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The Importance of Cash Flow
The Impact of Online Reputation Management in the Business Field
A small business will only grow when you let go
Reasons Why Companies Should Invest in Background Checks
Is your business prepared for the unexpected?
Your Mission is to Know Why Your Organization Exists! Do You Accept?
Topshop no longer want me as a customer – and that’s not a bad thing
Could the cloud save your company money?
Retiring Early
How to Plan your Investment Portfolio
The future of business communication through technology tools
Do You Need A Digital Detox?
Is your Business Creating a Great Impression
How to Recruit Your Next Sales Star
Who’s on your team of committed advisors?
Should You have a Close Friend at Work?
PropertyTutors appoints new General Manager
Think Big, Work Smart: 5 Technologies to Increase Team Productivity
How Safe are Your Bank Deposits?
Have Your Say on Retirement Income Policy
How to Lower the Cost of Your ACC Premiums
Business coaches – are they worth it?
The Flight from Bonds
When Helpers Are Leaders – Three Lessons from the Boston Marathon and UNH
Marketing and the maturing manufacturer
Your manufacturing business is poised for growth. You’ve just won that large client your sales team have been working on for years. You’re about to enter new markets that could create unprecedented opportunities. You’ve acquired another business and there are prospective clients you know are a perfect fit. You’ve created a new product that has the potential to put your company on the map.

These typical events in the lifecycle of a growing business signify a crossroads that can take your company from humble to great. The business implications are significant and all those questions of capability – manufacturing and management – are an immediate priority.

It’s at this point that the topic of marketing also tends to enter the conversation and move from the sidelines to the boardroom. And with good reason. Manufacturing businesses all too often employ far too junior marketing for the stage that you are at, or rather the stage you want to be at. Perhaps after many years in the business, the stage you deserve to be at.
Not all marketing is created equal

Is this you: “We have a PA-slash-marketing coordinator whose role it is to produce brochures for the sales team or a banner for the trade show. She also does a bit of Tweeting or Facebooking for our business.”

There’s marketing and then there’s marketing. The marketing above is not going to help you achieve your organisational business plan or win over stakeholders. It’s not going to incite passion in your employees or make your firm one that great talent aspires to work for.

Without doubt there’s always a need for a great tactical person to work with a designer and clean up the company website, the fonts, tidy up the signatures everyone uses in their email, make the brochures look the same and the logo stand out nicely. Yes that’s important. But the marketing I’m talking about, and I know this word is terribly overused, is strategic.

With the Australian dollar so high and the local manufacturing industry facing numerous challenges, it begs the question: Why should companies do business with you? What makes your company truly different from everyone else? What is it about your business that will take you beyond competing on price every time?
Brand new perspectives

Brand has somehow become a bit of a flimsy word and one that many people avoid using. But it’s actually a very good definition for when a business moves beyond what is physically does (we make specialised machinery for other manufacturers) to what owning one means to that buyer (their machinery is the safest and has the longest life of any in the market).

The easy piece is to launch into what should actually be a much later step, and that’s creating all those marketing materials with product specifications, case studies and pens with your company name on them. (And more recently social media, which many manufacturers really have no reason to be doing).

The hard piece is simplifying what is undoubtedly a very technical and complicated process, into a distinctive, clear positioning owned by your business that resonates with all your clients, existing and prospective.

In other words, if you could only use one sentence, tell me why I should invest in your products? It sounds terribly simple, I know, but when you start asking different people in your company to tell me what “that” is, they’re all likely to give me different answers. And when I ask your customers what clinched the deal that made them buy your products over another’s, what would they say?
Questions for you:

Does your company have a genuine point of difference in the industry and do you reinforce that effectively in your marketing?

Do you know the real reason your customers buy from you over others?
Do you know why you may lose tenders?

Has the perception of your company changed over the years and how?

Do you compete more often on price and cannot match the cheapest competitors without losing money?

Is your marketing spend helping achieve the goals you set out for the business?

Do your staff feel confident in defining exactly what’s better and unique about the business?

Do you feel your business deserves to be much further ahead than you are today?

These are fundamental questions for any company and are certainly not owned by marketing, but the point is that the most effective marketing needs to always support your business objectives.

If change can truly only be made from the top down, you need to ensure the people you entrust to manage the marketing of your manufacturing business can speak to stakeholders and key customers and articulate what makes you different and why they should purchase from you.
Business with Australia: A right time?
Business with Australia: homework
Bring Home Your Aussie Super
Psychometric Assessment – It’s not so daunting!
Business with Australia: Culture clash
Searching for the Epiphany Moment
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Online Reputation Management For New Zealand Business
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Fighting over the Family Fortune
KiwiSaver Options for Retirees
Conducting a Redundancy Process
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A Few Leadership Lessons from the Coast Guard’s Eagle
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Two Lessons on How Business and Culture Impact Gender Motivation
How to get your employees to do what you want them to
Record Lows for Mortgage Interest Rates
The Happiest Man in the World
Turn Knowledge into Action
The most common business mistakes and how to embrace them
Business with Australia: Play down the Kiwi bit
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