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  Manufacturing Insights   |   January, 2008
Exporting To Europe Proves Manufacturing Profit Center for 2008
by Thomas R. Cutler

The dollar, having steadily lost value against major currencies over the past few years, has helped exports; the weak dollar will only continue to make local goods more affordable around the world and give exporters an advantage against otherwise competitive European rivals. From technology manufacturing companies to medical devices manufacturers, all are poised to experience significant international sales benefits in 2008 as long as the marketing support tools are positioned and measurable.

Economic experts predict that this recent trade surge (notably in the third and fourth quarters of 2007) are only the very beginning of a long climb that could eradicate a major portion of trade deficits; regardless of rising oil imports, exports are three times larger than residential construction as a share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

With the Dollar/Euro exchange resting at an average of $1.50 and the British Pound above $2.00 for some time now, manufacturers from every U.S. industry sector are shifting their marketing and geographic reach to Europe. The manufacturing marketing research division of TR Cutler, Inc. based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida conducted a national survey of 1088 privately held manufacturers in December 2007 to determine anticipated 2008 manufacturers’ marketing expenditures. One of the statistically significant findings of this survey was the dramatic decrease budgeted in U.S. tradeshow attendance by 64% compared to 2007.

Interestingly, more than half (52%) of the respondents suggested their European marketing outreach would increase by 51% in 2008. These shifting transatlantic marketing strategies included international public relations efforts, print media exposure, and industry sector specific tradeshows and conferences. The respondents were senior management level, from President, Owner, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Office (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), vice-president Operations, vice-president Marketing, Director of Purchasing, or General Manager.

The components of European Marketing Outreach by U.S. Manufacturers

Directed to the potential European customer, there is an increase proactive approach to branding, name awareness, and marketing efforts. Some of these components include:

  • marketing collateral development, including public relations
  • sales and distribution channel development
  • networking and strategic alliance programs
  • lead generation tools and monitoring mechanisms
  • global and multi-lingual website development
  • targeted company newsletters

  • The Manufacturing Media Consortium, founded in 1999 originally consisted of several hundred U.S. journalists, editors, freelance writers and economists writing about the industry sector. About to celebrate its ninth year, this group now consists of more than 3100 participants, worldwide writing about trends, data, case studies, and profiles in the manufacturing and industrial sector. Just less than half consortium members are based in Europe as media outlets expand the coverage and importance of the global scope of manufacturing.

    Ultimately the acceptance of streamlined and efficient marketing outreach campaigns have changed in a global marketplace because the Lean manufacturing principles are well-practiced and accepted. An adjunct element to this practice is lean marketing; the goal of lean marketing is to eliminate waste by simplifying marketing procedures and continuously improving the marketing process. To advance this concept to an executed practice, metrics of global sales, pipeline quantification, and other specific data collection are required. Increasingly these measurements will be accomplished in conjunction with global strategic alliances and partnerships throughout the remainder of the decade.

    While consumers just added thousands of dollars more debt to their credit card balances and bears and bulls at the stock exchange take turns predicting gloom or boom times, the U.S. economy trade data at an annualized rate is nearing 20% improvement. Strengthening the demand for U.S. goods is the powerful overseas economies combined with a very weak dollar, which has dropped a corresponding 20% over the past five years (when compared to several European currencies.)

    Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based TR Cutler, Inc., the largest manufacturing marketing firm worldwide – www.trcutlerinc.com. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium of twenty seven hundred journalists and editors writing about trends in manufacturing. Cutler is also the author of the Manufacturers’ Public Relations and Media Guide. Cutler is a frequently published author within the manufacturing sector with more than 300 feature articles authored annually; he can be contacted at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com..... See More Details.

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