Marketing 101 for Manufacturers

Today, Matt Sonnhalter is sharing about a recent seminar he co-presented.

I recently had the privilege of co-presenting a “Marketing 101 for Manufacturers” seminar for MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network) with a colleague of mine, Sage Lewis, president of SageRock. You can see the full presentation here, but I want to focus on one of the closing slides of this presentation, “10 Key Factors for Successful Marketing Programs.”

  1. Upfront Planning – it’s not ready, fire, aim! Make sure you have clearly defined your objectives, target, budget and message. Also make sure you set priorities, it is better to do one thing well than multiple items poorly.
  2. Marketing Champion – often times marketing is one of the most overlooked functions within an organization. It is important to make sure someone internally is dedicated to leading your marketing efforts and ensuring their success.
  3. Lead Process – I can’t tell you the stories I’ve heard from manufacturers who spend tens of thousands of dollars at a trade show to generate leads, only to find out the leads are never followed-up on. You have to have a clear plan in place to handle the leads generated by your marcom efforts, from where the leads are going to be stored, and how these leads are being qualified, to who’s following up on the leads and in what time frame.
  4. Patience – in this technologically driven world where we have access to everything 24/7, we seem to always expect results instantly. Sometimes marketing programs take time to run and reach their full potential, so you must be willing to make a commitment and have faith in your marketing programs. If you’ve done your initial upfront planning, you have nothing to worry about.
  5. Resources (internal/external) – none of us have all the resources or time to do everything we would like…not even mega-brands like Nike and Coca-Cola! It’s important to be realistic about what resources you have internally at your company, and if you do not have the bandwidth to successfully implement all of your marketing programs, then you need to prioritize the list and focus on the ones you can handle and/or leverage outside firms to help augment the workload.
  6. Strong Call-to-Action – all of the elements in your marketing program need to have some sort of call-to-action. It can be as simple as going to your website, but you should always give your customers a “next step” with your marketing efforts.
  7. Marketing & Sales on the “Same Page” – if there are ever two departments within an organization that need to work closely together, it’s Marketing and Sales. While they are two very distinct disciplines within a company, marketing is there to support sales and it is critical that both of these departments are working towards the same goal.
  8. Integrated Program – there is no single one marketing tactic that works all the time, so it is important when building your marketing program to have a mix of marcom tactics.
  9. Measure – in order to grow and optimize your marketing plan, you need to try and measure results wherever possible. Otherwise, how do you know if something is working?
  10. Experiment – you can’t be afraid to experiment. There is no “magic formula” or “silver bullet” in marketing; what works for one manufacturer is not going to work for the next.

These are some of the top factors for helping ensure a successful marketing program, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. What are some of the key factors for your successful marketing programs?

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