30 May 2011 - 11:46US Manufacturing – Making a Comeback
by Bob Grant
All indications are that American manufacturing is coming back and will lead us out of our economic doldrums. According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group wages are rising in China, and although significantly lower that US wages, when combined with other production costs and shipping the China advantage drops to single digits. This has encouraged manufacturers like Caterpillar, and NCR to bring back manufacturing operations to the US. While China and other countries will continue to manufacture many products used in the US, we will see lot more products “Made in the USA” in the next five years according to Boston Consulting Group.
According to a study by Global Spec, 20 of 23 industries expect higher sales in 2011 including paper, printing and textiles, packaging machinery, chemicals, plastics and rubber, medical equipment and instrumentation.
Manufacturing companies of all sizes should be evaluating their sales and marketing strategies to take advantage of this new opportunity. According to the Global Spec study 75% of engineers and purchasing agents will spend three or more hours per week for work related purposes. These individuals spend time viewing supplier websites, online catalogs. They also do searches on general search engines, read e-newsletters, and subscribe to online events like webinars.
How can manufacturing marketers prepare and take advantage of this potential new business?
1. Develop an online marketing plan – with the continuing increase of engineers and buyers using the Internet for research and locating vendors for products and services, be sure to develop an online marketing plan and strategy, including e-mail marketing, webinars, and social media.
2. Build content on your website – Engineers and buyers will visit company websites that make their jobs easier. They are looking for resources to make decisions. If you have a catalog, make it online searchable. If you have engineering information, place it on your website. The more specific content you have on your website will also help make it more popular with search engines, which will give your site more favorable positions for certain keywords and phrases.
3. Track activity for ROI – At a minimum, add Google Analytics to your website, so that you can track how vistors located your website and which pages converted them to leads. There are also other programs that can identify visitors and keep track of subsequent visits. Programs are also available for tracking phone calls from your website.
If you need help with any of these suggestions, contact us.