Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How a Manufacturing CEO can Profit in a Down Economy


It seems one day manufacturing is up and the next day manufacturing is down.  It's already mid February and your numbers just aren't coming in like you expected.  You miss the old days when double digit growth was a given based on introducing a few new products and whipping your sales team just a little.

You've beefed up R&D spending and added feet on the street in the sales channel.  You just can't break through that single digit growth barrier.   Looking at global manufacturing output stats showing meager 2% or less increases, it's no wonder.  No single industry is growing at double digit rates.  Many industries are in negative growth rates.  But, there are some companies growing at 10%, 20% or even 30% rates in this very same economic environment.

If your company is one of those growing at double digit rates, you don't have to read on because you've probably already figured this one out.  If you're not in this high growth rate group, read on and learn how you too can achieve a high rate of growth.  (I'm talking about organic growth!)

It doesn't take a huge investment in people or other resources.  It's just a different way of thinking about how your business generates revenue.  More specifically, it's about who or which function you leverage for generating revenue.

Surprise!  It's not the sales team and it's not the product team.  It's the marketing team.

That's right, a modern marketing function can drive 10%, 20% or even 30% growth rates and it's not complex or expensive.  Your biggest obstacle is likely to be your ancient go to market culture.

These are the 6 essential components required to convert your marketing team from a cost center to a high performance revenue engine:

  1. A tech-savvy, content savvy modern professional marketer as a leader.
  2. A business culture where the Marketing function is integrated strategically and tactically.
  3. Modern technology and tools (choosing the right tools requires a tech savvy leader)
  4. A content based marketing strategy.
  5. Executive leadership sponsorship.
  6. A formal, written, dynamic marketing plan.
But hold on a minute, you and your company may not be ready for these changes and that's ok.  Just understand that these ideas are percolating all over the place.  It's not easy to get here, but it's not rocket science either.

Be warned, the first company in your competitive space to embrace these changes and make them work will be the company that wins market share in that space.  Don't delay, do it today!

For a more in-depth discussion, check out this Slideshare presentation.