The manufacturing buying cycle is still very relational By relational, I mean that buyers or teams of buyers within companies often look to the people they know first for referrals: their dealers, representatives, and suppliers. According to Alex Hawthorne, executive vice president of Mathews Brothers, a fourth-generation window manufacturer in Belfast, Maine, his team will first contact their representatives for references. “We have relationships with reps who work with multiple vendors,”
says Hawthorne. "We're casting a net to find as many companies as possible that supply what we're looking for, whether it's window hardware or plastic corners." Although anecdotal, how Mathews Brothers finds suppliers is on par with data from Gardner Business jewelry retouching service Media's 2015 Media in Manufacturing report. On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the most influential), survey respondents gave 'colleagues' a score of 4 for how they form perceptions of a supplier - a higher score than industry events, advertising and search rankings (Figure 1) .
Production media data Figure 1: Data from Gardner's 2015 Media in Manufacturing report Marketing tip: keep this audience informed with an email newsletter just for them Creating an email newsletter for a dealer/representative/salesperson audience allows you to provide information that you wouldn't include in a customer-facing newsletter. One of my clients, for example, sends out a monthly newsletter to dealerships that includes: updates on products and services. case studies and application notes. updates on new marketing literature available. technical advice on products. company news, e.g., trade shows, new hires,