Manufacturers have long depended on traditional marketing tactics — cold calling, word-of-mouth, print catalogs and trade shows, among others — to find sales leads. These are still effective ways to sell in the industrial world. But the times, they are a-changin’.
Take Marketing Masters, a composite clip and insert manufacturer. CEO Jacques Gauron used to rely entirely on traditional marketing for sales. A few years ago, however, Gauron decided to focus all his marketing efforts on his website.
The result? In the last year, Gauron’s website helped grow revenue by 30 percent. While all this growth is not directly attributable to his website, Gauron says he’s “regularly contacted by companies — RV, automotive and electronics makers — through his website that he never would’ve spent time cold calling before.”
To help other end product manufacturers understand what goes into building an effective website that converts visitors into leads, I recently caught up with a few industry experts to discuss:
- Why having a quality website matters;
- What industrial buyers expect from a website; and,
- What types of content generate sales leads.
Industrial Buyers Are Now Researching Online
A recent Thomas Industrial Network report found that 90 percent of industrial buyers research, evaluate and select suppliers online. With so much activity taking place on the Web, manufacturers that aren’t investing in their online presence stand to miss out on a major source of leads.
This fact is not lost on the industrial community. In fact, a separate report found that 80 percent of industrial businesses plan to revamp their website in 2012. This is great, but there’s a catch: you need the right content and strategy to convince your website visitors to work with you. Here are five tips to help you do that:
- Model Your Website to Support the Buying Process
- Showcase Your Facility and Processes - AND be sure your IMTS.com profile is up to date **
- Make a Product Catalog with Side-by-Side Comparisons
- Offer Detailed Product Specifications
- Provide Downloadable CAD Drawings
(For a more detailed explanation and examples, please read Derek's complete post.)
It isimportant to understand that creating a manufacturing website that meets buyer expectations requires giving away more information than you may typically share without making contact. Manufacturers that focus on their online presence must become comfortable with making contact later in the buying cycle. The reward, however, will be coming into contact with much more highly qualified leads