It can be hard to develop products that you know without a doubt will meet the needs of your customers. Your company needs to continue to offer solutions to your customers’ ever-changing needs, but how can you know what they need if they’re not telling you? Your website visitors might actually be sending you signals indicating what products or services they’re looking for from you.
If your website has a site search function, are you paying attention to what people are typing into the search box? In some cases, you might just find product numbers or other things that you know are relevant to the products or services you already offer. However, your site search analytics can also be a goldmine for new ideas. If people are typing in searches for products or services you don’t have, or questions you can’t currently answer, it might be time to see if you can meet these requests with new products or solutions.
“Contact Us” Questions
More often than not, the people using your contact forms are going to ask you questions about your products and services. Sometimes you’ll have the answer for them, but sometimes you won’t. It’s those times that you don’t have a solution that could present an opportunity to create a new product or service.
When people submit a quote request and share details of their application, take a close look at how they’re using your products. Sometimes how customers are using your products can be the start of new product development.
Google Webmaster Tools
For the more advanced marketer, Google Webmaster Tools can provide insight into what your website visitors are looking for. Within the application, you can dive into the search queries driving traffic to your website. In some cases, you might be aware of these search queries if they align really well with what your company does and with the content on your website. In other cases, you might be able to uncover some surprises. The search queries you don’t expect to find could be what drives your company to create new products or services if you notice quite a bit of traffic coming to your website from those queries.
While focus groups and internal meetings are important to the innovation process, if you’re not paying attention to your website you could be missing out on some new business opportunities.
Article submitted by Bank of America For mid-market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important, and successful companies are making sustainability central to their growth strategies. Beyond good corporate citizenship, they are recognizing the intrinsic link between the strength of their business and that of the communities and economies in which they operate. Leading your growth with those goals in mind builds resilience and better solutions for the future. Consider the following: Responsible growth companies perform better. Companies that consider the impact of risks and opportunities on the environment, local communities and society may produce better financial results than those that don’t. Additionally, 90% of companies believe a sustainability plan is important for remaining competitive. Responsible growth companies attract investment. A 2016 study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,000 executives and managers from more than 100 countries. Findings revealed that 75% of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is materially important to their investment decisions, and nearly half would not invest in a company with a poor sustainability record. Ninety percent of executives see sustainability as important, but only
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space: