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A few weeks ago, we were on a discovery call with a new prospect. In these meetings, we follow a loose agenda with the goal of better understanding the client’s needs and core problems, and exploring how we may be able to help them solve some of those problems.

We also like to know why people reached out to us. It helps us know which of our own marketing channels are working and which are not. This prospect came to us through our most common front door, a referral. Then, he said something that I haven’t stopped thinking about since: “I reached out because you do great work in boring industries.”

I reached out because you do great work in boring industries.

We spend a fair amount of time thinking about how we should talk about the work we do and the value we deliver for our clients. It’s refreshing when a client describes your company in a way you wish you’d already thought of.

We’re a different kind of agency. Many of our team members come from the industries we serve. Five of us owned other businesses before joining Mostly Serious. And every one of us has a deep desire to create great work, especially when it’s elusive. It’s this makeup that allows our team to bring a unique perspective to our clients, from considering how the business works to the practical solutions that will generate results.

The thing about these “boring industries” is that we find them pretty damn interesting.

Why We Love Boring Industries

What people often mean by “boring industries” are the less glamorous yet essential companies that operate in the background. We intentionally seek out these companies, both because they provide the critical infrastructure for our society and because they often have significant untapped potential that we can surface.

For example, many people are unaware of the contemporary technological advancements in manufacturing, like automation and AI, which are revolutionizing the sector. Where manufacturing was once dark, dingy, and dangerous, many manufacturers are now on the leading edge of technological innovation. So, when 10 of the largest auto manufacturers in the US came to us to help them appeal to younger generations of tech-savvy career seekers, we jumped at the charge. We crafted a video, website, and marketing campaign that helped younger people realize that the next generation of elite, technical-focused professionals are not just software engineers but also automotive technicians. And we drove the message home by showing a clear path to make $111,000 per year without a 4-year degree.

Illustrated cat in a cardboard box

A few years ago, I was sitting in a postmortem after we had wrapped up a 50th-anniversary video and a custom website for SMC Packaging Group. What I learned in that session is what I had already picked up on throughout the process: SMC is a dream client. They respected our expertise, valued our input, worked as true partners with our team, had reasonable but demanding expectations, and, most importantly, their company values matched up with our own. They take great care of their people, create quality products for their clients, and give back to their community.

There’s nothing boring about that. But, we know too many other agencies that would look at a prospect that makes corrugated packaging and immediately look the other way. Not us. We know these companies are special for some reason, and we want to figure out what that reason is and then scream it from the mountaintops (well, at least make it very clear on a great website and through effective marketing campaigns).

Besides, someone has to package and ship the designer products that other agencies fight over.

Finding the Deeper Meaning

When we start new partnerships, we always seek to gain a deep understanding of our clients’ business, needs, and customers. Those three things will drive every decision we make throughout the partnership.

Understanding their business allows us to ensure that our digital strategy calls back to their organizational objectives. Oftentimes, through our consulting division, Habitat Communication & Culture, we have the privilege of leading the company’s strategic planning process, further integrating our work with our client’s vision.

We build a thorough understanding of each client's unique needs by leveraging Groundwork, our proprietary research and strategy phase. This process begins with an intake survey to ensure alignment among our client’s team, followed by direct conversations and surveys with their customers. We then facilitate and build a strategic plan that captures key learnings from our research phase and synthesizes them with our clients’ goals and opportunities. The culmination of this process is a digital strategy meticulously crafted to our client’s specific needs, encompassing organizational objectives, stakeholder expectations, and customer requirements.

This process isn’t just theory. We’ve fine-tuned our Groundwork approach over the past seven years, continually evolving it to better meet our client’s needs.

This process is what led us to change how SMC Packaging Group talks about their work. Customers seeking a packaging partner oftentimes have complex problems that need to be solved, and a key differentiator is a team that solves problems quickly and with consistency. SMC has been doing this throughout its history; we simply need to make it more clear to folks. Their new website showcases their capabilities by showing their work and highlighting the problems they solve for their customers every day. We worked with their sales team to identify and develop case studies that told their unique story.

Behind every “boring” client is an incredibly powerful story, and your customers need to hear yours.

Need a Groundwork partner to help identify your differentiators? Initial conversations are always free.

Innovation in the Unexpected

A trait shared across “boring industries” is that they are often (and quietly) revolutionizing their industries. Many of the best places to look for practical applications of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, automation, robotics, and green solutions are in manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and energy. Public perception often masks the dynamic changes and growth opportunities in these companies.

The challenge for companies in these industries is keeping up with the continually evolving landscape. We know because we navigate that world right alongside them. Just as many companies caught up by providing their customers with the automation and personalization features they demand, generative AI shocked the world.

Still, many have been quick to respond.

Schneider Electric, a global manufacturer of electrical and automation products, has already begun utilizing generative AI to help customers compute and analyze carbon emissions, integrating the feature with a conversational AI interface for ease of use.

In healthcare, Mass General Brigham, a Boston-based healthcare system, applied generative AI to identify patients with similar profiles to aid in treatment. This approach blends personalized patient care, a convenience healthcare customers were already clamoring for, with the latest AI tools to improve diagnostic processes.

We’re excited to leverage these innovations with our clients and maximize opportunities afforded by technology advancements. We are providing our clients with AI onboarding programs, custom generative AI solutions tailored to fill niche needs with huge impact, personalization to revolutionize every customer’s experience, and much more.

We have always sought to remain ahead of the curve in adopting practices that will place our clients ahead. We adopted responsive design shortly after the term was coined and long before our clients were requesting it. Our Director of Development, Maranda Provance, led an internal initiative to prioritize accessibility when very few of our peers were concerned about it. And we continue to prioritize investing in our client’s future needs, from advanced personalization to generative engine optimization (GEO).

We’re fortunate to work in the “boring industries” that also happen to be on the leading edge of new technologies and practices.

Want to join us ahead of the curve? Get in touch.

Building the Future

We will continue to seek out companies in vital sectors with untapped potential and consistent challenges. If your business is looking to redefine your digital presence, break free from outdated stigmas, or increase your operational efficiency, let’s talk.

We see the potential in the overlooked.

Work in a "boring" industry?

Let's show 'em just how exciting it can be.