Why Industrial Suppliers Need Marketing in a Down Economy

The information in this post is nothing new to most marketers, but I still think it’s worth revisiting because in my opinion we now have enough stats to support what most people predicted.

Economy Graph

The graph above represents the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the past year. It’s a good representation of the state of the economy and most likely your own sales volume over the past year.

Point A is significant because this is when everyone started their cutbacks and of course marketing budgets are almost always the first to get cut. The general feeling was that the downward trend would continue with no end so it’s best to keep as much money in house as possible. In other words “The world is going to end”.

The economy did continue the downward trend (for 6 whole months!) until we bottomed out at Point B.

But here we are 6 months later at Point C and the market has actually grown significantly since the time when marketing budgets were being slashed in preparation for the end of the world.

Suppliers need to focus on what happened during the time between Point A and Point C from the buyer’s perspective.

As suppliers, we love “Buyers” and hate “Shoppers”, but we all understand that shopping is part of every buying process. Buyers spent the past 9 months working harder and more aggressively than ever because they wanted to make sure that decisions made when projects are reinstated are decisions that win over their Superiors (i.e. save them money). We’re talking about 9 full months of supplier sourcing, searching and evaluating, price shopping, and bargaining.

The graph above clearly shows that buying activity has actually grown in 2009 after a bad end to 2008 (which by the way was still a great year for most companies).

Which suppliers do you think buyers found more often during their 9 months of focusing on sourcing new suppliers?
The suppliers who marketed themselves and actively got themselves in front of the buyers of course! The companies who slashed their marketing and hid from “the storm” are now further behind than ever because they are not in the running for current projects and can only hope to be considered in future projects.

The good news is that 2010 is right around the corner and when planning your marketing strategy you now have a point of reference that clearly indicates the value in long term planning and not short-term knee jerk reactions.

Most marketing strategies take months to become established and generate a return…even on the Web. For a relatively small investment, a ThomasNet Internet marketing program can immediately start working for you and kick start your road back to recognition. We will develop a sound marketing program for you on the world’s largest resource dedicated to serving industrial buyers.

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