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Battle of the Brands

Jun 17, 2008
Let me tell you the story of two companies who make very similar products, and sell to the same customer base. Both make excellent products that provide a huge benefit to their customers. One of them is incredibly successful at lead generation, and closing the sale, while the other is sailing without a sail. Which do you think is the more respected leader in their industry?

Both the companies I'm talking about make tool vending machines and inventory management software to drive the machines and keep track of inventory. They both sell to manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and general machining industries. Both companies' products offer huge cost savings to their customers through better control of tooling inventory. In many cases each companies' products save up to 30-40% in annual spend on tooling.

Shouldn't they both be doing bang up business, especially in a down economy?

I won't mention the companies' names because I have worked with one of them. Guess which one?

Well, one of the companies does well enough, and has grown sales about 2-3% per year in the last 3 years. Not bad.

The other company has increased sales an average of 20% each year over the last 3 years, and just had to move to a new 80,000 square foot facility to handle their amazing growth.

In fact, the more successful company sells a tool dispensing machine made by the other company, and does a better job marketing the machine. They sell the machine for 10% more than the company that makes it, and they blow the actual maker of the machine out of the water. How do you explain it?

Simple. The more successful company utilizes an ongoing article marketing strategy that keeps them in front of their current, and more importantly their prospective customers. By using articles published in trade magazines, and industry web sites the successful company has built their credibility and positioned themselves as the hands-down leader in their industry.

The less successful company has relied on distribution, and paid advertising to generate quality sales leads. By relying on distributors they have essentially placed their marketing efforts in the hands of other companies who also have 100+ other product lines to sell to their customers. That strategy insures they will only get about 1/100th of their distributors' marketing effort. That's a pretty poor ratio, and doesn't lead to massive sales growth. Plus, who knows if the distributors have any clue how to effectively market their product?

There is nothing wrong with paid advertising, but it costs the less successful company a fortune, and the results don't really justify the expense. The very successful company puts the emphasis on article marketing, and uses sporadic paid advertising as an accent to their article marketing strategy.

In addition, the very successful company has a web site that entices their prospective customers even more with an easy to navigate design, and lots of free information. They even offer a free trial of their software via instant download. All you have to do is enter your email address, and you get a free trial for 60 days. The company also gets an opt-in sales lead they can follow up with a few days later, and in email newsletters forever. The articles bring prospects to the web site, and the web site continues the sales process.

The less successful company has a bulky web site design with little information, and no free downloads, in fact no free anything. There is nothing to really entice their prospects to want to learn more, and eventually buy.

So, the moral of the story is to build credibility, and grow sales by leaps and bounds you must have a consistent article marketing campaign.
About the Author
Ted Hebert is an Article Marketing Specialist helping companies of all sizes grow their business through article marketing. He can be reached at Ted@Atunga.com or visit www.Atunga.com.
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