Manufacturer Successfully Uses a B2C Online Marketing Tactic

I’m sure by now you’ve read or heard enough about how the lines are merging between Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing. Some have even called B2B marketing obsolete in this day and age.

Whether you agree or not is a topic for another day. IMO, the decision making process is more complex and there are many more stakeholders involved in industrial and B2B purchases but it still boils down to people doing business with people.

That’s why I say more power to the manufacturer if it can successfully use a B2C marketing tactic to help its customers select the right industrial product(s) quickly and easily.

And that’s the focus of this blog post.

Most of us are familiar with selecting a color from a drop down menu or a swatch when we go shopping online for clothes. We take it for granted and expect every online retailer to offer us this ability before making a purchase. It probably helps the retailer sell more merchandise because we often want more than one color of a shirt or blouse.

A manufacturer of pre-engineered metal buildings has taken this popular B2C online marketing tactic and used it to help architects, contractors and commercial building owners make a more informed decision.

They have created an online color selector application that helps their site visitors see in real-time how their metal building will look by being able to select different roof, wall and trim colors. It is highly intuitive and very simple to use.

The target audience in the metal building industry tends to be conservative and have a traditional mindset when it comes to marketing. Anything you can do to increase their comfort level when they visit your site is a big plus. This manufacturer offers an extension of a familiar personal online experience to improve and increase visitor engagement.

Choosing the right colors is not just a matter of aesthetics for the manufacturer’s customers who are metal building owners, contractors and architects. There are serious design and performance considerations that are influenced by the choice of paint colors.

Architects prefer paint that is based on a Fluoropolymer system for steep slope roofs and/or when color retention is critical. This PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) resin system creates an extraordinarily strong chemistry that provides the best performance level and maximizes the ability to combat the detrimental effects of ultraviolet rays, humidity, salt air, acid rain and pollution.

There are also financial incentives for customers to choose the right paint color. Certain paint colors have been certified as ENERGY STAR® Cool Roof Colors. They qualify for Federal Tax Credit as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. They may also qualify for additional rebates and credits from state and local governments.

Most of these “Cool Roof” colors also comply with the U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 2.2 Solar Reflectivity Index standards.

Applications like online color selectors and parametric part number builders are very popular with architects, engineers and specifiers of industrial products. These two plus a few more tactics are mentioned in my free white paper 7 Content Marketing Tactics for Selling Industrial Products.

You can view a live version of the manufacturer’s color selector application here. (Disclosure: They are one of my  clients).

What are your thoughts about using popular B2C tactics in manufacturing and industrial marketing?

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