Me too...less 5%Let's face it. Not every company innovates and creates value for their customers through their products. Many explicitly seek to simply reduce costs.
There are a lot of companies that have built a business model around not innovating. They focus on making common products a bit less expensively and taking small costs out of sales and distribution.
That's a viable model for sure. Many large businesses have been founded and grown on that approach.
But here's a recommendation. Don't waste time or money on great business development. It will likely be anathema to the management and ownership mindsets that refined the cost cutting model, and your crop of customers will neither "get it" nor care.
Price & productWonder which category you fit into? If you primarily define your offering in the context of your product specs, and/or the price, then my recommendation is to forget trying to adapt. Ride your current success as long as you can, and milk those shortsighted price driven customers for as long as they remain viable.
I know from experience that evolving your marketing will be something you might embrace intellectually but will resist emotionally to the core of your being - and find countless excuses (purportedly factual) for why the approach isn't quite right for your business.
And if you think you can out cheap foreign competition, you're wrong. (Certainly all the trends that support re-shoring, including a huge energy cost advantage due to shale gas, create opportunities for cost advantage in engineered products - but not replicas.) Even cheap manufacturing locations find that advantage is ephemeral. You'll never overcome relentless market forces.
ValueHere's an important caveat. None of this means only "sexy" or "tech" products. Quite to the contrary, there are rather mundane sounding industrial products (and proactive, creative company management teams that make them) which are ideal candidates for great digital marketing and strategic global business development.
The distinction is often as simple as management mindset. If management believes they save a customer a couple bucks per item, the mindset is self limiting. If management, however, sees their product as a tool which a customer can use, with proper coaching and education, to unlock additional value in their internal processes or the products the deliver to customers, then there's an outline for a story.
And a story underlies great B2B marketing and global growth.
Do you believe in your story?So if you look at the world through a cost prism, and take a "me too" market approach (not the business babble on your website, but your honest to goodness outlook) then you already know that evolving your business development would be not only frustrating, but simply counterproductive.
But if you have a story to tell...one that you believe deeply and know could materially impact others, then you've got one basic element. Call it the oxygen of business development.
If you recognize that you're not reaching all the buyers who would legitimately benefit and yearn to do so, then you've got the other basic element. The hydrogen of biz dev.
This doesn't mean that your story need be developed, articulated, focused on the ideal buyers, targeting the right markets or even fully appreciated within your company. In fact it likely isn't. Nor does it mean that the mere presence of H2O automatically lead to life in your business development.
But it does identify you and your company as ones which have the right environment to foster great growth. There will be obstacles, hurdles, frustration and mistakes. You'll have to overcome your 'lizard brain' and the voice of resistance in the collective voice of your company's stakeholders.
Wondering if Consilium might be able to bring out the best in you, your company and products? Here's our guide to selective business dating. Maybe we're a match?