Industrial tools marketing comes with a set of challenges that don’t apply to other markets.
For one, industrial tools companies tend to be extremely niche B2B organizations. Certain types of equipment, such as smaller hand tools, components like bolts, springs, and heavier machinery or parts apply to a limited number of potential prospects, like factories or industrial companies.
Because of that, manufacturers of industrial products prefer to focus on maintaining old customer relationships and ensuring sales. The sales cycles are long. Prospects require a logical process of deciding if certain industrial products match their specific goals. There’s a lot of back-and-forth communications of detailed technical knowledge of a product. There’s no room for the more emotional consumer marketing tactics here. However, once deals are closed, that customer is in for the long-run. So it makes a lot of sense why industrial tools companies would prefer not to “waste time” on marketing.
Customer nurturing also means you might be on regular stand-by to answer questions or address any issues or malfunctions. Such issues would are very high-stakes and demand immediate attention. After all, if an industrial product isn’t working for a company whose systems depend on it, it could potentially be at a standstill until resolved.
Common Industrial Tools Marketing Challenges
- Knowledge of sometimes inaccessible and limited market information
- A complex pricing system
- Requires deep technical knowledge of a product
- Involves a different buyer motivation
- Takes on a logical angle, in contrast with emotional consumer marketing
- Buying cycles require much patience and personalized support that it’s hard to focus on marketing strategies.
All companies need a good industrial tools marketing strategy in place to maximize results.
Why is it important for industrial tools companies to have a marketing strategy?
Manufacturing companies have to grow. Today, the digital world has raced past traditional companies who have been focusing on their small circle of distributors and retailers. While buyer relationships are critical when it comes to long-term sales processes, the industry could use a polish.
Some companies that sell industrial products prefer prioritizing sales over marketing. If this sounds like you, reconsider. While industrial tools may have a limited scope of prospects, how can you be sure you have exhausted all potential prospects.
After all, remember that retail, online and offline, has expanded so fast in only the past decade. Retailers and distributors have evolved to update their business strategies. Thus, it’s imperative that industrial tools manufacturing companies do the same.
The goal of an industrial tools marketing strategy is to boost brand awareness. With fewer retailers and distributors to rely on, manufacturers have to find new streams of revenue by putting themselves out there. While investing in new marketing techniques may feel unusual at first, especially through digital methods, it may actually enhance and exemplify the epitome of a brand. It can put on front-and-center in from of your audience, helping build transparency with customers, new and old.
Before taking on any new strategy, establish your goals first.
Top Goals of Industrial Tools Marketing
Companies need to focus on customer acquisition and also finding creative ways to fill gaps in the industry. If there’s no room, make room.
- Customer acquisition
- Brand recognition
- Presenting yourself as an authority in the industry
- Find new markets to enter
- An automated marketing strategy that saves time
- Increase revenue stream
While challenges to industrial tools companies may have seemed unavoidable in the past, the internet has opened a lot of doors. For example, a good digital marketing strategy can give you a way to showcase your brand passively. Websites and online tools and opportunities gives manufacturers automated ways to market, without taking time away from their value.
Are you ready to widen your circle and remain present in a new field of industrial tools sales?
Without further ado, let’s dive into top ways to hone in on your marketing strategy and increase your industrial tools sales, brand recognition, and revenue.
1. Sell with industrial tools manufacturers’ reps
One way to expand your brand on the ground is through a manufacturers’ rep.
What are manufacturers’ representatives? They are independent, commission-based, driven sales reps who have been in the industry for years. Usually, they tend to represent a variety of products or companies in the same arena. Thus, they are highly specialized and trained in any industrial tools you want to market through them.
What are the benefits of using manufacturers’ reps?
Manufacturers’ reps can help uphold your traditional marketing strategy without you on the scene. Since they are self-governing, you’re getting a large part of marketing out of your hands.
Essentially, reps are well-versed in the skills needed to promote industrial tools. That means little-to-no onboarding or education of product specifications is needed. Furthermore, manufacturers’ reps already know where to find the right prospects, sometimes in places you haven’t even considered.
In case you think that reps might sell for competitive companies, don’t worry. Although reps tend to stick to a very niche part of the industry, a dependable manufacturers’ rep is strategic. Commonly, they may combine corresponding products together from different companies to offer prospects a valuable deal.
To find a manufacturers’ rep, plenty of online directories (i.e. manaonline.org) exist with listings of qualified sales reps.
2. Get aboard a PIM
In 2021, PIM might just be necessary for any large organization online. With the numerous industrial tool products and variants, you may have, embarking on a PIM solution is a solid idea. Essentially, a product information management system takes the load off of marketing in a lot of ways.
Industrial tools tend to require highly technical specifications. They may come in multiple options, important requirements and protocols, and varying attributes (i.e. length, size, material). Manufacturers need to maintain high-quality master data. After all, it must be accurate when you pass it on to any retailers and distributors. ON PIM, you oversee all your data and even digital assets. Any spec sheets, CAD drawings, or instructional guides for complex industrial tools can be stored as well.
The top advantage of PIM for industrial tools marketing is two-fold.
Firstly, it makes it easy to expand your distribution channels. Secondly, PIM takes care of a lot of tedious tasks involved in creating marketing strategies online.
Let’s talk about the first advantage.
Expand distribution channels
At the onset, there’s the cleansing and maintenance of high-quality product information on PIM. After that, manufacturers can easily send to any partners they choose, long-term or new. From creating and downloading product sheets to creating catalogs to sending to multiple platforms, it’s all possible.
If manufacturers today are hesitant to enter digital channels like online marketplaces or platforms, a PIM tool is a good way to test out the waters without too much cost. Keeping reading to find out how you can market industrial tools on a DTC website.
Automate product information organization
For the second benefit of automating the most time-intensive tasks, PIM takes care of things like organizing product taxonomy. Moreover, it keeps product content exceptional with its grading features. Go a step further and cut time by automating tasks. Create workflows to prepare rich product content and images (which should be stored together) that are ready to export.
Customer relationships can be better strengthened. PIM can double as a hub or digital showroom to allow prospects or customers easy access to the industrial tools they specifically need – all the better for a closer look. This saves time for both you and the customers. They can look at it in their own time
3. Prepare your images
Good visuals translates to great marketing.
Don’t assume that just because industrial tools are more practical products that you don’t need to invest in your photography. Images encompass so much more than just product close-ups. For manufacturers, you will need extensive diagrams and multi-view images for the more complex products. Even for smaller parts, it’s still important that you capture every detail and feature, as well as the use of in-use images.
Images are so important for creating a brand identity for industrial tools manufacturing companies. Moreover, Images increase conversion rates, which is a high-priority goal when you have a digital presence.
Good visuals translates to good marketing
All marketing strategies need excellent photography. No matter what channel or strategy manufacturers choose, images are important.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to invest in great product shots. When it comes to industrial tools, many companies stick to the basics, focusing on showcasing detail and functionality. While critical, it’s important to add a layer of uniqueness, especially if you’re diversifying your channels.
After all, while useful, images are less about being informative and more about pleasing the eye. Having your images ready means you’ll be equipped to enter any outlet. From industrial tools images to company profiles online to a great website, to branding materials, and so on.
Have a diverse set of images at your disposal
If you think that, when it comes to industrial tools, there’s only so much photography can do, think again. Depending on your desired vision, your photography can showcase a consumer-friendly image. Generic or stock images will not set you apart from other companies.
Add new images showcasing brand portraits, facilities, and employee profiles. Images bridge the gap between a customer and a large manufacturing company. Especially since the industrial tools trade can be incredibly specialized, both in product offering and target market audience.
4. Expand your digital footprint
Now that you’ve gotten set up on the field, and you’ve prepared your product information and products, it’s time to go to town.
The trick to getting out of your close circle is to connect with retailers and distributors across the nation. The digital landscape has made it so much easier to sell and market nationally, if not internationally, with regional and national distributors everywhere.
Don’t just let your industrial tools sit in one locale and depend on a few select, close distributors. Expand and diversify your supply chain by broadening your digital horizons.
Selling to retailers and distributors is an excellent way to get skilled marketers to do the job for you. All you need to do is ship large bulk industrial tools to them, and they can sell them directly to consumers themselves.
Partnering with regional distributors means they have an intimate understanding of the market and, consequently, target buyer demands in their region. National distributors network with the most qualified prospects across the nation.
Not only does this increase your reach, but it also quickens the pace of selling. The more partnerships you have, the most brand awareness this strategy will propel.
With online platforms and SaaS tools, it’s easier to manage all these partnerships no matter the distance. For instance, PIM helps you keep track of your partners and distribution endpoints. Thus, it’s easier to send the right product data and content while protecting critical data (i.e. pricing) from security breaches.
5. Launch a DTC site
We’ve talked much about all the indirect ways of marketing industrial tools. What about marketing direct-to-consumer?
