal to the end consumer. Your focus is on providing your goods or services to other businesses.
Industrial marketing is often more complex than consumer marketing as orders are usually made in large quantities and involve a team of people (the procurement team) rather than a single individual. Industrial marketing is also built on foundations of lasting and trusting relationships – something that doesn’t happen overnight.
Why Do I Need A Strategy?
As technology evolves, so does the way we do business. Older, more traditional methods of marketing have become less effective. If you want to stay ahead of the game, it’s crucial for you to have a current marketing plan to fit modern requirements.
Additionally, your customers needs also change regularly. Consumer trends and downturns can affect what they want to purchase from you. Failing to keep on top of these industry shifts will ensure you fall behind the competition.
If you’re looking to take your business in a certain direction or have specific goals to achieve in 2020, a well-considered industrial marketing strategy will not only help you get there but will also ensure you remain focused throughout the year.
Now we’ve established why you need an industrial marketing strategy, let’s take a look at how you successfully develop one.
How To Develop An Industrial Marketing Strategy
Identify and Target Your Ideal Customer
Not all businesses are alike. Some may be perfect for you to do business with; others not so much. The key is to identify which businesses tick all the boxes. This will mean that you don’t waste time and money targeting the wrong type of business.
You can find out your ideal customer is by building a profile of what they look like. Asking the following questions about your top-rated existing customers to understand which characteristics work best for you.
- Where are they based? Are they local, US-wide, or international?
- How big are they? Are they a large corporation, medium-sized business, or a one or two-man band?
- What goods do they typically buy from you? How large and frequent are the quantities?
- How smooth is the buying process? What technology do they use to make it less complex?
- Do any customer-facing individuals get involved?
- What is the end sale process like?
- How quickly do you get decisions from them?
Now you’ve established what your ideal business looks like, narrow your analysis to the team or individual you deal with. You need to capture their attention and build trust with them so they will buy from you.
- What is their role within the business?
- How far does their authority go?
- What are they responsible for?
- Are they in a position to make purchasing decisions?
- What kinds of issues do they face? For example, do they find it difficult to find quality products? Is there a particular product they cannot source?
- Do they understand or know how to address their issues?
- What kind of questions do they tend to ask about their issues?
- What elements of your business attracts them? Things to consider include your ethos, product quality, and price point.
Now you have a complete picture of what your ideal customer looks like. This forms the foundation of your entire industrial marketing strategy, so it’s crucial that you spend time and effort on this step.
Additionally, your ideal customer’s profile and needs change regularly, so ensure you revisit this step at least yearly.
Build Your Value Proposition
Who are you, and why should your customers buy from you?
The answer to this question is vital because it forms the basis of what you want to tell your customers. By understanding the value you bring to the table, you can weave this into your strategy and develop a strong message or story.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why did you set up business in your chosen industry?
- What did you set out to do differently or change within your chosen industry?
- Who do you help?
- What services or products are you providing to help them?
- What goals do you help businesses achieve?
- Which common pain points do you solve for your customers?
- How are you different or better than your biggest competitors?
Once you have your information, condense it into your “power phrase.” This tells your customers exactly what they need to know:
- One key statement or slogan (we understand you and know what you need)
- Two or three supporting statements or benefits (this is how we provide you what you need)
Other marketing material can be built around these key statements. Remember to remain consistent across all types of marketing material and different media channels.
Choose Your Media Channels Wisely
We are fortunate to live in an age with a plethora of marketing channels. This also comes with its own set of complications, however, as it can be tough to choose which ones are best.
The answer lies with your customers and where they’re most likely to see your message. Your customer profile will be able to narrow this down for you.
Media channels to choose from include:
- Leaflets and mail drops
- Social media – including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
- Email campaigns
It’s tempting but unwise to use all channels. Doing so will stretch your budget thin and will not provide a targeted approach. Instead, choose two or three channels that you feel will reach your customers the most.
In a Digital World, Information is King
Within the next year, digital marketing is set to take over traditional marketing, so it’s vital that you incorporate digital marketing for your industrial company. The ultimate key to successful advertising on digital media is by providing relevant and on-point information to your customers.
Whether this is blog posts, articles, videos, newsletters, or infographics, providing something that your customers need to know, want to know, or solutions to problems they’re facing will establish yourself as the industry expert and enable you to build trust and authority.
Your website is the window to your business, but is it running efficiently for you? Good SEO (search engine optimization) makes your business more visible in search engine results. So will having relevant, useful, and up-to-date content.
If you haven’t updated your website in the past three or four years, now is the time to revamp it. Technology moves on quickly, and a dated website may be off-putting to your customers – no matter how amazing your products or services are.
Don’t Ignore Your Existing Customers
It can be exciting to embark on a new campaign that’s focused on gaining new business, but any industrial marketing campaign worth its salt will also incorporate a strategy for retaining and increasing existing business. Your current customers are the backbone of your business, so you need to discover how to keep them interested and engaged in your business and what you offer.
Analyze and Improve
No marketing campaign is perfect. What did you do this time that could be improved next time?
Use metrics to measure your outcomes and find out what was successful. Scrutinize what didn’t work so well and look at how you can adjust your techniques and execution for next time.
Your industrial marketing strategy should be ever-evolving to meet the changing needs of your customers. Using the data from each campaign will help you understand how to increase your impact and keep your message relevant.
Now you’re up to speed and know how to develop a winning industrial marketing strategy for 2020. It’s time to set the wheels in motion and get to work developing a campaign for what your best year yet! You can also fill out the form to your right if you have any questions or if you would like help setting up a new marketing strategy. 973-317-8765