The Importance of the Internet in Industrial Marketing
Over the past 10 years the rise of the Internet has forced suppliers to significantly change their sales and marketing strategies if they wish to remain competitive. As a result, virtually every company is in the process of upgrading their Website or just finished doing so. The competitive advantage is in choosing a Website vendor with the experience and technology to constantly meet the changing demands of both user friendliness and search engine friendliness.
Why is the Internet so important? The Internet is now the #1 tool for buyers engaged in the vendor selection process and has subsequently become the #1 marketing tool for suppliers . In the past, buyers were required to contact vendors when gathering information to evaluate them and were forced to initiate the sales cycle and invite bidding opportunities very early in the process. The Internet provides buyers with a tool to evaluate potential vendors before inviting them into the sales process. Therefore, your Website provides the first impression for buyers of your company and is the primary differentiator in getting you in the door for sales opportunities. Buyers that are not impressed or satisfied with your Website can instantly find an alternative supplier. The balance of power has shifted away from the supplier and into the hands of the buyer and we must meet their expectations before we even know we are being evaluated.
The once regimented business rules between manufacturers and distributors have been blurred by the “loopholes” afforded by the World Wide Web and the cost of seemingly extravagant marketing campaigns is a fraction of what it was in the past. This has opened the door for companies that would not have otherwise been considered as competitors to compete in your markets and for you to compete in markets you would have traditionally overlooked or ignored.
Best practices for Internet marketing are a moving target. User expectations and improvements in technology force suppliers to constantly enhance their Web presence in order to meet these demands. Most companies are not able to stay on top of these changes on their own.
Industial suppliers are not left with a lot of choices. Hiring a full time employee for Internet marketing is costly and it is very difficult to find a qualified candidate that has the right mix of sales and technology acumen.
ThomasNet is the solution that industrial suppliers choose more often than any other as their Internet marketing partner. ThomasNet.com is the largest and most popular marketplace on the Internet designed specifically to assist buyers in the vendor selection process. Countless hours of user research and technology development are invested annually to maintain the ThomasNet Website and we carry this expertise over to our Website development expertise. Our proprietary Navigator Web technology platform is a proven solution that over 2,000 industrial suppliers have chosen to drive their Internet marketing strategy.
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