Are you a manufacturing marketer? This Rethink Marketing podcast episode is for you. We chatted with Bruce McDuffee, founder and CEO of the Manufacturing Marketing Group, who believes there is the window of opportunity for marketers working in the manufacturing industry by adopting modern marketing practices such as content marketing, marketing automation, lead scoring and more.
In our conversation, we review the history of marketing in the manufacturing industry (think salesmen carrying brochures and samples) and where it is today (highly targeted on the web with a healthy mix of inbound and outbound tactics).
One question we asked Bruce was how could marketers in the manufacturing industry build their own modern marketing teams if they can’t do it internally. For more information listen to the podcast, or read the full transcript on the episode page.
Nathan: What are your thoughts on manufacturers seeking out outside help, is that freelancers, or an agency, or a consultant like yourself? What should they be thinking about as they bring on some of this expertise?
Bruce: That’s definitely a viable alternative. Obviously that’s how I make my living, is offering services on a freelance basis. And the thing you wanna ask when you’re looking for a consultant in marketing or anything in manufacturing, is you wanna talk to somebody who understands the manufacturing, not so much making a product, but the engagement with the audience, someone who understands maybe the difference between a direct sales force, and reps, and resellers, and distributors, and understands how that product moves from the manufacturing and out to the actual end user, and someone who can address that. So someone who understands manufacturing.
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Because it is, it’s different than IT or banking or real estate. And it depends on where the manufacturer is on their journey to their marketing function. If they just had one person, like I mentioned, who sets up the trade shows and does the brochures, you wanna think about hiring somebody who can give that strategic input, and even help the company formulate how they’re going to build an internal marketing team.
And then when somebody’s looking for a freelancer marketer or an outsourced marketer, they should ask themselves, what do I want out of this, what are my goals and objectives, and can this person deliver on those, and then dig in even deeper. Is the person tech savvy, understands marketing automation, and CRM, and how that works to engage with the audience. Those are a few things.
Nathan: Interesting. Is there any — I think we’re just kind of wrapping up — anything else that you think I should ask that I didn’t ask?
Bruce: Well I guess to sum up I would say manufacturers out there, there’s a window of opportunity open right now. Not sure how long it’s going tobe open because manufacturers aren’t catching on to the idea of content marketing and sharing expertise. It’s slowly catching on, but it is catching on. So now is your opportunity. Think about the lean manufacturing back in the ’80s. And Toyota was coming in and revolutionizing the way the operations went. And many manufacturers in the US were slow to adopt that. Because it was different and some even thought it would pass. But those who did adopt it quickly did become much more efficient, they had higher profitability, and they really had a great opportunity during that window to gain a competitive advantage over their laggard competitors who didn’t adopt it.
It’s the same thing with marketing today. Now is the opportunity. This is like lean and Six Sigma was back in the ’80s. This is your opportunity to really step up and advance your marketing practice. And you can take market share. I’ve seen it over and over. Companies who can adopt this sharing expertise and not pitching the product for engagement, you can kill it right now. Huge opportunity.