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march 26, 2020

How Marketing Impacts Tier 1 Manufacturing

David Brashears

Tier 1 Manufacturing

Creating an effective marketing strategy for any brand can be a daunting experience. Understanding your audience, selecting the right position and messaging, and executing a plan that has a positive impact on your business takes a lot of work.  Those problems are made even more difficult when you work in the Tier 1 manufacturing segment—where you are producing components to another original equipment manufacturer (OEM), rather than an end-user.

So, what part can marketing play in helping Tier 1 manufacturers be more profitable and successful in growing their relationships with their OEM partners?  Here are four areas that we think should be considered when building a marketing plan that has impact for your company.


Business happens quickly, and having a clear and consistent line of communication with your OEM manufacturing partners can keep you top-of-mind as they make plans for future products.  Be proactive in developing communication tools—like email newsletters, product release reports, and research & development plans—that can help OEMs understand your product lines and capabilities.

These communications should be scheduled out in a content calendar and distributed to the right contacts for your information on a regular basis.  A good rule of thumb, would be to have some form of messaging going to your target contacts at least once a month.  As a Tier 1 manufacturing, much of your information will likely be targeted to procurement, engineering, and marketing teams at your OEM partners.  Be sure your messaging speaks the correct language for each recipient, as each of these departments have unique interests in your products and will be looking for specific information.

Communication is critical to your OEM partners, and having a partner that provides them with timely, and relevant, information about your products and components will help you become the leading choice in your market. 


Related to communication, you should also be investing in resources and assets that help your OEM highlight your components in their products.  Having excellent photography, video, and graphical assets that spotlight your component’s key differentiating features is a high value to OEM marketing teams and R&D professionals.

Having accurate, well-designed, marketing resources for your components is a huge benefit to an OEM.  If their internal marketing team doesn’t have to spend time and money developing resources to feature your components, it becomes more difficult for them to “price shop” your competitors that may not be willing, or able, to provide a level of marketing support that you are. 

Some general resources that you should consider investing in for your Tier 1 manufacturing business are;

  • High quality component photography from multiple angles
  • Informative and well-designed component fact sheets, brochures, and catalogs
    • These can be in either a digital form or printed, depending on your OEM partners preferences
  • Video installation and maintenance resources for your components that can be used for customer service and warranty departments at the OEM.
  • 3D renderings of complicated components to help OEM partners communicate your key features and functions to their end-users.

Departmental Partnership

Does your Tier 1 manufacturing facility have an internal R&D, testing, quality assurance, or market research department?  More than likely you do.  That depth of expertise can be of high value to your OEM partners.  Why not communicate your willingness to share these resources with their own internal teams.

If you can help them test a new feature, function, or application of your components for a future OEM product, the likelihood of you becoming the sourcing partner grows exponentially.  You should consider making your internal professional teams a shared resource with your partners.  This is also an excellent way to understand the future planning and forecasting of your OEM partners so that you can be sure to remain relevant to their needs.

Saving your OEM partners money and time as they build their next prototypes makes you more than a component provider, it makes you an industry authority and a business partner with much higher value.  Testing and prototyping are expensive endeavors, and your willingness to share the load can pay lucrative dividends.

CSR Initiatives

Having a proactive PR campaign to outline your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is an important part of keeping your brand relevant.  You should be regularly sharing information about your commitments to improving your environmental impact, responsible sourcing, and positive community partnerships to assure your OEM partners that your company will positively support their own brand position and equity.

Your company should be regularly updating certifications with relevant regulation bodies to insure that your partners are comfortable with how you do business.  These certifications should be highlighted in regular press releases to relevant industry associations and local/regional business news outlets.  These certifications are a great way to improve your work in prospecting new OEM partners as well, and should be standard practice to help you grow.

Your Tier 1 manufacturing organization should be an active member of your local community as well—supporting programs, organizations, and municipal services through monetary investment and volunteer support.  These efforts can help you grow your earned media coverage for your company, and improve the community support for your components.  These stories are becoming a larger part of an OEM’s evaluation process as their customers are more curious where, and how, products are being manufactured. 

These positive public relations stories also become a valuable resource for OEM partners, as they can speak confidently and proudly about their business partnership with a Tier 1 manufacturer that is making a difference in their community. 

These are just a few examples of how marketing strategy can have a positive impact on a Tier 1 manufacturer.  To learn more, or schedule an appointment to have one of our manufacturing experts meet with your team and help you build a marketing plan, please Creative Energy’s New Business contact, David Brashears (  We’re confident that we can help you create a marketing strategy that will help you to grow, and keep making the products that move the world.