New way to Market for Manufacturing
Written By: Bruce McDuffee-Founder and Executive Director of Manufacturing Marketing Institute (MMI)
Chapter 12 Overview
“The reason why modern technology is essential for the new way to go to market is because people do not go through the purchasing process (or buyer’s journey, if you prefer), in the same way we did even five years ago. The people in your target audience go through the same purchasing process you do and we all do.”
We start out with an Internet search using Google, Bing, or Yahoo. We gather information from various websites that show up on the search engine results page (SERP). We check in with colleagues, family and friends via social media or old-fashioned conversation. We check for any online reviews or negative reports and finally end up contacting a few companies that offer similar products. As a final step, we contact a few companies that offer what appear extremely similar products.
The helpful company has established TOMA, demonstrated credibility, and evoked a sense of reciprocity with the consumer. The company that gets the call out of the blue and as not been practicing new ways has only one option, which is to offer at a lower price. If one of your competitors is offering helpful content during the customer’s investigation via the Internet and you are not, you will probably not get the business, even at a lower price.
Many manufacturing companies still operate their sales and marketing departments as if the Internet did not exist. Yes, most have a website, but these days a website is table stakes. Many manufacturing firms depend on a field sales team that pitches the product in reaction to a direct inquiry or a tip from a trusted confidant. As we depicted in the paragraphs above, by the time the field sales person reacts to an inquiry, the firm operating the new way has already established a relationship through TOMA, credibility, and reciprocity.
In 2016, most research shows that prospective customers do not contact your sales team until they are 70 percent or more through the purchasing process. Without modern technology, you have no idea who has a need for the product until they have nearly made their final decision. All things being equal (in other words, assuming no one is offering helpful content virtually), the decision comes down to price, and we all know how fighting for the lowest price work out for business. Not too good.