Two decades of consolidation in the motion control industry saw innovation-minded, privately held companies—Aerotech’s peer group—absorbed by industrial conglomerates. The differentiators that made these family-run companies takeover targets in the first place—the scientific daring and uncompromising attention to product quality—gave way to “bottom line” concerns such as boosting operational efficiencies and protecting margin.
In the aftermath, Aerotech invested even more in facilities and a “do it the right way” approach. Today, it enjoys a global reputation as one of the last remaining family-owned, craft-minded and knowledge-driven motion control companies.
Like most regional-to-global success stories, Aerotech excelled for decades at outperforming its competition, making some of the world’s best (most durable, reliable, and fastest) precision motional control components and systems. It was plain to see how Aerotech’s scientists, engineers and machining talent had helped to transform a range of industries—from aerospace to medical implants. Less obvious was how to retool Aerotech’s marketing approach and translate an American success story to a global audience. Heavy reliance on in-person sales and a hard-to-search catalog created a persistent drag on sustained growth.
As with all project discoveries, Elliance balanced conversation and observation in order to better understand Aerotech’s strong-to-impenetrable differentiation. Along with factory tours and interviews across senior scientific and management ranks, we poured through hundreds of customer survey results. What emerged was a picture of a company hell-bent on exceeding expectations and perceived limits—both those of the customer as well as their own. Elliance concluded that both seasoned motion control buyers and newcomers deserved a fuller view of Aerotech. While manufacturing sites traditionally keep to the rational side of persuasion, we advocated for bringing the company’s artisan-like "we can build anything" culture and personality forward.
Elliance believed that a new Aerotech website experience had to match the superior design and performance of the company’s world-class products. Our information architects and strategy team re-imagined the site architecture from the ground up, creating discrete content to drive sales/growth, engender trust, and deliver improved customer service and support. The improved user experience focused on giving customers easier access to stock components through faceted search, and a clearer introduction to Aerotech’s custom solutions, keys to revenue and long-term growth. The new site allows customer service, sales and marketing to pair engineering breakthroughs with new product offerings in real-time, enabling first-time global buyers to gain early confidence before a plant visit.
Aerotech sales and customer support teams have stopped complaining about the website; instead, they now routinely use the website as a reference tool. Adding the autocomplete to site search has dramatically increased its usage. Prospects and customers have all made very positive comments about the new web experience.