Industrial marketing is the business-to-business (B2B) selling of materials, products, and components used to manufacture end products. The process is more complex than business-to-consumer (B2C) or traditional B2B marketing for three reasons. One, the products being sold are far more complicated. Complex, custom machines require a lot of technical knowledge to sell. Two, the buyers involved in industrial marketing are uniquely knowledgeable about the product. They evaluate based on measurable specs and ROI, and sales teams rarely speak directly with final decision-makers. Finally, products sell in a small, niche, heterogeneous market. Statistical research methods and traditional sales funnels don’t apply.
Industrial manufacturers used to rely on sales teams and trade shows to navigate this marketing maze. Now, 94% of B2B customers research online before buying a product. More than 70% fully define their needs before engaging with a sales rep. While manufacturers do need to protect their intellectual property, they also need to make specific information available to the engineers who will request and use their products.
The Importance of CAD Models in Industrial Marketing
Design engineers are often in their 2nd or 3rd stage of the buying process before they contact a part vendor. They need to see high-quality, accurate data and 3D models to specify parts. In other words, downloadable CAD files are a boon here; 82% of engineers who download a CAD file for a part ultimately make a purchase.
Unfortunately, sellers who don’t make their CAD available suffer; 80% of engineers move on if they can’t download CAD models from a part supplier. 43% go directly to the supplier’s competitor. Engineers want to find the correct part, test it within their design, and pass on to purchasing. The suppliers’ sales team may never interact with the engineer, but the engineer is the one they need to convince. Don’t let outdated ways of operating cost you sales.