Industry: Machine tool and die manufacturing
The machine tool industry, in general, has a limited marketing mix and is greatly dependent on word-of-mouth advertising and networking through established contacts. Developing new contacts with decision makers and their intermediaries, such as engineering companies, and designers continue to be a valid, and effective method of marketing. This is an approach that generally favors tenure in a particular segment. The longer a company services a specific segment, and can meet the requirements for price, quality, and delivery, the more opportunity it has to establish a preferential rapport.
However, a company seeking to establish itself in new market segments must be more creative in its marketing mix strategies. Word-of-mouth is a passive form of promotion. Networking can be more proactive. Both require substantial time to bring results.
The Company needs to improve the design of their website to provide a better profile of the company’s capabilities, manufacturing facility, and personnel. The Company may not be able to get customers to visit the plant and see that it runs an exceptionally efficient operation, but its salespeople can certainly get them to visit the website and view a video on YouTube featuring the new plant. The Company must also be able to maintain data of website visits and to measure actual inquiries resulting from the site.
Maintaining a website is not costly. However, the effectiveness of all advertising mediums should be measured and quantified in terms of response and conversion rates. Otherwise, there is no way of evaluating the cost to benefit. This service can be provided at a very reasonable cost by online companies who specialize in providing data analytics. It is essential that data on the source of all new inquiries and indication of which pages are being viewed is available for regular review.
The strategy for websites is based primarily on the criteria that they should be used as a pro-active communication and marketing tool, an e-commerce tool, and service support tool.
This will enable the Company to communicate with current and potential customers in an intelligent and interesting manner on a regular and continuing basis. It will provide the means to improve their T.O.M.A. (Top Of Mind Awareness) with the customers, and the industry.
The Company will stand out from its competition, make communications with and from customers more enjoyable (and educational), plus establish another way to get deeper into their hot buttons.
The use of industry backlinks is also an integral part of internet marketing. This will help lead potential customers to the website without direct intervention. This strategy and methodology is an important factor in the Company’s future B2B communications and marketing initiatives.
An Internet web design firm or independent programmer will be employed to redesign the Company’s website. The site will incorporate several key marketing functions to be used in conjunction with the Company’s overall marketing plan.
a. Friendly incoming e-mail: redesign this section to be more inviting. Possibly use a photo of the contact person(s) in conjunction with a warm welcoming message.
b. An outgoing e-mail program: This comes under the category known as permission marketing. You secure e-mail addresses of customer contacts and potential customers, obtain their permission to send e-mail messages to them and follow through on a regimented e-mail program. Typical e-mail messages for this application will include special announcements (new jobs, services, etc.) The basic application of this e-mail program is to stay visible and stay in touch.
c. Landing page redesign: Getting and maintaining the attention of website visitors depends on how captivating the landing page is. There has to be some feature on the first page to promote further browsing. The word “free” usually does the trick. The company can offer a free estimate on customized machine tools or a free consultation. The current images on the landing page (Homepage) are visually engaging but they will be enhanced by introducing image sliders for a more dynamic look.
Direct mail programs command very little market attention these days and are usually ranked poorly in media credibility. However, imaginatively done, they can be a low-cost means to expand specific segments. A program that has worked well in the mold and dies industry will be adapted to the Company’s needs. It involves saturation mailing (3-4 mailings every three days).
To reduce cost, 6” X 9” postcards are used. The front page contains an exaggerated illustration of what happens when molds or dies are of poor quality workmanship. Each one makes a different point (i.e. poorly aligned male and female dies. The back page has the name of the Company’s contact person, address, e-mail, website coordinates, phone number, and bears the name and address of the client. A small, targeted mailing of 150-200 companies will be tried to gauge the response rate. The mailings will then be followed up with phone calls and e-mails. The Company has a ready list of over 150 companies with 50+ employees, gathered from an online directory, word-of-mouth, and supplier feedback. The program will be reviewed on a monthly basis and expanded if it gains traction.
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