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Marketing to our customers’ customers

Sometimes, especially when our customers are OEMs, it can be a productive strategy to market to their customers too. This is a type of what’s known as “ingredient” branding, but initiated by the manufacturer of that ingredient.

One of the most famous campaigns of this genre was “Intel Inside” from the early 1990s. The customers of Intel’s microprocessors were computer manufacturers, who had a choice to use (possibly cheaper) alternatives. And if those alternatives could do the job, their customers (the public) wouldn’t care. So Intel set out to convince the public that they should care, and to make the computer manufacturers worry that if they didn’t use Intel components, their customers might turn elsewhere. The campaign was so successful that any manufacturer using Intel components was only too happy to plaster their product with stickers boasting that it had “Intel Inside”.

The secret to this sort of campaign is to ensure that the marketing ostensibly aimed at the end user is seen by the OEM. There aren’t many of those, and because we can target them with more precision nowadays, this needn’t be that expensive an exercise. So if our widgets are being bought by the designers of sprocket enabling machines used in restaurants, we’ve presumably already worked out how to reach the designers of those machines. Now we make sure they see a message seemingly aimed directly at restaurant owners, suggesting these end users should only buy sprocket enabling machines containing our widgets.