Strategy & Consulting

Digital transformation in the industrial industry: what went down in our latest episode of DPDK Talks [Video]

Written by Pim van Helten on 1, Juth 2021

DPDK Talks is back! In our newest episode, copywriter Catherine LeBar spoke with Paul Jitta, Partner and Global Growth Director of DPDK, about the industrials industry. They discussed the state of the industrial sector over the past year, what prevents industrials from capitalizing on digitization, and what it means for these brands to truly “embrace digital.”

You can watch their entire discussion here, in the video below:

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 most significant points:

1. There’s a new normal coming for industrial brands - with big opportunities for those who welcome it

It’s estimated that only 20-30% of B2B buyers want to interact with sales reps in person, even in an ideal post-COVID environment. As a result of this shift, more than half of industrial transactions will be initiated, if not conducted entirely, online in the near future. 

Digital self-serve is poised to become the dominant element of the B2B go-to-market model, presenting countless new opportunities for growth for industrials. But first, you will need to get on board.

This switch requires a reallocation of most sales budgets towards an increased online presence, and most importantly, a change in mindset for industrials heavily invested in traditional structures. Industrial brands who fail to invest in a digital marketing and sales strategy will risk between 10 and 20% of their revenues.

The good news is that the barrier of entry is actually quite low. Right now, most industrial companies only invest a small portion of their marketing and sales budgets in their digital channels. There is enormous potential in the digitization of marketing and sales, and an increased focus on online channels is sure to enhance your conversions and overall process efficiency.

2. Execution is the biggest hurdle

Many industrial brands find that they struggle the most with the execution part of digitization. They don’t know where to start, or how to make the necessary changes to their marketing operations.

There’s a few reasons for this. Mainly, it’s because it takes time, rigorous planning, and skills they don’t necessarily have in-house. Decision-makers at industrials have to recognize that digitization doesn’t happen overnight: it is a perpetual, ongoing process.

Another roadblock is that some industrials use their peers as benchmarks. They see associates and competitors using similar strategies, and feel no need to change. These companies are usually more traditional, so they have legacy systems and processes in place that are difficult to break down and change.

Lastly, B2C commerce has set the standard for the B2B market. Some industrial marketers are still adjusting to consumers who expect the same customer experience they get from the B2C market in B2B.

3. For industrial sales and marketing teams, embracing digital will mean delivering true customer-centricity

In today’s ever-changing market, the only industrials who will be able to successfully compete are customer-centric. The more your customer stays at the forefront of all your decisions, the better your marketing will resonate, the more sales you’ll make, and the stronger your brand will be.

Prioritize digitizing your marketing channels to have an online presence in the spaces where your customers are. You want to be found when your customer is searching for services, and then engage them throughout their entire buying journey.

Industrial sales and marketing teams should also aim to continuously optimize a digitally-enabled, seamless customer experience using data. That requires getting customers a voice in the product and service lifecycle, empowering customers with self-service capabilities like customer portals, and investing in technologies that fit with their business model.

It’s going to look a bit different for every company, but whatever methods you adopt must fit your particular company and your customer’s wants and needs. While it may be tempting to act rapidly out of fear of being left behind, careful planning and a solid implementation strategy will carry the day.

Pim van Helten

Pim van Helten


Ready to embrace digital?

Contact Pim