Industrial Marketing Communication

The industrial products are technical in nature that have very few buyers  compared to the consumer products. This makes the industrial marketers to  change their promotional strategy for industrial goods and services. The  promotional mix used by the industrial marketer consists of advertising, sales  promotion, publicity, public relations, personal selling and direct marketing.  These tools help them to build awareness, develop company image, inform  about the product features thus assisting the company sales force and other  intermediaries to increase their sales. Of all the promotional mix, personal  selling is the most important because industrial products are technical in nature  and they involve lot of direct interactions by the company people with the  industrial customers. However, all the elements of promotional mix needs to be  well integrated with personal selling with proper coordination in order to  develop an effective industrial marketing communication strategy.

Industrial Marketing Communication

Any industrial communication or promotion program in order to be effective has  to follow certain steps. The various steps that are involved for effective  industrial marketing communication program are as given below.

Establishing the objectives of communication: The objectives of industrial marketing communication  or industrial promotion are derived from the marketing objectives and entire  company’s objectives. This calls for the marketer to collect varied data from the  market regarding the present awareness levels about the company and its  products, the attitudes of the target customers and their buying action. The  availability of such data is prerequisite for the industrial marketers to set their  communication goals. Accordingly, the marketers have to increase the  awareness levels, develop favorable attitude and bring in a strong desire among  the customers to buy their products. All this requires the use of combination of  communication media. For instance, if the objective of the organization is to  enter a new market and create product awareness, it would be apt to advertise in  any magazine or journal, while to inform about distinct product features that has  an advantage over the competitor’s, it would be ideal to go for personal selling  by meeting the customers directly.

Identifying the target audience: The target market can be identified by  segmenting the target market and then identifying the buying organization. Then  their awareness, attitudes and buying factors need to be identified where their  opinion about the company, its products, its competitors are known. This helps  the company to change itself accordingly and keep up-to the expectations of its  target audience. Such information is generally obtained by carrying out a  research study.

Determining the promotional budget: This is the most difficult task for any  industrial organization as how much budget it should allocate for promotional  activities. There are different methods that are followed by different companies  as per their individual policies and convenience. Some of the common methods  that are generally used by the industrial marketers are:

  • Affordable method: The budgets are set as per the affordability of the  company. This has the disadvantage that promotional budget is not  considered as an investment that would impact the sales volume.
  • Percentage of sales method: Most of industrial marketers use this  method where based on the sales figure of previous year or the  budgeted current year sales, a certain percentage of it is fixed as  promotion budget.
  • Competitive parity method: In this method, the industrial marketer is  influenced by the competitor and spends the same percentage of sales  as promotion as spent by the competitor i.e., maintaining parity with  the competitor.
  • Objective and task method: In this method, the industrial marketer  defines the promotional objectives and determines the tasks to be  performed to achieve those objectives and estimates the cost of  performing such tasks. The total of these costs form the promotional  budget.

Developing message strategy: Message strategy is developed by creating  rational appeal rather than moral or emotional appeal that are used in consumer  goods. This is developed by conducting a market survey to find out the  satisfaction needs sought by target audience. As the industrial buyers are  knowledgeable, the message should focus on the benefits to the customer rather  than on the product features.

Industrial Marketing Communication Medias

Media selection: This depends on the kind of target audience to be reached, the  budget available and the objective of the industrial marketing communication. With different  promotional tools available like advertising, sales promotion, public relations  and publicity, direct marketing and personal selling, the industrial marketer  should make an ideal choice to select the media that would enhance his product  sales.

Evaluating the promotion: The various promotional activities carried out by the  industrial marketer are evaluated by measuring the difference in awareness  levels, the attitude, and the actual purchases of the target audience. The  difference before and after the implementation of the promotional plan is  identified. This involves carrying out research study to find out the changes in  the levels of awareness, attitude and buying action of the target audience.

Integrating promotional program: The industrial marketer has to integrate the  various industrial marketing communication tools so that the communication plans of the company  are clear, consistent and cost effective. This calls for conducting training  programs for the people handling the various communication tools.

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