Factory5, a micromechanics company based in Isérables, began using digital platforms to acquire new customers right at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. “We mainly use LinkedIn and the community of 15,000 followers that we have cultivated. It works really well; we get a new enquiry every two or three days,” says Samuel Vuadens, director of Factory5. The company now uses targeted paid advertising instead of attending trade fairs. They complement their activity on LinkedIn with Google advertisements to persuade prospective customers to contact Factory5, based on a clearly defined process developed in house. 

Fairly early on in this process, the company offers its future customers an online meeting. “We do everything we can to get in touch with our customers, mainly through online chatting. We try to establish early on whether we’re dealing with someone who is merely curious or genuinely interested in our products.” Using this method, Factory5 is quickly able to determine whether a contract is worth pursuing. The actual sales process is automated through Factory5’s production platform, which generates quotations and contracts that can be sent directly to the customer. The same applies to the entire maintenance side of things, once the customer has bought the machinery.

“Working in this way, I’m as sure as I can be that no one misses out on our products and services,” claims Samuel Vuadens. “So, I’ve stopped worrying about whether we have done enough advertising, and I have no regrets about not being able to go to industrial trade fairs any more.”

Acquisition costs have plummeted  
When it comes to costs, Factory5’s digital business budget is half of what the company previously spent on acquiring customers via the conventional trade fair route. And Factory5 actually gets a much better customer response rate, resulting in a cost per contact that is now a quarter to a sixth what it used to be.

To be successful in digital acquisition, it is important to experiment as much as possible, but also to invest time in the process. “At Factory5, one person spends half a day each week on growing and serving our online community.” “You just have to go for it,” says Samuel Vuadens.

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