It’s difficult to give a quick, condensed definition of industrial marketing, without completely downplaying the significance of what it truly is. We like to say that industrial marketing is marketing goods and services to customers. Though, this definition doesn’t provide any justice still.
In fact, we find that the best way to explain what industrial marketing truly is all about is to highlight the most distinctive features of it.
It’s extremely complex
A great analogy for industrial marketing follows; consumer marketing is a candy shop selling candy to a single customer. Industrial marketing is a candy manufacturer selling thousands of pieces of candy to a candy store. Obviously, the latter is much more appealing, but this obviously means that it is a little more complicated.
Industrial marketing requires large orders, long-term relationships which makes the first pitch and sale often more complex. This revolves around the simple fact that businesses are made up of several individuals, which means you have to impress multiple people, with numerous different bits of information.
Longer sales cycle
A result of industrial marketing being more complicated is a longer sales cycle. When you pitch to a business, the whole process revolves around calculated decisions, reviewing, analyzing.
This shouldn’t be seen as a negative, the outcome of industrial marketing, as you probably imagined, is worth any complexity or lengthy process.
The variety of marketing
Industrial marketing can mean that you have a wide range of products. Every single product requires a different marketing strategy, sometimes the difference can be extreme.
To put this into perspective, it is much different to sell, say, a standard motor to a known business, compared to selling capital equipment to various companies.
The strategies that you may use for the motors won’t be successful in selling large custom machines. Ultimately, the variety of marketing can be boundless.
Low market information
Consumer products have a lot of database information available for them, including customer demographics. In comparison, information revolving around industrial market niches are hard to come by. It actually requires a considerable amount of industrial experience to gather useful market information.
That being said, it isn’t impossible; to gather the information you will need to analyze the niche in-depth. Information like the number of employees, line speeds, shifts, sizes, and so on, will all be acquired and you will be able to discover prospective buyers.
Advertising generally doesn’t follow trends
When it comes to industrial marketing, advertising and promotion are a bit different. You see, in the grand scheme of things, it is comparatively simple to develop newspaper adverts, billboards, and videos for impulsive consumers.
“With industrial marketing, because of the lengthy sales cycle, advertisements can’t be focused on trends. Instead, they have to address the product’s benefits and applications directly.” — Jennifer Watts, CMO at The Word Point.
The buyers and their behaviors
As mentioned earlier, industrial marketing is aimed at a team of people, rather than an individual. Thus, the behaviors are varied, follows a specific process and, ultimately, you need to impress multiple people, all of which may have different opinions.
Communication with your potential buyers is crucial; email, phone, and one-to-one conversations help to secure a business relationship. The good news? This relationship will be long-term, rather than a one-time buy relationship. Just like any successful relationship, communication is vital…many manufacturers choose to send samples too.
Bidding is customary
An individual consumer will buy, or they won’t. Bidding isn’t a daily scenario in for the average consumer. On the other hand, industrial marketing rarely doesn’t revolve around quotes and bids.
Quotations and specifications can sometimes be hundreds of pages long, specifying the product and the prices right down to the itty-bitty details. This will ultimately help secure a deal.
The geographical and demographical distribution
The average consumer market research generally doesn’t work for industrial markets, purely because the samples are just too small. Industrial market research almost has to be simultaneously niche and broad.
The most important part of industrial market research is to acquire information on market shares and market sizes. These can be found using qualitative techniques, unstructured interviewing techniques, and field research.
Suffice to say, industrial marketing is hard work but has high rewards. Once you secure a client/customer, it’s a long-term, secure relationship. There’s a tiny bit of a knowledge gap when it comes to industrial marketing, which makes the process more challenging, but completely worth it.
The fact is, manufacturers of industrial products need to find new customers in order to grow. The best way to develop this growth is to use industrial marketing techniques.
Erica Sunarjo graduated from South Texas College majoring in Marketing and Creative Writing. She used her knowledge to make a difference in the realm of business copywriting and invested heavily in traveling and language learning. At present, Erica is fluent in French and Spanish, studying Chinese and working her way to being a multilingual copywriter. She keeps track of the latest trends in IT and technologies, blogs about efficient strategies in education and business coaching, holds educational webinars.