Just when you think you fully understand the buying influences and the right messages, think again.
One thing that I’ve learned during my career is to routinely take a second or third look, after you think you’ve got a market all figured out. BtoB buying influences can easily allude the marketer or PR pro who goes with “obvious” conclusions.
Digital Metrology in a Crowded Field
Early in my career I worked with an Italy-based company (DEA) that made multi-axis, robotic-like digital equipment for probing durable goods components to measure dimensional accuracy. During the automated routine, the probe would touch points on the part, ensuring that holes and features were within tolerances specified to meet quality objectives.
Back then, the new kids on the block in the manufacturing world were the “quality” people, working in lab coats in Clean Rooms, carefully measuring samples (first parts of a production run, for example). These were the typical users of the Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) our client was selling. So of course, it would make sense to direct the advertising and PR toward these Quality Control engineers.
What we didn’t first realize and acknowledge was that the Manufacturing and/or Production Engineers (the guys that specked out and ran the “dirty” work out on the shop floor), actually controlled more budget dollars for the Clean Room quality control equipment than the quality guys. Plus, the Manufacturing Engineers were starting to get the CMMs out onto the production floor to achieve faster checking and higher sampling.
So, while the heavy competition (there were more than 12 CMM builders at the time) were still grinding away with their ads and PR in Quality and Quality Progress magazine, we targeted the publications that the Manufacturing Engineers read – and created messages specifically relating to their world.