Good and effective marketing has always been vital to fully exploit the markets in which companies operate and none more so than the over-supplied, and extremely competitive, timber and wood processing Industries.
Be it the raw material itself, that’s right timber, or the added value products that go into the numerous end-use markets, yield from the original log, through all the various processes to the finished product such as a timber window, is absolutely critical. This can mean the difference between profit and loss and will also apply to the costs that get involved in the distribution and marketing of these products.
Less than 10 years ago it was still the practice for rough sawn softwood, unsorted or Fifths even, to be machined into components within the window factories and in the process incurred lots of waste and heavy labour costs to continually repair the piece. Thus, despite the drive from added-value sawmills to provide much better material, and more importantly, material designed specifically for the end-use.
If you look into the history of the wood window market you will find that the outdated process described above was eventually the downfall of its market leading position in the 60’s and 70’s, with low quality products that didn’t last. Plastic soon took over and even today still dominates.
So, for example, at Mumford & Wood back in the late 90’s the Company took the brave decision to pay more for a better class of timber and at the same time draw up the specification of every finished component that was needed in all its products. This even got down to the detail as to where, should any sap wood be allowed, it was positioned in the component part so that it could be removed from the end component in the moulding process. In other words understanding the customer’s need for better windows that would last a life time was researched and understood by the company using a classic marketing discipline.
Timber windows are now technically advanced and much improved and all market leading companies with strong brands recognise what effective marketing is, and how it can be used to support the growth of their businesses.
The drive from the Industry to make sure that the products met the demands of the market for sustainability and longevity has meant serious investment in modern manufacturing facilities with CNC machines that can meet and drive the need for high quality and low cost production.
Today also you have to recognise how relevant e-commerce is to the marketing tool kit. In the wider world with consumer products the amount of business now carried out on line is a staggering 30% so it is no surprise that these tools are now being used effectively in our industry.
We have recognised this for some time and we passionately believe that our market leading systems are steering our business growth in the right direction. The Government is pushing for the adoption of the BIM model in the procurement of goods and services in the public construction sector and we are very pleased to be able to claim first place in that process as well by Mumford & Wood timber windows and doors.
All this is safer than just having one USP, that being price. Manufacturers of products need to re-invest in their businesses to replace and improve plant and this requires strong margins. These margins can only be achieved if the market offering first meets the customer need but that the service and quality are also market leading. The latter can only be achieved by having good market knowledge, product improvement and development, but also anticipation of the demand so that one can calculate the sales forecast on time.
We have seen over time, and again already this year, good brands and companies going to the wall because the marketing tool kit has been thrown away and price has been used to bridge the gap. It simply doesn’t work and never will.
At Mumford & Wood we try to offer at all times a minimum of six sales features that we can claimed, then measured against our competitors and then we make sure we price these correctly.