There have been very few businesses in any industry that have remained completely immune to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in manufacturing.
For some, the world has been completely turned upside down, and business has ground to a complete halt. Others have managed to hang on by switching to new products and lines. Others have been fortunate that they provide a solution or a critical supply – perhaps PPE – and have been sent into overdrive with demand. Whichever end of the spectrum your business is at, now is the time to pause for a moment, take stock and look how you will continue to market your business in the longer term, when COVID-19 is hopefully a thing of the past.
Look at your existing clients
Speaking to your customers should be right at the top of your list of priorities. In order to understand what the future looks like for your business, you need to understand what the future looks like for them. Will they survive the pandemic in their current form, or are they going to have to change the way they do business? What knock-on effect will this have on you? If your customers have had to pivot into other markets, find new sources of supply or diversify their product range, will that affect their demand for your products and services? What additional products or services could you offer them now?
Increase your authority in your field
One of the best ways to increase visibility and search engine ranking of your website and boost your reputation is to increase your level of authority in your field. For example, can you add a blog or a technical how-to section to your website, where you share information with potential customers about your products?
Look at this example, where the manufacturer provides more information on needle valves. Is this something you could consider adding to your site?
Diversify your product lines
As the famous Biblical saying goes: turn swords into ploughshares. Throughout the pandemic and the lockdowns, engineering and manufacturing firms have halted or reduced their usual production and diversified into making new, essential products. We have seen alcohol producers and distilleries make hand sanitizer, car manufacturer making ventilator parts, clothes makers producing scrubs and so on. These may be temporary, but it is a good example of how having fluidity when it comes to your product line can be a real asset.
Think about your sales channels
Some sales channels have shown themselves to be more resilient in the current climate than others. For obvious reason, physical interactions are now minimal, and we don’t know when things will go back to normal – if ever.
The crisis has shown that having a solid online and social media presence has never been so important. Whether you are selling directly to consumers or you focus on b2b custom., making sure that you have the tools and channels set up to do business digitally is vital.
COVID has changed the way we do things dramatically, but with some creativity and careful planning, there are ways to overcome some of the challenges the industry faces.