Recently, as part of some exciting work we have been doing investigating new ways we can support STEM-based organisations in Australia, The Measured Marketer (TMM) revisited a 2020 report published by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) titled: Advanced Manufacturing: Ten ways to succeed in Australian Manufacturing. Insights from peers, the public and AMGC.
Ten ways to succeed in Australian Manufacturing… and some simple things marketing can do to help.
- Recognise Australian manufacturing’s strength: Manufacturing is valued, Product quality is valued
- Focus on leadership: Keep learning, Be inclusive, Lead by example, and Stay relevant
- Plan for change: Be proactive, Prioritise working on the business, Share leadership responsibilities
- Network and collaborate: Reach out to other manufacturers, Join supportive industry networks, and Integrate into supply chains
- Work with research institutions: Develop networks and relationships, Come with a plan, Share the risks involved in advancement
- Adopt technology: Learn what technology exists, Keep things simple, Build relationships with global integrators and universities, and Share with other manufacturers
- Access capital: Update your business plan, Assess your credit worthiness, and Learn more about grants
- Hire the right people: Hire for skills and culture, Recruit effectively, and Be an advocate for manufacturing
- Build your workforce and culture: Prioritise company culture, Encourage internal job shadowing, and Create an innovative environment
- Extend your market reach: Think outside the box, Incorporate market reach into your strategic plan, Use your digital presence, and Maximise opportunities at events
Whilst we would argue there are ways marketing can support most, if not all of these, paths to success, there are some simple, specific learnings we’d like to share with you here.
Recognise Australian manufacturing’s strength
In our humble experience, one of the most common scenarios we have faced when working with a new client, is finding out about some truly amazing product or service they are creating and delivering – often to clients all over the country and around the world – from some non-descript industrial estate. They are quiet achievers. Humble. Focussed on the client and the outcomes. Yet they are changing the world.
Marketing has a core role to play in telling these stories, and as a result, building the profile of manufacturing in Australia – and the VALUE associated with it. Simple things like having a clear brand messaging strategy for your business – something that all of your marketing channels and materials can use as a basis to create content – is an important baseline for this. Simple case studies that show your team in action in the factory or out with a client are easily captured and shareable today via digital channels. Whitepapers and webinars help build though leadership positions (and capture valuable leads at the same time).
If individually, manufacturers get better at doing these things, the industry as a whole can benefit.
Network and collaborate
As we are all acutely aware, the way we do this today has been changed fundamentally thanks to COVID. We are sure everyone reading this is now an expert in video calls, and no doubt many of you have also attended conferences online, listened in to a webinar (or 20!), or taken part in live Facebook event as part of the changes that have occurred.
One of the key assets we have been talking to many clients about during this time is LinkedIn – sure, it’s been around for ages and lots of B2B organisations have been harnessing it for promotions for a long time now, but in terms of business development is has stepped up in importance, with sales teams using it to ‘cold call’, follow up after introductions, and build genuine engagement with their clients and prospects.
Build your workforce and culture
One of the sometimes-forgotten angles of marketing is how it can both build and support workforce and culture. Having a brand that presents well and communicates a strong value proposition to the market appeals to those looking for new work opportunities. It also provides a clear position for your current workforce to get behind – and helps them tell the story of the business to their networks.
Businesses can also utilise things like Facebook to support culture by acknowledging team success stories, as well as demonstrating a strong culture to the market – again, to potentially attract new talent or even to help a potential client or partner see if you will be a good fit with their organisation and its values.
And of course:
Extend your market reach
This is obviously where marketing shines for a manufacturing organisation. It’s everything from how your business looks, to what you say, to how and where you say it, through to how you onboard new customers and nurture them ongoing.
And when it comes to events, its thinking about how you promote them (or your attendance at them) in the lead up, how you share your experiences and connect with people while you are at them, as well as how you follow up and make the most of that valuable connection afterwards.
Digital marketing is really just marketing these days, and any manufacturer should be looking at their opportunities from making sure their fundamentals are right – e.g. does your website send the right message to the market and is it easy to use? – to implementing tactics like Account Based Marketing (ABM) to deliver highly-tailored experiences for their key targets.
There is a reason one of the key performance indicators many marketing channels use (and have used for many a decade – it’s not just a digital marketing thing) is reach. Is your manufacturing business doing everything it can to extend yours?
If you are in manufacturing and would like to talk to us about how marketing can help you achieve your ten steps to success, contact us today.