New way to Market for Manufacturing

Written By: Bruce McDuffee-Founder and Executive Director of Manufacturing Marketing Institute (MMI)

Part 2 Overview

Culture of the Product

“The fact is, the people in your target audience don’t care about your product, your company, your CEO, or you. They care about what’s in it for them”

Promotion vs. Education

Manufacturing companies that are able to stop pitching their products and start educating their target audience to gain awareness and engagement will win in their market space. Sharing expertise instead of pitching products is far more effective means of marketing.

With direct A-B testing, I have compared product ads to educational ads many times. The education ad always, always wins by a huge margin. The largest difference I observed was in GlobalSpec enewsleter ad. GlobalSpec is a media group that provides a global marketplace for industrial buyers.  I ran a new-product promotion ad in the enewsletter. In the following month, I ran an educational ad offering a simple FAQ (frequently asked questions) document in the same position to the same audience. The ad offering FAQ outperformed the new product ad by 800 percent. More specifically, the audience engaged with the new product as 252 times and the FAQ ad 2,288 times.

What’s In It for Me (WIIFM)

When they see your marketing message, they immediately ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?” We all do this, either consciously or unconsciously. The answer come quickly and is usually “Nothing is in it for me” as we move on by turning the page, deleting the email, ignoring the banner ad, etc. It doesn’t matter how much you try to convince potential customers that the features of your product are good for them and superior to all other products on the market. The answer to WIIFM 99.9 percent of the time is “Nothing” or “Not enough”.

To get a positive response to WIIFM, you have to prove to your target audience that you can help them relieve pain, be better at their professions, or improve their lives. When someone in your target audience is faced with a problem and you offer a solution (without talking about your product), the answer to WIIFM is positive. They consume the content and relate a positive experience to your brand.

BANT: Budget, Authority, Need and Time

You choose your target audience because you believe that someday they will buy what you are selling. If we look at the entire population, on any one day when they see your product ad, they will take action if they are at a very specific point that meets four criteria, called BANT: budget, authority, need, and time frame. Only a very small portion of the population (less than 1 percent) is aligned with your product pitch at the time they view the ad. Let’s suppose 80 percent are faced with a problem that you can help them solve. On any given day, they are struggling with the problem. If you promote something like a webinar or a how-to paper that helps them address that problem, you have a much greater chance of them engaging with your asset and your brand. Perhaps 80 percent are interested in your knowledge. Remember, we said that less than 1 percent are interested or ready to hear your product pitch at any given moment. The high level of engagement with your knowledge content leads to top-of-mind awareness and credibility as they get to know your company, brand, experts, etc. Then, when the day comes along and they have BANT, who do you think of? They think of the company that has been helping them relieve their pain.