How Godfrey is transforming tradition

Digital transformation is starting to have a profound impact on the industrial and manufacturing sectors, Godfrey's Stacy Whisel tells Joel Harrison

The industrial manufacturing sector may not have been the first industry to experience disruption from digital technologies, but in 2018 it’s starting to really have an impact. That’s according to Stacy Whisel, president of Godfrey, which has specialised in this area for over 30 years. “We’re seeing a big shift to digital among companies in this sector, with a focus on data and ROI. This disruption is creating opportunities.”

She says this growing focus on data is touching every part of how these industrial companies operate, often with implications which flow back to marketing. “It impacts all the way down to the factory floor, and how products are actually being made, and it creates opportunities for marketing to make connections and show its relevance across the business. For agencies, it can allow us to create much deeper relationships.”

Challenging times for agencies too

Exploiting these opportunities, Whisel acknowledges, has challenged Godfrey to explore new technologies and build new proficiencies, a process which has been both challenging and rewarding for the agency. She points to two recent project examples where Godfrey has worked with clients to meet emerging business opportunities using emerging technologies, both of which the agency is extremely proud of and excited about.

In the first, Godfrey built a chatbot to function as the ‘voice of the brand’ for one of its manufacturing clients. “It’s a complex product and so it was definitely a challenge. There were so many questions it could potentially have to answer, and that meant we had to test it in thousands of different ways.”

Serendipitously, the eventual solution came out with built-in lead gen capabilities – something which wasn’t scoped at the outset, and therefore a rare example of a finished product having even more functionality than expected. “The client is very happy!”

Getting real with AR

For the second example, Whisel points to an AR solution which allowed a client’s customers to ‘see’ its products being created, from raw materials to finished items. “This is so much more powerful than video could ever be,” she says.

While applying new technology to client solutions, Godfrey is also developing its own service proposition out in response to changes in the market, in two particular areas. The first is to develop a more end-to-end lead generation solution, providing genuinely sales-ready leads, with the agency using campaign data to fuel marketing automation or telemarketing. “We’ve found some of our clients don’t have the time or capabilities to exploit opportunities in a way that they might like,” says Whisel. “We need to refine our services to make it an easy decision for them.”

Given the increasing speed at which technology and business are evolving, the agency is also seeing a growing demand for market insights. Clients are looking for actionable information and data on market trends that they might otherwise miss. “Clients will get a regular report, with allows them to respond in real time if they see anything important.”

But beyond all these technologically-enabled solutions, Whisel says the agency has not forgotten the need to deliver the conventional forms of marketing that underpin its offering to clients – everything from SEO to brochures. “It all comes back to understanding your audience and putting together programs which work in an omnichannel world.”