Sales & Marketing
The call to action from our last article was to identify attributes about your company that attract, maintain and grow your business. Hopefully, you took my advice and asked your customers. Now you need to determine, deploy and evaluate the right marketing option to get your message out. You need a plan to keep and grow your current customer base and to acquire new opportunities from a target industry that buys a lot of molds.
You need to identify your markets and understand how to communicate to your audience. Who is buying molds Made in the USA these days? Just about all of our favorite industries: healthcare, packaging, automotive, consumer, electronics, etc. Which of these target markets are you in now, and in which should you be? Which of these needs your special qualities and is willing to pay for them?
The marketing channels you choose should be based on both budget and effectiveness. However, there are two platforms every shop must possess.
1. A professional-looking website. Without the ability to be found online, you are at a severe disadvantage.
2. Professional-looking response material—in both print and electronic formats. Without the ability to properly and quickly follow up to an inquiry or lead, you are at a severe disadvantage.
An effective website is not a photo of your building and a list of shop equipment. Use your website to engage your audience. Allow them to quickly see what you do and make it easy for them to learn more.
Do you have pictures of molds you’ve built that show off your chops? High cavitation, multiple action, stack, complicated geometry, etc. Let us see them. Do you have pictures of the parts that your molds created? Nothing tells a buyer/designer/engineer that they are on the right site like photos of parts that are of similar scope to their own. Do remember to get approval from your customers to post content?
Effective collateral material invariably contains a great deal of the same information as a good website; however, it has a major advantage over a website in that it allows you to customize content to your target’s needs. A great way to waste money (in our industry) is to print 5,000 of something and mail it to 5,000 people.
Create your response materials with the ability to be flexible. Printed and electronic brochures can be formatted so that you send what is needed at the time of engagement to put you in the position to get the RFQ and ask for the order. With the full version of Adobe Acrobat (not just “Reader”) you can repurpose and customize response media built with content from your PowerPoint, Word, Excel, website and CAD/CAM apps.
Next time we’ll examine the decision to advertise.
A practical look at what to consider when purchasing client/server inventory management software and how to implement such a program, as well as why and how it can benefit mold manufacturing operations.
Knowing how a machine is tuned will improve your decision making for mold construction and adjustments.
Reducing changeover times will eliminate waste, moving a shop closer to becoming lean.