New way to Market for Manufacturing

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

Chapter 26 Overview

“The First Movers Will Win”

The time has come for the manufacturing marketer to take his or her rightful place at the leadership table. Manufacturing companies can no longer afford to ignore the contribution of the modern marketer. Each and every manufacturing company must leverage the new marketing strategy, tactics, and tools if the firm is to survive global competition and the relatively new ease of purchasing enable by the World Wide Web.

Those manufacturing companies that ignore the new reality of how their customers and prospective customers go through the buying process, without the aid of salesperson until the very end of the process, will lost market share to those who are willing and able to embrace the new way strategy. This is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s marketplace, where customer developed relied on personal relationships from the very start of engagement. The old-school sales model of feet on the street is no longer effective for growing a manufacturing business. At worst, it will cause firms to lose market share rapidly to the manufacturing firms that read this book and embrace the new way. Tradeshows, postcards, print ads, field sales teams, and even distributors will not be able to compete without leveraging the new normal, where prospective customers self-educate, research, and build relationships with firms before they ever send an email or pick up the phone. It’s happening baby. The train is leaving the station. The window is closing.

Engaging with the people in your target audience takes more, much more, than telling them about your products and your company. If you do not understand the audience’s pain and problems beyond the relationship to your product features, you will lose. Those manufacturing companies that engage with their audience by helping them to be better by sharing expertise will destroy the firms that continue to rely on old-style sales and marketing tactics alone.

There is a massive opportunity for those firms that can embrace the new way to go to market. Most manufacturing firms will ignore this advice. Others will be unable or unwilling to change the way they go to market. Most of the executives who read or hear about this book will discount the idea because their product leaders and their sales leaders will tell them it will not work. These sales and product leaders speak out of self- preservation and fear, but the new way should not be perceived as a threat. The sales and product teams are still important if not essential components of the firm, and they need to allow marketing to step up and share the responsibility.