November 12, 2019
The landscape of chemical sales is changing rapidly, and many businesses are struggling to keep up. Prospective and current customers are looking at their chemical supply as commodities instead of interpersonal business relationships, and the driving force for traditional chemical marketing is beginning to fade away.
It is essential for any business to stay ahead of its clientele with comprehensive marketing strategies. However, when those tactics are decades old and are aimed at a population in the workforce that continues to dwindle, new avenues of outreach need to be discovered. The days of forging relationships through exemplary service and support are fading fast, and if chemical companies wish to remain competitive, they’ll need to find other avenues for marketing.
The condition of tradition
The most effective marketing tool in a chemical company’s kit used to be well-established relationships with their clients. Specialized compounds would be developed or provided at a high cost, which was offset by customer support services that were unparalleled in the manufacturing industry.
Unbeknownst to chemical manufacturers, these services would eventually come at a high cost in the form of lost sales. Businesses have begun to commoditize chemicals to the point of making purchases solely based on available price. Since customer support is no longer a primary concern, chemical marketing needs to take a fresh look at current trends.
Why the change
Baby boomers are leaving the workplace in droves as retirement gets closer by the day. Replacing these employees are men and women of the digital generation, used to surfing the web for low prices and valuing the ease that one-click shopping offers to the customer. As a result, more businesses are focusing on pricing instead of relationships and reliable service in lieu of dedicated support.
It is the drastic shift towards digital trends that has forced chemical companies to adjust their footing. Unfortunately, many businesses have seen their losses as an indication that their sales and marketing teams need additional funding to get in front of the right customers.
The digital shift
Putting additional revenue into ineffective marketing tactics does little to increase sales, especially if product costs remain stagnant or even increase to compensate for added expenditures. With customers relying on searches more and more, it’s important to tailor strategies towards recognizability, targeted advertising, and SEO results. More importantly, to get their products noticed, companies in the chemical industry must focus on the places where their clients spend the most time looking for resources.
Tools like UL’s Prospector® fill the gap between interpersonal relationships and search optimization. By connecting chemical developers and retailers to their clients, these services allow businesses to create relationships in new ways. Suppliers can add value by providing their clients with the comprehensive information they need to identify the best materials for their products. In turn, suppliers can understand who is truly interested in their product information through the analytics platform that tools like Prospector provide.
It’s not enough to simply list product information and walk away. To keep pace, chemical marketing strategies must incorporate all of the multimedia tools at their disposal to monitor trends and update tactics based on customer needs. Since they can no longer rely on direct, long-lasting relationships to influence sales decisions, businesses must instead look to market reports and figures to track how their products are doing.
Chemical lead generation platforms like UL’s Connect allow business to see product engagement on Prospector, giving them valuable insight into who is a lead and what is their product interest. These reports ensure chemical companies understand how current and prospective clients engage with their products and learn new ways to market chemicals to selective businesses that need them.
Taking advantage of SEO
Search engine optimization is a necessary component in any business’s toolbox. Having skilled professionals create ways for products to get noticed is just as important as research and development itself. Without proper setup, companies will find all of their work wasted, since product descriptions and chemical marketing efforts will be buried at the bottom of search results.
By conforming to SEO guidelines, businesses can find their products elevated in those results, not only making them more visible but also easier to find by those clients needing them most. Companies like Prospector feature specialized marketing tools that help get goods noticed, promoting products in effective ways to keep ahead of the competition.
Understanding the customer
The key to any marketing strategy is knowing what customers want, sometimes even before they do. By assessing information provided by data streams, it becomes easier for companies to not only learn why their chemical products are important, but who’s buying them, how they’re being utilized and even when clients are in need of a resupply.
The benefit of using search engine-based marketplaces is that companies gain access to a wealth of information that can help in the development and sale of their goods. Knowing what materials a customer or company is researching, how many companies are engaging with a product’s technical information, and how frequently a product is viewed can help guide product strategy. Getting first-hand access to that information can ensure chemical marketing is aimed at the right customers, contacting businesses the moment they express interest.
Every business needs to focus part of their energy on marketing their products, and the chemical industry is no different. Past chemical marketing strategies are failing today because the world is changing at a rapid rate. Seeking digital options to conventional problems, chemical companies will be able to compete in a marketplace that welcomes new ideas and rewards those who take a closer look at the data, playing to the strengths of a rapidly evolving workforce.
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