[Buy-in] Manufacturers Want More Leads, More Awareness? Do This First.

March 30, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

In the olden days of marketing (the 1990s), we talked about positioning statements, the 4 Ps, marketing plans, branding, etc. Some pundits and bloggers might claim that these old style concepts and practices are obsolete and have been replaced with content marketing, social media, marketing automation, SEO, SEM and so on. I suggest these so-called old style, obsolete concepts, strategies and tactics are more important than ever. As professional marketers, I suggest we go back to the future and embrace the fundamentals before we begin to use the modern tools like content marketing.

Embarking upon a plan to ‘do content marketing’ or ‘do social media’ without first preparing a proper marketing plan is like building a house with no blueprint. Adding rooms (marketing tactics) on a whim without an understanding of how each room supports the overall structure (business goals), the purpose of each room (objectives) and how you will decide if the room is successful (measurement) is a recipe for disaster at worst and poor performance at best.

We manufacturing marketers (all marketers) get excited about new technology, new ideas, new media. It's the shiny object syndrome. We're itching to get started with the next promising tactic or tools we are convinced will launch our business onto the next great growth trajectory. The momentum and the enthusiasm are great.

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[Buy-in] 6 Ways to Start Gaining Marketing Respect

March 28, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

You may not know Jacob Rodney Cohen, but you probably do know his stage name, Rodney Dangerfield. There are some days I know that manufacturing marketers feel his pain. Many days, the lament of Marketing in a manufacturing company is the same as Rodney's lament, "I don't get no respect!"  This post is meant to inspire marketers. Respect is not given, it is earned. It's time for us marketers working in manufacturing to take a stand, make our voices heard, prove our high value, and claim our places as crucial, strategic contributors to the business.

Based on anecdotal experience and evidence, I feel confident in saying that the vast majority of B2B manufacturing companies do not respect their marketing team or marketing as a discipline.

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[Buy-in] Help, My CEO Hates Marketing!

March 25, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

This post was first published on the CFE Media blog, Marketing to Engineers March 7, 2017.

Maybe ‘hate’ is too strong. In a survey conducted by the Fournaise Group, they discovered that 80% of CEOs freely admit that they do not trust or are not very impressed with marketers and the work they accomplish. To add more salt to the wound, 90% of those same marketing hating CEOs do trust their CFOs and CIOs. Ouch!

It might feel like your CEO hates marketing, but it is more likely he just has no respect for the function of marketing. The painful outcome of your CEOs lack of respect for marketing is that marketing is the first place to cut budget and the last place to add resources.

When I was a global marketing director for an electronic manufacturing company working under a CMO,

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[Buy-in] How to Get Buy-in For The New Way to Market

March 24, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

These next series of blog posts will be about gaining buy-in for the New Way to Market. I've heard so many stories from bright, enthusiastic marketers who really understand the new way and know what they need to do to grow the business (or save the business). They know that to gain awareness and credibility their company MUST share knowledge and expertise. They know that old ways of pitching product to gain awareness and break through the noise don't work any more.

Then, they either roll their eyes, shrug or shake their head in frustration as they recount how they just can't get their CEO or owner onboard. He wants to keep pitching the product, driving his sales team and creating more product content. It's extremely frustrating.

Over the next few weeks, I'll share with you some strategy, tactics and ideas to help you get buy-in and ease the frustration.

Here's the first idea:

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[Awareness] Benefits of Webinars, 10 Questions & Answers

March 21, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Let's say, for the purpose of this post, that you are an executive at a manufacturing company. You're CAGR (combined annual growth rate) is about 3% over the last 5 years because of global competition and overall low GDP growth rates in the macro economy where you operate. You've been tearing your hair out trying to figure out how to get back to those heady days of double digit growth. You've tried pushing your sales team to do more, but realized they are doing as much as they can. You've pushed your business development managers to innovate and be more creative in their product road maps, but they just can't come up with anything really unique that resonates with your target audience. You've tried acquisitions, but they just never really work out as expected in spite of those glorious hockey stick graphs.

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[Awareness] Does Your Content We-We All Over Itself?

March 18, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Lesson 1 for gaining awareness and attention is to get over ourselves. Effective manufacturing marketers realize the people in their target audience don't care about their company, their CEO, their sales people or their marketing people. Great manufacturing marketers know the best awareness content is about the people who comprise their target audience and not the people who comprise the executive team, the sales team or the marketing team.

Please note that in this post I'm talking about awareness stage content, not decision stage content. I know it is important to make available information about your product and your company. When your prospective customers are ready to make a purchase, they want to know the details of who they are about to do business with and details about the product.

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[Guest Post] Get 50% Sales Conversion Rates with CAD Models

March 16, 2017 / By Jeff Drust

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Check out the companion podcast on Manufacturing Marketing Matters - John Major, CEO at CDS shares the strategy behind this great, lead generating tactic.

Of all the types of online marketing content that manufacturers and distributors can use, none beat 'CAD Model Downloads' for sales conversion rates!

We understand that content such as white papers, case studies, brochures, videos, demos, recorded webinars, reviews and others typically convert to sales, at best, in single figure percentages. CAD downloads can easily trump that and here is some supplier and user survey evidence to prove it.

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5 Ways to Cut Through the Noise, and Get Your Message Heard

March 11, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

B2B manufacturing organizations are having a rough go of it lately. The old go-to-market strategy of trade shows and cold calls just doesn't work any more. Is it even possible for a B2B manufacturing firm to break through the noise without a huge budget? Yes, it is!

Before we start listing the 5 Ways to Cut Through the Noise, let's stipulate that for these ideas to work, your manufacturing company must already have the infrastructure, supply chains, production and most other critical production and delivery functions in good shape as a whole. Because manufacturers have been focusing on their products, i.e. the production and distribution for so many years, most are pretty good at production. This makes it extra hard to cut through the noise by talking about your products and your company.

So, what's left that you can use to cut through the noise? Marketing may be the final frontier where manufacturers can gain an advantage. Manufacturers can win big by being better at marketing their offering. By marketing, I don't mean setting up more trade shows, re-configuring the web site, creating a new brochure or coming up with a clever advertisement. That's not the type of marketing that will make any difference at all.

5 Ways B2B manufacturing can cut through the noise and win big with marketing:

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[Awareness] Audience Engagement versus Shouting

March 09, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

If you want to get more awareness of your brand and your offering, stop shouting about your company and your product and start engaging by offering helpful, useful, and relevant information to the people in your target audience.

If you're interested in a deeper discussion about using engagement and content to gain trust, listen to this podcast, How to Build Trust with Your Target Audience, where I interviewed Brice Bay at EnVeritas Group.

As humans living in the modern age, we are being shouted at during nearly all of our waking hours. I am equating shouting to interruption advertising. TV commercials, Internet ads, billboards, magazine ads, telemarketing calls, unsolicited email, et al. These methods of marketing or advertising interrupt whatever it is you are doing when the ad shows up. We have all become experts at filtering and tuning out these messages. Shouting or interruption marketing can work if you are able to shout the loudest. The loudest shouter must also spend the most money.

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[Revenue] Manufacturing Business Growth Strategy

March 07, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

If you're a manufacturing company executive who is satisfied with your 5 year CAGR and/or your annual projected growth rate, you should pass on this article.  This article is about some not-so-obvious things that could be holding back your firm's growth in our present era of global competition, commoditized products and customer empowerment.  There are really only 3 ways to grow a business:

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