Marketing tips for manufacturing

Do not push your customers around

I’m still shocked by how many companies think they can push their potential customers around.  I hope you’re not one of those people that try to force your potential customer to watch a long video, “click to enter”, or take a brochure.

Look up – it’s not 1993.  push marketing doesn’t work so well anymore.  The internet changed everything about sales.  Those crazy customers (that includes you and me) expect to have total control of the information they consume.  They won’t sit through a long video.  They won’t listen to a dull ad on the radio.  They won’t even read your beautiful brochure.  And they really don’t care how much blood, sweat, time, and tears went into that glossy multicolour snooze inducer.

So, what’s a marketer to do?  How about think like a customer?  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  One way to think like a customer is to talk to the people closest to the customers and… and… and.. talk to THE customers (shudder).  I know, it’s scary, but it really works.  If you find out what they want, you can provide it.  That’s it.  Give the customer what they want & they will buy.

I’m still shocked by how many self-professed new marketing people still like to push customers around.  It’s simply being self-centred.  One genius even said, “I don’t care what my customers want, I just want them to buy my product.”  Really?  Should I laugh, cry, or get my consulting fee before I leave?

A pretty brochure without text, a flash intro to a website, and any other push technique may look attractive to the seller, but they smell like last week’s fish to a potential buyer.  In consulting & training, I have seen many times when people rave about an attractive concept that just doesn’t work for sales leads.  There have been 4 different times in my career when 3 meshed gears are presented as an analogy for how well things will work together.  When it was a large state agency that showed the image, I laughed out loud!  The funny part was that almost everybody there was an engineer and the presenter said “What?  What is it?”  It was too accurate – let’s work in opposite directions so that nobody makes progress.

A better option is to use Permission Marketing as introduced in Seth Godin's book.

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