Manufacturing Marketing Matters

Manufacturing Marketing Matters

Manufacturing Marketing InstituteAnd 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.

Manufacturing Marketing Matters

Smart Marketing For Engineers

Marketing for EngineersRebecca Geier was the first marketing person I met at National Instruments in my first year after leaving manufacturing for media. She has remained a friend whom I respect.

A few years ago she left NI and founded TREW Marketing–an agency specializing in helping clients develop and execute marketing projects to an engineering customer.

She has written a book Smart Marketing for Engineers: An Inbound Guide to Reaching Technical Audiences which launches in mid-December on Amazon. She explains the book in a recent blog post.

She sent an early copy of the book to read and review. This is a comprehensive guide to the latest thinking of inbound marketing. It will help you understand the marketing landscape and also understand the unique ways to engage engineers.

Marketing To Technically Minded Audiences

Geier states on her blog, “I have seen firsthand that marketing to technically minded audiences does in fact work, but it has to be as smart as the people it targets. For small engineering and scientific businesses with limited resources or business and sales leaders wearing multiple hats, it’s difficult to even know where to start. And you’re skeptical that the new inbound approach to marketing will even work with your technical audiences.”

Here are three keys to understand the challenge.

“I wrote this book for you. Three points led me to decide to write this book:

  1. Engineers are smart, so our marketing needs to be equally smart, and trustworthy
  2. Buyers are in control…they decide when, where and what they will search on and do it mostly on Google
  3. Marketers now have the challenge and opportunity to get found when our target engineering audiences are searching”

If you are a company CEO or marketing director, do yourself a favor and not only buy the book, but digest its message.

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