New way to Market for Manufacturing

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

Chapter 3 Overview

Sweet Spot of Engagement

“In order to really understand the pain or passion points that can be address by sharing your firm’s expertise, it’s a good idea to conduct primary research in parallel with internal discussions with stakeholders. “

When choosing the sweet spot of engagement, it is important to collaborate with your stakeholders if at all possible. Doing this work as an individual or even as a singular marketing group is much less effective that collaborating in order to gain agreement and buy-in. The most common critical stakeholders are the sales and product leadership folks.

The sweet spot of engagement is at the intersection of the pain or passion point you have identified for your target audience and the expertise you have uncovered among the employees within your manufacturing firm.


As an example, let us continue with the measurement instrument company we discussed in the first chapter overview. One of the product groups in this company is humidity measurement instruments. After conducting primary research, the company discovered the pain point common to a large majority of the target audience is that humidity is a very difficult measurement to make consistently and reliably. Reliable and consistent measurement is critical to the target audience, which consists of pharmaceutical companies and semiconductor manufactures. The related expertise, uncovered among the product engineers working in the research and development department, is their understanding of the science behind the properties of moist gas (humidity). The sweet spot of engagement was agreed to be providing an education about humidity and humidity measurement technology to the people in the target audience who are frustrated by their inability to get a reliable and measurement. The hypothesis is that by teaching them about the science, they will be equipped to make a better measurement.

Audience Facing Mission Statement (AFMS)

Once you have determined the sweet spot and you have reached agreement with your stakeholder about the sweet spot, it is time to craft an audience-facing mission statement (AFMS). The AFMS will be your guiding light when it comes to making decisions about marketing activities and expenditure.

Rather than calling it just a mission statement, I call it “audience-facing” for a very important reason. When most of us think about mission statement, we think about the mission of the company. Many times these corporate mission statements should like this: “Our mission is to be the preferred widget manufacturing company on the face of the planet.” The statement is internal facing. I want to make a clear distinction between the corporate mission statement and the AFMS. It is important to notice the sweet spot of engagement and the AFMS are not about the product. They are about the people in the target audience.

Understanding the sweet spot of engagement and the AFMS contributes to the huge opportunity we are discussing. While your competitors build a strategy around pitching products, yours will be mopping up the market share with broader and deeper engagement.