“Manufacturers have very little content we can use.”
The above comment is a direct quote from the President of a highly successful industrial distributor. Sad freakin’ commentary…
Here’s a guy running a small company dedicated to selling the products and services of his manufacturing partners. (Said partners are typically much bigger, allegedly more sophisticated organizations.) The distributor has found that the Content Marketing portion of his e-Rep is an extremely effective technique for growing sales. That’s exactly why he dedicates his very scarce resources to publishing a meaty, informative, value-loaded-from-the-customer’s-perspective blog post every week.
Since the Content Marketing strategy is working so well, he asks his “more sophisticated” partners for some content to market with. Put yourself in his shoes for a minute… You go to the VP of Marketing of a company whose products you sell. You ask for some content for your e-Rep. You get a blank stare. Your what? Your e-Rep??? Content? You mean cut sheets? Product brochures?
NO!!! Not more of those nasty, boring, old-school cut sheets and product brochures!!!
Content. I want content! Engaging, knowledge-sharing, educational, digital content I can put on my web site, blog, e-newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn. I want:
- Stories about applications – that share the knowledge of few with the many
- Video of customers showing how widget 1 saves money and widget 2 boosts throughput and widget 3 improves quality and…
- White papers – that share the knowledge of few with the many
- Recordings of your smart people talking about what they think about, are working on and how they’re going about it
- Radio interviews discussing innovations in the packaging (or food or aerospace or whatever) industry – that share the knowledge of few with the many
- Industry experts writing and talking about all the things industry experts write and talk about
Can it be possible that all 28 manufacturers this firm represents are unaware that any customer with a double digit IQ can get as much product info from Google as he or she wants with a mouse-click? (Or for the iPhone crowd, by asking Siri!) They don’t realize that customers – the people who write the checks – have figured out how to bypass the first 60-80% of the 1990s style, cut sheet/product-flogging brochure/what-keeps-you-up-at-night sales process?
Hard for me to believe. Yet here’s a distributor who’s been asking his manufacturing partners for content for over a year. And getting precious little. Seriously?
Hey manufacturers, prove this guy wrong! Send me some examples. If yours is cool enough, I’ll get you slotted for an interview on Manufacturing Revival Radio.