If you’re a manufacturer, you might ask, “What do you mean consumer? We sell to businesses.”
Certainly, many industrial tools manufacturers tend to be B2B. That means you might be well-equipped to sell to other businesses that need your tools. But today, more-and-more B2B organizations are growing by way of finding openings in the consumer market. When up to 81% of consumers are projected to buy directly from a company in the next 5 years, it’s not worth missing out.
Why should industrial tools manufacturers launch a direct-to-consumer site?
An optimized store website allows manufacturers more visibility on who their market is. Previously, it was harder to get information on the market, especially when selling to middlemen or when focusing on niche prospects. It would either be difficult to obtain customer information or there wouldn’t be enough prospects to make accurate judgments.
For example, if you sell industrial tools specifically for automotive factories, your market is definitely more narrow, certainly more than the average consumer product.
A DTC operation lets you know who else might be interested in your products. That can further inform better industrial tools marketing strategy. A site is a relatively low-cost way to explore new markets and be more creative in your buyer personas. It can be a sharp change for manufacturers to go from B2B to D2C, but you may find surprising, and ultimately revenue-boosting ways of entering the ecommerce market.
What are the top benefits of going DTC?
Selling direct online also reduces market time massively.
This definitely reduces the strain on manufacturers already dealing with lengthy sales cycles and negotiations. Instead, you have full authority over your pricing on your personal site – and thus, the profits.
Other advantages are as follows:
- Increase brand awareness
- More customer engagement
- Access to potential consumers who will be found online
- A faster process with fewer limitations
- Opportunity for more sales channels and innovative marketing strategies
- Give your brand a fresh look
At the same time there will be some aspects to get used to.
With a DTC site, now is the time to get used to shipping smaller orders rather than bulk packets. That also means increased order volume – in other words, you will need a more efficient system of picking, shipping, and delivering products. Keeping up with customer expectations is key to growing in the ecommerce landscape. Remember that you always have control over the process. The ball is in your court. Getting used to a faster supply chain and different buyer persona is well worth the effort.
How to get started with a D2C site
- Know your target buyer
- Target audiences who will love your tools
- Find gaps in the market in which you can offer something new and be creative
- Choose an ecommerce platform of choice or marketplace
- Establish and finetune brand messaging
Remember that setting up a site isn’t the only way to go DTC. Manufacturers have been doing it for years, but the trick is to maximize your avenues. See opportunities in little-known places.
6. Liquidate industrial tools on marketplaces
Liquidation marketplaces are another prominent outlet for industrial tools manufacturers to market their brand. While liquidation is a common way that businesses can receive profits for poorly selling inventory (or if they’re closing down).
So how might liquidating on marketplaces help you? When for one, you can capitalize on any unsold inventory you may have, including older industrial tools. In case you have anything just sitting there, you can sell it to marketplaces for a low price while getting the added benefit of brand marketing.
Multitudes of ecommerce marketplaces exist, like the typical Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, etc. But more especially, industrial product marketplaces aimed at large, specific market segments. In other words, the right prospective buyers will be scouring these sites for deals, matching your industrial tools up perfectly.
A few examples of liquidation marketplaces include:
- QVC Liquidation
- Walmart Liquidation
- Direct Liquidation
Additionally, there are auctions on which you can sell bulk items.
When you already have an online platform, you can market your products from the marketplaces as sales items. It’s a tactical move to generate more traffic on both ends.
7. Start a Youtube channel
Video marketing is a popular tool, which 92% of marketers consider critical to their marketing strategy. Interestingly, the pandemic has driven many organizations to use video for the first time. Consequently, they realized it was easier, faster, more necessary, or clearer in its beneficial implications.
The same rings true for industrial tools companies.
So many B2B companies have found success in creating a strong online presence – especially through video marketing. Youtube is the perfect platform to spread brand visibility, as the 2nd most popular content platform, according to the Content Marketing Institute. It allows companies to be transparent about their inner business workings.
For example, you can showcase various industrial products and tools in-depth for interested prospects to watch as many times as they want. Videos can be distributed across platforms, from websites to social media, and bring in a ton of traffic across the web via SEO. Furthermore, making videos generally don’t take too much time or effort, and they stay forever online, generating passive benefits.
How to best utilize your Youtube channel?
The best practice of marketing industrial tools on Youtube is simple. Be consistent.
Establishing yourself as available helps for increasing and retaining viewers, which only grows in potential. The more content you have out, the longer prospects will engage with your videos. Do this by setting up a content schedule, like uploading on the same day of the week 2 to 4 times a month. Consistency builds a community of subscribers who know that more high-quality content is in store.
