Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers
The best marketing strategy for a manufacturing company will depend upon the particular situation, size, and strengths of the company. In other words it can be difficult to recommend general strategies, when a strategy typically depends upon getting to know lots about a particular company and the market in which it operates; and, so, are usually delivered on a case-by-case basis.
Despite the limitations of offering a general strategy, the following are marketing strategies that manufacturing companies can use. Each one of these strategies can be used to generate a marketing project, and it is possible to use them together. What follows, however, is no substitute for a comprehensive marketing plan backed up by detailed market research.
The following strategies are listed in order of the smallest investment and biggest return first.
- Brainstorm Your USP’s: (Unique Selling Propositions): Write a list of your company’s unique selling propositions; that is, a list of why a customer would buy from your company as opposed to a competitor. Now put them in a prioritised order, with the most important first. Look at you marketing literature, including the homepage of your website, and ask yourself: do these marketing communications effectively reflect and communicate these USP’s? If the answer is ‘No’, redesign your communications to get this message across (this can be as simple as give customers a list of reasons as to why they should buy from you).
- Search the Internet: Sit down and make a list of searches that potential customers might make. These can describe products that you make, services that you supply, or problems that customers might have. Now search for these terms on the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) What websites appear in the results? Do the pages in the search results match your query? Do the pages themselves effectively market these products, or answer technical questions? Do lots of adverts appear in the advertising space when you do these searches, or is the advertising space blank? An exercise as simple as this can help you spot gaps and opportunities in the online market place.
- What Are Your Most Important Products & Services? Look at the Google Analytics data for your website, and specifically at the most popular pages of your site. Do a weighted sort of these pages by bounce rate. This is one way of finding out the best improvement opportunities for your site. If you see high bounce rates ask yourself: is this because people are finding the information that they need or is it because their expectations are not being met? If you think they are leaving without finding the information they need, or being persuaded to buy from you, how might these pages be improved to help visitors convert into customers? For example: do you need to act more product information, photos, specification sheets, or a contact form?
- Listen To Sales & Technical: Pay close attention to the people talking directly to customers. What questions are customers asking, what concerns do they have, and what technical problems or issues? Talking to those in technical or sales in your company can give you a good insight into the mind of your potential customers, and what motivates and concerns them. If there are common concerns or issues, then it is likely that other customers have those same issues. One strategy is to devise resources that answer these questions and address these issues, and place them on your website. These resources can help attract new customers, and they can also help your sales and technical teams save time in answering customer questions.
- Construct Buyer Personas: who buys your company’s products and services? For instance, do the research and design team specify your product, so that your company name appears on the drawing? Is your product specified by an engineer, or it is a buyer in the purchasing department that orders your product? You might have several different answers, or ‘buyer personas’, to the question of who buys your product. Each of these ‘buyers’ is likely to have a different set of concerns and requirements given their job and role (quality, availability, supply, price etc.). Understanding these personas and providing resources that address their concerns can help generate leads and grow your business.
- International Opportunities: Conduct market research into how many people are looking for your products and services from around the world, and any gaps in the market that might exist. There are many export opportunities for manufacturing companies, even within the English speaking world.
What To Do Next:
We are experts in devising marketing strategies for manufacturers. If you would like to talk about how we can help your company generate leads and grow sales then send us an e.mail, or call, to find out more.