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Like I was sayin'.....

My recent article "Turning the Pyramid on it's Head" really generated a lot of email responses from all over the country and from a diverse group of business types within the industry, including presidents and VPs of manufacturing, owners of service centers, owners and managers of multiple service centers, marketing directors of advertising agencies, marketing groups, jobbers, warehouses and board members of large aftermarket corporations. Every email I received was complimentary, but more than that, they were very, very detailed about how they would like to see program group marketing change. I was astounded that this article touched such a sore spot with so many people.

 A former CEO of one manufacturer wrote "(we) have already left the (program) group concept as a manufacturer and are building a direct-to-distributor model from worldwide sources."

Another VP of sales and marketing wrote, "I agree that the amount of wasted time, effort and money you refer to is monumental in this industry." He went on to say "These 'me too' aftermarket marketing efforts do nothing to move product, educate employees or add to the bottom line."

A GM of a large independant installer wrote, "There is so much technology available today that the (program) groups could be using to help our businesses run better and more efficient, which in turn would increase our parts purchases with our jobber."

One e-mail responder wrote, "Features and benefits offer the customer the information to decide if this product will solve his problem." The responder also added, "They don't just go down to the parts store to see what's on sale."

Another email from a marketing and consulting company wanted to know how many responses this article got, and was interested — I assumed — based on the level of responses in building a program to demonstrate how selling "quality, features and benefits" were better than programs that simply sell price. You need to start working on that program now, because the responses were many.

 I was really encouraged to see that so many people shared my same view on this topic, but at the same time, was dismayed by the lack of attention from program groups and manufacturers regarding everyone else's plea to change how we market product. One email from a marketing VP indicated that he "felt sorry for (the manufacturers') disconnection," and he eluded to the fact that some programs had a design of "stroking the egos of the upper echelon of manufacturer marketing people and executives."

Thanks to everyone that responded, as I couldn't include a snippet from every email. Read the article and tell your manufacturers, warehouses, group administrators or jobbers what you think. If we all scream loud enough, someone has got to hear us and hopefully listen!

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Uploaded By: WAP
2 years ago
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