If you work for a business-to-business (B2B) company, especially a niche Canadian manufacturer, you could be sitting on an untapped golden opportunity.
The events of the past few years have reinforced the need for companies of all sizes to focus and source material, equipment and parts closer to home and closer to their customers. Ongoing shipping and supply chain challenges have provided opportunities for more local businesses to dig deep and change old practices to achieve success in new ways.
Businesses that demonstrate their ability to deliver quality goods, on time and as needed, are getting noticed. Manufacturers are building momentum and gaining traction at home and in the global marketplace by providing items more readily and often of better quality than items being offered from overseas, where the focus is primarily on low-cost goods.
Another advantage for Canadian manufacturers is reduced shipping costs and potential delays and duties. This is all good news for Canada and Canadian businesses.
More than ever, Canadian manufacturers, are focusing their efforts on what they do best. By staying clear on what they do and do not offer, manufacturers are rising above the competition and are carving a niche for themselves in their market.
What’s a niche?
By definition, a niche is a specialized area of expertise or segment of the market. A niche business offers a specific item or service that other companies would be hard-pressed to replicate.
In a world where many companies do lots of different things, some companies are buckling down and getting really really good at one specific thing - and in the process are making themselves invaluable to their customers.
As an example, your business could make bolts. You could provide bolts needed for planes, trains or automobiles. These bolts are fairly generic and many companies may manufacture and sell them. If so, your business is not in the niche market because there are many other businesses that provide the exact same thing. The difference between the items could be price, location, material, you name it.
But, if your company makes a specific tool which makes working on these vehicles easier, faster or less labour intensive for the mechanics that service and repair them, your business provides a much-needed service or tool within a niche of this market.
How can manufacturers market their niche goods?
Marketing items and services as ‘Made in Canada’, or even ‘Made in North America’ are more important than ever.
To find customers in a niche market, your marketing needs to be much more targeted, specific and intentional. To reach the people who actually need your products today, you need to know your niche, who your customers are, and where they source information that will help them.
Companies need to:
- Fully understand their niche - have a strong presence in the spaces and channels your customers already are.
- Clearly articulate how their products and services are different from the competition, and
- Build a compelling story about the company, its people and its offerings.
It’s no longer enough for a manufacturer to say they sell X product on a web page or in a brochure that may or may not get picked up. Companies must go the extra mile to explain more about their business, products and people and be available in more ways than ever before. They need an active and current website, a responsive sales team, a compelling marketing strategy and a willingness to engage with customers all along the pipeline. They need to answer questions and show value. Always.
This is a significant change that many manufacturers need support in achieving. Not so long ago, B2B companies, including manufacturers, focused primarily on their cost structure. Today, companies are increasingly focused on demonstrating they offer, AND why and how a potential customer can benefit from these products and services.
Effective marketing helps a company stand out, demonstrates expertise, educates the market and establishes the company’s position as the thought leader, no matter how small the niche they belong to. Manufacturing companies do this by selling ‘value’ not just products.
Good marketing offers manufacturers the opportunity to:
- Highlight key differences between the high-value (yours) and low-value (competition) offerings,
- Showcase actual customer success stories, and
- Share the companys’ ability to develop custom solutions that are unmatched by others.
Help your current customers and potential customers get to know your business, your people and your products. If they like what they learn, they’ll be back for more.
Are you a Canadian manufacturer experiencing a resurgence by carving a niche in your industry? Are you interested in learning more about how to more effectively market your manufacturing business? Mezzanine B2B Growth Agents specializes in B2B demand and lead generation for companies that have complex sales such as manufacturers. It’s all we do, so we have the depth and breadth of experience to help your manufacturing company continue to grow.
If you’re wondering what sets Mezzanine Growth apart from other agencies, read 7 Reasons Why Mezzanine Is Your B2B Outsourced Marketing Agency, then contact us for more information.
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive custom-crafted content and tools to help drive sustained sales growth and generate B2B leads.