Digitalization in small stonemason-shops – smoke-screen and blazing fire

Among the many options which the internet and social media offer one has to find the right ones.

Communication and marketing are the magic words/Industry 4.0 plays in a different league

Digitalization is big even in small shops worldwide, including stonemasons’ shops. An Austrian handbook (freely translated „Stone age in times of Digitalization”), deals with the topic plainly and clearly: We compiled the most important points:

Internet and the social media in general gives small and mid-sized enterprises an equal chance to compete in communication and marketing. These are traditionally weak areas for stonemasons.

The brochure recalls a famous quotation by Henry Ford on the importance of communication: „Ducks lay eggs discreetly, on the other hand a chicken makes noise so the whole estate can hear. What is the result? The whole world eats chicken eggs, but few use duck eggs.“

Communication today means:

∗ Stonemasons must also be present in the social media, because this is where the potential customer will begin looking for a provider. The social media channels need not be fed with new data every day – it is sufficient to post news and a photo of a recent project from time to time. However: photos taken with the smartphone are usually too low quality and thus shed a dubious light on the enterprise.

∗ The actual research is carried out by the client on his tablet or computer – this is where the homepage comes into play. The salient point is: what sets my enterprise apart from my competitor?

∗ Creating a homepage does not require a genie and has nothing to do with programming. Today user-friendly software modules are interlinked and usually available free of charge (open source). Even individual design requires no programming skills – plug-ins do all the work. These, too, are available online free of charge.

∗ As stonemasonry shops are usually active locally, the age-old forms of communication continue to be of interest. These include sponsoring, e.g. of local kinder-gardens, or local advertising.

∗ Today’s customer wants to visualize service. This is true for kitchens, bathrooms and high-end tombstones among others.

∗ With the help of 3D-visualisation, a cost chart can help the client assess potential spending.

∗ Small enterprises will also want to keep an eye on feedback portals.

∗ e-commerce, i.e. web-shops will, as a rule, be of little interest to the stonemason.

Industry 4.0 the current trend in automation, will be the topic of a subsequent edition, as will be the routing portals as an opportunity for small enterprises.

Handbook „Stone age in times of Digitalization” (German)
Free download

Author: Marcelo de Oliveira

(25.05.2018, USA: 05.25.2018)