Manufacturing Day 2013 Is an Opportunity for US Manufacturers To Adapt

Ed Marsh | Oct 2, 2013 2:24:28 AM

Consilium Global Business Advisors announces new initiatives to help US Manufacturers implement growth strategies that parallel their world-class manufacturing prowess

BOSTON, MA, 4 October, 2013

The metamorphosis of American manufacturing over the past three decades confirms the lore of American determination and ingenuity. Amidst brutal competition, rising costs and perceived indifference to quality, countless individual companies and manufacturers collectively turned to squarely face the challenge.

Quality became “job #1” as one iconic US manufacturer announced, and the birth and evolution of the science of management advanced quickly. Continuous improvement, total quality management, supply chain sophistication and six sigma became the lexicon of manufacturers intent on viability.

And it worked. Quality increased, productivity soared and total manufacturing output has increased since. And now as labor and regulatory costs rise in emerging markets, while energy costs fall in the US, the trend of reshoring accelerates in a gratifying testament to the resilience of American manufacturing.

But a dissonance persists among many B2B manufacturing businesses. A striking contrast exists between the strategically managed, evolving & improving manufacturing function and ossified business development tactics in most companies. While the latter have been adapted to include online brochure websites, email, IP telephony and electronic documents, nevertheless the approach to sales growth remains fundamentally unchanged from the early 80s. The focus is ‘push’ and ‘interruption marketing.’ Most companies rely on trade advertising, cold calls (and their contemporary cousin, unsolicited emails) tradeshows and direct advertising – most of which provide decreasing returns.

Recently, a revolution in buying habits has fractured the B2B sales & marketing paradigm. But most manufacturers haven’t yet adjusted. Just as low cost imports gained a beachhead while naiveté and hubris prevented manufacturers from recognizing the existential threat, the change in buyer behavior and expectations is proceeding apace without material response from most manufacturers. And as a result they now face a new existential threat – and most have yet to recognize it.

Growth by traditional B2B sales & marketing approaches is stagnating. Future viability will depend on embracing new business development growth strategies.

Ed Marsh, founder of Consilium says “Manufacturers should seize ‘Manufacturing Day 2013’ to turn and face today’s B2B business development threats, just as they did manufacturing challenges two decades ago. October 4th should be the day they cross the business development rubicon and commit to the parallel growth strategies of effective internet marketing and new global market development that will power their growth for the next two decades.”

B2B manufacturers often view sophisticated internet marketing as the domain of B2C businesses – and they are dubious of marketing which traditionally provides no clear ROI. Content with traditional websites that list product specs and ‘contact us’ information, they focus on traditional sales methods. This approach ignores the shift in buyer behavior; often even their own. Studies show that 93% of B2B buying begins with internet search; and that typically 70% of the buying process is completed virtually – before engaging with a sales rep. Companies that discount the importance of a robust digital B2B marketing strategy will forego increasingly large percentages of B2B sales engagement.

“But it’s not just specific tasks like SEO or social media. Too often B2B marketing is distilled into silos that may offer brief sizzle, but don’t contribute enduring independent value. Success is built on an integrated strategy built around the contemporary buying cycle. And it’s also based on selling actively where buyers are active – in rapidly growing global markets. That’s why our B2B business development model focuses manufacturers on both growing domestic sales through effective internet marketing and growing global sales through strategic focus on key international markets. Or more simply ‘SellMoreHere’ and ‘SellMoreThere’!” continues Marsh.

Consilium’s model for both approaches supplements a strategic framework with integrated multidisciplinary tactics. The B2B marketing program is built on a content marketing methodology which guides companies through the process of getting found by buyers and increasing traffic; providing substantive value to those visitors and converting them to prospects; building a casual, comfortable ‘virtual sales dialog’ with those prospects who identify themselves as leads; providing information in the buyer’s preferred format for their ongoing self-education during prolonged buying cycles; and continuously improving the process through granular analytics.

The international sales program incorporates not only typical logistics and transactional details, but also government relations, international marketing, channel model strategy and partner development, risk mitigation and finance and tax.

Manufacturing Day ’13 is the perfect opportunity for US manufacturers to commit to applying the same cerebral rigor to their business development that has invigorated their production.

About Consilium Global Business Advisors

Consilium Global Business Advisors provides THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SOLUTION for American SMBs. Challenged with dramatically slowing growth and rapidly changing global market conditions, SMBs embrace Consilium’s straightforward, economical & effective solutions. Unlike a traditional silo approach to marketing or market development, Consilium’s unique method is built on a synthesis of domestic and international inbound marketing based on a culturally localized methodology; with an integrated suite of international growth services. Collectively these comprise a comprehensive solution that enable US SMBs to engage customers as they expect to be engaged; and to do so profitably across huge , fast growing global markets supporting substantial sales growth.