Marketing: Trouble getting customers’ attention?

If your marketing efforts aren’t working there is a very good chance you, like many others, are practicing me-too marketing.

December 10, 2010   by Andrew Shedden

Picture an average-looking gal standing alone on a basketball court at your high school. A stranger walks onto the court and asks her for a date. Before you know it six more people arrive and are asking for a date. Within an hour the crowd grows to 500 people who are saying pretty much the same thing to get her attention. Overwhelmed by the clamour, she does the only sensible thing–nothing.

Now switch out that person for any buyer and the suitors for vendors and you have one of the major reasons why many manufacturers’ marketing strategies aren’t effective.

Simply put, nearly every market you can think of is drowning in communication. Television, radio, print, direct mail, the web, video, e-mail, blogs – the list is long and getting longer, yet vendors insist on saying the same thing in their promotional messages with mind-numbing regularity. Visit some web sites and note how many of them mention stellar service, unsurpassed quality and competitive prices.

If your marketing efforts aren’t working there is a very good chance you, like many others, are practicing me-too marketing. Here are some symptoms:

• Your advertising and promotions generate poor, if any, results.
• Your lead generation yields are poor and they aren’t likely to result in sales.
• You can’t get that first telephone or on-site meeting.
• Longer-term sales prospects are choosing your competitors.
• You’re sending out plenty of proposals and getting plenty of rejections.

Be different
To succeed you must focus your efforts on standing out from your competition.

Apple says, “Think different.” Successful industrial marketers say, “Be different.”

Simply abandon inward product- and features-focused marketing and focus on benefits. Show clearly in all aspects of your marketing how your products will positively change your prospective customer’s results. Here are three tips:

• To generate more high quality leads start with educational content that helps buyers at the earliest stages of the buying process. Content should help buyers recognize and address early needs and major sources of concern. This positions your company as a thought leader.
• Help your prospective customer evaluate options, which positions your company “top of mind” when vendors are being considered.
• Stop selling your products first. Gain an understanding of your prospect’s key business drivers, then align the sales message to specific issues and objectives. Be sure the prospect places a specific value on resolving the problem, then deliver your solution. This positions your company as the only logical choice.

Concentrate on understanding your customer’s most sought-after outcomes. If your marketing clearly shows how to achieve them, you will close more deals.

For the Seven Steps to Manufacturing Profits report visit

Andrew Shedden is the president of Broadfield Communications, an industrial marketing consulting firm that helps manufacturers increase revenues by updating and improving their marketing and selling methods. Call (800) 353-4447.

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