B2B manufacturing companies have been having a difficult time lately.
Trade shows and cold calls, as a go-to-market approach, are no longer effective. Is it even possible for a B2B manufacturing company to stand out without a large marketing budget? Yes, it certainly is!
Before we get into the 5 Ways to Cut Through the Noise, it’s important to note that in order for these strategies to operate, your manufacturing company’s infrastructure, supply chains, production, and most other vital production and delivery activities must all be in good working order.
Because manufacturers have spent so much time focusing on their products, i.e. production and distribution, they are fairly good at it. This makes it much more difficult to stand out by talking about your products and company.
So, what are your options for cutting through the din? The final frontier where manufacturers might gain an advantage may be marketing. Manufacturers can gain a significant competitive advantage by improving their marketing efforts.
I don’t mean organizing additional trade exhibitions, re-configuring the website, producing a new brochure, or coming up with a witty campaign when I say marketing. That isn’t the kind of marketing that is going to make a difference.
1. Instead of marketing items, start assisting individuals in your target market.
Many of you in the manufacturing industry may now say a cuss word and erase the post. I recommend that you keep an open mind and continue reading. This information has been proven to work time and time again and is the key to winning big in your market if employed regularly. It’s time for some rough love.
Your target audience is uninterested in your product, your company, your CEO, or you. “What’s in it for me?” they think to themselves. (WIIFM). It doesn’t matter how hard you try to persuade them that your product’s qualities are beneficial to them and superior to those of other products on the market.
You must demonstrate to them that you can assist them in alleviating pain, solving a problem, or improving their careers. To be clear, I’m referring to early engagement with people in your target demographic who aren’t familiar with your business. Of course, later in the buying cycle or at the bottom of the funnel, your salespeople will have to discuss product features and benefits. When you stop pitching and start helping, you’ll be able to cut through the din.
2. Share your knowledge
Many manufacturers treat their knowledge as if it were gold in Fort Knox. If you think this way about your B2B manufacturing firm’s knowledge and skills, I think you’re stuck in the 1980s and 1990s, when manufacturing companies could control information and exploit it to their advantage. There is no such thing as proprietary information in today’s world.
It’s all out there, and certainly, your competitors are aware of your pricing. As a result, you should share it with your audience. You cut through the noise, which is primarily made up of your competitors blabbing about their products and companies, by openly offering your expertise.
3. Concentrate on the people who make up the target audience.
The majority of manufacturers will claim that their primary focus is on the customer. “The customer is the king.” “The customer is always right,” says the adage. “The Customer has the authority to dismiss all of us.” But are you truly focused on the requirements and desires of your target audience, or are you simply attempting to persuade them that your product is the best?
That isn’t customer-centricity. Another frequently repeated refrain I hear is that manufacturers are out there asking their customers what they want and/or need. Is that genuine customer focus, or are you simply attempting to figure out what else you can sell them? When you truly understand the people in your audience, you can cut through the clutter.
Find out what they face on a daily basis. Find out what they are concerned about. Find out what they wish they had to make life a little easier for them. Then assist them in obtaining it. Your competitors are once again making a lot of noise about their product, but your message gets straight to the point because it is about the people in your target audience.
4. Improve your marketing department
Within your firm, marketing can and should be a highly important, strategic partner. Your marketers are astute; they understand how to break through the clutter. When you stop urging them to promote your product, the leads will start pouring into the sales funnel. They understand how to engage by sharing their knowledge. Yes, this entails putting money into the marketing department.
It entails locating a marketing executive who is familiar with both the strategic and tactical components of marketing, as well as how to discuss these issues with the senior leadership team.
Create a marketing staff that understands how to use new digital engagement and measuring technologies. When you give your marketers free reign to develop compelling strategies and methods, they will be able to cut through the clutter.
It is possible to do so, and it is necessary to do so in order to survive. Consider how your competitors’ marketing are cooped up in the rear, planning trade fairs and posting product commercials. They’re merely adding to the noise, whereas your marketers are producing relevant content that cuts through the clutter of product advertising.
5. When it comes to innovation, walk the talk.
Most B2B manufacturing executives believe that innovation refers to new products or procedures in the manufacturing and distribution operations. Today, no industry is more ripe for innovation than marketing. Allow Marketing to innovate and support it once it has been elevated to a strategic function.
Give it to the Marketing leader when he asks for cash for a strategy that isn’t about selling the product at the next leadership meeting. With an open mind and a sincere, inventive heart, listen to him. Throw out all of your existing product cultural baggage and attempt something new and different with your marketing. In no time, you’ll be cutting through the clutter, generating leads, and raising brand awareness.
To cut through the noise and win big in B2B manufacturing, embrace and implement these 5 ideas. In manufacturing, marketing is the last frontier for organic revenue growth. Many manufacturers, I’m sure, struggle to comprehend the fact that marketing can add to income. Most manufacturing companies face a difficult culture shift. However, it is a necessary shift. Finally, my advise is to make this strategic adjustment before your competitors do. The first movers will be the huge winners because they will cut through the cacophony.