Companies selling their products or services to manufacturing professsionals face the challenges that marketers in any industry do: determining who, exactly, the audience is and how best to reach them. These hurdles can be particularly complex in the manufacturing market, however, because business has rapidly moved online, and many marketers are struggling to keep pace. Because buyers are gathering so much information online, they're contacting suppliers much later in the buying cycle. By the time buyers contact them, they've probably filtered out a few companies. They've extended the buying process deeper without asking any questions.
This shift makes in-depth product information more important than ever. Many times, you're dealing with an engineer who needs very technical, specifications-based data. Is it big enough; fast enough; does it cycle this many times? There better be good information for them - and it better be within your web site.
Most important, marketers need to drive prospects to their web site. Marketers should be using an integrated approach that incorporates traditional media such as print advertising, as well as online tactics with vertical magazine web sites and search engine marketing.
You can't assume there's one best way to reach your audience. Even within a particular company, you might have one guy who's been there 20 years and is not getting online when researching products. But there may be an up-and-comer at the same company who's downloading podcasts and attending webinars to learn about things.