Since America’s emergence from the Great Recession, companies have begun examining products more closely to ensure profitability. As manufacturers strive to implement innovative, lean production processes, they must also look to modernize marketing efforts by developing appropriate and relevant products and finding ways to efficiently connect with a larger market of potential customers.
Understanding and Nurturing Company Resources
Critics of the US economy doubt the feasibility of American industrial growth due to stiff international competition, rising costs or taxes and government restrictions. However, one European country has overcome the same obstacles facing American manufacturers.
Germany, a country with few natural resources beyond its workers, stands as a powerful example of industrial success during the Great Recession. Rather than engaging in a price war with Chinese manufacturers, who boast the advantage of lower labor costs and fewer government restrictions, German companies focus on developing quality products in high demand.
Germans manufacturers maintain their distinctive level of craftsmanship by investing heavily in their highly-skilled workforce. By offering the superior luxury cars the Chinese want and the unsurpassed production equipment that the growing international market needs, the Germans are succeeding despite the challenges they face.
It is possible for American manufacturers to recreate this model for success, but to do so company leaders must understand and use market demands to their advantage and nurture the resources that allow them to distinguish their products from their competition.
Lean, Effective Marketing Strategy
Just as with innovation in production processes, developing an efficient marketing strategy requires that manufacturers implement new technology and test their results each step of the way.
Many manufacturers are moving marketing efforts online, which broadens their potential reach. As compared to traditional marketing efforts, online marketing generally offers a much higher return on investment and better tools for tracking marketing results.
Modern marketing technology also offers companies the opportunity to build relationships and and discuss product value with potential clients through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Plastics News blog editor Don Loepp recently highlighted the notable social media presence of E&T Plastics, distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube and film plastics. The 65 year old company’s move towards online marketing, led by E-Commerce Manager Pam Aungst Teubner, enables them to build trust and relationships with a large group of potential clients.
True understanding of customer needs requires a conscious effort in researching their needs and the options that your competitors offer. In today’s economy, manufacturers must develop and maintain an open line of communication with clients, which can be achieved by online marketing and social media efforts.
In this “5 Keys to Surviving After the Recession” series, we discussed ways that manufacturers can become more agile and adaptive by implementing innovative technology and operating lean facilities and implementing modern marketing technology. Interested in learning more about what manufacturers are doing post-recession? Subscribe for free to receive future updates.
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