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Marketing for Manufacturers: What Today's CEO Needs to Know


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Trefoil Group, formerly Scheibel Halaska, is a strategic marketing communications firm with nearly 20 years of experience serving a broad range of companies in the plastics industry. The full service firm brings deep understanding of big-picture goals and an ability to quickly distill today’s complex business challenges into decisive marketing communications actions and crucial results.

Well known in the plastics industry, Mary Scheibel, has spoken at several premier conferences including the Plastics News Executive Forum, the NPE Educational Series, and SPI regional conferences. She is a frequent contributor on marketing trends and issues in the industry’s trade publications and has been instrumental in helping many companies in establishing a leadership position.

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Marketing for Manufacturers: What Today's CEO Needs to Know

  1. 1. Marketing for Manufacturers: What Today’s CEO Needs to Know
  2. 2. Agenda• Introduction• Marketing in Manufacturing Today: Key trends• Marketing Effectiveness Research & Where You Stand• Your Brand: A Company’s Most Important Asset• Today’s Marketing Fundamentals
  3. 3. About Trefoil Group• Full service strategic marketing communications firm – Business/strategic counselors – Solid understanding of both traditional and new mediums – Experience in attracting both customers and talent• B2B with 20 years of experience in manufacturing – Niche focus in plastics – Launching the Dream It. Do It. Wisconsin Campaign
  4. 4. Our Three Critical Success Factors• Partner with business leaders to distill complex environments and issues to advance their visions• Create meaningful differentiation through brand-based communications, grounded in research• Integrate communications to reach target audiences wherever they are – with information they care about
  5. 5. Marketing inManufacturing Today:Key Trends
  6. 6. Marketing in Manufacturing Today• New opportunities. New technologies. New tools. – You can reach targets more easily & directly than ever before• Expanded focus – From lead generation to lead nurturing – Attracting talent as well as customers• Customer penetration strategies are critical – OEM decision makers are changing chairs and focus• Brand-based communications to create differentiation with customers & recruits
  7. 7. Key Findings: 2011 Marketing Effectiveness Research• Conducted in partnership with Plastics News 52.90 % – A significant shift: 24.20 companies are investing % more in marketing than in sales – Feet on the street no Increased marketing efforts Increased investments in the sales force longer enough: • 50% report sales are reaching less than 50% of their targets
  8. 8. Key Findings: 2011 Marketing Effectiveness Research• 72% of respondents claim unique expertise (in what they do or how they do it), but don’t communicate it well Above Average Excellent 22.90% 20.30% 10.10% 5.60% 44.10% 35.90% 23.50% 28.80% Sales Internal Website/online Marketing conversations communications presence materials
  9. 9. Where You Stand• 73% of you believe you have a differentiating offer, but don’t communicate it well either 9% Above average Excellent 55% 55% 36% 9% 27% Sales tools Internal 9% comms. Company website Digital marketing Customer comms. Social media
  10. 10. Key Findings: 2011 Marketing Effectiveness Research• 72% say recruitment is critical to success, but don’t know how to reach younger audiences Important/very important to future success 71.60% 59.80% 40.50% 48.10% Ranked themselves as very 31.70% 39.60% good or excellent at the following 20.60% 18.70%Recruiting and retaining talent Equipping employees to be brand ambassadors Getting your message out via new mediums Using social marketing effectively
  11. 11. Where You Stand• 100% of you believe recruiting and retaining talent is very important or important to success, but don’t know how to reach younger audiences 100% Important/very important to future success 73% 55% 55% 45% Ranked as excellent/above 36% 36% average 27%Recruiting and retaining talent Equipping employees to be brand ambassadors Getting your message out via new mediums Using social marketing effectively
  12. 12. What This Means to You as the CEO• The risks: You can increase investments without a correlating ROI – Absent a strategic, brand-based approach (that includes measurements) it is an expense, not an investment• Marketing savvy, yet inferior competitors, can beat you more easily than ever before• The opportunity: To connect marketing to the goals and objectives of the business, creating measurable ROI – and a competitive advantage
