Marketing Strategy for Small- to Medium-Sized Manufacturers
Small and medium-sized manufacturers' attempts to grow their business often produce less-than-desired results due to self-inflicted obstacles and pitfalls that defeat their well-intended efforts. Many do not follow generally accepted basic business practices such as knowing product costs and margins, conducting market research to identify prospective customers, and understanding competitors' advantages and disadvantages; all needed to build effective growth strategies. Their approach to pursuing growth strategies--a.k.a shotgun marketing--is akin to ready, shoot, aim--and often the business' working capital, cash flow, financial ratios, and overall profitability are insufficient to afford the costs of needed sales, marketing, and promotional strategies typically called for to find and develop new customers, markets, and products. Based on twenty-one case studies and one hundred twenty-six reviews of manufacturers' sales and marketing practices, the book explains the common pitfalls these companies experience and offers common sense, practicable, and affordable step-by-step how to's for cost and profitability analyses on products and customers, finding prospective new customers, conducting marketing research, and deciphering and using competitor intelligence. It also provides guidelines for determining the best combination of sales coverage for inside/outside sales and independent reps and for estimating the cost to implement sales, marketing, promotional, and growth strategies. It is a handy self-help resource to the approximately three hundred thousand small to medium-sized manufacturers we will need as the economy rebounds and creates opportunities for profitable growth--not just sales volume.