What is Industrial Advertising?

Supervisor and manager watching plastic bottles on conveyor belt
Martin Barraud / Getty Images

Industrial advertising, otherwise known as business to business advertising, is a form of advertising to other businesses. It can include the advertising of parts or raw materials for their products or equipment used in their manufacturing process.  

How it Works

Every business is a consumer and needs to enlist the services of other businesses for at least a few things. An office would need to hire a cleaning company, a restaurant needs to hire someone to deliver the raw materials they need to make their food, and a zoo would need to enlist the services of a vet.

Most of these people need business cards as well and may need to hire someone to make them. 

A company selling coffee will likely need to purchase their coffee powder from a different company, their cups from yet another, and so on. A large company may manufacture all of that themselves, but most do not.

Industrial advertising is what anyone who hires themselves out to a business rather than an individual needs to do.

The Role of Industrial Advertising

The role of industrial advertising is to minimize the hunt for buyers, increase sales, make more distribution channels, and spread awareness of the company's brand, all while helping the company run more efficiently.

Media Types of Industrial Advertising

Any company needing to advertise their product or service to other companies needs to research their competitors and identify their target market when doing so, but not every company's industrial advertising tactics will be the same.

Print media and direct marketing are two of the usual channels of any company's advertising campaigns, and industrial advertising is no exception. 
 
When advertising in print media, a product or service marketed towards other businesses should be simple and legible in a plain font, and the highlight of it should be the product or service and not the company offering it.

That is the easiest way for it to be seen by the target audience. It also needs to have the contact information of the company, so that the consumer can immediately order the product or service.  
 
Direct marketing includes any way of reaching the customer directly, whether over the phone or by email or mail. Brochures and cold calling are some examples. Trade shows and fairs are also ways that an industrial advertising campaign can go forth. The important thing to consider is the fact that reaching other businesses in the hopes of selling them something and making them regular customers is not going to be done the same way as targeting individuals.

The people who make decisions about the logistics of a business are not going to get their information the same way as individuals do. Paper cups for coffee shops to order in bulk are not typically advertised on television or the internet because the people working for a business that needs something like that will not be watching television regularly. Instead, they are more likely to read the newspaper or be on the lookout for that service at a trade show.