  13. 13. The More Specific Opportunity• Be strategic in aligning marketing with sales strategies• Move the needle from lead generation to lead nurturing• Create meaningful differentiation that speaks to both customers and recruits• Own the leadership position where you can• Integrate programs to include face-to- face, digital, PR and social media• Equip your employees to be brand ambassadors in your marketplace and your communities
  14. 14. Where the Journey Begins:Your Company’s Brand
  15. 15. Your Company’s Brand• The brand is a company’s most important, yet most overlooked asset – As important in B2B as it is in B2C – Crucial in both customer and talent acquisition• Your brand is what you want people to think about you Your company = X
  16. 16. B2B Branding Example Moving | Building | Powering | Curing
  17. 17. Your Company’s Brand
  18. 18. Common Branding Pitfalls• Basing your brand on the category you’re in – Leading Plastics Injection Molders – Thermoforming Experts• Staking your claim to entry level attributes – Solutions Provider – Meeting or exceeding customer expectations• Relying on internal perceptions of your value• Mimicking what your competitors do and say
  19. 19. Your Company’s Brand• Good Brands: – Establish relevance, personality and connect emotionally – Specify the companys value proposition – Change the conversation – Reposition the competition as followers – Drive perceptions externally and the culture internally – Differentiate the company for a competitive advantage
  20. 20. Your Company’s Brand• Strong Brands Produce ROI By: – Sustaining differentiation in a crowded marketplace – Supporting premium pricing/guarding against price-based competition – Accelerating entry into new markets – Recruiting and retaining top talent – Increasing enterprise value
  21. 21. Your Company’s Brand• Discover Your Brand – Answer key questions: • What do you do better than anyone else? • How does this align with what your audiences care about today and in the future? – Conduct research – information today is easy & fast • Internal interviews with leadership, sales and others • External research with customers, suppliers, industry experts
  22. 22. Your Company’s Brand• Discover Your Brand – Look at your competitors • Your value is a relative assessment against the value I can get somewhere else – Be different. Not the same. • Understand what your competitors are saying and determine the opportunity to say something better • If everything else is equal, all that’s left is price – Remember, if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you
  23. 23. Create a Story People Want to Be Part Of
  24. 24. Create a Story People Want to Be Part Of
  25. 25. Create a Story People Want to Be Part Of
  26. 26. Create a Story People Want to Be Part Of
  27. 27. The New MarketingFundamentals
  28. 28. The New Fundamentals• Your Website: The #1 B2B Marketing Tool – Create your website as a marketing portal • Hub for both outbound and inbound marketing • Make it engaging and easy to navigate • Optimize your site for easy search engine discovery • Use on-line newsrooms to build awareness and leadership reputation • Use microsites and landing pages to reach specific target audiences with audience-specific messaging and to increase quality content for search engines to index
  29. 29. The New Fundamentals
  30. 30. The New Fundamentals
  31. 31. The New Fundamentals
  32. 32. The New Fundamentals
  33. 33. The New Fundamentals• Create a robust online presence: – Customers are now their own gatekeepers • Active users of websites, social networks, search engines, product/company reviews, news venues, industry bloggers – Video, frequently updated content and strong search optimization can immediately impact search engines – Job seekers are online and actively searching. Be where they’re looking with information they care about
  34. 34. The New Fundamentals• Make marketing communications your supplemental sales force – Deepen relationships, keep prospects warm, free sales to focus on more productive prospect engagement. – Use tools to help navigate this new buying cycle • Lead nurturing software • Content that’s relevant, meaningful and customized
  35. 35. The New Fundamentals
  36. 36. The New Fundamentals• Own the leadership position through strategic PR – Position business executives as thought leaders through • Leadership positions in industry and local organizations • Becoming a voice for your industry – Raising awareness and providing analysis of industry trends and topics – Demonstrate expertise and capabilities through – Leveraging PR successes to: • Build reputation with current and prospective customers • Build a sense of pride and commitment internally
  37. 37. Build Your Reputation as an Industry Leader
  38. 38. Build Your Reputation as a Local Leader
  39. 39. Use PR to Connect with Key Audiences
  40. 40. The New Fundamentals• Equip Your Employees to Be Ambassadors – Provide consistent messaging that they can take to the marketplace – Empower them to be confident in all their external communications, hold the promise of your brand – Distribute internal communications – Reward and recognize top performers