A Working Definition of Industrial Marketing Illustrated through 5 Examples

Industrial marketing — it's like you know it when you see it. Here are 5 examples that illustrate the point.

The narrow segments and complicated, elongated buying cycles can make lead generation especially challenging for industrial marketing, but these difficulties are also what help us trace the contours of a definition of industrial marketing. It’s unlike any other B2B sector. But the dynamic means it is even more important to be genuinely “industrial” in your messaging.

In the latest episode of the Industrial Marketer podcast, co-hosts Joey and Nels explore the definition of industrial marketing by offering tips on how to bring an industrial lens to five common marketing tactics. Begin your industrial marketing efforts by aligning your strategies to specific objectives. No matter what tactics you choose, there are ways to make your marketing genuinely industrial.

A Fun Game that Helps Describe a Definition of Industrial Marketing

In this podcast episode, Joey and Nels play a little game of “how would you execute this tactic” from an industrial perspective in an effort to illustrate a definition of industrial marketing. No tactic is or isn’t inherently “industrial”; it’s about how you use it, and for what purpose — and what audience

1. An Email Blast for a Logistics Company

In this example of industrial marketing, we are looking to hire drivers. You can start with previous applicants. They should exist in your database, and you can segment your list based on whatever parameters you set. The messaging should be on your website, just link back to the content that speaks to why someone would want to come to work for you or what is good about working at your company. You could include links to driver testimonials or information on career paths.

2. A Squeeze Page for a Custom Fabricator

Your prospect has arrived at this page with some relevant intent, so this is an opportunity to not only collect information but also qualify a lead or provide information that might help score the lead as cold, lukewarm or hot. In this example of industrial marketing, a custom fabricator could use a form or configurator to better understand what kind of custom work the prospect has in mind. Or, the fabricator could show off how they provided solutions for someone with a similar need, or a variety of work. In any case, the squeeze page should provide something of value to the prospect.

3. An Online Ad for Manufacturing Software

In many ways, paid digital media offers some of the best opportunities to target a narrow audience that typically comes with trying to market industrial products and services.  In the case of manufacturing software as a service (SaaS) products, there is a clear target audience, such as a facility manager or purchaser or C-suite executive. In this case, opportunities exist for segmenting ads by trade media or targeting display or search ads using a variety of mechanisms. 

4. A Blog Post for a Turbine Manufacturer

This is a classic manufacturing marketing scenario. Yes, it’s good to have content marketing that addresses how what you are selling solves problems, how it is different from what competitors offer, or something about your capabilities (especially effective via video and CAD diagrams). But you could also do a blog post on making the ROI case for the purchasing agent involved in the buying decision, including information that speaks to how long it takes to recoup the cost of the investment or reduced downstream maintenance expenses. 

5. Video for a Parts Distributor

Don’t overthink it when it comes to video, especially if you are a distributor who essentially sells other people’s products. Don’t promote their brands; show us your value proposition. If you have the largest inventory or parts, show us the extent of your warehouse. If you turn around orders faster than competitors, take us through the fulfillment of an order. If you have a great reputation for responsive customer service, interview a customer service rep. Show us why we should do business with you.

Industrial Marketing Hinges on Delivering Different Messages for Different People at Different Times

There is no doubt that it can be difficult to market to the multiple, diverse personas and complicated buyer cycles in the industrial sector. Understanding the dynamic is important. One way to make your industrial marketing more “industrial” — and expand your definition of industrial marketing — is to reach out not just engineers who vet and recommend your products but to other stakeholders involved in the decision making process, such as the finance people who sign off on the purchase.

Yes, you must be prepared to deliver different messages to different people at different stages of the customer experience. But it all begins with understanding your value proposition and why your customers are turning to you. If your customers are industrial, you should be, too. And getting there ultimately amounts to understanding what their industrial needs are. This ability to know your customers — and adjust to their particular, industrial needs — is at the heart of any broad definition of industrial marketing.

Listen to the Podcast for More on the Definition of Industrial Marketing

For more insights into the definition of industrial marketing, tune into Episode 17 of the Industrial Marketer podcast.

Subscribe to the Industrial Marketer Podcast

The Industrial Marketer podcast comes out twice a month. To subscribe, visit our Buzzsprout show page and select your podcast platform of choice.

AAnd if you have any ideas for topics you’d like us to cover on the podcast — or here on the Industrial Marketer website — send us a message on Facebook or Twitter and let us know!


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