Sales & Marketing: Targeted Marketing

January 3, 2018 No Comments
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How To Begin Promoting Your Company

by Wayne Wilcox

toc_columns50px“We’re a manufacturing company, we don’t have a big budget for this sort of thing …”

“And, just a side note … we don’t need a lot of new RFQs, we just want to reach the customers that would ‘fit’ us best, that way, we can grow by performing for the customers we want to work with, not necessarily the ones that want to work with us.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In this second part to an article published in May, (“What’s Your Target Market”) let’s go deeper than the nuts and bolts of targeted marketing. For precision manufacturers, and many related business models for that matter, a persistent theme arises when considering how to maintain specific growth, especially within consistently changing marketplaces.

All businesses that have defined their “expertise” and have found a comfortable space within the manufacturing sector where they feel they can perform best, will look for ways to amplify that growth by attempting to work with a like-minded customer base.

Perhaps your major market segment surrounds medical devices or aerospace or automotive concerns, or a combination of several. There are many client companies you’d like to reach, and for the most part, you are hoping current market relationships may help you do that. While it is true that the best customers come by way of relationships or word-of-mouth, waiting for them to find you may not be the best way to reach them.

Specific target marketing can help. If you do not have a dedicated sales team to consistently reach your targeted audience, here are a few ideas for you. And, by the way, even if you do have a sales person or team or independent sales reps working on your behalf to sell your expertise to customers, or those you have a desire to call “customer,” these ideas will assist them to open doors, gain greater perceived abilities, and boost image and identity. It will most likely be a win-win for everyone involved.

DIRECT MARKETING
It is truly amazing how direct marketing has fallen by the wayside in the advent of electronic media options such as eMarketing distributions, social media posts and participation within internet discussions such as web blogs and business-related conversation on sites such as LinkedIn.

When email took over, the term “snail-mail” was conceived. Using the good old U.S. Postal Service seemed a thing of the past, nearly overnight. Are we talking about junk mail? No. We are talking about strategic messaging sent directly to an individual at a specific company for a beneficial reason. And, because this type of direct marketing is not used as it once was, when someone receives this kind of messaging delivered straight to their office desk, with their name on it, perhaps noting the contents inside are worthy of a look – it stands apart these days.

Studies have shown when strategic messaging is sent, especially in a creative way – directly to a recipient, then followed up with a personal phone call – there is a 50 percent greater chance that the delivery will be recalled, a conversation can ensue, and an appointment can be made to meet or follow up. Good direct marketing campaigns still work, perhaps now more than ever.

LEAD GENERATION
If you are looking to reach out to a greater crowd of potential customers, and you still have a solid idea as to who those customers are and what they are most interested in knowing more about, a professional lead generation campaign may be in order.

If you conduct just a few hours of solid research, you will find media concerns that specialize in the conveyance of information and news about most any topic, market, and action that you can think of. Once you have defined and profiled your target audience (profiling is not always a bad word), uncover media outlets that cater to those groups, dig a bit deeper and find out what types of lead generation programs they offer, and put a plan in place to reach them with your message. The people who respond will surprise you, enlighten you, and most often be viable candidates who’d like to have a conversation with you. It’s the best way to see if the two of you could be a good fit to collaborate.

Lead generation programs may garner 20, 50, 100 or more leads that showed interest in what you have to offer. What you’ll be doing is targeting a specific group, using major media and spreading your message and brand to the individuals and groups that you want to reach. Costs vary, but the outcome of landing even one or two new customers that you want to work with, and who want to work with you, nearly always pays for itself over and over again.

BRAND BUILDING
And, speaking of building brand … believe it or not, we all have one. Brand is how we are perceived, how we are acknowledged within the world and where our companies sit in relationship to others that may be looked upon within similar arenas of business.

Brand identity is an important element of targeted marketing and goes way beyond having a memorable logo and tagline; however, those things can be extremely important for building identity.

VIDEO PRODUCTION
And while it has been mentioned in previous articles about marketing for manufacturing, to neglect the power behind video production is a mistake. In today’s world, most any manufacturing entity and operational function can be expressed by moving pictures with specific highlighted messaging, put together in a professional manner that can match “broadcast quality” at a fraction of the cost of just a few years ago. Today, it’s fairly easy to partake.

Remember, YouTube is the fastest-growing video search engine in the world. According to statisticbrain.com, over 300 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, there are nearly 5 billion views of content every day, and almost 1 billion viewers are unique, (meaning they go to YouTube to find something specific or arrive at the site not by way of an origination entity).

YouTube is seen in 42 countries and is communicated in 54 different languages. This is a true global network and we can use it for targeted marketing by sending our messages through video to specific, profiled groups. It is astounding how this medium has grown to be a marketing powerhouse.

EMAIL
And, finally, let’s never discount the very accessible and easy method of sending specific individuals a meaningful message via email. With a powerful, somewhat compelling subject line and content that actually presents your targeted audience with messaging that will be of benefit to them, near instant credibility can be built upon, especially if you embed a video link and send similar types of messaging by way of an ongoing systematic approach. Recipients will eventually begin watching for them, even passing them along to others.

First, define your messaging, what do you believe your target audience needs to know the most about you? Profile your target audience and identify them, put a quarterly or annual plan together which includes several media outlets, and plan your messaging distributions accordingly. Begin building your brand.
And perhaps most important of all, once you start to see positive results, do not stop. Within most any business communication plan, repetition is the key to ongoing success.pm_endmarkred-e1320337243152


WAYNE WILCOX is President of Wilcox Design Group and can be reached at 612-670-3811 or wayne@wilcoxdesigninc.com.

Copyright © 2018 Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. For permission to use or reprint this article please contact Nancy Huddleston, publications manager for Precision Manufacturing Journal.

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