Like many machining and fabrication shops, Ellery Manufacturing enjoyed a long stretch of year over year growth thanks in no small part to a thriving oil & gas industry. For more than a decade the company enjoyed a steady stream of orders from O&G customers that seemed to have a never ending list of new part requirements. Unfortunately all good things do come to an end and as oil prices dropped throughout 2015 Ellery watched their O&G related orders slow down considerably.
Rather than sit still and wait for the curtain to drop the company decided to use the current slowdown to re-evaluate and upgrade several areas of their business. Ellery implemented several enhancements that included network upgrades, the introduction of a new Manufacturing Resource Planning system and the streamlining of internal operations and business processes.
One area that the company decided to make a priority was marketing and the company’s approach to promoting the Ellery brand and its production capabilities to prospective customers. Changes to the company’s marketing strategy included the standard updates such as a logo redesign, new signage, updated collateral and branded clothing but by far the biggest impact came from the company’s investment in digital marketing. Whether the reason be a lack of resources, lack of expertise or resistance to change, many small to medium sized businesses in the industrial space tend to spend little time and money on nontraditional marketing tactics, preferring instead to focus on traditional cold calling and word of mouth referrals. Ellery Manufacturing management realized that digital marketing was an underutilized tool in the industrial space which it felt could provide the company with the chance to reach out to prospects through a marketing medium not overly crowded with competitors.
The company spent several months on a website re-design ( www.ElleryMFG.com ) that strongly represents Ellery’s brand while effectively promoting the company’s current capabilities to potential new customers. The redesigned site included features such as an online “Quote Request” tool and “Virtual Tour” that allowed site visitors to learn about the company by navigating through immersive 360° shop floor panoramas, videos and images of recent projects.
Ellery also begun to build a strong social community through the establishment of profiles on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Ellery believes there is great value in the reach and exposure social media can provide a business so they make it a priority and work on their profiles to deliver relevant content to their followers. It’s important to remember that a great website and social profile is worthless if nobody knows you exist.
The company’s efforts are paying off as their list of industry connections and followers has grown steadily over the past three years. Web site traffic has increased from virtually nothing to more than 2,000 new visitors per month and new prospects are finding Ellery online and submitting quote requests on a regular basis.
Nothing replaces the value of face time with customers but Ellery Manufacturing has seen the value in digital marketing and the company plans on ramping up efforts going forward to build on their success to date.