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Are your industrial customers finding your company on the internet? According to Globalspec’s 2015 Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector study, 81% of industrial professionals spend three or more hours per week on the Internet for work-related purposes, and 53% average more than an hour a day online for work.

What are they looking for?

Here are their top five reasons for going online:

  1. Find components, equipment, services and suppliers
  2. Obtain product specifications
  3. Find product availability information
  4. Conduct research
  5. Compare products across suppliers

These findings have two important repercussions for your sales and marketing strategy. First, if the internet is currently not an active part of your sales and marketing cycle, you are failing to capture numerous new buyers scouring the internet for products like yours. Your site should be rich with relevant content, and should do an effective job of introducing and selling your company and your products. Once your content strategy is in place, landing page optimization can help you ensure that visitors are properly guided through the site and converted into buyers.

Second, if you don’t have a sound online marketing strategy, your site will have trouble reaching the prospective buyers who have to sift through the internet clutter and a slew of your global competitors, all vying for their business. To compete in the online world, you need a website that is optimized for the search engines (SEO), and an online advertising program utilizing paid search, trade directories, and social media sites.

In today’s industrial market, customers increasingly prefer to research products and companies online rather than in a face-to-face meeting with your rep. This by no means spells the end to your outside salesforce — there will always be value in face-to-face customer relationship building. But what this does mean is that your digital marketing strategy is now a critical first part of your sales cycle, responsible for driving a constant flow of new qualified prospects to your company.

How does your digital marketing strategy measure up?