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Buying Group Using PR to Effectively Expand Market Reach

Background

Prime Advantage is a manufacturer’s buying group, based in Chicago, IL. Since it was founded in 1997, the company has steadily attracted small and midsized manufacturers across multiple industries that are interested in managing and driving down costs on the purchasing side of their businesses.

Prime Advantage started by serving manufacturers and suppliers in the commercial foodservice vertical, but recognized that its future success depended on its ability to expand into other markets.

To accomplish this, the company needed to raise awareness of its ability to provide a unique competitive advantage for small and midsized manufacturers through its ability to generate immediate and consistent savings for them.

Challenge

Prime Advantage wanted to replicate its ability to combine purchasing power of food service manufacturers in order to deliver unmatched savings on materials, components, supplies and services. However, the company had become frustrated with other efforts it had explored to expand beyond its core market, and realized it needed to create greater and more effective awareness of its capabilities in target markets. The company came to Pete Wiltjer Marketing Group (PWMG) seeking help establishing its brand as a leading provider of sourcing solutions for small and midsized industrial manufacturers.


Prime Advantage had also struggled in finding a way to capture interest from business media, an outlet that it badly wanted to penetrate in order to better communicate its capabilities to help North American small and mid-sized manufacturers even the playing field with Tier 1 manufacturers and foreign competitors, and also to establish company leaders as reliable and accessible sources capable of serving media queries on any related manufacturing topics.

Solution
PWMG designed and executed a strategic public relations campaign that started with efforts to communicate the group’s ability to solve complex sourcing and procurement issues that any small or midsized manufacturer would encounter, while also communicating the ease of using this service and the potentially lucrative immediate and long-term benefits of membership.

Among the strategies employed, PWMG developed case studies to highlight business networking and sourcing benefits, plus the buying power that members of the group had enjoyed and realized.

Recognizing that the group’s unique make-up of small and midsized industrial manufacturers also represented a specific demographic community, PWMG also developed and coordinated an economic forecast survey for the group’s members and suppliers.

Results
The survey responses were analyzed and distributed to the media, positioned as a study of industrial manufacturers’ buying trends and economic forecasts. Placements in Reuters, IndustryWeek, BtoB, Purchasing and 20 other media outlets followed the first survey. These economic forecast surveys are now executed twice each year, further establishing this manufacturer’s buying group and its executives as the “Voice of Midsized Manufacturing”.

Also, the PR program has led to unsolicited calls and requests from prospects that have turned into members within strategic new markets for the company, and have helped Prime Advantage to attract new members from a host of new vertical markets.

“The public relations program has really helped drive a lot of our sales and marketing efforts at Prime Advantage, and has become a key part of our overall branding strategy,” said Mike McDonald, vice president of new business relationships, Prime Advantage. “PWMG has helped us position Prime Advantage in a more strategic way that has led to our expanding into new markets and continuing to grow our business at a time when many manufacturing service providers are retrenching.”


Related PWMG Services
Public Relations | Marketing Strategy | Database Marketing

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