The Silver Lining for Manufacturers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Happy Tactics Thursday! Like each and every one of you, we are adjusting to our ‘new normal’ amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Coronavirus has shifted the way that we operate our businesses and daily lives, there could be a silver lining in this for manufacturers. Now is an excellent time to revamp recruitment strategies to fill open positions. There have been massive layoffs in entertainment, restaurants, small business and even manufacturing companies over the last 2 weeks. The Department of Labor reported that 3.28 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment benefits. There is a pool of great talent out there that are eager to find new positions and ready to work hard. Learn what we are doing to help our manufacturing clients market their open positions in this week’s Tactics Thursday video!


How to Improve Sales/Marketing in Our Coronavirus World

We are living in a Coronavirus World and it is evident that this is only the beginning of this pandemic and its impact on our businesses. For today’s episode of Tactics Thursday, I will share 3 tips to shift your sales and marketing strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. Trade Show Alternatives– While industry trade shows have shut down, many are looking at providing webinars instead. Webinars provide excellent speaking and sponsorship opportunities for manufacturing companies.
  2. Implement Video – Now is the time to film videos highlighting of your products and processes. You can create simple, short videos using Vidyard or Loom. The only equipment you need is your webcam! Videos can be utilized on blogs, web pages, social media, and sales assets. The opportunities are endless! Check out our blog on incorporating video into your sales strategy for more great tips.
  3. Cue Up The Content– Now more than ever is the perfect time to work on your content marketing strategy. Have a conference call with your sales and marketing department to discuss what content you want to write or film. Check out our blog on content mapping to learn how to create a sound plan that keeps everyone accountable in developing content.

Hope these tips help. Keeping your health and the health of your families in my thoughts during this crazy time to be alive!

How to Increase Manufacturing Retention & Attraction Improvement

This guest blog was kindly provided by Ty Haines, President of Manufacturer Solutions, LLC.

Most of our customers are under $20M in sales and range from $500K to $7B.  The top personnel laments are:


  • Can’t get good people (hiring practices and attraction improvement needs)
  • Can’t keep new people (leftover screening effectiveness and retention needs)
  • And, I need people (piled-on stress is unfortunately shared with many)


Yes, the past four years of robust economic expansion have driven down unemployment to levels not seen since 1969 so the choices have become far less in quantity and quality of the lesser skilled applicants.  With what is left of the labor supply, a large part of the employee turnover is now inspired by the new hire unable for a variety of reasons to show up ready for work.  Many see the annual turnover rate in the group of associates with less than two years with the company at 20%, some as high as 50%.  My question to them is what are you doing differently in this time of greater competition for good workers to change these continuing results?  Too often, the answer is not much has changed with our practices since the cutbacks to survive the recession.


Recurring themes from employees of what they want from an employer include, in rough order:

  1. Recognition, respect, appreciation of their work
  2. Communications: inclusion & transparency on how the company is doing, where it is going – these are two-way and include both listening and acting on your teams’ needs
  3. Growth opportunities, advancement path
  4. Job security
  5. Fair compensation, wages & benefits pop up for people with families or the more mature worker
  6. Help on life issues & empathy
  7. Interesting work
  8. Loyalty from peers and management
  9. Working conditions including lavatories, changing areas, break room and work area
  10. Fair discipline


One factory with high turnover had a policy that required their hourly to stay in and eat in the lunchroom.  Not the most competitive, but OK.  The lunchroom was dark, dirty and smelled well, no, it stunk!  It had been that way for years.  This was one clear issue on the list we identified that was inspiring people not to hire on and not to stay long.  We helped management recognize and fix this negative, removing a first clear impediment to the retention and that hurt attraction too.


Few contract manufacturers have a 30%+ net profit like seen on Microsoft’s published Annual Report or can afford to provide on-site daycare, or free gourmet cafes (Google) so what to do?


Do what you can!  Require change, be inclusive and get creative are a great start.  All can afford the low cost to tweak the culture to improve recognition, communications, loyalty and even fairly administered policy enforcement – these have high returns.  A good option is to follow the Lean culture support for involvement, communications and to celebrate successes as we pursue improvements.


