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When manufacturing a part, the intent is that it match the dimensions called out on the specifications exactly. However, depending on the materials, environment and manufacturing approach the size of the finished parts may vary slightly.
Engineers understand this and so they specify a “tolerance” for any unintended deviations from the stated dimensions. This ensures that all parts shipped will fit and function properly when installed — and the customer will be happy.
Parts that end up “out of tolerance” – for any reason – must be rejected – costing the company time and money. If too many bad parts slip past QA and get shipped, then the customer will reject them, and if it happens too frequently, potentially reject the provider as well, impacting their reputation.
This exact same thing (rejection) happens when manufacturers make and ship marketing with messaging that is out of tolerance, which in this case means not perceived by recipients as precisely relevant. This means that the time and money spent creating the messaging and the marketing carrying it may have likely been wasted as well.
Similarly, if customers receive too many “out of tolerance” messages they’ll eventually reject the messenger, and resist any further connection with them. By the way, in some cases the entity rejecting you may not even be human. For example, if the messaging on your website is not relevant, Google won’t rank the page highly enough for your company to be found in search results.
With customers’ attention spans shortening daily, message relevance has never been more critical. In fact, recent studies have shown that receiving as few as two mistargeted communications can cause someone to abandon a brand.
What this means is that the deviance from relevance your prospects and customers are willing to accept is rapidly approaching zero.
To avoid rejection, manufacturing marketers must ensure all messaging is absolutely relevant to its ideal customer. Every message people receive must reinforce the image of your company as someone who knows what problems its ideal customer is dealing with and exactly how its offerings can solve them.
That requires an investment in research that will help you understand those customers, especially what keeps them up at night. Armed with this information, you can then talk very precisely about exactly how your product can help them finally get some sleep.
Marketers of consumer brands such as Newell Rubbermaid are already all in on this approach.
But according to a 2012 white paper by SAS, manufacturing CMOs are behind the curve, and most don’t even realize it.
The good news is that your ideal customers want to connect with you as much as you want to connect with them. They are thirsty for the relevancy that “tight tolerance” marketing provides.
Out of fear of losing any potential customer, however, what many companies end up doing is loosening message tolerance, effectively sending out messaging that is less relevant to more people, not understanding this only increases the chance of rejection by everyone!
When messaging tolerance is kept tight, budgets go further, which means you have the funds to do unique and interesting things that will further differentiate you from your competitors. This will ensure the effect it has on your ideal customer to be (nearly) perfect.
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