Industrial marketing in the digital age: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – and Reaction.

Industrial marketing in the digital age: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – and Reaction.

Ah, those old marketing mantras. The theory sounds easy, but how do you put them into practice in the real world?

Over the last 20 years, industrial marketing has changed dramatically, primarily due to evolving technology and the digital revolution. We have seen more change, we think, than in any other period in marketing history.

The skills needed are massively different to those of just a few years ago – social media, programming on demand, the internet, mobile and in-hand personal computers with massive processing power have changed everything.

So is the old mantra of Attention, Interest, Desire, Action still relevant?  Well, we’d argue that it’s never been more so – particularly with the addition of ‘reaction’ which is essential to focus on fast-changing customer behaviour.

The main mistake that many companies made in adopting new digital technologies was to forget these essential principles. Too many have thought “we need an app” just because others have them –  but without thinking through WHY they needed one.

In doing so, they have forgotten the purpose of their own marketing – and that’s a shame, because done correctly, digital tools can be a huge help and a big differentiator. Take animations as an example;

Attention – this is pretty simple really, nothing draws eyes to an exhibition stand more than a truly engaging animation. Animations can easily break through the surrounding noise and grab peoples attention.

Interest – our engineering and technology clients tend to have complex products or services – and nothing gets a lot of information across more quickly than an animation. The trick is to make them so interesting that anyone – even people not directly involved in the product or marketplace – find them interesting. If you want to make people genuinely interested, then tell them what  they need to know in an engaging way.

Desire – People buy what they desire, as well as what they need. Salesmen are trained to build product desire in their customers through meaningful communication.  An animation does this too – but is also an exceptional ‘leave behind’ that can reinforce the sales message, reduce post-sales dissonance, be easily distributed to influence other decision-makers and act as a reminder during extended decision-making processes.

Action – You may think that animations can only have limited impact when actually closing a sale. But good animated material can be re-positioned into useful post-sale tools like digital product manuals or immersive training tools, which are a differentiation factor between you and the competition. How many car sales are enhanced by animated configurators? Quality engaging, and interactive tools can enhance the sales process, making it easier to close the deal, and in the example of cars, sell more options.

Reaction – really useful post-sales tools like these keep your company at the front of clients minds and embed you within the client’s business model and day to day operation.

The more integral you can make your digital product to the client’s organisation, the better – and, going back to the most fundamental marketing mantra of all, everyone knows that it’s easier to retain an existing client than to pick up a new one.