How has Process Industry marketing changed over the last 10 years?
Over the years, there has been a definite shift in Process Industry marketing approaches; we have seen literature evolve from very feature-driven pieces to solution-driven or application-based content. Helen Christopher, Marketing Manager at Bürkert shares her ideas.
The basis for Bürkert’s success is the quality and innovation of our products and services. But good products are also produced by other manufacturers. How we stand out is our expertise. For example, people can buy a solenoid valve from anywhere in the world. But how do they know it suits the application? Is it fitted correctly? Sometimes, despite a Global enterprise, it is useful to talk to technical people locally. That is why we have a network of over 35 offices within the Bürkert group (plus many more if you include our trained distribution network!).
Very often people come to us because of an issue. We have many people asking for technical support including overall questions. Not all are necessarily relating to the product, but to the application. Bürkert’s frequently requested information is our useful non-commercial marketing material e.g. Bürkert’s Steam Site Guide or Chemical Resistance Chart.
In 2013 Bürkert developed a new concept of segmentation in order to allow us better focus on customer applications. By applying this new approach across the entire company operation, it delivered an improved focus on solving application based problems and delivering solutions that can be applied to a number of industries.
We realised that segmentation purely by industry or product has limited benefits to our customers. For this reason we reorganised our four segments into strategies for solving frequent posed technical tasks and problems related to our customers' real applications. Our knowledge base is constantly growing and when that is combined with our extensive product portfolio, we are able to develop modular and customised solutions for a wide variety of applications.
As a result we produce a lot of white papers, short guides and other helpful technical material for our customers. That’s not to say we don’t make snazzy sales brochures still, our sales team like to have information to share with customers.
Helen’s Top Tips
- Think of time pressures - People don’t always have time to read the manual! It is nice to have the option to pick up the phone to talk to an expert, or perhaps watch a video about the latest technology.
- Be flexible – Some engineers like printed material albeit long technical articles, some prefer digital material which is to the point. Bürkert provide a choice about how customers consume various information.
- Added value - Products and system solutions are only as good as the service and performance available before and after sales. This is important to Bürkert which is why we provide solid technical support, share knowledge through free training and white papers.
- Features & Benefits - From a marketing point of view, people don’t always want to hear about a new fandangle gizmo all of the time. It’s interesting to know about the latest technologies, but what people really want to know is, what is it and how will this make my life easier and better.
- Real life solutions – Everyone loves an application success story! You can’t beat it and that has never changed. It’s great to learn and share about a challenge, the journey to find the solution and what the end result was. We are always extremely grateful to our customers who are willing to share this information and it’s great to see how proud they are of the improvements made in partnership with Bürkert.
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