An industrial marketing system is designed to help you market goods or services to other businesses (B2B)rather than to the public. So there is a whole new set of rules for you, as your selling needs change when using this type of system.
While you can sell a single customer on the impressive features of a product, you need to use a whole new approach for businesses. In this case, you need to emphasize the quality of your products, the appeal of your line, and the cost. This should be done in a way that convinces the buyer to choose your company over competing brands.
Check out and use the following information to establish an industrial B2B marketing system for your business. The following 7 components should be included in your B2B marketing plan.
Component #1 - Positioning
What type of perception do your customers have of your business and its products? That is important to consider when you are setting up a B2B system for your company. To answer this question, you have to think about who benefits the most from using a B2B or industrial marketing system for buying or selling goods.
Creating a Niche Market
Many businesses market products that do not appeal to individual customers. For example, a company that produces large-scale manufacturing equipment cannot sell its products to the general public. In this instance, you need to position yourself as the go-to source for businesses that need your product to operate. Maybe your product line appeals to companies that regularly produce a large quantity of items. These companies may include mass-market suppliers of items, such as toys, food products, or packaging.
Keeping and Maintaining Your Position or Image
Needless to say, you need to keep the above points in mind when positioning yourself in the marketplace. Industrial marketing can involve intricate processes that involve the use of the following:
- Informational websites that direct their content to other businesses
- Product sampling
- Online presentation videos
- Personal presentations
Even consumer companies and brands may develop divisions, especially for use by B2B clients.
What Do You Want as a Brand Image?
With this basic information, you can create your own unique position as an industrial business. What perception do you want to convey to influence your customer base? The idea of positioning involves establishing an image of your brand or product so customers look at it in a specific way.
For instance, if you produce a certain type of equipment, you may want to position it as a cutting-edge technology. To do this, you can use one or more positioning strategies, such as the following:
- Featuring the positive attributes of your product that benefit the customer
- Associating your product or brand with competitive pricing
- Showcasing your brand as a high-quality product
- Distinguishing your product as being better than the competition
You can cement your position by creating a template and graph – one that gives you an idea about your target audience’s perception of similar brands. Doing so will give you an advantage in the marketplace.
Component #2 - The Foundation of Your Website
To ensure that you drive traffic to your website successfully, you need to focus on how your website is put together and how it operates. After all, you won’t keep your audience’s attention if your website is not first-rate.
Answer the Following Questions First
To build the website properly, you need to answer the following questions, and there are several, so be prepared to do some research.
- Who is your buyer? Is it an engineer seeking specs or a business owner who wants to establish a long-term relationship.?
- What does the buyer need? What kind of problems is your buyer trying to solve? Do they have challenges that they need to overcome? What solutions can you provide on your website?
- Where does your buyer normally find answers to their problems? Are they gathering this info online or are they referring to industrial resources?
- What is your buyer trying to learn? What keywords does he or she use in their searches? Are they searching by solution? By service? By product? Use Google AdWords Keyword planner to confirm your hunches or impressions.
Educating the Customer by Adding the Right Website Content
Once you answer the above questions, you can poise yourself to answer key customer inquiries. This can be done through visuals or the written word. By producing and adding educational content, you can create a website that makes your company an expert in its field. The way to engage customers today is to educate – not promote.
Compelling Your Website Visitor to Act
When you establish your website, your visitors are anonymous people without any contact info attached. To prevent them from leaving your platform, again, you need to make sure you engage them. To take control, gate your educational content behind a contact form. Doing so permits you to capture their interest while making them an actual lead.
Component #3 – The Technology Stack
Next, you need to build a technology stack for your business. This all-important aspect of digital marketing should be reviewed thoroughly, as it can make you or break you. That is because a technology stack provides IT solutions for managing your business operations. For instance, a web application usually needs a technology stack that is comprised of a web server, operating system (OS), programming language, and data base.
Creating a Marketing Stack
When creating a technology stack for marketing purposes, you will need software apps and products that work to improve your marketing efforts. You have thousands of choices available to you when creating a marketing stack, so you need to choose wisely.
The idea is to figure out which technologies are most important for your marketing and operational needs. When adopting the necessary tools, it is best to choose products that offer one robust solution. For example, it may be a good idea to combine your email marketing system with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform so you use one app.
What You Should Always Include in Your Technology Stack
To understand these needs, it helps to define some of the major attributes of a good marketing technology stack and add these apps into your stack.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A good customer relationship management system (CRM) helps businesses improve their marketing by defining the customer journey – from lead generation to contact to retention. You want your CRM platform to keep all your customer details in one spot – or serve as a hub for your marketing system. That way, you can streamline your marketing efforts and create long-term relationships, all which helps a company grow and prosper and evolve over time.
Part of your technology stack should also include the web analytics you use. You cannot work without these tools, as they clue you in on your customer’s likes and dislikes. With analytics in place, you can make the needed adjustments so that you realize better performances from your website, marketing system, content, and product or service campaigns.
