And now, a brief interlude to discuss marketing. I have helped a few companies (actually way too few) focus their marketing efforts over the years. Through a mutual friend, Rebecca Geier, I met Bruce McDuffee, Director of the Manufacturing Marketing Institute.
He recorded an interview with me about marketing for manufacturing. It’s a podcast where I’m the subject. Some good ideas for marketing people on my list. But also interesting for the people on my list who buy things. Perhaps you could lend some insights on how not to reach you. And maybe what you’re looking for when you’re searching for information about products and services.
Here is a partial list of topics:
- Marketing is difficult, not only for manufacturers but for everyone. Learning how to put it all together is challenging. Developing a strategy is a good first step.
- Sometimes the leader just doesn’t understand marketing because they have an engineering, science or sales background. Marketing is much, much more than developing collateral and setting up trade shows.
- Those manufacturing companies that can advance the practice of marketing to a strategic, revenue producing function will have a significant advantage over their competition. The CEO should have a trusted advisor who knows the discipline of marketing, but more often than not, this is a missing advisor. [9:00]
- Huge disconnect between marketers who know how to market in the modern age and the leadership. Some leadership demands ROI for marketing activities, but it is not a clear black and white attribution. [11:00]
- In order for manufacturers to advance the practice of marketing, the CEO has to be affected somehow. A cultural shift from product focus to audience focus has to start from the top down. It is very difficult for this change to take hold from the bottom or grass roots level. [14:00]
- An audience focused marketing strategy that shares expertise (content marketing) can, by itself, be a differentiator in the market place. [18:00]
- Check out Rebecca Geier’s book, Smart Marketing for Engineers, for more information about content marketing and inbound marketing when your target audience is engineers.
- One company Gary mentioned makes it mandatory for every executive to spend a full week shadowing a customer and reporting back what they learned. [22:20]
- Automation Direct, example of success with marketing and understanding the target audience. [25:45]
- Gary’s blog is The Manufacturing Connection
- Gary’s podcast is Gary on Manufacturing
By the way, I reviewed Rebecca’s book, Smart Marketing for Engineers. It gives some insight, also, into my frustration with press releases that say nothing. Oh, there are many words. But meaning sort of evaporated as the marketing committee edited it in order to maximize number of buzz words per square centimeter.