Manufacturing during COVID is anything but straightforward. After all, industrial manufacturers are more concerned about the health and happiness of their employees, suppliers, and customers than ever before. Even more difficult, manufacturers need to prepare for the worst-case scenario—planning one to two months ahead, yes, but developing plans B, C, and D as well, stretching into 2021 and beyond.
So how are industrial manufacturers taking action to help communities and maintain business during this time? It turns out they’ve gotten pretty innovative—according to Forbes, most of them are projected to complete five year’s worth of work in just 18 months. But how are they even making that possible? Read on to find out.
Flexible Staffing Levels
These days, shifts in supply and demand are unpredictable at best, so manufacturers have accommodated by adjusting their staff as needed. For some, unfortunately, this means company layoffs, but for others it means calling in employees on an as-needed basis, offering overtime pay, and allowing for more work-from-home opportunities, especially in desk-centric jobs like inventory.
A prime example of flexible staffing in practice is Procter & Gamble. This household products manufacturer saw a monumental rise in sales during April and May as customers stock-piled products like toilet paper. Entering June, we’ve seen these sales decrease a little. Staffing levels have had to be adjusted to meet this ebb and flow. P&G initially worried that these changes would impact sales and the supply chain, but they showed us they had what it took to handle the crisis.
Health and Safety Precautions
Given the often close quarters and hands-on environment, industrial manufacturing has quite the potential for the spread of disease. Thankfully, on-site safety measures, such as hand-washing and sanitizing stations, health checks, and social distancing guidelines have been implemented. Some businesses are getting more creative still—companies like Honeywell have hired out students to develop advanced PPE for their employees, oversee machinery, and perform health and safety-related quality tests when necessary.
Utilizing Online Platforms
One of the reasons manufacturers (heck, one of the reasons all of us) have been able to prepare for and adapt so thoroughly to this pandemic is online communication. By leveraging a company homepage, social media handles, and a variety of other digital channels, it’s easier than ever for manufacturers to keep valued customers in the know. Not only that, but quick and seamless communication has ensured that manufacturing operations continue reliably and with little interruption.
What, specifically, have manufacturers been doing online to stay so successful? Take a look at some of the most popular practices below:
- Corresponding regularly with digital newsletters to put an anxious public at ease. Smiths Medical, a medical device manufacturer based here in Minnesota, has written letters directly to their customers and encouraged them to reach out with any questions or concerns. In times like these, transparent and empathetic digital communication like this is of the essence.
- Redistributing the wealth. With countless organizations canceling events like critical B2B trade shows, the money going towards developing products and presentations for these events can instead be put towards your marketing budget.
- Incorporating COVID-related keywords into digital strategies. Keywords and keyword phrases continuously have to be tweaked so that you reach the right audience, now more than ever. For some, this may mean updating your Google My Business page, and emphasizing that you’re “open during COVID” if you’ve adjusted your hours. For others, this is an opportunity to perform in-depth keyword research and craft blog posts that speak directly to your customers’ pandemic concerns and queries.
- Deep-cleaning your digital space. Is your manufacturing site riddled with dead links that need to be removed or redirected? Are your social media pages inactive? Do you want to tweak your typography or color palette to make your page more aesthetically pleasing? Refining your digital presence in these ways is an excellent use of your downtime (when you have it, of course).
With All This on Our Plates, Who Has Time for a Manufacturing Marketing Strategy?
Think about it: more of your customers are at home than ever before, hitting refresh on all those COVID updates, looking for new business partners and innovative products, and so on. Industrial manufacturers have access to a widespread digital audience they may not have had before, so strengthening your online presence and appeasing your target audience is a must. Trust us, a little effort put into your marketing plan now will make a massive difference in the long run.
Snap: Dependable Marketing Strategies in Uncertain Times
We at Snap believe that marketing your manufacturing business during COVID doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck. In fact, it can be quite an adaptable, straightforward process with the right digital agency on your side. Whether you want to talk about social media marketing, web design, web development, or another lead-generating digital tactic, we encourage you to reach out to us today. We look forward to working with you.