Smart technology adoption is boosting manufacturers’ profits in the North East

Posted on Monday 23 October 2023

Find out how the ‘Made Smarter’ programme used digital channels to reach and recruit manufacturers in the North East of the UK, helping them to adopt smarter technology


The nation-wide ‘Made Smarter programme helps manufacturers adopt smart technology to increase their profits, improve efficiency and grow their business. The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) delivers the Made Smarter Adoption North East programme in the North East region - covering the North East LEP and Tees Valley Combined Authority areas.


The challenge

To launch the programme in the North East, a plan was needed to generate interest and manufacturers could be recruited onto the programme. A limited budget was available for marketing so it was important to be able to accurately target messaging at businesses that were eligible for the programme: SMEs with fewer than 250 employees operating in the advanced manufacturing sector in the North East region.

Between September and November 2022, a target was set of attracting 40 ‘expressions of interest’ from businesses interested in joining the Made Smarter programme in the North East.


The solution

Digital advertising formed part of an integrated communications campaign, directing manufacturers to complete a form expressing their interest on the North East Growth Hub and via a sign up form on LinkedIn.

Google display ads and LinkedIn advertising were chosen as the most appropriate digital advertising channels as they allowed for very specific targeting, ensuring the relevant messaging was seen by the right people. They were also a cost-effective option, with the option to adjust the spend based on results.

LinkedIn InMail messages (now LinkedIn Conversation Ads) proved very effective. Manufacturers received a message from the Business and Sector Growth Director at the North East LEP. This personalised approach, and the simple sign-up form provided through LinkedIn, delivered a regular flow of quality enquiries that could be followed up with a phone call.


The result

As a result of the campaign, 54 leads were received (45 from the North East LEP area and nine from Tees Valley Combined Authority area).

Of these, 63% of businesses from Tees Valley, and 42% of businesses from the North East LEP area that completed an enquiry form ended up signing on to the programme, reflecting the fact that the campaign’s targeting was successful in reaching the desired target audience.

The cost per enquiry was relatively low at £31.35, with an overall campaign spend of £1,442.05. The click rate was very high: 57.13%, from 9,590 impressions.

These North East manufacturing businesses have now completed the programme and have successfully adopted digital technologies within their operations; increasing their productivity and ultimately futureproofing their business.


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