What kind of videos can you make for your industrial tools marketing strategy?
- Brand introduction: Start your journey on Youtube with a channel introduction video about who you are as a manufacturing brand, what your industrial tools are all about, your values, and brands you’ve worked with.
- Product highlights: Talk about and showcase various industrial tools in detail, with a clear, entertaining presentation. This can be a demo, an installation guide, or other creative methods showcasing products.
- Testimonials: Youtube is a great place to have testimonials or video case studies from satisfied customers since social proof has an astounding impact.
- Instructional videos: Also known as ‘how-to videos,’ be helpful by showing products in-use or by giving a step-by-step process.
- Profiles of teams and employees can humanize your company.
- On-site videos: Display your facilities and behind-the-scenes processes
- Q&A videos: Great for not only engagement but also addressing concerns, Q&As are a way to increase trust in your brand and products. Remember – you can also resolve problems that previous customers presented to improve satisfaction in the long-run.
Long story short, Youtube decreases the gap between the target audience and the organization, while simultaneously using a form of scalable, reusable content.
8. Write in publications for industrial tools marketing
A long-time favorite for building awareness is through industry and trade publications. Such are inner-circle magazines that circulate industry news, trends, company highlights, and promotions. Known for connecting businesses with readers in the same realm, publications are so vital. Now, these traditional means have evolved into digital platforms.
Furthermore, they meet customer needs and resources for businesses looking to grow. Publications thrive on a well-situated community in the same industry. More importantly, they are always in need of fresh content that you can deliver.
Publications and trade journals are exceptional ways to reach a broader cast of target buyers. Such prospects are also looking for contestable candidates from whom they can buy their next supply of whatever industrial tools they require. Many publications are available online and offline, on a national, regional, or state level.
Most journals will require a compelling pitch, while others might demand a membership. Print trade magazines usually need an email or call to ask for your company to get a feature on the next publication.
Additionally, you can also promote your brand across other platforms, like Google My Business, LinkedIn, manufacturers directories, or general industrial directories.
9. Provide industry expertise
Create an industrial tools marketing strategy that includes opportunities to extend your specialized expertise. The best way to sell, sometimes, is to teach.
Buyers of industrial tools want manufacturers who know their product. If you are a manufacturer, you know that your customers and prospects value your expertise. The basis of the entire sales process is showing yourself as trustworthy and proficient in your industry. Industrial tools marketing, as mentioned before, is not an emotional process. Rather, it requires less persuasive language, and more authoritative, logical, valuable language. The goal is to further build upon that reliable image digitally.
How can you offer expertise as an industrial tools marketing strategy?
First of all, recognize that you have industry-specific knowledge in a niche field. That immediately gives you an advantage over other eCommerce industries. After all, it’s easier to create new, original content that prospects will be glad to find.
Some might wonder, “Who would want to learn more about our industrial products?”
Well, the answer is this: the right people. That’s why it’s the perfect marketing strategy. Already, your extensive experience connects you with the exact target buyer that is looking for your product or service.
How to offer expertise on your industrial tools online?
We already touched on a few of methods in this post, but there are so many more methods to do so.
- Industry and Trade Publications
- Blog content
- Email newsletter
- Online course
- Case studies
- Social media
Only you can conceive of potential topics to provide expertise about. Consider the years you spent face-to-face with customers, comprehending their pain points and needs.
Draw on those common challenges and contribute accessible solutions. Interested prospects will be able to tell the difference between authentic information and run-of-the-mill content with researched information aggregated from different sources on the web. Your authentic knowledge will shine compared to the rest.
Industrial Tools Marketing: Create your Gameplan Today
Industrial tools brands are not left out of the marketing equation. Online channels have opened up the dam for a multitude of ways to propel recognition of industrial manufactures. Now, it’s possible to find customers in them ost unexpected of places. Considering the pandemic, manufacturers and distributors have no choice but to attempt new marketing avenues. With the barring of in-person product showcases, sales meetings, tours, and trade shows, it’s necessary to create unique ways to grow.
Whether that is by opening a direct-to-consumer channel, taking advantage of marketplaces or publications, or attempting a multitude of content types, or even all of the above, manufacturers have options. Even more, the digital space is more flexible, making exploration affordable with a high ROI potential. Further simply your marketing journey with the help of tools like PIM software.
If you’d like to maximize the impact of your industrial tools marketing, check out Catsy PIM software to schedule a demo today and see how it can streamline your marketing content process.