Taking the Lead: Insight from 2016’s Manufacturing Matters Conference


Last week, several members of the Top Floor team attended at WMEP’s annual Manufacturing Matters conference in Milwaukee, WI.  This year’s theme is one that really resonated with us: Taking the Lead.

Taking a leadership position can be challenging in today’s business climate, especially for small and mid-sized operations.  According to some estimates, manufacturing output in industrialized nations is expected to increase by a measly 0.7% year over year – meaning we’re all competing for a larger piece of a smaller pie.

So what can organizations do to position themselves as an industry leader and drive growth?

Taking the Lead Means… Knowing What You Stand For

Strong branding and positioning are the foundation of any company that’s committed to taking the lead. Your brand is the core of what you stand for. It should include answers to the questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • Why does it matter?

These questions seem simple, yet they’re anything but. In most companies, if you ask 5 different people these questions, you will have 5 drastically different answers.

Success in achieving clarity of purpose is one of the key traits observable in high performance companies. Finding this clarity is not just a marketing challenge. It’s a leadership challenge, and needs to be driven and supported from the top.

Taking the Lead… Means Being Top of Mind

Leading companies are the ones consumers gravitate to when thinking a product category – or if they’re making a first time purchase, the first one they find when searching on Google or asking their networks for recommendations.

Improving your digital marketing footprint is one of the best ways to help your company build this “top of mind” recognition.  It is especially powerful for small and midsized organizations, or companies looking to challenge an entrenched industry leader.

With some marketing savvy, your organization can do a lot (with a relatively modest budget) to take on the “Goliaths” of your industries.

Taking the Lead… Means Setting Aggressive Goals & Measuring Results. 

Growth can take shape in different ways for different organizations.  It can be improvements to the bottom line, reaching new geographies/industries/markets, adopting new technologies, and more.

High growth organizations tend to be metrics obsessed.  They have clear goals and measurements in place for what they want to achieve in their marketing program and in their overall their business.

Want to learn more qualities that set winning organizations apart?

Knowing what NOT to do is equally important to knowing industry best practices.  Click the button below to check out our e-book on The Top 10 Marketing Missteps Made by Most Manufacturers (then try saying that 10 times fast.)

The e-book outlines 10 traps that many organizations fall into, as well as traits of companies that are successfully utilizing marketing to get ahead and win.