MM 070 – Old School Marketing; That was Then, This is Now

This week, we discuss the important differences between old school marketing and modern marketing and how manufacturers can and must adapt to survive. Manufacturers can gain an immediate and significant advantage when they shift from a company centered strategy to a customer focused strategy.


  • “Marketing is the most difficult part of business today.” The biggest challenge and opportunity for manufacturing marketers is cutting through the noise of too many messages. [3:40]
  • Strategic marketing is the messaging or the content of the marketing. Tactical marketing is the delivery of the messaging. If the message is incorrect the delivery will not matter. Frank shares a case study about why product features are not the best messaging strategy. [6:35]
  •  4 pieces of the “Marketing Equation”: [10:20]
    1. Interrupt
    2. Engage
    3. Educate
    4. Offer

  • “There are only two people who care about your company name, you and your mother.” [11:10]
  • The days of the manufacturer forcing customers to buy the way they want them to buy are over. [15:00]
  • To be successful with a marketing strategy you must understand the people in your target audience first and foremost. [16:10]
  • A good message hits the customer’s pain point head on. [19:40]
  • Frank talks about the buyer’s journey with a great example using sun rooms. [22:55]
  • Is your marketing upside down and backward?  Find out here. [28:50]
  • “Marketing is the process of connecting a person with a problem they have and don’t want with a solution they want but don’t have.” [30:35]

Interview Questions:

Question 1 – If you had to pick one thing, what is the most important change that manufacturers should be focusing on right now to gain a competitive advantage?

Question 2 – One challenge I see at a lot of manufacturers is the perception of the word “marketing”. I bet if we got 10 CEOs in a room and asked them to define ‘marketing’, we would get 10 different answers. I think one especially confounding idea is the concept of strategic versus tactical marketing. Could you give us your definition of marketing, including some practical examples of strategic and tactical?

Question 3 – When it comes to a go-to-market strategy, I think we can agree, that the manufacturer must meet the buyers where, when and how they want to buy. The days of forcing a customer to buy the way the manufacturer wants them to buy are long gone. How does a manufacturer match their buyer’s behavior to facilitate a purchase and even a long term customer?

Question 4– When we were discussing this topic, you mentioned to me that most manufacturers have their marketing upside down and backward. Would you elaborate on that idea and give our listeners some tips and examples about how they can get started in making their own marketing right-side up and forward facing?

Challenge Question – This week our challenge question comes from an industrial automation company from the Chicago area. Here it is “We’re not a manufacturer, but we sell to a lot of them so I hope you can help us out. We’re trying to build our subscriber list by offering an email newsletter. We put out the newsletter once a month where we talk about new products, special offers and we highlight one of our senior managers. We’ve been promoting it on social media and the front page of our website along with trying to get our sales team to promote it. After a full year, the results are terrible. We have 49 subscribers and a pretty high unsubscribe rate. What are we doing wrong?”

  • Stop talking about yourselves and start sharing information that is relevant to the audience. Use it to establish your firm as an expert.
  • Consider increasing frequency to at least 2x per month.  Tag the newsletter with something that matters to the audience.
  • Share a solution to a problem they have to establish your credibility and expertise.


  • Cut through the blizzard of information with a laser focused message that addresses the customers wants and needs, then align your entire company around that message.
  • Make the transition by becoming customer centric instead of company-centric.

audience engagement

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