The Importance of Ongoing Marketing in Industrial Industries with Long Sales Cycles
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- Category: Industrial Marketing
Industrial Manufacturers and Job Shops make up a unique segment of the Industrial market and thus need a different approach to their overall marketing plan. Typical consumer-based (B2C) marketing approaches, as well as most business-to-business (B2B) approaches that deal with commodity or “off the shelf” products, simply won’t work. However, parts of each should be incorporated into your industrial marketing.
Typically, Job Shops deal with custom-made pieces, parts, and products with a very long sales cycle before a manufacturing partner is finally chosen. The long sales cycle includes lengthy research to narrow the manufacturing methods and processes, a full assessment to see which companies may have the right solution for the project, and the final purchasing decision.
This process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (or more in some cases). Typically 60% to 70% of the buying decision has been made through the research portion of the process, with most research being conducted online. This means you need to get your offering in front of the prospect during this crucial time and hold on to their attention so that you will be considered when they are ready to purchase.
How do you get your company in front of your prospects faster, and how do you keep it there to be sure they think of you when they are ready to purchase?
As an industrial job shop, your primary objectives are to be the optimized solution provider for your customers by helping them get their job done with the most significant degree of expertise that makes them look good. You are selling your ability to solve a specific problem for an engineer using your particular products, manufacturing methods, and expertise.
In today’s hyper-connected world, getting your message in front of your prospects is critical and much more difficult. Most of them have an invisible boundary around them that will not let salespeople in. They have become desensitized to anything smacking of sales unless a relationship has already been established.
Since so much of the process vendor research is done online today, you need to be highly visible! Ask yourself: how does your company rank in search engines when you type in keywords or phrases that your customers would use to search for your company? If you aren’t on page one, the odds are low that anyone will click on your content, which means you are in danger of not being selected for new projects with new customers.
So how do you get through?
To stay competitive and in your target customer’s mind, you must:
- Be the optimized solution provider for your customers by providing helpful content on your website and social media platforms (white papers, technical articles, case studies, enewsletters, ebooks, videos, and more). This will also help to position your company as an expert in your field and make your company more attractive to potential customers.
- Help the customer get their job done with the most significant degree of expertise that makes them look good.
- Make sure that your marketing and sales teams are on the same page with the same messages about what your company does best and who your ideal customers are.
- Utilize a multi-pronged approach to your marketing – website, content, and traditional methods.
- Ensure your website flows appropriately to lead a prospect to where they need to go.
- Keep your content current and post new content frequently.
- Be consistent with your marketing – it’s a long-term process that pays terrific dividends.
Too many manufacturers get caught in the “I have too much business right this moment, I need to stop marketing” trap. When things slow down, the scramble to find new work begins. If this sounds familiar, you need to break that cycle. Your competition certainly isn’t following this pattern; they are keeping their marketing constant and staying in front of your prospective customers, which will give them quite an advantage when that customer is ready to begin their project. The marketing you do today will yield results in 3 to 6 months and beyond. Our customers, who keep a constant marketing program in place regardless of the economy’s ups and downs, are the ones that continue growing regardless of what the economy is doing!
Your customers need to know that by doing business with your company, you will take good care of them, come up with a viable solution for their problem, handle their specifications as stated, and deliver on time and on budget. Basically, they won’t need to worry when they choose you as their industrial partner. That is the essence of what every job shop and industrial manufacturer is selling.
All industrial – all the time!
With over 30 years of experience, The Rico Group specializes in helping industrial manufacturers and job shops grow their businesses and diversify their customer base. We are your bolt-on marketing department. Our solutions give you the full capabilities of an in-house marketing department at a fraction of what it would cost you to hire a full-time marketing crew. We know how engineers think and what they are looking for. We know your processes, equipment, and materials. We also know that you have very little time to take away from your production and getting your customer’s orders delivered.
Are you interested in seeing what your current digital marketing efforts are doing for your company? We offer a free comprehensive analysis of your company’s online marketing to give you insights into your digital footprint and how you can improve it. The report also comes with an in-depth competitor analysis and a free expert consultation to review the information with you and answer any questions you may have.
Also, please grab a free copy of our comprehensive digital marketing success guide to help you accelerate your job shop’s growth. The guide walks you through generating more qualified leads for your industrial manufacturing company.
Our industrial clients swear by our strategies – because they work.
Grow your manufacturing business with better marketing with The Rico Group.