Smaller manufacturing firms are still viewing marketing as an expense rather than an investment.
Why do manufacturing firms treat marketing as an
Currently, I’m in prospecting mode for new business. Saying good bye to Dallas and hello to Denver has required me to rev-up my prospecting skills and make business contacts in a new region. One of the realities I’m seeing is the lack of urgency or thought that manufacturing firms display toward their own brand.
Let me explain. There are fewer big dog companies in Colorado than there are in Texas. This is due to several factors, including cost of living, strain on natural resources, availability of affordable housing, etc. For comparison, the population of Dallas and Fort Worth is greater than the entire state of Colorado. Most of the business activity in state is spread out along the front range. Some market segments such as healthcare and recreation display some pretty savvy branding chops. However, many of the smaller manufacturing firms are still viewing marketing as an expense rather than an investment.
McKinsey and Company recently published “An incumbent’s guide to digital disruption.” In the guide, they suggest that all incumbent businesses are susceptible to digital disruption and the four phases that executives should be aware of and plan for so as not to go the way of the dodo bird. Siting examples for the music, newspaper, and travel industries, McKinsey charts the path of creative disruption. Below is my interpretation for small to mid-sized B-to-B firms, having lived through digital’s onslaught of the advertising business.
The longer the sales cycles, the more important the relationship becomes
Business-to-business marketing has always been about establishing a relationship with the prospect. One reason for this is most considered purchases involve multiple parties, resulting in extended sales cycle time. With the new technology of programmatic buying and selling of digital advertising inventory, ad technology companies would like for you to believe that a constant barrage of banner ads will substitute for a relationship built on trust.
The advertising/marketing ecosystem is too large and complex to offer all services in-house
It’s an old illusion in the advertising business that agencies wanted to look larger then they actually were. The thinking behind this was that the more services you claimed to offer, the better chance you had of reeling in new accounts. It was this mindset that coined the phrase “full service” agency.
Daily we are subjected to a constant barrage of marketing messages. From text messages for discounts from our favorite yogurt establishment, to emails from strangers, to online advertising featuring talking Geckos backed by Berkshire Hathaway’s unlimited media budget. It seems that there are neither limits nor boundaries that marketers will not exceed to try to get our attention.
Social media, love it or leave it, is hard to get away from. What started as digital networks where like-minded users could connect and share information has grown into a multi-billion dollar network catering to sophisticated brand advertising and user generated content.
Each platform has its own particular tone and style. Understanding this allows for social media content to be developed to show a more human side of the brand or a more technical competency based on the objectives of the social media effort.
B-to-B brands seeking to use social media for engagement need to understand the strengths and limitations of their selected social platform. Where Facebook is perceived as a more B-to-C retail platform, there are numerous examples where B-to-B brands have used the platform to connect with rural outlying communities where their facilities are located.
Have the right inbound marketing tools and platforms in place help build brand preference.
Aviation manufacturers are slowly warming up to the idea of inbound marketing. Progressive practitioners are realizing the benefits of improved organic search rankings, broader reach of influence, and increased brand preference by investing in a strategic inbound marketing program.
When contemplating the execution of an inbound marketing program there are business, strategic and tactical issues to consider before starting the process.
Sharing your experience with the aviation community opens the door for creating a brand preference.
Darron Rowse, founder and editor of ProBlogger Tips, published an article showing new bloggers what they should blog about. While reading the article, I realized a parallel to what aviation marketers should be doing with their online advertising and social marketing efforts. Below is my interpretation of the article as it relates to aviation marketers creating content for their social marketing efforts.
Social marketing is not free – it requires time, money, and resources
Social marketing is an all-encompassing term that covers very specific strategies and tactics designed to engage customers and prospects. When considering the addition of social marketing into the marketing mix, it’s best to review current marketing strategy and determine where social marketing will have the greatest impact.