You really cannot operate a business without email – it is your main line of communications on the web. What are you seeking in an email and what can you spend? You need to answer these two questions when integrating an email system into your marketing stack. Do you need the email to A/B test a drip campaign? Or, do you need detailed segmenting? These are questions to ask when choosing an email software.
Content Management System (CMS)
You will need to include a CMS to handle all the content marketing needs for your business. You can use this tool to educate customers and consistently keep them up-to-date. A CMS should be part of the growth strategy for your business.
If you incorporate WordPress, the platform needs its own technology stack (such as LAMP) to work properly. Happily, you can simply click one time and install a WordPress system, thereby alleviating the hassle of building atechnology stack for you CMS.
Social Media Marketing
Naturally, a technology or marketing stack without the social media marketing is absurd. Applications like Hoot Suite help you integrate social platforms, such as YouTube and Twitter, both important for industrial marketing. Used as part of a marketing technology stack, this type of software also helps you manage, schedule, and assess the results of your social media efforts.
No one can operate a business or website without the implementation of SEO. SEO enables you to build organic links and attract organic traffic – something that is necessary if you want to enjoy that all-important competitive edge.
Needless to say, you can manage all aspects of your business better with the right technology stack in place.
Component #4 - Developing a Content Strategy
In order to address your industrial client’s marketing needs, you also need to develop the right content strategy. This should be done so you can promote buying, address pain points, and help him or her solve common problems and realize their business goals.
What is a Content Strategy?
Before you delve in and create a strategic plan for content, you need to define content strategy. Content strategy refers to managing media that is written, downloadable, or visual. This part of your industrial marketing plan serves to demonstrate your company’s product or service knowledge and expertise.
Developing a Content Plan
To develop a content plan, you need to do the following:
- Define Your Marketing and Content Goals
What do you want to achieve by developing a content marketing plan? Know what you want to accomplish before you put a plan into place.
- Perform Buyer Persona Research
To ensure a successful plan, you need to define the target audience, also referred to as the buyer persona. Sometimes, the buyer persona changes. If this is the case for you, you need to determine if you want to expand your current base of customers or target a whole new group. It’s a good idea to perform this type of research at least yearly.
- Review Your Content
While you may be blogging about your product currently, you may want to offer a report or e-book about your product’s uses and benefits. Some firms create videos to answer customer questions and inquiries.
- Audit the Content
Check to see how your content marketing strategy is working by taking an audit of what you are providing in the way of media. Consider what can be done differently in creating future content.
- Employ a Reliable Content Management System
Your content management system should assist you with your content creation, publication, and analytics. Select a software, such as HubSpot or a WordPress platform that is hosted on a WordPress engine.
- Brainstorm Ideas
Prepare to produce future content by thinking about new ways to educate the public about your business product or service.
Component #5 - Generating Leads
Lead generation can take one of several forms. If you are using this activity to generate inbound traffic, it may include drawing organic traffic to your website by means of SEO. While SEO takes time, it is the best way to create a customer base that proves to be both reliable and steady.
Lead Generation through Outbound Marketing
You can also pump up your outbound marketing efforts by doing the following:
- Sending out partially automated emails
- Making phone calls that have been strategically planned
- Sending out direct mail pieces
- Using paid ads in industry-related publications
Component #6 -Pipeline Management
Pipeline management enables your sales team to use the tools and processes needed to better utilize their time and manage the sales pipeline. Don’t confuse the pipeline with a sales funnel, as this process is completely different. The pipeline takes you on a journey that better utilizes your time during the sales process.
Pipeline stages represent the steps a prospect and salesperson take during selling, from when the prospect becomes a lead to when they become a customer. The seven stages are listed below:
- Lead generation – The potential customer shows an interest and wants more information.
- Lead nurturing – The salesperson cultivates the lead by providing more details about a product or service, and earning his or her trust. He or she earns the respect of the customer – becoming a trusted advisor.
- Marketing the qualified lead – The salesperson explains the benefits of your product or service.
- Selling the accepted lead–The salesperson gives the lead the reasons why it is important to buy – providing a call to action.
- Closing the sale–The salesperson obtains the customer’s consent.
- Following up after the sale – The salesperson follows up with the customer to answer any further needs and to provide support. This is referred to as a post-sale activity.
Component #7 - Analyzing the Sales and Marketing Activities and the Data
Again, you cannot continue to prosper without analyzing and interpreting the facts. Doing so will give you insights about what you have been doing and will help you disseminate essential information – information that will further support your marketing efforts.
In Conclusion –
Sales can be made easier when you use the right software and make sure your website can be navigated without hassle. By using the proper technology and producing SEO content, you will continue to see continued growth commercially and professionally.
Need help with your marketing?
Industrial and manufacturing marketing plans can be touchy since your business needs are unique. You have your business to run and trying to find the time to do your marketing as well can be cumbersome. Why not let us help?
We can help you grow your manufacturing business and create an industrial strength marketing plan just for you.
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