Posts

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.

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Digital Marketing for Control Engineers, Machine Builders and Designers

As an industrial marketing consultant, I interact on a daily basis with engineers and technical professionals from the Automation and Process Control industry. I receive valuable firsthand feedback on what this audience wants and needs from their digital marketing initiatives.

It was reassuring then when the findings from Machine Builder Research and Buying Study 2011 done by Control Design mirrored what I’ve been hearing from my industrial clients.

I’ll summarize the major findings from the study in this post but the headline of the cover story from the March 2011 issue says it all, “Sign of the Times: Wider Adoption of Web-Based, Digital Tools Usage Is Cruising Ahead.”
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Have Digital Marketing and Social Media Killed the Industrial Sales Job?

Remember the very first music video ever played on MTV? It was called “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the British band The Buggles and was aired at 0001 hours on August 1, 1981, the day the cable station was launched in the U.S. Every disruptive technology is known to cause major upheavals in any industry. And digital marketing and social media are as disruptive as they come.

Even though the widespread adoption of social media in industrial marketing has been slower than general B2B and B2C marketing, it has had a serious impact on industrial sales, especially on the traditional role of the outside sales rep.

Digital marketing has also changed how industrial and technical buyers behave, search and consume information that they need at different stages of the buy cycle. They are time-challenged and want to interact with salespeople based only on their needs and schedules.

The impact of digital marketing on complex sales

I am deliberately making a distinction here between simple transactional sales and complex industrial or technical sales. The first type uses a self-serve model and is typically completed in the very first sales interaction, be it in person or online.

Complex industrial sales require many face-to-face meetings with several stakeholders within the customer’s organization. Often closing the deal requires participation by many members of your sales team. Read more