A successful machining services marketer will possess in-demand skills in marketing analytics, campaign management, and measurement. In this article, we’ll walk you through an example of a detailed marketing plan for a small business that offers metal cutting services.
Machining services are commonly used by hobbyists and small businesses looking to save time and money with high-quality, precise cuts of metal. Typically, these businesses will outsource the task to an expert group of machinists who have the proper equipment and the know-how to get the job done. Because of this, the field is often considered to be a bit more technical than others in the marketing world.
To create a successful marketing plan, you need to consider a number of key players including the customer, the vendor, the affiliate marketer, and an array of other stakeholders.
While the customer is the end-user of your product or service, in this case, it’s the vendor who will be providing the machining services. The customer is ultimately responsible for paying for the service, so it follows that they have the most at stake in its success. Given that the customer is also the asset, it stands to reason that they will be the individuals evaluating the service’s quality and advising the business on its future directions.
The audience for a machining services business is quite unique. It is comprised of individuals who are looking for expert metal cutting services, and as a result, have the economic means to pay for such a service. At the same time, these individuals may not have the time to seek out a skilled tradesperson to cut the metals they need. As a result, you can anticipate that there will be a fairly high churn rate among this audience — that is, a lot of people are initially attracted to the product and service, but then quickly become disenchanted when they realize the amount of effort required to gain value from the transaction. For these reasons, the lifetime value of the average customer of a machining services business is likely to be significantly lower than other industries, such as car repair or landscaping, where the customers tend to be less tech-savvy and possess higher barriers to entry. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, lifetime value is 20% lower in the machining services industry than in other industries. In car repair and landscaping, the average customer is worth $6,300 to $12,600 over a period of one to three years, compared to $5,100 to $11,400 for a machining services customer.
That being said, the machining services industry is a growing one, and the demand for high-quality services will only continue to increase. As a result, even with its relatively modest profit margins, the market is still profitable and worth pursuing.
Goals And Objectives
In order to form the basis of a sound marketing plan, you need to set measurable goals and objectives. In this case, you can reasonably set the following objectives:
- Increase website traffic by 25%
- Generate 20 new leads per week
- Reach 100% of targeted audience on social media
- Have a 60% open rate on email marketing
- Revenue of $50,000 per month
- Lifetime value of $30,000
- 25% gross profit margin
- No advertising or promotions, apart from fees for service
These are all reasonable goals and targets for a small business providing machining services. If you’re looking for benchmark numbers, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 75% of all businesses experience growth and 45% reach financial security providing these services.
Now that you have your key players and goals in mind, you can begin to lay out the marketing mix that will be used to achieve these goals. This is an essential part of any marketing plan and will form the foundation of all the content that is produced. Although there are countless ways to market a product or service, most businesses follow one of three basic models which can be adapted to fit the needs of your small business.
The first stage of the planning process is reviewing past experiences and analyzing existing data to determine what worked and what didn’t. Based on this analysis, you can determine the type of approach that will be used to tackle your next marketing campaign. With the customer at the forefront of every business initiative, it is essential to continually analyze their behavior and preferences. The same goes for the vendor, who is representing the product or service that you are marketing. Reviewing customer experiences can also help determine the approach that will be used to sell the product.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The KPIs that you will use to track your performance are also important to establish. These are the measurable results of your marketing efforts and will serve as the basis for subsequent analyses. In the example above, you can see that the key performance indicators are the following:
- New website traffic
- Leads generated per week
- Social media engagement
- Open rate for email marketing
- Lifetime value
- CPM (cost per thousand)
The first step is to determine which one of these KPIs to track initially and which one you will leave for later phases of the plan. Remember, you can always modify or add to your list as you go along. Establishing KPIs in advance will also help keep you on track during the creation of your plan and will ensure that you are measuring the right things. For example, you might choose to track website traffic initially, and then add revenue and conversion afterward, when you’ve gotten more experience with the tool.
Some entrepreneurs find the concept of a marketing plan to be a bit daunting. As a result, they either don’t bother writing one or end up writing a short, simple plan that has little substance. Don’t be too quick to judge the quality of a marketing plan by its length. Ideally, you will want to develop a detailed document that is as close to perfect as possible. Only then will you be able to form the foundation for a successful campaign. Longer doesn’t always mean better when it comes to crafting a marketing plan. The more you put in it, the more you’ll get out of it. Perfection is rarely the objective of a business, especially a small one, but it should be the target.