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Building product manufacturer Marco breaks long-term pattern of “low variety” sales by modifying customer buying patterns.

  • Marco is a North American manufacturer of high quality venting and sealing components for residential and small scale commercial metal buildings.
  • The company was well known by the construction industry for its deep expertise, great customer service, and consistent delivery on its commitments yet sales were stagnate.
  • C5 helped shift the industry’s perception of Marco from distributor to one-stop shop for an entire “weathertite system,” doubling sales in year one and quadrupling sales and profit by year four.

Discovery + Analysis

Customer research reveals audience thinks company is a distributor and that it only carries a few products.

Research conducted by C5 as part of a total business review revealed the company’s current marketing approach had created the impression that Marco was a distributor. And while 20 years of advertising had succeeded in creating awareness of Marco’s signature products, it did not succeed in communicating the breadth of the company’s product line. Research also showed that of the 20% of Marco’s customer base that were driving 80% of sales, they too, were only buying one or two products.

Strategy + Application

Visual “system sell” introduces customers to Marco’s full line of offerings.

To raise customer’s awareness of Marco’s full line of offerings, C5 created a visual “system sell” that enabled buyers to see multiple parts in the context of a whole “weathertite” system. This enabled customers to easily identify and purchase all the parts they would need for a project at one time, from one provider. C5 also recommended Marco offer reduced shipping to customers who bought four or five products for 2-day delivery. The focus of all communications were on letting people know Marco carried more than one product.

Attractive poster is printed and mailed by popular industry trade magazine boosting awareness and causing a dramatic shift in buying patterns.

To assist the communications effort, Marco wanted to create a poster representing its products as leadership felt confident customers and prospects would put it up in their work place.

The initial intent was to have C5 design the poster, which then would be printed and mailed to a targeted list. But initial cost estimates for the project averaged north of $100,000. Upon further consideration, C5 discovered Marco already had a relationship with the top industry trade magazine, MetalCon. C5 worked with the publication to create a double truck poster, which would be gate folded and included as a center signature piece in the magazine’s trade show issue.

For a fraction of the original project estimate, MetalCon printed the poster — including a 2,000 piece overrun for Marco’s own use. The publication then inserted the poster into its most read trade show issue and mailed it to subscribers representing thousands of potential customers.

=Results

Customers rediscover Marco as one-stop shop for “weathertite systems,” doubling Marco’s sales in year one. 

The day the publication came out, Marco sold two truckloads of a new product that previously no one in the industry knew about. Customers began ordering entire weather systems, commenting “We didn’t know you carried that!”

The new strategy drove profound results – sales doubled in year one. In four years, Marco had sold four times that of the baseline year and their bottom line quadrupled as well.

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