For many manufacturing companies, a plant tour is one of their most powerful sales tools to move prospective customers from “interest” to “preference” in the sales funnel. And to differentiate themselves from their competitors by communicating:
- WHAT they do (capacity, technology, expertise)
- HOW they do it (process, people)
- WHY they do what they do (shared vision, corporate culture). See Simon Sinek’s excellent Ted Talks presentation on the importance of understating the“Why”.
But getting a prospect to take a physical tour is not always easy, requiring a considerable commitment from the prospect in travel time and cost, especially for businesses that deal with clients across the globe. And that’s where Video comes in. Video provides the opportunity to offer a well-organized “virtual” tour, and if well done, can even outperform the impact of the physical live tour in effectiveness and cost.
Showcasing the “What”
The challenge is to capture the full scale and breadth of the operation, and at the same time focus in on particular technologies and capabilities that exemplify the attention to detail, quality, accuracy, etc. The easy part is to video “eye-candy” scenes – from dramatic closeups to revealing internal drone footage revealing the scale and scope of the operation – and adding motion to the shots using servo-driven camera gimbals to give the video forward momentum.
Perhaps more challenging is to weave the individual video clips together so that they tell a compelling story. One of the ways to tell such a story is to follow the product through the manufacturing process, from raw material to finished product.
Showcasing the “How”
Manufacturing prowess is about more than just a collection of cool technologies. It involves people and processes to make the manufacturing process efficient and effective. And this can be quite challenging to convey visually in an interesting way. At On Point, we’ve found success by getting Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) share their insights and fascination with the process. I recall a engineer at a LEGO injection molding facility talk passionately about how the tolerances on LEGO blocks routinely exceed those at NASA. The secret to finding such nuggets is an unscripted, comfortable on-camera interview process. A good interviewer – knowledgeable in the key aspects of the manufacturing process – can elicit fascinating insights from the interviewees, and a good editor can seamlessly stitch together a cohesive story from those individual sound bites.
Showcasing the “Why”
The leader of an organization generally embodies the “Why”. But even more impactful is to get other employees to mirror that story, not only key executives, but rank-and-file employees.
This demonstrates the shared vision and commitment, and a strong, cohesive corporate culture. What is challenging is to get all of these people comfortable in front of the camera. Surprisingly, key executives, under pressure to perform well on camera, can sometimes be less comfortable than the engineers and machine operators from the manufacturing floor.
In such situations, where we need a key talking point from an individual who maybe uncomfortable with an unscripted process, On Point will leverage a teleprompter to ensure the message is conveyed in a clear and concise manner. The majority of times, however, more compelling footage is achieved in an unscripted interview process driven a skilled interviewer, and supported by a skilled video editor.
Example: StackTeck’s 2019 Manufacturing Tour
StackTeck is a global leader in custom manufacturing high-performance injection molds to processors around the globe. To create the storyline, we asked StackTeck to give us a tour of their facilities, as they would for typical prospective customers. We also asked for access to key employees familiar with their process, people that also exuded the company’s ethos. The result: a 10-minute video that portrays the capability and value-added of their operations.
This Video Plant Tour was produced at the same time as StackTeck’s shorter Corporate Overview Video, allowing us to cost-effectively capture plant and interview footage at the same time for both videos. Why two separate videos? The Corporate Video gives a 3-minute overview of StackTeck’s competitive offering, and is intended for use in the early stages of the sales funnel to create ‘awareness and interest’. The Video Plant Tour is a 10-minute detailed insight into the end-to-end value-added delivered by StackTeck, and is intended for use in the later stages of the sales funnel to create ‘preference’.
Video is a cost-effective way to give your prospects a hi-impact Tour
A President of a global manufacturer once told me that their best sales strategy is to hire a private jet to bring key prospective customers to see his facilities and meet his team. Expensive yes, but highly effective. With the reach of online video, an even better strategy may be to bring the facilities and team directly to prospects. All prospects. Anywhere. 24/7. And a Video Tour can actually outperform a live tour because the video tour is tightly scripted and edited, and leverages insights from all the key employees who may or may not be accessible on any specific day with a live tour.
If you’re thinking about bringing your manufacturing story to customers and prospects across the continent and around the globe, call us and let’s review your company’s Plant Tour Video options.