This is a case study of “Fujii metallic mold”, a die-casting mold maker in Fuso, Ehime.
Metal molds are metallic mold for making parts. Typical ones are pressed metal molds which are punched out metal material. Forging dies deform the material by applying pressure. Casting type molds are cast iron or plastic that is dissolved at the high temperature into a mold, then chilled.
Die cast molds are used to make parts for automobiles, precision machinery and consumer electronics processing aluminum alloys and zinc alloys.
Fujii metallic mold corporation
Background：The Lehman Brothers collapse
Prior to the collapse, Fujii secured sales from existing customers. The collapse, made difficult to maintain and create new sales. That was when they established their website.
When Hirotatsu Fujii took over as director of the family company, the website was used as a key to show the current state and be a catalyst to implement changes. .
A strategically oriented website renewal.
When the site was developed, he did not have any experience in marketing or content development. The site was used merely to post industry news. In 2012, he decided to renew the website around 5 main strategies.
The biggest problem for the website was the absence of a clear target customer therefore the needs were also unclear.
They started their 5 point web strategy by thinking ‘What are the things that we can do to address this problem?’
- What are the concerns of the companies requesting the “metallic molds”?
- What changes would they like to see?
Strategy 1: Promote the strengths
What they did first was to look back at the reasons why customers selected them. After analyzing their strengths, they created a page titled, “Their 7 strengths”. In order to create this page, they had to analyze the strengths by first doing these two things:
- Get a person who can be the decision-maker (managers or department head) to be involved in the analysis.
Businesses serving commercial customers don’t compete with other websites in the same way retail internet shopping sites do. So when analyzing strengths, it is required to also get management input from outside the website. For example, when redeveloping products, reviewing organizational structure, or reviewing the sales process.
Valuable lessons are often taken for granted when not paying attention to day-to-day operations. You can rediscover strengths and differentiation from other companies during negotiations or simple conversations with clients. Therefore, “Fujii metallic mold” held regular internal meetings with each department on strengths and communication.
It was also important to think about how to promote their 7 strengths. A result of repeating access analytics was that they could see the process of how customers use the website and how they make choices.
- First, check company information sections, and strengths.
- Check manufacturing capacity, equipment assistance and office
- Confirm the human capacity with department and Technology Introduction.
- Check the track record in the Case Studies
- Check company information and strengths once again.
- Make inquiries
From the initial visit and before making an inquiry, potential customers will most likely make numerous subsequent visits as they compare with other companies. Hence, Fujii used their top page to highlight their ‘7 strengths’, making it easier for returning visitors to focus on what is important.
Strategy 2: Organize customer’s searching demands
Organize the search demand of over 7000 key words. In order to determine the direction of new business development, they narrow down the key words to 500 words using four parameters;
Monthly number of searches × competitive × potential customers probability × importance
Then they found out the demand to be targeted using a search engine.
For the remaining of 6500 keywords, I thoroughly reviewed the summarized list to be familiar with what people are typing in web columns.
- Number of monthly searches：It is a measure of key words people searched for every month in Japan, or globally.This is available by using either Google keyword planner※1 or Yahoo! keyword suggestion tool※ For example, using Google; metallic mold has a monthly average of 4400 searches and die casting metallic mold as a monthly average of 210 searches.
※1 requires AdWords account to use
※2 requires a Yahoo! Promotional advertising of account to use
- Competitive nature：The importance of each key word is an indicator of the intensity of competition on the Internet. When you search the key word with Google or Yahoo!, you can view the intensity of competition for each keyword with the “number of hit Page” displayed at the top page of the screen on the search result. The more hits there are, the higher degree of difficulty. For example, if you search ” metallic mold” with Google, it comes up about 2.62 million items and for ” die cast metallic mold”, it comes up about 440,000 items on the page.
