The tactics in industrial marketing diversification
Diversifying your customer base is a way to smooth out the peaks and valleys of sales. Over the past 20 plus years, I have helped several manufacturers achieve industrial marketing diversification. Often, diversification is thought of as only expanding your customer base to new markets. However, in developing those strategies, there are several common tactics that you should consider for your plan. While new markets are a significant part of the process, let’s take a look at the others.
The geography of industrial marketing diversification
One of the fastest ways to diversify is by expanding your sales territory. While many potential customers still look to local companies, that attitude is changing. If you only market within a specific area, such as a radius or your home state, evaluate if you could grow geographically. Depending on your product, could you expand regionally, nationally, or internationally? By implementing this industrial marketing diversification technique, you can still focus on your current markets. Consequently, you can use the sales and marketing program you have in place, lessening the cost of diversifying.
Digging deeper for industrial marketing diversification
Another strategy to avoid the more costly aspects of breaking into new markets is to obtain more sales from current customers. Overall, nearly every industrial client I’ve worked with has raised the issue of selling more to customers. Most have a division or plant they are supplying but could be working with several others in the same company. When you want to sell deeper into a customer’s organization, the first step is asking your contact for an introduction. A referral that can tell a colleague how outstanding you are to work with goes a long way. Once you have this intro, you can take it a step further than a mere meeting. Schedule a “lunch and learn” and invite all the key influencers and decision-makers. During the lunch, which you provide, make a brief presentation about your capabilities and then open the floor to questions.
The marketing blend in industrial marketing diversification
While expanding to new markets can be challenging and costly, it also offers rewards beyond the two previously mentioned tactics. In the first two strategies, you are working with the same customer base. Thereby, you are still subject to the variances of that market. If it suffers a slump, so will you. Secondly, if you can only sell profitably in a limited territory, then you need to look at other markets. When developing a plan to expand into new industries, choose ones that align with your products or services. Remember, you can’t force sales. Also, conduct research to determine which industries show stability or growth. Because of this insight, you will help to minimize lags in sales.
Pulling together the plan for industrial marketing diversification
Once you have a plan to diversify, you need a process to achieve it. This point is valid whether you are growing geographically, expanding deeper into current customers, or breaking into new markets. The process will include additional lead generation campaigns, refreshed sales material, and enhanced sales procedures. This fact is especially important regarding new markets. In order to resonate with different potential customers, you will have to develop messaging that connects with them. Because each market will have different concerns and drivers, you will need to create one that is relevant to the decision-makers in the new markets. By conducting research or working with a marketing firm that has worked with the industries, reworking your current messages will be easier and more effective. Regardless of the industrial marketing diversification path you choose, it can only help you be more successful in the future.
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.