MM 006 – Conversion from a Product Strategy to a Knowledge Strategy

 Manufacturing Marketing Matters Podcast – Episode MM 006

Guest Expert: David Love, Managing Director, Rotronic Instrument Corp.

Topic: How an Electronic Instrument Manufacturer is Growing the Business by Moving from a Product to Knowledge Strategy


  • Hear how a manufacturing company stopped pitching products and started sharing knowledge to grow his business, converting from a product to knowledge strategy.
  • Leads stopped flowing and David needed to do something different; he chose to share his expertise in measuring humidity with the people in his target audience.
  • (Tweet) Just having the knowledge is not enough, you have to be able to put it in a form that your audience can consume and this takes a special skill set.
  • Top of mind awareness (TOMA) or mind-share keeps Rotronic top of mind and helps the customer to remember Rotronic in between projects.

  • Knowledge content is more engaging than sending a postcard about a new product.
  • Web traffic has increased 50% at the same time Adwords spend was cut in half. Wow!
  • (Tweet) Whisper about your product as part of your knowledge based content.
  • Content marketing can be expensive if your product is highly specialized like with particular electronic measurement instruments.
  • The only way to convince the product and sales teams that content (not about the product) works to grow the business is to show them.Tweet: The only way to convince the product and sales teams that content works to grow the business is to show them via @MMImatters #mfgmarketing

Interview Questions:

Question 1 – What prompted you to explore a marketing strategy built around sharing knowledge and expertise as compared to your ‘old strategy’ of product marketing focused on product features? How long have you been executing this content marketing approach?

Question 2 – Was the conversion from a product to knowledge strategy difficult?  What obstacles did you face in the conversion from product focused strategy to knowledge based strategy?

Question 3 – Could you share one or two examples of a knowledge based market campaign? How do you determine success or failure of these types of campaigns?

Question 4 – Many manufacturing companies are downright afraid to stop pitching their products for audience engagement (we’re talking top of the funnel engagement here).  They are afraid to freely share expertise.  They just don’t understand why they should give away information to people who may even never become a customer.  As a leader of a manufacturing firm, what would you say to these manufacturers (mostly it is the leadership more than the marketers)?

Question 5 –  Let’s talk bottom line, are you seeing revenue and/or profit results?

Challenge Question –  Today’s challenge question is submitted by Stephanie a marketer at a medium size Midwest manufacturing company making particle measuring instruments.  She says, “We in Marketing know about content marketing as a way to grow the business, but we just can’t make any headway with the product managers and sales managers when we talk about a thought leadership approach.  How can we in marketing get them to listen?”


Takeaway 1: Start a LinkedIn company page if you don’t already have one or start posting interesting educational content once a week.  Use a 3:1 ratio of knowledge or curated content to one part product or company promotion.

Takeaway 2:  Cut your Google Adwords spend, shift the budget to a content marketing strategy and see what happens to your web traffic.

Leave a Comment:

Product to Knowledge Strategy Shift Grows a MFG... says December 14, 2015

[…] Listen to David Love talk about his electronics manufacturing company's marketing strategy shift from a product to knowledge strategy  […]

Deborah Fugazy says January 15, 2016

Very helpful – thank you

    Bruce McDuffee says January 16, 2016

    Thanks for the comment Deborah! I’m glad you found the podcast helpful.

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