Bruce McDuffee has been in manufacturing marketing and sales for for over twenty years. He has been a field sales person, a global marketing director, and is now an independent consultant focusing on helping manufacturing organizations get their growth on with modern marketing. He has an undergraduate degree in civil engineering and an MBA.
The author explains that the problem facing nearly all manufacturing companies is the culture of the product. Every aspect of the culture is focused on the product. Many manufacturers have been building the same or similar products for years, with great success.
Each and every employee loves that product. They understand that the only reason they have a job is because someone buys that product. They tell their friends and family about the wonderful product that is manufactured by their company. They attend meetings where everyone tries to come up with more reasons why people should want to buy that product.
Their websites, brochures, and trade show booths tout the product. The power influencers within the company are those managers who own the product development, the employees who make the product, or the sales team who sells the product.
But the dirty little secret is that nobody cares about your product except you. Your customers are more interested in themselves and solving their own problems or attaining their own goals. And what so many manufacturers are in denial about is that the way their customers buy has changed dramatically in recent years.
No longer do their customers turn to salespeople to help with the buying research – the customers go online to research their purchases. In fact, studies show that customers are holding off longer and longer to contact a seller until they are almost ready to buy. Why? Because they can!
Now, in order to get found online by customers and build awareness, preference and trust, successful manufacturers are no longer leading with information about their product, its features and its benefits – and instead are sharing their expertise and knowledge to help solve their customer's’ problems.
Only later, once a manufacturer has demonstrated an understanding of their customers and has been helpful to them are their prospective customers interested in learning more about their product.
As you can imagine, this is a major mindshift for manufacturers who want to attain double digit growth, and who have been focused almost exclusively on their holy product instead of their customers. But this new way to market for manufacturers is powerful and effective. And that’s what this book beautifully explains.
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose (Marketing Book Podcast Interview)
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King
About Manufacturing Day (Mfgday.com)
About the author, Bruce McDuffee (Mmmatters.com)