This article appeared in the April 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
Marketing doesn’t always come easy to manufacturers. Many would rather have the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of its products speak for itself. In an age where consumers can browse, shop and review your business without ever having to leave their home, the stories, people and emotions behind your brand can be as important as the product you sell. That’s why marketing might matter more today than ever before.
What’s a manufacturer to do?
“Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. Don’t wait on sharing the story of your business because you fear doing it wrong — try something,” urged Chris Beecher, president of The Whole Brain Group (WBG), an Ann Arbor-based digital marketing firm that exudes fun and is loaded with the experience to do the job. “We’re called ‘Whole Brain’ for a reason — you won’t see your marketing strategy placed in one person’s hands while you’re left to hope it works. Here, you get access to a whole team. We’re all moving in the same direction and that’s to share the best side of you there is.”
WBG isn’t new to the industry either. Manufacturers are a preferred partner because WBG — from Beecher to each member of his talented team — sees something special in their story.
“There’s something about a manufacturer that hits home to us,” said Beecher. “It’s not any single thing. It’s the family culture. It’s about businesses being passed down through generations. It’s the idea of a group of people working together, often hidden away in these unimpressive brick buildings but creating amazing products and feeling like it’s them against the world. Those are stories worth sharing.”
Great stories are found all over manufacturing, yet many business leaders still struggle to make the leap to a full marketing strategy.
“You have to look at marketing, especially digital marketing, in the same way as you look at product development,” Beecher explained. “You’re not going to see a business design a product, produce it the next day, sell it the day after that, gain huge revenue, never change the process and just enjoy that success forever. Manufacturers fail. They fail. They make changes. They test. They research. The better the product, the more had to go into making it great. Marketing in 2019 is the same thing. It’s trial-and-error and learning to see a failure as a step toward success.”
WBG’s success with manufacturers comes from understanding marketing isn’t the solution to a problem, it’s the process that allows a solution to be found. Whether your business is ready to create an engaging, all-encompassing marketing strategy or just want someone to explain what the heck digital marketing is, a conversation with WBG or someone like them is worth your time and should be personal.
As Beecher suggested, manufacturers should “have a face-to-face conversation when you start exploring digital marketing because success really can come down to relationships. Marketing can bring in new customers. It can attract new talent to want to come work for you. The more comfortable you are with the team telling your story, the more natural that story feels and the more it will resonate with people.”
Marketing is no longer something manufacturers can ignore and what worked in the 50s, 80s and 2000s might not get you where you need to go. For that, look to firms that make it a fun and exciting process, while delivering great results.
“We truly are a team who loves what we do because we do it together,” said Beecher. “Give us a call and start the conversation. You don’t need to know everything, just be willing to try something.”
The Whole Brain Group is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been an MMA member company since February 2017. Visit online: www.thewholebraingroup.com.