As the owner of a #manufacturing business what does your organization need the most? A strategic marketing plan, tactical marketing or face-to-face interactions? The short answer, is all of them. You may be wondering how you will have the time to do all of these and even if you find the time, how exactly do you implement these strategies?
The most prevalent marketing tactic is good old fashioned face-to-face sales. You send your sales force out into the market place and they talk with prospective clients in order to make new sales and they call on existing clients to make certain their needs are still being met. Sales is the usual go-to when it comes to marketing because it is tried and true and many business owners are familiar with it. The drawback though is if you have a salesperson who doesn’t truly understand your goods and services, how can he speak with authority to a potential client? In many cases, it’s a stellar idea to have your sales staff meet with your marketing staff and discuss strategies for sales so that everyone is promoting the same message to the public.
When it comes to strategic marketing this means you and your marketing team have a plan in place for the marketing initiatives you will be undertaking. Spending time formulating a strategic marketing plan will help you determine:
- What sets your company apart from the competition? Saying you have the “lowest prices” or “the best customer service” simply isn’t enough. What are your competitors doing that you don’t or that you could be doing better?
- What do your potential clients need or want from you
- To which markets should you be targeting your efforts
- Do you have any weaknesses in your goods or services that you need to address
Tactical marketing techniques include the peripherals you have on hand to market your business and these include your website, aka your 24-hour a day business card; your public relations efforts, email campaigns, brochures, business cards, radio, television or newspaper advertising. Think about how you use tactical marketing materials given to you. Do you throw brochures in the waste basket? Do business cards get tossed in a desk drawer and forgotten? If you do this, chances are the prospects you meet with, do this as well. Reconsider and revamp your marketing efforts. Perhaps you simply need a better website or social media presence and just want to drive traffic there rather than handing out printed material that will simply be shredded and forgotten about.
To understand the value your company brings to the market you may want to start with talking to your existing clients. Ask them what they like about your goods or services, why they chose you and why they stay with you. Go to the source, find out what’s working and then do more of that… but do it strategically. It’s better to shoot at a particular target than to try and cover the entire target but rarely hit the bull's eye.