What Is Industrial Advertising?

What You Need to Know About Industrial Advertising

African american young woman working at an assembly production of water pumps at a factory
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Industrial advertising promotes products and services to companies that will use them in their business. Industrial advertising may refer to advertising directed at manufacturers buying raw materials or equipment used in their manufacturing process, or it may refer to business-to-business (B2B) advertising in general.

Learn more about industrial advertising and how it works.

What Is Industrial Advertising?

Industrial advertising can refer to marketing designed to obtain the business of a manufacturing firm. It might advertise essential materials, equipment, or technology needed to keep a manufacturing business running.

Industrial advertising can also refer to any B2B advertising, even if it is not specific to the manufacturing industry.

  • Alternative names: Business-to-business advertising, B2B advertising

How Industrial Advertising Works

Individuals aren't the only ones who make purchases. Every business is a consumer as well as a seller.

For example, a business in an office needs to buy computers, purchase industry-specific software, and hire a cleaning company. A lawn-care company needs to buy mowers, shovels, trimmers, a cargo trailer, and other tools. A construction company requires raw materials, such as pipes and lumber, for every project.

Like consumers, businesses want their purchases to solve a specific problem. They want to see advertising about solutions to their problems rather than about the business doing the selling.

Unlike individual consumers, who often shop around for one-time deals or irregular purchases, businesses usually need to buy the same products over and over. They look for a long-term relationship with a seller so that purchasing necessary materials becomes a predictable part of their business model.

Industrial advertising is intended to connect with businesses and encourage them to make a purchase. Industrial ads are designed to attract buyers, increase sales, expand distribution channels, and spread awareness of a company's brand.

Types of Industrial Advertising

Like other forms of advertising, industrial advertising should be based on a marketing strategy that incorporates information about your target customers, competitors, market, and unique selling proposition. These elements allow you to identify the best places to reach businesses that need your products.

Industrial advertising is usually placed in industry-specific channels, allowing businesses to narrowly target other businesses who need their goods and services. These channels include:

  • Trade shows or business fairs
  • Industry publications, such as trade magazines or websites
  • Direct mail advertisements, including brochures, postcards, or catalogs
  • Cold calling or emailing
  • Word-of-mouth or referral advertising

As you design a marketing plan that includes industrial advertising, remember that the people who make logistical decisions for their businesses will not get their information the same places that consumers do. Manufacturing equipment and office supplies aren't advertised on TV because most people watching will not need those products. Instead, industrial advertising should be placed strategically to position your business as the leading solution within your industry.

Industrial customers typically want to be educated about the purchases they're considering. Content marketing is one way to simultaneously educate and advertise. Content marketing involves offering content that's compelling to businesses. For example, if you're a tech company that sells software to manufacturers, you might write a blog post about signs their software needs an upgrade. You could post the blog to your website and send it out via email.

Eighty percent of business decision-makers prefer to get information from an article rather than an ad.

With content marketing, the most important aspect is to provide value to the customer. To ensure your target audience finds your content, use search engine optimization (SEO) and include a call to action in each blog. It could be inviting the potential client to get in touch or encouraging them to download a resource like a white paper.

No matter what type of advertising you do, you should still make your industrial ads as compelling as possible. Communicate a clear value proposition and speak to the needs of your customers by highlighting the benefits that you can provide. The most effective industrial advertising creates trust that leads to long-term relationships with other businesses in complementary industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Industrial advertising is advertising that promotes products to companies that will use them in their business. 
  • It can refer to advertising aimed at manufacturers or business-to-business (B2B) advertising in general (industries vs. consumers). 
  • B2B advertising tends to be informative and solution-focused. Content marketing is one way to reach businesses. 
  • Regardless of the way you advertise, your ads should clearly highlight the benefits of your product or service.