As technology continues to change, the industrial buyer-supplier relationship is changing as well. However, instead of signaling troubling times ahead for industrial B2B marketing, these changes are creating new opportunities for industrial marketers to adapt and improve client relationships with brands. Here are four ways the industrial original equipment manufacturer buyer is changing in the B2B industry, and how suppliers can use this insight to enhance their methods for marketing industrial products and services.
In the past, B2B customers have approached suppliers through traditional methods like phone calls and face-to-face interactions.
However, with the increasing omnipresence of mobile devices and internet usage, customers are finding and researching suppliers online. With this in mind, B2B sellers must be e-marketing industrial solutions.
Today’s brands need a fully functional online and mobile presence to accommodate the needs of their customers. This also extends to points of contact between customers and sales representatives. Not only should customers be able to contact reps over the phone, but there should be the potential for email communication and instant chat. Ideally, when marketing industrial OEMs, supplier websites need to have the functionality to offer customized quotes and order configuration without the need for direct contact.
Traditionally, industrial OEM buyers would receive customer testimonials directly from the supplier. This allowed the supplier to control the flow of information, but it has dramatically changed in recent years. Modern buyers now turn to forums and online reviews to gather information on both sellers and products.
Suppliers can gain some level of control over referrals by creating their own spaces for the sharing of information. A community forum localized to their website or the ability to leave comprehensive product reviews directly on the product page can contain traffic and mitigate some of the risk outside information can pose.
PRICE AND QUALITY VS. BRAND
Brand loyalty among B2B customers is not what it once was. Rather, the price and the quality of the product are driving factors in decision-making process. One of the best ways a supplier can capitalize on this shift is through transparent industrial B2B marketing. By providing pricing, white papers, and customer reviews on your website you can increase the buyer’s trust in your products.
Rather than relying on brand names to drive business, you’ll be sustainably fueled by product quality. This also provides an impetus for sellers to continuously improve their service and products. Providing value for customers is a central focus, and listening to their feedback is a central component of industrial B2B marketing.
THE INDUSTRIAL B2B MARKETING/SALES RELATIONSHIP
As the importance of industrial B2B marketing continues to grow, suppliers are beginning to experience a disconnect between their sales and marketing teams. However, savvy marketing is no longer a B2C sellers’ game and this relationship must be bridged to meet the needs of your customers.Your salespeople need to understand the driving forces behind the decisions your customers are making. Customers are engaging with your company on social media, your website, and a variety of other mediums that your sales team may not be aware of. By having them work closely together, suppliers can ensure that every point of contact is reporting the same information to the customers and responding to their needs appropriately. The B2B industrial market is a developing industry, and as a result, marketing to industrial customers is in a state of flux. Suppliers can respond to this changing industrial OEM buyer profile to keep their business successful and competitive in a changing market.