Industrial Marketing Is More Complex Than Just B2B for Manufacturing and Distribution

Does generic B2B marketing apply to industrial marketing? Yes ... and no. Learn what's distinct.
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We’ve been at this “industrial marketing” thing for almost 20 years, which, we believe, gives us some credibility when we are asked, “What is industrial marketing?”

In the latest episode of the Industrial Marketer podcast, we look at the unique intersection of digital marketing with manufacturing and distribution. It is unique in many ways.

The growth in digital marketing technology has accelerated the specialization of B2B marketing. Digital marketing can be complex as audiences have many channels and ways to consume information. So it makes sense that agencies are specializing in narrow verticals to combat the fragmented nature of digital media. Expertise can be scaled within niches. 

The industrial sector has been slow to adopt many marketing practices, which actually makes sense as you dig into the realities of manufacturing and distribution. Among the marketing challenges are:

  • It’s a relatively small, closed circle that requires hyper targeting.  Industrials probably do not mingle or move within other industries as much as other sectors. 
  • The buying cycles are long and complex. Sales leads are based on trade shows and personal sales networks. And while trade shows have been losing their effectiveness for years as buyers do more vetting and searching online, the digital solutions have been slow to emerge. (This is true in any change dynamic: things break faster than solutions emerge.)
  • Many manufacturing companies have engineer-driven cultures, which tend to focus on innovations and product features as opposed to solutions for customers.

How Industrial Marketing Is Adapting

In our podcast, we visit with Virginia Roberson, the Content Manager for INDUSTRIAL, a B2B marketing agency focused on the industrial sector. We chatted with her about how successful manufacturing companies present themselves and tell their stories. Virginia develops content strategies to meet marketing action plans, and she has written hundreds of industrial blog posts and white papers. She is a strong believer that manufacturers should take a customer-focused approach to their content marketing and social media presence

A successful manufacturer is aware of the challenges that its clients face. They frequently ask about their clients’ pain points and what keeps them awake at night. It’s a simple concept, really: asking “How can we help you?”

Industrial marketing needs to answer this fundamental question for prospects and current clients. The latest technological innovations mean a lot more if they are spelled out in a way that impacts cycle times or quality or pricing — i.e., metrics that matter to manufacturing customers. Virginia discusses how you can take this customer-focused approach in:

  • Blogs and white papers
  • Video testimonials and product demonstrations
  • Social media posts
  • Case studies, the ultimate showcase for what a manufacturer can do for a client

Listen to the Episode

Check out the podcast to hear what Virginia has to say about best practices when it comes to customer-focused industrial marketing.

Be Sure to Subscribe to the Industrial Marketer Podcast

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And if you have any ideas for topics you’d like covered on the podcast — or this site — make sure to leave a comment and we’ll see what we can do!



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