New way to Market for Manufacturing

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

Chapter 19 Overview

Best Chance Tactics for Success

Assuming your manufacturing organization is like he firms we have been discussing, with a strong product culture and a low-influence marketing department, you might not only have one shot at proving the worth of the new way strategy.

One example of a tactic that fits these criteria is an educational webinar series. Webinars are perfect for producing meaningful numbers.  A webinar allows you to collect meaningful numbers such as registrants and attendees to the live broadcast. A webinar also requires registrants to provide their contact information. One could argue that the list of attendees is qualified leads. Qualified leads are a very strong success metric. Imagine being able to tell your stakeholders that your pilot program webinar garnered 253 qualified leads. This type of result will all but guarantee a continuation of your pilot program and an affirmation of the new way strategy.

The critically important component that will ensure success of the webinar is a relevant topic. If your topic is in line with the AFMS, you will get good numbers. If you demur in the face of criticism or pressure from the sales or product stakeholders and allow the topic to be about a product, you will lose and your pilot program may be all for naught.  You are better off not doing anything than doing a webinar about the product if your goal is to engage the greater target audience (which it should be).

Another example of a tactic that has a high chance of success is the opt-in educational enewsletter. An opt-in enewsletter is delivered via email on a consistent and regular schedule. The opt-in enewsletter is delivered via email on a consistent and regular schedule.  The opt-in definition means you do not blast it to everyone in your database. By only sending the enewsletter to those who request it, you must prove the value of the content in the email or you lose your subscribers. An opt-in enewseltter will perform about three times better than a blast ensewsletter as measured by the open and click-through rates.

The format that works best to gain and keep subscribers is one with a theme defined by the AFMS. The enewsletter should promote a high-value content asset, but not completely contain the asset. An abstract with a thumbnail picture is enough. The reader of the enewsletter clicks on the asset link to download the full piece of content. This type of enewsletter does two very valuable: it gives control to the subscriber and it supports the AFMS by providing information, education, or knowledge about a pain point that is common to the target audience.

I have seen many manufacturing companies start out with a blog as their pilot program. Starting with a blog by itself is a mistake. It’s hard to get a good count of people reading your blog, and it’s difficult to capture the contact information of the people reading your blog. While a blog by itself is a poor tactic for your pilot program, the combination of an opt-in enewsletter and a blog is a powerful tactic. You gain the meaningful numbers and contact information from the email subscription. The enewsletter content is easily repurposed for the blog and the content on the blog page is good for organic search results.