ONE of the biggest challenges for manufacturing businesses is sales lead generation. Companies that make things often have to work really hard to find the people who want them. The bizarre irony of this situation is that there are often people out there who need things making and don’t know how to find companies to make them.
Social media has opened up lots of opportunities to bring these people together but it’s not without its flaws. Despite the connectivity of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, targeting the right people still has an element of chance about it.
It has long been a popular and successful marketing tactic to offer something of value to potential customers for free, in the hope that they can be converted into customers down the road. Digital technology has brought countless opportunities to help customers online, often in return for some contact information and the chance to build a relationship.
Computer-aided design (CAD) and component configuration services are now being used to support potential customers when specifying machine parts or building systems. Made in Britain member Powerjacks manufactures screwjacks in Aberdeen and these powerful mechanised lifting components are used in all kinds of applications in manufacturing and construction.
Powerjacks has been working with a company called Cadenas to offer potential customers an online tool that helps engineers to specify the screwjacks they need for their current or next project. Powerjacks has opened up its CAD services, populating it with its own design data and allowing potential customer engineers to adapt the components to their own applications. The CAD model for the specified screwjack can then be exported from the Powerjacks system and used in the engineer’s own plans. The trade-off for this valuable service? The chance to open a sales conversation from the contact information supplied.
Early in 2019 Made in Britain sat down with Powerjacks, Cadenas and another Made in Britain member, Excell Metal Spinning, to talk about the success of the collaboration and how it might benefit other manufacturing businesses. The representative from Excell also talked about the challenges of social media marketing and how applying it to Cadenas-style lead generation could result in a very powerful marketing combination.
The conversation was chaired by Made in Britain chief executive John Pearce and recorded on video for members to watch and learn from the experiences of those involved.