One of the biggest challenges for Manufacturers is trying to identify both their customers as well as potentials. It may seem strange to you that most Manufacturers who sell through various distribution channels don’t know who their ultimate customers are.
Distributors as a rule are very protective of “their” customers. Unless you need them to register for a warranty, you need other ways to entice them to give up their contact info. Some of the ways Manufacturers generate names are through trade shows, end-user calls, traditional advertising/PR and social media. You can have customer loyalty and other value-added programs.
The challenge is once you have all of these contacts, what/how do you manage them? That’s where database marketing comes in. This tool can help you segment your audiences into customers, potentials, different markets or applications. Then you can target the message which will increase the potential of folks reading and reacting to it.
Your message to a current user of your product should talk more about applications/performance data while the message to a potential new customer might be more features/benefits of a product or an end-user testimonial from one of their peers.
Your end goal from a customer viewpoint is to build a relationship with them and communicate with them on a regular basis. This will help you in identifying other areas you might help them with, and the more you know about what they do, the better you can offer them ideal solutions to help them.
The bottom line is you’re communicating with them, helping them solve their problems – you are building a customer retention model. If Contractors know, like and trust you, not only will they continue to buy from you, but will become your advocates on the street. They also will be a great source of market intelligence.
Database marketing in my opinion is one of the most important tools in our marketing tool box.
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