Marketing for Manufacturers
When considering business-to-business (B2B) marketing, the traditional 7Ps have been the foundation model for years. The 7Ps of course being: price, place, product, promotion, physical evidence, people, and process. Each facet of the model provides a benefit for any company and should be considered in different marketing approaches. But should each element have the same level of importance for every business? Does promotion, for example, have the same significance to a consulting company as they do to a manufacturing company? Of course not! Now, that’s not to say that promotional activities don’t bear any weight in a manufacturer’s success, but there are other parts of the model that contribute to a larger piece of the pie. The most important elements of the 7P model when marketing for manufacturers are people, physical evidence, and process.
Creation and maintenance of customer relationships inherently traces back to the buyer-seller relationship. Customers are looking for extensive knowledge of the manufacturing activities and offerings from a production stand-point as opposed to one of a traditional service. This is why tradeshows are an excellent way for manufacturers to come face-to-face with their customers, demonstrate their product knowledge and merchandise, and develop a good rapport.
The second element of the 7Ps that bears significant weight for manufacturing marketers is physical evidence. Manufacturers have an advantage over traditional services in this category because of the tangibility of their products. As a service, customers must rely on cues from their surroundings and the atmosphere of the office or place in order to get an idea of the quality of the service provided. Manufacturers, however, are selling merchandise that the customer can see and identify, therefore making it easy to judge its quality. A good way to market the physical evidence of products is through videos. 81% of marketing professionals in manufacturing companies use videos as part of their content marketing mix. If a company is selling machinery, a video is an excellent way to demonstrate its capabilities as well as reach out to a number of customers simultaneously.
The last and probably most significant facet of the model that relates to manufacturers is process. For manufacturers, having an efficient process is extremely important. This is because manufacturers are usually at the conception of a product’s lifespan until it reaches the final consumer. The price of the products that the manufacturer sells are reliant on the price of the raw materials, running cost for machinery, and volume of products made. When manufacturers work with quality machinery, this can lead to lower costs for the manufacturer overall, more flexible price margins, lower cost for the customer, and eventually a stronger buyer-seller relationship. The ultimate goal of the manufacturer then is to stay as up-to-date as possible with current information about his/her own products, changes in the industry, and machinery and workings internally. Blogs, newsletters, and other social media facets are the most beneficial way to remain as in-step with the latest news and trends. As modern industries are ever-changing, it is essential to have media outlets that are just as current, so one can never miss a beat.
The 7P model has been the base of most marketing tactics for years and has proven to be successful in most industries. The key is the flexible use of the model and knowing what is essential to a company, and what can receive less attention. Warning, when utilized effectively, marketing success may ensue.