- Potential customers probability: It is an indicator of the proportion of potential customers in the search terms used by customers.For example, if a person is using “metallic mold” as a key word, this person might not be looking for metallic mold, this person might be investigating metallic mold industry for the purpose of job hunting and industry analysis. There are some people searching for “die cast metallic mold” and also there might be some people searching for “plastic metallic mold”. This would be called “Big word” and even though there are many monthly searching numbers, the probability of catching potential customers will be lower. On the other hand, for keywords like ” die cast metallic molding, repair, Aichi prefecture”, there are not many search results so there is a very high possibility that customers who make this search are actually going to become their client. If you simply use the key words that have been evaluated by a ‘total access number’, you have to use SEO where there are many competitors. Because you can’t get “potential customer probability” from outside data, you have to think about it for your own company.
- Degree of importance： This is a measure of how much emphasis you will put on customers who search for keywords related to your own business strategy.If the search frequency is gradually reduced, the degree of importance gets lower and, if you want to grow the business in the future, the degree of importance gets higher. You cannot get outside data for the ” degree of importance”, so you have to develop your own. These four indicators need to be fitted into an independently developed formula and articulated as an “aiming index”. This is intended to raise the precision. When you do a demand survey, you see the level of demand in the “monthly search number” and it is possible to gauge competition based on the number of pages that were hit with a given keyword. But there is the secondary effect of getting the “ratio of existing customers” and the “degree of importance”. As I said before, the “ratio of existing customer” and “degree of importance” are useful because you can’t get these using outside data. It is a good opportunity to get a feel for the customer’s real opinion by doing it with all internal staff, not only the production company. This leads to improvements in product awareness in the everyday business process. It is unusual to search using so many keywords with a general SEO. But manufacturing companies will use industry jargon and internal terminology so it is important to research what keywords are used. A keyword that is only used once can lead to a big order. I organized the problems that customer have with this search demand survey data.
Strategy 3:Provide the solution.
Next, I took full advantage of assumed customer problems by presenting customers’ a solution on the top page of website.
It is beneficial to use language customers can easily relate too to encourage them to click on your website.
When making website content, consider the following:
- What problems they are having and what key words are they using?
- What words are familiar for beginners and people who are not used to the industry?
Don’t assume, by making a good product, it will sell.. If your website only appeals to your staff, you will not gain interest from others outside your company
Strategy 4: “Growing customers” with website content.
At this point, you will be able to match the problem and solution to lead to customer inquiries. In order to get customers through your website, it is important to always present high quality information.
For building a good working relationship with customers they put out original manga contents to introduce metallic molding once a month.
In manufacturing, there is a lot of technical terminology. So, to make information easy to comprehend they decided on using manga, which appeals to all ages and backgrounds.
Another aim was to make work more enjoyable for staff. It cost more than writing a simple column but the president enjoyed doing it.
Through the original manga, the effects were two fold. Not only did it inform people about Fujii Metallic Molding but also educated people on the metallic molding process. It has been over a year since the series started and repeat viewers are still increasing.
Strategy 5: Top page A/B testing
In addition to these strategies, we will put an A/B test in a key visual on the top page. This is still currently in progress but two of the main images have been displayed. The tendency for now is plan A has better viewing results from new users and plan B has better viewing results for repeaters.
Plan A is more popular for the new users because it clearly shows this company has a solution for their problems. For repeat users, plan B is more popular because they know what they want and this plan has more technical detail.
- Plan A: shows assistance available and equipment photos
- Plan B: appeals to the business advantages, and technical processes
Business support plan to raise negotiation success post inquiry
Even though their market is limited to their industry, through web marketing, the number of visitors doubled within the two years since the project started.
Apart from the number of visitors, the quality of inquiries has improved a lot. As a result of doing search demand and advantage matching, they started getting inquiries from big well-known companies in the industry which lead to growth in their company.
Therefore, if you can match up a customer’s problem and the advantages you provide to their company in your website content you can get new customers through your website even in a limited market. But B2B transactions usually need negotiation before ordering, so it is important to make sure the quality of negotiations after an inquiry is also of a high standard.
The key technique is “micro analytics”. Micro analytics is a technique of access analytics that focuses on individual customers and then understand the viewing path of the user in the website.
