For many businesses, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has created unprecedented challenges. But it also contains the seeds of new opportunities for companies that are willing to creatively meet the evolving needs of their customers.
A case in point is one of Cultivate’s clients, a plastic injection molder that produces parts for a variety of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Many OEMs source injection-molded plastic parts from China because it’s a low-cost source.
But the recent COVID-19 outbreak has caused many Chinese molders to shut down to prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease. This has created severe parts shortages for North American manufacturers, forcing some of them to slow down or cease production.
While brainstorming content ideas with our client, we decided that this would be an excellent time to remind its OEM audience about the need to rethink their global supply chains.
There’s no question that global disruptions are becoming more frequent and unpredictable. Whether the next one is caused by a disease, natural disaster, political unrest, currency fluctuations, a trade war or other unforeseen event, manufacturers must take a fresh look at how and where they source the components that go into their products.
Cultivate produced and promoted a blog article to the client’s OEM audience. It also created a natural opportunity to tie in several related topics that Cultivate has been writing about lately, including “transfer tooling” – the process of moving plastic injection molds from one supplier to another – as well as the client’s highly efficient, proprietary process for managing project launches.
In the plastic injection-molding industry, project launches – the time between the molder receiving the OEM’s CAD drawings to full production of finished parts – are almost always late. In contrast, the client’s innovative process and tools have achieved a 98% on-time record of performance.
The result has been an unprecedented opportunity to help the client to enhance its thought leadership position in an industry that’s ripe for disruption.
“Our client has all of the pieces needed to help its OEM customers to quickly and efficiently re-shore their parts so they can keep their production lines running,” explains director of content marketing Chuck Frey. “This topic is very timely, because it helps our client’s OEM customers to solve an immediate problem. But it also has great value as an evergreen topic.”
Cultivate has also helped the client to source a VR videographer, so it can provide its target audience with virtual plant tours. In addition, the agency is now developing individualized landing pages for key executives at its high-value target accounts.
“This account-based marketing approach will enable our client’s salespeople to customize web pages with content that’s focused on the needs of their most valued prospects,” Frey points out. They can also update this content on an as-needed basis. This highly individualized approach will enable the molder to stand out compared to competing molders and close more sales.
More recently, Cultivate helped the client highlight its significant role in a local consortium that designed and produced a reusable face mask for use by hospital workers and first responders in only four weeks. The client donated engineering expertise and tooling to the project and is manufacturing components for the masks.
Although the coronavirus outbreak has made it much harder to hold face-to-face meetings with key sales prospects, there are alternatives to nurture them toward a sale. Cultivate is committed to helping its clients win more business through savvy marketing and sales strategies, enhanced by cutting-edge technologies.
Your first step: A content audit
This content series is focused on helping you rethink your marketing strategies and tactics in light of the coronavirus outbreak. One of the fundamental ways you can do that is to assess your existing content and look for gaps you need to fill. Use the Cultivate Content Audit to organize and assess it.
For more articles in this Fast Forward series, please click on the links below. Each article contains a free, downloadable worksheet, which can help you get started implementing the approaches you’ve read about: