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Late last year, I focused my editor’s message on how we reorganized and redesigned MoldMaking Technology’s website to better reflect who we are as a brand and to streamline your search for solutions. Now, I’m going to turn this topic onto you.

In today’s business climate—amidst the varied impacts of the coronavirus—finding and retaining skilled labor remains a top challenge and priority for mold builders across North America. This fact was emphasized during a recent editorial advisory board meeting when most members ranked business solutions as the top concern moving into 2021. Some of the considered solutions include:

  • Having the right people in place
  • Establishing a diversification model
  • Focusing on cross-training
  • Creating a new normal (remote working, social distancing)
  • Navigating the financial stimulus, cash, vendor relations
  • Implementing better cybersecurity
  • Learning about limitations
  • Future strategic planning
  • Staying relevant to customers
  • Maintaining quality, looking at bottlenecks
  • Working amidst the economic uncertainty
  • Managing supply chain challenges

However, one main point that came up repeatedly during the meeting was how to better market and sell their services, and not just to potential customers or interested acquisitions firms but to the next generation of moldmaking professionals. The answer is the right sales and marketing plan.

If last year did anything, it accelerated the need to ramp up marketing efforts. Therefore, assessing your digital and social readiness is critical. As you begin to take a closer look at your marketing strategy, the first question to ask is, does your website and social media presence tell an appropriate, accurate and compelling story? Consider the answer to this question as well as those below to begin an initial discussion with your team to examine investing in marketing with money and resources:

  • What is the role of marketing in your shop? Is it a function of the business? What approach do you currently use to develop relationships and a sustainable talent pipeline on your website and across social media platforms?
  • What are you doing to market manufacturing to the next generation?
  • What picture are you painting of the diversity of your workforce to attract that next-generation worker?
  • How are you representing manufacturing in light of COVID-19? Are you highlighting safety and cleanliness precautions, advanced technology implementation, remote working/training initiatives, etc.?
  • How are you addressing social issues? And not just saying it but showing it through your digital and social content? For example, your community involvement, what you stand for, what you are committed to, etc.—because all of this matters to the next generation.

The next generation is bold and eager to drive change, so shops need to engage and get to know them. They are the inevitable future if manufacturing is to survive until 2030 and beyond. Focus on the positive and remain optimistic. Remember that the secret to your digital presence is presenting who you really are.