There’s a fundamental truth in marketing that applies whether you’re marketing orange juice, jet engines or accounting services.
If you follow this rule, you will be really good at marketing a manufacturing company. Or any company, really.
But somehow, this fundamental truth is incredibly easy to forget.
The vast majority of marketing – especially business-to-business marketing, ignores this rule.
Here's the rule: marketing is all about your customer.
It isn't about your product.
It isn't about your specifications.
It isn't about your features.
It isn't about your customer service.
It isn't about your warranty.
It isn't about your R&D.
You get the point.
How can you put this rule into practice?
One way to put this golden rule into practice is to think like a journalist, and cover the 5 Ws in your marketing.
Like Simon Sinek says in his book, Start with Why.
Begin your marketing process by finding answers to a few common questions – why is your company here? Why do you do what you do? Why should people choose you and not others?
When you find answers to these questions, it becomes easier to market your products and services.
Let’s say you build packaging machines.
Why do you do it?
Maybe you feel that there's too much wasteful packaging and you want to reduce waste in the consumer products industry.
Knowing this gives you a powerful edge and ability to market the company. It brings clarity and helps you align your marketing efforts accordingly.
To be good at marketing a manufacturing company, it's absolutely vital to know WHO your customers are.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- Who is your ideal customer? What is their role or responsibility? How do they make buying decisions? Is it just one person or a group of people involved in making a purchase?
- Do you know what your ideal persona wants? What motivates them to buy?
- How does your buyer research potential solutions to their problems?
Knowing WHO your buyer is and why they behave the way they do will help you be far more efficient with your marketing dollars and time.
Next – what is your strategy? No, we are not talking about your production strategy or your pricing strategy and not even distribution strategy.
We are talking about the strategy that you are going to use for building relationships with people.
One of the best ways to nurture a long-term relationship with your customers is by helping them. There are various ways this can be done – by providing them information, by educating them, and by improving their current state.
This is because when you help your customers, they will respect and value you. And probably want to do business with you.
Focusing on content marketing, conducting trade shows, and hosting webinars is a good idea. The more you help, the more value and relationships you will create.
The next important question is Where? Where will you target your customers?
There are myriad channels you can use to get your message out.
It's important to choose the best channels for connecting with your prospects so that you can invest your marketing time and money accurately. Will you use trade shows, industry associations, main stream media, online advertising, social media, direct mail, or other methods?
The last piece of the puzzle is knowing the cycles in your industry, and when you should be doing more in marketing, and when you can let up.
No industry is busy all year round. Strike while the iron is hot, and use down times to prep for when buying is happening.
This doesn't mean ever turning marketing 'off' - rather adjusting it up and down depending on the level of interest in the market.
Use the 5 Ws to Be Really Good at Marketing a Manufacturing Company
And always keep the golden rule in mind: Marketing is about your customers.
Additional Resource: The Essential Guide to Marketing a Manufacturing Company
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