“Manufacturing remains a huge part of the UK’s economy but digital agencies seem to be ignoring it.”
That’s the matter-of-fact assessment by James Hamilton, managing director of PixelTree Media, the digital marketing agency that calls The Base home.
“I’m not sure why that’s the case but the bottom line is manufacturing companies are amongst the most dynamic in the UK and are migrating heavily online,” says James.
In response he’s focused the firm’s business development activities squarely at companies who make things. The firm’s latest initiative was the production of its own ‘white paper’ helping illustrate how manufacturers can adjust their own marketing activities to take greater advantage of buyers who are increasingly focused on online research before they draw up their shortlists of potential suppliers.
“Not all manufacturers have made the leap,” he notes. “There are still plenty of marketing departments that have yet to realise that their clients’ marketing teams are younger and for whom going online is their default position. If you don’t have a multi-lingual website that presents your products, services and prices in the right way then you’ll struggle. Worse, you’ll be out of the game if it doesn’t feature in the top three for the relevant search terms.”
With that in mind the team at PixelTree are now producing multi-lingual websites for clients and they encourage all their customers to work with them on a detailed ‘design sprint’, which involves four days of intensive workshops to scope, specify and then design the structure of their website.
“It’s intensive stuff but enjoyable and it helps clients arrive quickly at an understanding of what does and doesn’t work for them,” says James.
When a website does work it’s easy to see how. Software allows James and his team to track every button click, where time is spent (or not) and which sales incentives drive action. It’s a boon for manufacturers who may be cautious to invest further in their online proposition for fear that return on investment will be hard to define.
Among the seven-strong firm’s burgeoning client list is KYB Europe, the world’s largest manufacturer of shock absorbers. Its website is now available in 22 different languages, including Hungarian, Greek and Russian. Another major manufacturer, Joloda International, the global leader in loading systems, has relied on PixelTree’s skills to develop Japanese, Portuguese, French, Spanish and German language versions. And, of course, there are potentially other European markets and languages left to explore,” explains James.
Having a home in The Base has been critical for PixelTree’s ability to attract both staff and clients, argues James.
“There’s a big manufacturing sector in Warrington and The Base is perfectly located in terms of transport connectivity for clients and staff. The added bonus is all the collaboration that goes on between tenants,” he notes, having recently worked with Ixis on a project.
“I’ve never come across a building that works so hard to sustain its own eco-system and encourage inter-trading. It’s a pleasure to be part of it.”