Industrial Marketing - what you know but can't accept

Ed Marsh | Sep 4, 2012

"Can we talk?"

Seriously, can I be honest with you?  Promise you won't unlike, unsubscribe or tweet in a huff?

Your industrial marketing program is like the proverbial drunk wandering around under the streetlight looking for his keys.  When asked if he dropped them there the answer is "No, but this is where the light is."

And that's about as solid as your rationale for how you continue to market.

The fundamental problem is that you (that means almost all of you folks that design, manufacture, provide and sell B2B products and services) see the world exclusively through the lens of your product.  Just as people have different learning styles (or ways of assimilating and retaining information - do you know yours?) similarly people look at their challenges and problems differently.  And almost always with little empathy - meaning from their own selfish perspective.  (Selfish isn't negative, it's just reality.  I want to solve my problem in the optimal way for my circumstances.)


You live and breath your product.  You obsess over continuous improvement and continuously tweak small details in pursuit of the perfect solution.  And because you know so much about your solution and are convinced it can help, you want to tell people all about it.  And guess what....your B2B marketing is all about you.

But your customers/clients have a different perspective.  They're too busy to tell you, and may not even be conscious of it themselves, but their focus has changed, and technology makes it really easy for them to find solutions to their problems - rather than solutions which they then need to interpolate against their problems and intuit how they might fit.

Put differently, if you could get your prospects to be honest, the feedback you'd get would probably be along these lines.  (Hint - it's not a gender perspective, but a self-centered one.  In other words, don't get offended, but let yourself chuckle!)

But you already have a sense of this

It's harder and harder to find new customers.  Growth is a real challenge.  And so you start banging harder on the traditional methods.  You throw in a website, probably with some "SEO" from some hotshot, and may even really stretch with a company/brand twitter handle and YouTube channel.

And those new fangled tools?  They're perfect new outlets for you more about you and your product.  Newsflash - using sexy tools in an ineffective and clumsy manner yields disappointing results.  It's not the tools that are broken!

Here's the real irony.  Industrial marketing experts make exactly the same mistake themselves that they make with your effort.  They keep telling you about their design tools and social media savvy rather than speaking to the real problem you have.  You're not getting new customers through your marketing - at least not at the pace required for growth targets or at a rate to justify the investment. 

"Paradigm" - abused word, but great concept

So it's time to understand your prospect's perspective.  It's time to start to tailor your marketing approach to the way that prospects might find you.  that's not about horsepower, millimeters, kilowatts, or any other technical element of your product (even those particularly unique and dear to you) - rather it's about their problems/challenges/opportunities/imperatives.

It's time to change your industrial marketing paradigm.

The good news is that unlike most redesign changes that cost a fortune and are sustained by faith, this one can be very modest in cost and real-time metrics (not to mention astounding results) let you continuously improve and tweak with clear insight into efficacy.

Come to think of it, maybe that's what the traditional B2B marketing folks fear most!

Want to learn how inbound marketing can totally change your industrial marketing results?  Call us with an open mind.  (978) 238-9898

And interested in other markets where you can find new customers?  Have you considered international expansion?