Working conditions – these start with a reliable & safe area to park your ride and extend to details like replacing dead lighting – even a coat of paint can help!  Meeting State and Fed requirements should be evident.


One company found their local millennials cared more about higher wages and more time off than benefits – they hire part of their team as part-timers and can pay them more without benes.  From mentoring newbies to the monthly injection of fun & pride into a lunch hour to celebrate something that went well:  the list is endless of what can be done or adapted in your company.  It takes someone to take that first step to try something different, is that you?


Connect with Ty Haines by visiting  Manufacturer Solutions Website  or emailing


The above is an opinion not endorsed by the publisher.

2 Business Tools to Thrive Working in a Coronavirus World


We are living in a Coronavirus World and it is evident that this is only the beginning of this pandemic and its impact on our businesses. It is essential that businesses adapt to working remotely when possible.  This week’s Tactics Thursday video focuses on the 2 business tools we use to connect with prospects and customers virtually. These tools are an essential part of our business and allow us to create a great customer experience for clients regardless of location.

Tools mentioned: 

Zoom— a video conferencing platform

I have used every other video conference platform out there and none have been as reliable as Zoom. I have used Zoom 20+ times a week over the last 2 years and never dropped a call or had any issues.

Vidyard– an all-in-one video platform for businesses. 

  • LinkedIn Videos– Such as these Tactics Thursday videos, company announcements, or announcements for Women in Manufacturing Ohio, which I serve on the board as Communications Chair.
  • Client Tutorials– I often do tutorials when clients ask questions showcasing how to perform tasks in HubSpot or walking clients through email campaigns and workflows.
  • Prospects Meeting Follow Up– If I have a strong meeting with a prospect, sometimes I will opt to do a video recap instead of a lengthy email follow up. This cuts through the clutter and adds a personal touch.


I'm ready to increase lead generation with inbound marketing

How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects

Lead generation for inbound marketing using manufacturing trade publications

How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects


Inbound Marketing, and all sales tactics for that matter, require proper targeting of prospects. Lead generation is your ultimate goal – but who determines just the right lead. Consequently, the same targeting data is needed when researching manufacturing trade media for publicity and advertising alike. So, let’s learn How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects.

Defining your prospect persona is critical. We’ve covered this already, so please visit this article if you need a refresher: Why Developing Buyer Personas is Invaluable for Manufacturers

How to define if a publication is a good way to reach your prospects/customers you need to know a few tips. First, visit the publication’s website, those you “suspect” your prospect reads. Look for the advertising or media kit sections. Download the kits you deem worthy and look at the following critical factors:

  • Circulation (who does the publication reach?)
  • Do industry verticals match your target persona?
  • Do the titles or job descriptions match your personas?
  • Ultimately, do you have something newsworthy to offer these readers
Trade publication media kits - inbound lead generation

                      How manufacturing trade publications can be used                                                     for inbound lead generation

Most media kits package this information in easy to reach charts and graphs. The good publications cite their research on how they determined their facts and figures. Whether you are looking to advertise, place editorial, content of both, review these kits to see if they match your target audience.

Look at both the editorial calendar of topics to be covered by their editors, as well as trade conferences the publication is attending (hence bonus coverage). Armed with this information you are in a much better position to make an educated and researched decision.

How to Use Email Automation the Right Way + Top HubSpot Email Tools

Email automation is an incredible tool that allows salespeople to nurture prospects through the sales cycle efficiently. However, if used incorrectly, automated sales emails can be a relationship annihilator. We see email automation used the wrong way in our inbox constantly. There’s nothing worse than getting bombarded with lengthy emails about why you should use their product or service or generic copy and pasted wording with zero customization when you barely know the sender if at all.  In the video below, learn my top tips to create impactful, automated emails that are customized; allowing salespeople to strengthen relationships with their prospects and ultimately, acquire them as customers.


