An interview on The Industrial Marketer podcast
In a discussion that touched on a range of manufacturing marketing subtopics, we unpacked in detail – “How industrial buyers have changed and what to do about it”.
You can listen to it below or find it here on Apple Podcasts.
Here are some key takeaways:
- So many manufacturers have been doing sales and marketing the same way for years (trade shows, knocking on doors, print ads, relying on referrals, etc). But in a time when the industrial buying process is quickly moving online, for many, these strategies are no longer getting the job done.
- Manufacturers who sell through dealers or distributors need a two-pronged marketing approach. The first targets the distribution network who often needs to be educated and armed with tools to sell. The second targets the end users to make them advocates for your solution (even though they’re buying though dealers/distributors).
- Your content strategy should stem from the issues that matter most to your best customers and prospects. This means pain points, goals, common questions and buying triggers (both inside the company like new product lines or equipment reaching end of life, and outside the company like seasonality or EPA regulations on the horizon).
- Marketing needs to be viewed as an investment in driving business – not just a necessary expense. And CEO buy-in is critical to changing this mindset. Once this happens, marketing-sales alignment becomes much more achievable.
- Since COVID-19 hit, there’s been an expedited sense of urgency in the industrial sector to move business development online. Manufacturers tend to rely heavily on trade shows and face-to-face interactions with customers and prospects. And at least for the time being, that’s been out the door. But this has presented opportunities to evolve. (See our recorded webinar “Prospecting in the absence of trade shows and travel” and our article “While the world’s upside down: 7 things sales and marketing can do”).
- Don’t shy away from talking about pricing in your content. Your customers want that information, so let’s not beat around the bush. Even if what you sell is custom and complex, you can compare and contrast the cost of different solutions, talk about total cost of ownership, provide buyer’s guides, etc. The more helpful and transparent you can be, the more trust you’ll earn.
- Here are a few examples of industrial sector companies doing marketing right: 1) CK Power; 2) AME (see their Sawing Academy in particular); 3) Rodon Group; 4) Cadenas PARTsolutions (see their “Resources” tab and also their Industrial Marketing Summit).