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From mining and transportation to construction and manufacturing industries, industrial companies have high-ticket sales and LONG sales cycles with many stakeholders. This complexity makes it easy to have a sales-centric mindset and focus on closing the next big deal instead of on how to fill the pipeline long term. But industrial product and service companies can ONLY remain competitive through economic ups and downs if they take a big picture view and build a B2B industrial marketing strategy that includes the most effective tactics. 

As a bonus, branding and marketing actually helps accelerate the sales pipeline and close deals faster!

Strong Branding Is the Cornerstone of Industrial B2B Marketing

Brand identity, awareness, visibility, and reputation are all critical to survival in the revenue cycles of a typical industrial products or services company. Even in challenging times, brand should be a key area of investment. Consider this: your sales team may be unable to make much progress in the “bust” times that impact your customers’ ability to buy industrial products. But you want to make sure

 YOUR brand is the one they remember when the money starts flowing again. Your brand should make a consistent and lasting impression so it builds trust and is the obvious choice to consider in the buying process. Brand building primes your buyers to choose YOU instead of the competition. It also allows you to compete on trust instead of just price.

b2b industrial marketing example

Here’s an example of B2B industrial marketing for one of our clients.

What should Your B2B Industrial Marketing Brand Look Like?

In one word: SIGNIFICANT. The amazing thing about industrial companies is that they are usually building or creating things that can be represented really well in a visual way. After all, companies like yours are doing important things in the overall market for your customers and the people they serve. You are literally keeping the wheels of industry turning. 

The mind believes what the eyes see, so your brand identity should be striking. When your brand makes a powerful and positive impression, this creates a positive expectation about what your brand will deliver. This helps attract your customers and also your future employees. 

From our CEO, Dacia Coffey,

“The humanity and realism in industrial environments can be so stunningly beautiful. The photography can be incredibly cool and it can really resonate with core values to communicate about the way an organization specializes in serving your customers.”

Marketing B2B Industrial Products and Services During the Good Times

Boom times in the economy and specific industries can make it seem like the gravy train will never end. It is easy to think you have your pipeline all sorted out when things are easy. However, this is not the time to slack off on industrial B2B marketing. It’s the time to double down and focus on investing in and building REPEATABLE marketing processes. This means you need to explore WHY you are winning so you can keep doing those things on purpose when the purse strings tighten again in the future. 

You should also focus on perfecting your systems to make the most of the good times by maximizing the effectiveness of the sales team and their processes. This is all about data. That means your CRM needs to be helping you track the real length of your sales cycle (hint: it’s probably longer than you think). It should also be helping you systemize and automate as much of the buyer journey as possible. 

Making everything in your marketing system work is doable, but it is complex. That’s why there are very few B2B industrial marketing agencies out there doing what we do here at Blender!

Don’t Let Competitors Outmaneuver You 

Here’s a scary thought: When times are good for you, they are good for your competitors too.

  • What if your competitors are actually growing faster than you? 
  • What if they are using the boom times to grow and innovate and prepare to outpace you? 
  • What if an alternative outside your competitor pool is coming into play and you aren’t aware of it?

These are all very good reasons to invest more in market intelligence to know the emerging threats and stay ahead of competitors in developing what customers will want to buy next.

Want more insights from the experts in our B2B industrial marketing firm? Watch our recent podcast episode about “5 Tips for B2B Industrial Marketing” on YouTube.

What About Marketing Industrial B2B Products and Service During a Downturn?

Again, this is the time to keep your brand piping hot and top of mind for your target market. Don’t assume that your brand reputation and your brand visibility are the same thing. Just because your customers say good things about you doesn’t mean that the market at large knows your brand position – or even that you exist. Word of mouth is fantastic, but it is not repeatable, scalable, and systematic. That means it should NOT be the only lever you are pulling to get your brand known. Be prepared to spend on brand visibility even when no one is in a buying cycle. 

From Dacia Coffey, CEO of our industrial B2B marketing agency:

“Your brand reputation should extend beyond the relationship your sales people have with their contacts. You need true brand authority and the correct market perception if you want long-term viability and scalability.” 

What about the segment of your market that does know who you are but doesn’t yet have the budget to make a purchase? Make sure you are continuing to help them solve problems and make progress even if it’s just with knowledge resources and tools. 

This is also when you want to focus on building out rapid lead generation and sales activation campaigns that you can rapidly switch on and optimize when things start turning around. That way you can ramp up quickly to capitalize on revenue opportunities and profitability as soon as the deal pipeline opens up again.

Know the TRUTH about Your Customers and Competitors

Often, when our industrial marketing firm starts working with a new client, our digital audit reveals competitors they didn’t even know they had. They might assume they are up against a handful of companies that they have routinely competed with over the past 40 years. But a look at the online landscape, especially around keywords they want to be found for online, tells a different story. 

It isn’t unusual for us to identify half a dozen previously unnoticed competitors that have high visibility online (where many purchasers go to research and select vendors). They may also have competition that “owning” the narrative on one or more social media platforms. You can’t afford not to know who these people are and how their brand positioning and messaging is shaping the minds of your prospective buyers. Since the mind of your buyer is where competition really happens, the digital landscape where they are being influenced is something you need to know in detail.

That brings us to our final point: Know Your Buyers. Not just their demographics, but their psychographics. How they do research, how they make decisions, their emotional triggers, what they care about, and who they trust. Then, you need to put the RIGHT message in front of them everywhere they go. This messaging has to be choreographed based on where they are in the buyer journey. This is how we define what you say when so it sinks in and helps buyers progress through their journey faster. 

Want to Supercharge Your B2B Industrial Marketing?

Our fractions Chief Marketing Officers are well-versed in helping industrial companies improve their revenue, reputation, and resilience. If you want help from a B2B industrial marketing agency with over a decade of experience, contact Blender today.