Related blog posts:

How to Plan Successful Manufacturing Panels

Panel discussions are often my favorite part of an event or conference because they provide audience members with a team of experts on a niche topic in a condensed and powerful format.  If you’re managing an event that includes a panel discussion, it’s important to plan these carefully in order to have the event be successful. In the past year, I planned and moderated 5 panel discussions for Felber PR & Marketing’s joint panel series with Alliance Industrial Solutions. I also moderated a panel discussion at the joint Women in Manufacturing Ohio and Ohio Aersopace Institute event on The Importance of Women in STEM and the Future of the Aerospace Industry. Here are a few things I’ve learned to plan a successful event and lead a strong panel discussion that positions your company as an industry expert and strengthens your relationships with prospects and customers.

In the video below, I discuss the following:

  • Picking a Topic That Will Fill The Room
  • Panel Selection
  • Email Campaign Tips
  • Social Media/Web Tactics
  • Event Planning Tips
  • Moderating Advice

Are you missing prospects on social media? Easy steps to grow your database.


Need more and better leads? Would you love to engage those that already are familiar with your company?

In this video you will learn:

  • How social media can provide leads
  • How to grow your prospect database
  • How to see social engagement with your content
  • How to expand your reach into the organization chart of prospects and customers alike

You’ve done the hard work. Content has been developed, posted on social media and targeted to multiple manufacturing channels. You are seeing all types of engagement from likes to comments and shares.

So, now what? Well, watch this video to see just how to garner more prospects.

Check out this Video


Questions? Want to discuss further? Send me your thoughts at And, if you try it I’ll give you a shout-out on our channels. Just think who might see your success story!

Also, see these articles for more tips:

How to Increase Manufacturing Sales with Social Selling

How to Increase Social Selling with LinkedIn



The #1 Mistake Manufacturers Make at Trade Shows & How to Fix It!


In this week’s episode of Tactics Thursday, I delve into trade show marketing strategy. Manufacturing salespeople do an incredible job of connecting with prospects and customers, deepening relationships, and closing sales at trade shows. However, they are missing out on a major step that could make a huge impact in their sales and marketing success: engaging with the media that are attending the show.  Media attend industry trade shows to find stories to tell for the next year. Why not have them tell your company’s story? Not only is editorial coverage in industry publications a great way to build your reputation, but it is also a great way to drive traffic to your website. I discuss the method we use at Felber PR & Marketing to get the media’s attention and book appointments at our client’s booth at the show.

Interested in discussing your trade show strategy? Email me at

Related articles

How to Make This Year The ‘Year of Content’

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is all about how to make 2020 the Year of Content! I walk you through the steps of creating a strong content plan to release one piece of content a week. Here are some simple ways to create content topics that are relevant and engaging for your prospects and customers.



  1. Review Social Media & Website Form Submissions– Jot down common themes and if you don’t have content on each of these topics, develop it!
  2. Repurpose videos and webinars– Webinars and videos can be repurposed! Consider including the video of your latest webinar and transcribing the script or creating a blog or ebook which includes your video!
  3. Review your manufacturing network on LinkedIn– I’m sure you’re following influencers in your industry on social media. See what they’re talking about, write down common themes, and consider taking your own spin on hot topics.
  4. Set Google Alerts– Google Alerts allow you to stay up-to-date on industry news. Consider writing an opinion piece while the news is fresh!
  5. Showcase industry research and case studies– White papers and case studies offer third party credibility to your brand. They show customers that you are legit, knowledgeable, and a company worth considering as a partner.
  6. Recap industry events– Take a video at your next trade show and create a recap video of the trade show or write a blog on what you learned at the industry conference you attended.
  7. Highlight giving back- Remember, your customers do not want to buy from a “vendor” they want to buy from people. Making the public aware of the company’s volunteering brings a human aspect to your brand and helps you develop deeper relationships with your prospects.
  8. Survey prospects and customers– If you’re stumped for content go directly to the people who are consuming yours. Create a simple 5-minute survey about your content to gauge if your prospects and customers like your content or if not, what types of content they would enjoy seeing from you in the future.

Once you have a strong list of content topics, create a plan to make sure you have a clear understanding of what content is going out each week for the next year. Our blog Why Manufacturers Need a Content Map for Inbound Market Success walks you through how to take these content ideas and create a strategy to execute developing strong content.