The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 month ago

5 Ways Manufacturers Can Level Up Their Marketing w/ Allison DeFord

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Manufacturing is the backbone of the modern world…

But the manufacturing sector has been lagging severely in the marketing department for a long time.

The good news?

This only creates opportunity for you to get out ahead of your competitors.

Today, I’m joined by Allison DeFord, Founder and Trailblazer at FELT Marketing for Manufacturers, for a discussion of 5 key concepts every manufacturer needs to understand about their marketing — from common missteps to untapped opportunities.

We cover:

  • Humanizing your brand
  • Finding your unique selling point (or, rather, your “unfair advantage”)
  • Aligning your marketing strategy with execution
  • Meeting your customer where they are in the buy cycle
  • Measuring indicators that actually matter

Subscribe to The Manufacturing Executive on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for The Manufacturing Executive in your favorite podcast player.

Because we're all focused on what wedo and if we could switch that and focus on what is it you solvefor the person who's coming to your website, and then, by God, saythat at the top, above the fold. Make it a sentence andlet them know right away. Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where weexplore the strategies and experiences that are driving midsize manufacturers forward. Here you'll discovernew insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successesand struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing experts about howto apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive podcast. I'm Joe Sullivan,your host and a CO founder of the Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla seventy six.I've been working as a marketing consultant to the manufacturing sector for over a decadeas CO owner of our industrial marketing agency, guerrilla seventy six. When it comesto marketing, I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly, andso is my guests today, another marketing agency owner that has also builther expertise right here inside the manufacturing sector. We're putting our brains together for today'sepisode. Specifically, we're going to talk through five places where we seemanufacturers missing opportunities on the marketing front and, most importantly, will tell you howto cash in on these opportunities in ways that your competitors likely aren't.Let's get into it. Alison de Ford, founder and trailblazer at felt marketing,is on a mission to strengthen the heart and soul of manufacturing for generations, and she does so by helping manufacturers make sales easier with an emotionally engaging, holistic marketing system and brand foundation that connects to the heart of their idealcustomers. Alison will tell you that the most successful brands aren't just seen andheard their felt alison is the trailblazer in an industry where head and heart haven'talways connected. She lives to rid the manufacturing world of what she calls wewe syndrome. I'll have to ask you about that later. And she leadsa devoted and talented, award winning team, six degrees of Midwest roots who believewholeheartedly in keeping manufacturing alive, relevant and profitable, buried out not onlyby the numbers and brands they've worked with, but by the strong relationships they've built, fueled by starbucks. Alison never settles for Lukewarm and, admittedly,geeks out over wood tools and wonder woman. Alison is a CO author, speaker, Executive Director for the North American Forest Foundation and resident marketing expert onmanufacturing masters and on demand education platform. She's also the overly caffeinated cohost ofmanufacturing out loud, podcast with the Unicorn Ray Zaganto at teas up courageous salesand marketing conversations for manufacturers. I also and welcome to the show. Thankyou. I'm excited to be here. That was a lot. So everybodyalways says that. Don't worry. You know, it's funny, like onpaper it doesn't look that long when you write your own bio and then,and then you hear it rad you like. Okay, maybe I didn't have tosay that much, but now it's always good. I like I likethe buyos. I think it gives people contact for her they're about to hearfrom and so yeah, no, no reason to feel bad about it.Well, I'm excited to be here because I am a fan of yours andI feel like you're my marketing brother from another mother and that just like there'sjust I think you're doing cool things in the world and I love your podcast, so I appreciate you having me. Thank you. I say the sameabout you for all the same reasons. We've been kind of running in thesame circles for a while now in this world of manufacturing marketing, but notuntil recently did we finally connect for a face to face conversation. And Yeah, it's about a pleasure getting to know you. So let's do this thing. All right, let's do it. We have a topic today that youand I could probably spend the entire day talking about, but that wouldn't befair to make our listeners have to listen to that all day. So whatwe'll somehow keep ourselves in check here and and hit on some of the thekey things we really want to dial in on, and we're going to willgoing to do this in a little bit different format than than my typical,you know, question after question interview. I think we're going to be alittle more collaborative on this one and que each other up a few times here, so I'm excited to do this. Well, Alison, I know thata lot of the work that you and your team at felt does is thefoundational stuff, you know, uncovering what really makes a manufacturer unique and beingable to articulate that in a way that tells a compelling story, and takinginto account that this is really one of your key areas of expertise, yousaid something really interesting to me is we were preparing for this conversation. Thathad me, you know, nodding my head vigorously. You said manufacturing itselfneeds a rebrand, and I agree. So for our listeners, can youtalk about what you meant by that? Yes, and, and I can'ttake credit, I've heard lots of people say, you know, in probablythe last two years, that manufacturing needs...

