The economy is still very slow for manufacturers and the budget belt is still tight. Here are the biggest trends I am seeing with manufacturers.
Manufacturers are cutting their advertising budgets by:
Reducing or eliminating paid listings in industrial directories.
Dropping newspaper ads, if they use them at all.
Permanently dropping catalog ads.
Manufacturers are still spending about the same level for some things:
Trade shows are reduced slightly but are being considered for total removal.
Sales and service jobs are not actively being eliminated, but people who leave are not being replaced.
Manufacturers are trying some new methods with mixed results. They are:
Adding a Facebook profile…incorrectly. Poor results in nearly all cases because of a bad approach. Hint: Manufacturers are businesses – the should use a business page, NOT a personal profile. People can become a fan of your company if it is setup as a business page.
Trying out Twitter. Only 1 company I know of has benefited from this method. By the way, only 1 manufacturer I’ve talked with is taking a sensible approach to using Twitter.
Testing out monthly e-mail newsletters through MailChimp, Aweber, or ConstantContact. Aweber is my preferred newsletter system. The results have been very good for this approach, but manufacturing marketers still have a tendency to let this method fall into disrepair, misuse, and sloppiness.
Moving to shared sales representatives while trying to jump into new territories. Results range from total failure to very good sales improvements. So far, the ones who have had success are doing commission-only approach. Of course the commission percent tends to be higher when there is not a base. The no-base, higher-percent commission approach seems to attract better performers.
Improve Your Manufacturing Ad Budget Performance – Recommendations
Install Google Analytics (FREE) on your website. Check to see if you have visitors from a geographical area you currently do not cover. Get a shared sales rep for that area that is commission-based only.
Try out Google Adwords (online advertising). Get or use one of the free $50 or $100 credits that Google mails to businesses who have installed Google Analytics (free stats).
Check all your advertising for ROI (return on investment) and shift the budget to higher performing methods. I am shocked how many companies have not done this one.
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