Expert's Panel

A collection of timely and important topics posed to our panel of experts.

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    What are the marketing challenges of the future. Especially the impact of technology improvements and drivers slowing down?

  1. I believe we have a big challenge in properly communicating with our customers; getting our communication to the right people, to the decision makers in the organization. They are so insulated and they certainly are not going to read advertisements or even application notes. Getting that relationship marketing established at all levels of your customer is the biggest challenge that I see.
  2. Building on that idea the sales force is becoming even more critical. The engineers seem to have less and less time to talk to suppliers. Your challenge is to create the right kind of messages to help the salesperson get in front of the right people. Also partnerships and alliances are becoming an important part of a marketeer’s role. How we partner with other suppliers to provide a better total solution will be taking more of marketing’s time.
  3. There is so much information available in the marketplace that you, as the marketing person, need to get your messages to really stand out in the crowd or they won’t be seen. Differentiate yourself; develop differentiating value propositions that are used in your promotion pieces, your proposals, your team’s face-to-face conversations with customers. Be consistent in the message.
  4. Create a value perception of your product as opposed to the commodity perception that the customer wants. The titles of buyers now say commodity purchasing. If you get to know them they will tell you it is their job to create the perception of commodity, which means it becomes cheaper and cheaper. Your job in marketing—not sales, production, engineering or management—is to create the perception of high value of your product versus everybody else’s. Managing the cost versus the value of advertising, PR and trade shows is the other big challenge.
  5. Relationship marketing is very important today. Companies, through their supply chain management programs, are trying to treat every product and service as a commodity. A result of these programs is to remove you from the decision makers and eliminate your message of differentiation. With proper management of the customer, from day one, you can keep those pathways at different levels open.
  6. No engineer ever got fired for specifying an Applied Materials or Novellus tool, even though it may not be the best. Therefore, creating a strong brand name in a niche will help you to become the vendor of choice in more companies.