Top 10 Digital Marketing Mistakes Industrial Suppliers Make
Image credit and source: photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash.
We’ve compiled this list of the top 10 mistakes industrial suppliers seem to be making with their digital marketing plus our recommendations to fix them.
1. Poor Product Data Organization
Your product data needs to be accurate, up-to-date and complete. Then it is vital that it be organized in a normalized product data classification (also called a schema with global attributes for faceted search and side-by-side product comparison). If unassisted online visitors (humans and search engines) can't easily find what they need or are looking for, your competitors are just a click away.
2. Poor User Experience/Digital Experience (UX/DX)
Despite investment and development, digital experience is still in its infancy for most B2B industrial suppliers. Think of the digital experience you are used to with your smart phone and your personal life - now use your phone to try your company's digital experience to find, select and order a product late one evening and look up the status of your order the next day. Would you agree that most brands are still maturing? For example, no CRM integration, no multichannel coordination, no chat (maybe no phone number either!), no use of IIOT in sales and marketing...
3. Poor website
Your website is the heart and soul, the very center of your digital marketing efforts. It is also the face of the company and brand - most people will see it before they meet you. It better look good and offer a good experience. Before your industrial products can be purchased online they have to be found. Once found they must be selected or configured before they can be 'designed in' or otherwise specified. Only then are they likely to be purchased.
4. Poor Images/CAD
You are being judged within seconds of visitors landing on your website, and the first thing that hits them is the imagery you use. Low quality images can signify a low quality company - so ensure your image content and resolution do you justice. Beware using stock images or icons that don't differentiate you or make you credible. Use harder to find stock images, or your own commissioned photography. The same goes for a poor CAD solution (a kind of rotatable, zoom-able product image for industrial designers).
5. No clear Messaging framework
Your positioning (internal), messaging (external) and branding all need to be consistent in the words and stories you tell online and offline (think corporate presentations by managers and salespeople). The perception you create when people first encounter you is what they will remember about you when comparing their options. Your messaging needs to convey not just your value proposition but also why, what, and how you are different in an authentic voice and tone. This is the DNA of your marketing communication work - poor messaging can do irretrievable damage, for example not aligning your sales and marketing with consistent positioning and messaging.
6. Poor Mobile experience
Mobile optimization is essential. In B2C market, over 85% of your users will be viewing your website on a small screen (a tablet or mobile), in B2B Market, it’s well over 50% already. If your mobile experience is frustrating, guess what they are going to do? A lot of industrial websites look just the same on a small screen as on a large one. A modern design, and 'responsive' behavior (e.g. responsive to different screen sizes and aspect ratios including mobile phones and tablets) is table stakes today - and not being mobile friendly hurts your SEO.
7. No eCommerce
Many industrial sites offer no transaction help, the minimum used to be at least an RFP form but today users expect to be able to transact with transparency to their pricing, stock availability and shipping status on their orders. Yes we know it's a lot of work to tie your website, CRM, ERP and more together but that's what it takes to keep up today.
8. No 2D CAD Drawings of 3D CAD Models of Your Products
If your industrial products are either components (e.g. a bearing or gear) or complete engineered products (e.g. a motor or gearbox) that are 'designed-in' to other products (e.g. a car, a fridge, an industrial machine) then it's likely that those who design, specify or purchase your products need 2D CAD drawings or 3D CAD models. Therefore CAD is a type of content industrial suppliers can utilize on their websites and syndicate to other websites (e.g. to distributors or OEMs or CAD Search Portals like 3DModelSpace.com)
9. No Configurators
If your industrial products are configurable or made-to-measure you should consider using simple configurators or full CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) systems to enable designers and buyers to self-help themselves in selecting or customizing your products to their exact needs. This may be the most helpful industrial marketing you can do.
10. Poor or No marketing Automation
Existing marketing automation tools enable you to create excellent and highly responsive automated experiences for your existing and potential customers, through your website functionality, content and social media. Not just in acquiring new customers but also in retaining existing ones. Marketing automation can come in many forms, from automated email exchanges to AI driven Chat Bots that can handle basic enquires, through to fully design capable configurators. Industrial suppliers that master these automated experiences give customers good reasons to choose them for a slick and “hand-held” journey. Invest in digital marketing automation now.
The top 10 mistakes are in no particular order – if you are currently making any of them see our recommendations for addressing each of them.
And, as always, if you have comments or suggestions please make them below, click to ask us a question or call for a discussion. For CAD questions also see: Digital Marketing with CAD - Get the FAQs! In the meantime we'll continue to keep you up-to-date on eCommerce and new technologies impacting industrial suppliers