For access analytics, “micro analytics” which understands the trend of visitor traffic generally uses data from the whole website.
By using micro analytics, you can derive why customers made an inquiry from a certain page view in the website. This data can be used to improve negotiations.
From this point, I’m going to show you another case study. I will show you exactly how you should analyze the viewing route after you get an inquiry, and how you should use the data.
Business support measures 1: Improving negotiation power for inquiries by 「analyzing view route」
After you gain customers from website, this is the flow for the sales staff from start to finish.
After getting a “Request for Quotation” or “Request” assign the sales rep and begin negotiations.
Inquiry forms usually have limited information, therefore you must delve deeper into their needs and decide which catalog to show. This may extend the preparation time.
By using micro analytics, you can search how the customer who made inquiry went through pages in the website.
In Google analytics, by setting conversions, you can check the ”action and action flow”. You can only check a small amount of information about visitor site behavior leading to an inquiry
Using this, you can’t really improve the value to the sales department. For the sales department to have interest and lead to the web analytics, you have to visualize users one by one and need to guess the process of conduct and consideration to see the flow of individual users.
Using sibulla, I will describe;
- Which pages did they often look at?
- Which pages of case study did they often look at?
- Which commercial material are they interested in?
By referring to residence time data on certain pages and by thinking about the feeling of users visiting the page you can think about the strategy of how to appeal to the users by suggesting these ideas at negotiation time.
After negotiations, it is good to check the negotiation partner’s viewing route when they visit the website. Doing this, you can identify the points the client is reconsidering after the first negotiation and you can refer to these when making further proposals or quotes.
Analyzing the viewing routes of potential customers also improves your salesperson’s negotiation skill by showing them what customers care about most.
Business support measures 2: Analyzing organization names to improving sales technique
Micro analysis can be useful for formulating a business strategy.
From the IP addresses included in the access log, you can search “User environment > network” with Google analytics.（Reference：http://web-tan.forum.impressrd.jp/e/2013/02/14/14654）。
But I found this is inefficient in improving sales on it’s own.
Even if you put out an industry list;
- You may know which companies are visiting your website, but how is this useful?
- What concrete actions can you take?
This is what you need to ask yourself because you can only guess what potential customer’s behavior will be and you can’t guarantee their action will result in sales.
Utilizing a proficient analytics tool is helpful for micro analytics. You can follow each user when they access your website, which pages they view, and which pages they move through.
From this data, you can get a lot of useful information.
A company that accessed last month has already purchased product B but it came to see product C’s technical page.
Perhaps they are thinking about developing a new product.
Let’s suggest product C next time when we visit them!
Company D hasn’t started trading with us but sales staff was exchanging his business card at trading show.
Let’s construct a strategy to deal with them drawing on their viewing behavior record of the website!
Because you can also see competitor companies’ behavior it is not only useful for tracking potential customers, you can formulate a competitive differentiation strategy too. Potential customers will be motivated by viewing other big companies websites.
Access analysis will not only improve “websites”
When you hear “access analytics”, you may think it is just for increasing access number or conversion ratio to improve your website.
But it is not only websites that can be improved. If you use access analytics with this point in mind, you can also improve your company sales process. And you can use access analytics for increasing business and developing your sales strategy.
Don’t forget, using access analytics and your website is only one of the way to achieve your objectives.
For businesses dealing with other companies, the main means of achieving sales activity is using salespeople. For promoting web marketing that contributes to sales it is important to think about how it supports the salespeople in their work.
It may seem hard to use data on PV numbers and average time of viewing to directly improve sales. But, if you can show the data which contributes the sales activity, the sales department will take interest in the website. And as a result, the marketing department and website designers can work together to develop new customers.
Therefore, for developing new customers and to continuing trading with existing customers, it is good to adopt access analytics as part of improvement activities.
Author of this article
COO/director of “A strategic web site construction group AYATORI”.
Web management and strategy support for private businesses to large international companies.
I delivered these results for the purpose of growing businesses as a marketing and management tool.
I am an educator and trainer for web staff in companies as a WACA Web Analytics Master.