Business IntelligenceBusiness



The machine trade has played an essential role for 150 years. In  ​​buying and selling used machines or in the case of sales from the insolvency estate, until now, there have almost exclusively been traditional sales structures. But digitization is also making itself felt here. Companies are increasingly using digital possibilities that offer new opportunities.

Small catchment areas make trading difficult.

When it comes to trading in used machines, the possibilities are very regional and usually limited to one federal state. Of course, this impacts the options for the seller and the potential clientele. In the private sector, so-called online auction houses have existed for a long time, with extensive functions. The machinery sector has now developed its online auctions.

Hidden Champion Surplex as a pioneer

With its concept of an online auction house, the company Surplex has developed into a hidden champion and set new standards for the entire industry. In Europe, Surplex is now the leader in the industry, with new, used machines every day. Every year, 55,000 industrial goods are auctioned off via the platform. Two hundred employees at thirteen locations in Europe ensure that everything runs smoothly. The unique selling proposition of the company is the full worldwide service. Surplex is the only provider with a platform that takes care of everything from dismantling the machine to loading and customs clearance worldwide.

In the founding years, Surplex was a classic auction house with basic marketing activities in the areas of print and advertisements. Today, the company is present in B2B marketing online on all-important channels worldwide. The digitization of marketing was one of the success factors that made Surplex number one in Europe.

The advantages of online auctions

The advantages of online auctions are apparent. Each sale reported by a seller to an auction site is included in the catalogue. This allows a much larger potential buyer base to see the offer. For prospective buyers, the selection increases due to the nationwide range. The more extensive selection makes it much easier for interested parties to compare the prices of the individual offers and ultimately place a realistic bid. Reputable auction houses only list machines that have previously been checked and assessed by a specialist. As a result, customers can rely on the quality of the device. Digital auction houses are increasingly successful. More and more products are being sold via these platforms and are no longer limited to Germany.

Digital logistics simplifies processes.

Digitization is a great help in the logistics sector. Warehousing and warehouse management are good examples of this. Digitization makes it possible always to keep an eye on the existing quantities and allows unique forecasts to identify increasing numbers of inquiries early.

Digital technology also makes it possible to find goods and machines locally. Companies can borrow machines and equipment locally if the job is far away. It is no longer necessary to transport all the equipment from the distant headquarters to the job site.

Digital tracking is also very valuable for many companies. Companies can thus identify disruptions or delays promptly and do not have to query the status every time laboriously.

Digital B2B online marketing

Marketing is a constant in B2B business. Print and advertising used to be the clear focus. Today, digitization is finding its way into all areas. The focus is on data-driven models and the analysis of the customer journey. A digital revolution is currently occurring in B2B marketing, especially in the machine trade. The focus is on optimizing customer and product data to be used directly in operational business. For many companies, there is potential for optimization and synergy effects in project and process management.

Always new channels and possibilities.

Companies active in the B2B machine trade have an increasing choice of B2B online marketing tools. Today it is no longer enough to have an online presence. An online marketing strategy is essential for small and medium-sized companies. The companies are in constant competition with each other, so it is necessary at the beginning to attract the attention of interested parties. Big data makes real-time data collection possible. In this way, companies always have an overview of all critical data.

The B2B online marketing of tomorrow

Large companies with more than 2,000 employees are already investing heavily in digitizing their online marketing. They use ten per cent of the marketing budget for the homepage, and another 30 per cent is intended for online marketing activities. The most significant part flows into search engine advertising and advertising on specialist portals. Other activities take place on social media with online-related texts, images and videos. Surplex also has links to the YouTube channel, Facebook, and LinkedIn as a medium-sized company. The situation is very different for most medium-sized and small companies. You use ten per cent of the marketing budget for the entire online marketing, including maintenance and further development of the homepage.

Concrete tips for B2B marketing

Social media are powerful tools in the B2B sector. They have enormous reach. The prerequisites for a precise target group address are perfect. Active businesses that continually post and engage with followers build and strengthen good customer relationships—brand awareness increases.

Blog articles are an easy way to engage the target audience with expert knowledge. Alternative formats, such as YouTube videos, also add variety and are very popular.

In this context, search engine optimization plays an important role. After all, the content should rank high on the Google results pages. With appropriate SEO measures and regular SEO analyses, weak points can be easily found and eliminated. In addition, SEO increases the awareness of the website.

Conclusion: new paths through digitization

Digitization brings advantages even in classic areas such as machine trading. It is much easier and often cheaper to purchase new machines via online auction houses and not go the conventional route. Digitization also simplifies many everyday processes.


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