How many pillars of industrial marketing are you considering?
Most marketing people will tell you there are four Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion, and place. Others will add three more to the mix: packaging, positioning, and people. I think there is an eighth you need to think about in the industrial marketing pillars. But we’ll get to that after we discuss the first seven.
To be sure, you need a product to need marketing in the first place. If you are a service provider, then that is your product. Regardless, your product has to be something potential customers wants or needs. Next, it should have value and quality. Finally, it should be easy for customers to purchase or to use the service. After all, a great product that is a hassle to buy or difficult to work with loses its worth.
Establishing a fair price is essential as one of the pillars of industrial marketing. A prospect that compares cost needs to feel you are comparable to competitors. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be the lowest price. For example, I had a client that was priced nearly 30% less than the competition but was losing sales to them. I suggested they raise their price to only 8% lower. After this change, the client’s sales rose. Why? Because prospects could accept that the value was the same at that price difference. The higher cost was seen to have better quality.
The market needs to know about your product; this is promotion. It must be remembered that this doesn’t apply only to specials and discounts. While these can be part of promotion, in essence, it is the lead generation campaign. Remember, to have effective industrial marketing pillars, you have in place to promote your product. In order to be effective, promotion needs to be run on a regular schedule to have frequency and achieve market awareness.
Often, place is thought of with retail only. While it is critical for a storefront, it also matters to manufacturers. Shipping costs and the inclination to work locally or regionally can affect whether a potential customer will choose you or a competitor. Be sure you are ready to answer these objections if they come up during the sales process.
Packaging as an industrial marketing pillar may seem to be only a concern for OEMs that sell to the consumer, but suppliers need to consider it as well. When you ship your part or component, your package should appear professional and promote your brand.
This industrial marketing pillar is how you position your product in the market. It involves how your messaging and image combine to create your brand. The market then compares your brand against competitors. It is important to realize that while prospects are judging your brand and product, that evaluation goes deeper. That in-depth review is where people enter into the pillar equation.
Of course, the people industrial marketing pillar involves potential customers. Consequently, you need to understand the drivers, pain points, and objections of a prospect. Your marketing messages should help to overcome these in the lead generation to connect with people. However, your people are also critical in marketing. The way your team treats prospects during the sales process and after-sales support is essential in building a strong reputation.
Perception – the forgotten industrial marketing pillars
Finally, we get to the pillar I think you need to add; perception. We have mentioned brand several times, but not as a pillar. As I stated, your brand is how prospects perceive your product and your company. This pillar is far too essential for your marketing to be left out. While it combines image and message, it is also the culmination of the other seven pillars. While I address this pillar last, it should be the foundation you begin with.
About the Author
Paul Kowalski (or Pappy as he is called around the office) spent over two decades working at other agencies before opening Conach Marketing Group in 2008. The early part of his career was working with Fortune 500 clients at different agencies. However, working with smaller clients was his preference. This choice was because of the impact on a client’s business growth and forming closer, personal relationships.
When he was creating Conach, his goal was to bring those Fortune 500 strategies along with years of B2B marketing experience to small business marketing clients. As a result of focusing on business to business marketing, Conach specializes in construction marketing, financial marketing, and industrial marketing. Even though we are in Mid-Michigan, Conach provides marketing services to clients across the country.