In a prior blog post, Do manufacturing and industrial companies need branding?, we discussed the importance of brand strategy for manufacturing and industrial B2B brands. The marketplace is often crowded for these types of businesses, and the landscape of buyers has evolved. The contemporary industrial B2B customer has a modern preference for convenience and the most helpful relationships. In addition, B2B buyers have more handheld technology. They have the ability to seek out online research like never before – even if they spend more time in manufacturing facilities than they do at desks.
At id8, we celebrate manufacturers’ $2 trillion+ contribution to the U.S. economy. We have expertise in B2B branding for companies of all sizes and varieties. We have also partnered with clients throughout periods of growth and change. Here, we share three of the formerly “nice to have” tactics that have become absolute “must haves” for industrial B2B today:
Achieve a deep understanding of the buyer persona
Properly positioning your brand requires a thorough understanding of your customers. Likewise, marketing effectiveness depends on creating highly relevant messaging. This means your understanding of your target audience must go beyond basic demographics and a job title. Buyer persona work involves in-depth interviews with current customers, prospects, and your sales force.
- How do buyers research products?
- What are their seasonal patterns?
- What existing perceptions do buyers have today?
- Are there attitudes or tactics that turn buyers away?
- What hurdles do buyers have, and how can your brand help overcome them?
- How do buyers rank their business goals, and how do those goals affect decisions?
In addition, there should be a deep dive into website analytics data and purchase databases. Gathering detailed buyer information will allow you to segment your customers and prospects. Then, you can narrow your focus to the people who are more likely to become customers – and better serve them.
Take customer convenience farther than you have before
Modern buyer behavior demands a change in how you market to customers and prospects. Buyers are more responsive to helpful relationships and information, and turned off by traditional hard sales tactics. Therefore, commit resources to strategic development of industrial B2B content. Provide easy access to pricing and product comparisons online. Rely on your buyer personas to present solutions that speak directly to customers’ needs. Most importantly, be sincere and transparent. According to Forrester research, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to gather information on their own versus interacting with a sales rep. But once they are ready to buy, you do not want to lose them. So, it is essential that a full-featured eCommerce website supports your online presence. It will allow you to seamlessly turn traffic into sales and sales into recurring orders.
Spend more on digital paid media
Most industrial B2B marketers target a very specific audience. Digital advertising allows you to reach niche market segments based on a variety of criteria. Investing in your website, content, and social media is commendable (and absolutely necessary), but it can only go so far organically. Increasing paid media efforts with a strategic plan will increase reach and optimize your return on investment (ROI). Paid search, paid social media with advanced targeting, and B2B banner advertising are often underutilized in industrial marketing. Therefore, investment in an expert media plan will build awareness faster and position your brand ahead of competitors.
At id8, we have expertise in industrial B2B marketing and we want to learn more about your business. Contact us and we can help your business modernize for today’s buyer.