What do the Philadelphia 76ers and marketing directors for manufacturing companies have in common? Follow me on this one, because the 76ers' story can help you turn something you already have - a process - into something that can help you drive new business.
Understanding "The Process"
The 76ers had some major issues. They were the laughing stock of the NBA. Check out their win/loss record over the last few years.
- 2013–2014 = 19 Wins/63 Losses
- 2014–2015 = 18 Wins/64 Losses
- 2015–2016 = 10 Wins/72 Losses
With records like this, you can imagine it was tough to get fans to buy tickets. So, how did ownership of the 76ers get fans to keep showing up? They sold them on what they called, "The Process." They had a whole marketing campaign called, "Trust the Process."
Basically, ownership assured fans that they had a plan to improve. If fans could wait out the lean years, they would be rewarded. So, what happened? In the 2017–2018 season, the 76ers won 52 games and lost only 30, sending them to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. They are now considered one of the NBA's best, young teams, and they constantly credit "The Process" that got them there.
Why do I bring this up? Because as a marketing director, you should be showcasing and selling your process to your fans (customers) too. Buyers don't like surprises. They want to know exactly how everything is going to work from the sales process to the end delivery.
Selling "The Process"
What is your sales process? That's where your prospects first get to know you. Why not start off the relationship with a bold move and spell out the process in a video? This automatically creates authenticity, trust, and transparency. It tells your prospect, "This company has done this before and knows what it's doing." (As a side benefit, it might force those rogue salespeople to follow the proper process!)
You have a few options here. You could literally spell out the entire sales process in a video. This is a great way to showcase your systems capabilities, regulatory capabilities, supplier agreements, ISO certifications, etc.
Another option is to let your prospects know what to expect if they choose to work with you. Here are a couple of examples.
1. Plant Tour
Oftentimes, logistics and costs prevent a prospect from visiting your facility. This is where a plant tour video can showcase your capabilities. In this particular video for D&S Manufacturing, notice how they point out things like ISO Certification and specific equipment that might be important to their prospects.
2. What Makes You Unique
Usually, your prospect has options. You need to showcase what makes your company unique. Do you make everything in-house? Or do you outsource a lot to your suppliers? It can be anything! Ask yourself the question, why do our customers choose to work with us? Try to be specific and truly one of a kind. Saying things like customer service or our employees are why people choose us is not unique. Every company on the planet says this. Really dig down and discover why you are special.
For example, W.C. Branham produces everything in-house, which is important to both the company and its customers. https://storytellermn-2.wistia.com/medias/7kqjh6liqp This is a short video of W.C. Branham showing and telling us just that. Notice this video isn't flashy. It's simply W.C. Branham telling us something that makes them unique in their industry.
3. Manufacturing Process
As a video producer, I always cover the process of producing videos with my clients. This helps them understand what it takes to create a video, how long it will take, my expectations of them throughout the project, etc. Again, if you explain the process, there are no surprises.
The same goes for manufacturing. Video can help you explain your process so your prospect understands what goes into creating whatever it is they need. Lowell, Inc. created a video to show its customers what to expect if they choose Lowell.
Lowell is a contract manufacturer working in the medical field. Everything they do must be precise. Their customers demand it. So, right off the bat, Lowell quickly talks about the process of how they bring their customers' products to life.
Here's another great example of showing specifically how something is made. This video is from New Era Caps. The first part describes how they make their products and why their products are unique. I really like the use of a New Era Cap person walking you through their process. It comes across as very genuine.
For you medical manufacturing marketing directors, I know you might need to be a little more calculated in your approach. The New Era Caps video is loose and off the cuff.
Here is a video from a medical manufacturer detailing its process. Notice there is no voiceover. Music, images, and text graphics guide you through the process from beginning to end.
If the 76ers hadn't sold their fans on "The Process" there's a good chance they would have lost most of them. Sometimes, all customers need to know is, do you have a process? Can you build/develop/engineer what I need to succeed? So, that's what the Philadelphia 76ers and marketing directors for manufacturing companies have in common.