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What is Industrial Marketing?

Industrial marketing must be handled differently than other types of marketing. You must be patient and do a lot of research before you get started. This blog will hit on a few items you need to review.

What is Industrial Marketing and is it relevant to my business?  The answer is yes. If you own or work for a company that makes products or provides a services for other companies, then you need industrial marketing. 

Definition: Industrial marketing is defined as a marketing plan that one business utilizes to sell industrial products or services to another business for generating leads and optimizing b2b conversions.

WI Blog Post_Industrial Marketing


Industrial marketing, B2B revolves around industrial manufacturers, suppliers, and buyers where all your marketing efforts are directed to other businesses that need your products and services rather than to individual customers, B2C. Industrial marketing is aimed at increasing sales of wholesale products for industrial purposes. It often involves large orders and long-term relationships between the producer and client. The process from lead to close of sale is more complex and usually requires more time getting to know the customer and their needs.

Consumer marketing, on the other hand, revolves around the marketing of products and services to individuals. The consumers buy products and services for their own use.

While B2C sales might focus on one-on-one interactions between two parties, businesses are usually made up of a number of individuals. Before the product appears on the other store’s shelves, the two businesses must reach a deal that will involve the manufacture, purchase, and shipping of thousands of products.

Companies that would fit into this category include: manufacturing companies, educational institutions, food & beverage companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and distributors. 

Because industrial marketing often involves large orders and long-term relationships between the producer and client, the process from first pitch to close of the sale is often more complex than the process between a business and a private customer.


Industrial Marketing vs. Consumer Marketing

The main difference between consumer and industrial marketing practices is the number of goods or services being transferred from one business to another. Most instances involved with industrial marketing include a large number of goods being purchased, as opposed to consumer marketing generally dealing with only one item.

A company that makes large-scale manufacturing machinery, for example, is either unlikely or unable to sell that machinery to private individuals because those customers are unlikely to be able to afford it or won’t need equipment of such size. The machinery would have to be sold to another business that has both the resources and need to produce large quantities of their own product, such as a mass-market toy factory that needs to create one million units of the same toy each year.

Whereas, a coffee shop is selling coffee, their product to individuals, or a travel company is selling their services to an individual or family.


3 Tips to Distinguish Industrial Marketing from Consumer Marketing?

There is a distinction between industrial marketing and consumer marketing. In this section, we are going to discuss 3 distinguishing tips to help you understand better the differences between these two types of marketing.

* Industrial Buyers Have More Specific Needs

Your buyer might be looking for a heat exchanger. But more likely, they are looking for coil heat exchanger. And even more likely, they are looking for a special brand of coil heat exchanger. The point? Mass marketing doesn’t work when each buyer has such specific and technical needs and requirements. A successful industrial marketing strategy requires a more targeted, niche-specific approach.

* Research Is the Biggest Part of a Purchase

Business man pointing the text Investigate

Long sales cycles tend to accompany big industrial B2B purchases. Lots of money is involved. Often many people are involved.  As a result, this kind of big purchasing decision is typically just accomplished by a significant amount of research by the buyer.

You might argue that many consumer purchases also involve a good deal of research. A new home. Expensive furniture. A car. A computer. But rarely do even these biggest of consumer purchases take the good majority of a year or more. That leads to the next point

* Purchases & Partnerships

When the sales cycle does take months, or a year or more, staying top of mind, earning trust, and qualifying your business are all critical steps in the buying process. Successfully catering to these steps is what we call “lead nurturing.” The industrial buyer needs to feel confident in you and know that they are being taken care of.

Often a B2B purchase means that a relationship is about to form as the buyer may have to work closely with you for months or even years. They don’t want to start over again next year. They want to make the right decision, right now. So, the relationship matters.


In part 2 of the Industrial Marketing series, we will talk about the Industrial Marketing Plan, what it is and the steps to putting it together.