56% of Industrial Buyers Research Online Before Contacting You

In Caroline’s earlier post “19 Marketing Statistics Every Manufacturer Should Know” she shared the observation that 56% of industrial professionals don’t contact a vendor until they compare & evaluate vendors through supplier website content. What does this mean to you?

Evaluate Your Competitors
The obvious first step is to look at your competitor’s websites. Try to put yourself in your potential customer’s place. What are your first impressions? Is it attractive? Easy to navigate? Are their main advantages over their competitors (including you) plainly stated? One thing to remember is that your online competitors are not necessarily the competitors you generally think of. A person just beginning research about your product may not be influenced by how big or small or competitively priced the competitor is. Remember, they are looking online before they contact anyone.

Assess Your Website
Now repeat the exercise. This time look at your own website. You’ve probably seen your website hundreds of times. It may be impossible to be truly unbiased. However, you need to forget for a moment what you know your website is trying to say and only see what it actually says.

Is your product/service you offer clear immediately? You may be surprised to find that when you designed your website you assumed a certain level of familiarity with your company. You can’t trust that visitors to your website know anything about you.

Will a visitor to your site who knows nothing about you also understand immediately what you DON’T do? Do you get RFQ’s or contact form submissions for things you don’t offer? One way to reduce these time-wasters is to make it clear what you won’t do. (But they may not be time-wasters if the market repeatedly asks for it. Consider it potential clients giving you free product development market research.)

Is the unique benefit of doing business with you plainly obvious and compelling? Your mission here is to pay as little attention as possible. Your potential client is probably less motivated to pay attention to the details of your story than you are. They are scanning the copy and may not even read all of it. Scan your website with headphones in, listening to your favorite music. Do you still “get it”?

The most important thing to remember is that you have to be unmistakably clear in your message and convince the 56% of potential clients that they would regret not taking that next step of contacting you when they are ready.


Learn why the Internet is manufacturing’s best friend, including reliable ways to generate cost-effective leads:

Digital Marketing 101 for Manufacturers

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