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5 ways to optimize your marketing strategy for your components catalog


17-10-2018 Audrey Varin

As an industrial manufacturer, your time is precious. You have new products to develop, equipment to maintain, a tight production schedule and shipping deadlines to meet.

Under these conditions, marketing is rarely a priority, and is often limited to pamphlets or attending a few important trade fairs. However, the digital age has arrived and this has influenced how your customers operate.

The purchasing process is no longer linear, it’s digital. The internet is at the heart of the decision-making process. It is the starting point to finding a solution to a problem, answering a question or finding new opportunities.

 

1 – You must go from thinking “us” to thinking “you”

First things first, you must look after your target. But, on your website, you only talk about yourself!

Stop trying to sell at all costs and try to offer solutions that answer your prospects needs.

Furthermore, who exactly are these prospects? Do you really know them?

The first step is to identify your target customers, otherwise known as your target characters or profiles..

Firstly, best practice involves identifying the people you wish to reach and determining exactly what they are looking for, and what role they play in the decision-making process.

Example of the characters’ profiles:

 

persona

 

2 – Learn about your targets’ expectations

Now that you know your target well, you must attempt to understand their needs and expectations. If you don’t know what these are, try consulting your salespeople who are often an inexhaustible source of knowledge on the subject.

Answer the questions that your customers ask by writing blog articles, in the same way that you would answer them by telephone or by email.

When your customers carry out a search, they will see these phrases that answer their questions and you will start to realize that your SEO strategy is working.

For each key word or expression, look at the number of monthly searches, focusing specifically on those that represent a real interest.

Get help by using tools offered by Google (Google Adwords, Google Trends) or online tools such as SEM rush.

If you use key words that make sense in relation to their problems, your prospects will be more receptive!

 

Download your guide

 

3 – The right message at the right time

Once you have defined the right person to reach and the right message to send, you need to find the right moment to speak to them.

As I explained before, the purchasing process has become digitalized. This means that in order to obtain a response from your prospect, they must get the impression they are the ones that have asked for information and that is why that you have sent them a message.

 

The persona has three stages before buying.

  • The awareness stage: the prospect encounters a problem. He/she expresses the symptoms of the problem online in order to try to better understand the issue.
  • The consideration stage: The prospect is now aware of the problem, can put a name to it and can look for different solutions to solve it.
  • The decision stage: the prospect has chosen the most appropriate solution and evaluates the potential suppliers

As part of an effective BtoB marketing strategy, you must therefore pay attention to which stage the prospect is at in the purchasing process. This is what is known as “the buyers’ journey”.

A promotional message offering a reduction on your products will be useless and even counter-productive if your prospect is at the awareness or consideration stage.

 

4 – Offer relevant content

In response to your customers problems you can offer them solutions using different tools.

  • White Papers: these are in-depth studies that explore trade-specific issues and problems and provide greater technical detail. They often include business data, reference studies, and are intended for a more informed audience.
  • Case studies: a case study provides reassurance. In other words, it allows you to reassure the prospect by showing them that other businesses have already chosen this solution and are satisfied.

    This allows you to highlight your company’s strengths thanks to tangible elements.

  • Newsletter: Newsletters are a good way of regularly informing your qualified prospects. Set up a monthly emailing system for example, comment on trade fairs or review a recent experience regarding your industrial sector.

    Content may vary from one month to the next, but you must always send to contacts that have agreed to receive mail from you.

  • Use social networks to promote your business in a more informal way

 

5 – Recycle existing content

If you don’t have the time to carry out extensive research and long writing sessions, the best thing to do is to recycle existing content.

Re-adapt content from old brochures to transform it into articles, transform your customer presentation to make an e-book…

Take the time to look at what you already have by listing all your existing content and the message you want to get across.

Then, complete the process by creating a relevant content strategy.

 

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