...a rebrand, and I feel likeit is a I think we need to dispel the myth and the story thatwe've been told about manufacturing. I grew up in Indiana General Motors. Wehad, I don't know, thirty plants in our town and I always thoughtmanufacturing was Grimy, blue collar, you know, fill in the blank.I think a lot of that is still happening. So I think to rebrandmanufacturing. We need to tell a new story and I think making young peoplethe hero of the story by showing them here's what your hero state would beif you chose a career in manufacturing, and this is how cool it is, and really emphasize, I think, bring back the cool factor of manufacturing, because I think it's gotten cooler, I think you would agree, overthe last ten years. But God, there's just manufacturers are makers and it'sand every manufacturing operation I've ever been in it isn't grimy and dirty. It'sthe opposite, which is hilarious. It's clean and there are, you know, processes and procedures and people take pride in their work and they get paidreally well and there's always this like family atmosphere. I obviously depending on howbig, you know or small the operation is, but there's just just senseof camaraderie and people are really proud of what they're building and what they're makingor building goes into something else, like a spaceship or a television or,you know, your eye watch or whatever it's. It's part of something biggerand it's part of what makes makes life tick. So I think it's abouttelling a different story I think it's about demonstrating the hero state of what itwould look like to choose it. And I think then we've got to spreadthe word right and that's marketing. That's what you and I love. Andstart younger. You know, there's a lot of high school programs and peoplelike Nicole Walter in Chicago, Patricia Miller, Pamela con out on the West Coastlike they're all doing a lot of great work mentoring young people, andso I hope to see more of that in the near future and then also, like I said, spread the word. We've got a I don't know ifit would take a campaign necessarily, but I think a joint effort,if everybody got on board, I think we could change hearts and minds.Let's go to the the main plan for today, which was, you know, we were talking a couple weeks ago try to flesh out a topic here, and you had suggested that we put our two industrial marketing brains together andwe both been in this game for a while and let's lay out a setof, you know, ways that manufacturers maybe maybe missing on the marketing front, but frame it in the context of opportunities that maybe our are on thethat that are kind of in front of them and they may not see yet. So we've got five, a list of five things we agreed on here. I'm going to tee you up for the first three, you're going toteam me up for the next two and we'll have a conversation around these andsee where that goes. I'm going to read that list first and then we'llcome back back around to each of them one by one. So five opportunities, or maybe misses by manufacturers right now. They are creating opportunities. The firstone is manufacturers typically fail to humanize their brands. Number two, manufacturersdon't always clearly articulate their unique selling point. Number three, manufacturers sometimes have adisconnected marketing system or maybe a lack of alignment between their marketing strategy andthe execution of that strategy. G number four, manufacturers tend to be nearsighted on the marketing front, sort of assuming that everybody is in a bicyclerather than looking at how do we educate and reach our audience, regardless ofwhere they are and their current bicycle, and sort of build trust and awareness. And then number five, manufacturers are tend to measure what I think youand I would probably say are sometimes the wrong results. We're looking at thewrong indicators of success on the marketing front. So those are the five things we'regoing to we're going to go into each of them. Els, I'mgoing to tee you up for the first few here. Number one, manufacturersfail to humanize their brands. Tell us what you mean. Tell us whatthe solution is. Well, I think old marketing was, I feel likeit was very robotic and you were not encouraged, as a brand, atleast as a manufacture, I should say, to act like a person. Ithink even pre pandemic that was happening right and unfortunately it's still happening.People, companies are fraid to talk like you talk right. If you're theaudience, how do you talk? Do...

...you talk very, you know,in really large words, and you say we are going to, you know, be bringing you know we are right. Use contractions like talk like a reala person, and that's everything. It's how you communicate. So ifsomebody feels like you get them, they're going to be more apt to listento you, to pay attention to if you're busy acting, I call itnon personality disorder. So if you don't even know who you are. Firstof all, you don't have a brand persona for your own manufacturing organization.Then it's like dating. If you were going out to date somebody and theysaid, we'll tell me about yourself and you thought you give some I don'tknow, some practiced, boring, you know, explanation. It's not interesting, it's not compelling. Or if you said, well, I really don'tknow who I am, but let's go out. You know the person's like. I don't think so. You've got to know who you are and andwhat that would mean to the potential customer. So I think a big part ofthe problem that creates this huge opportunity is start talking like a person anddon't be afraid to be vulnerable and transparent as a brand. You know,I know for years, I can only speak from my own experience. Foryears I treated felt this way. I was afraid that people would think,oh, well, they're too funny, that's that's a little too corny.Afraid to not know the answer, afraid to it was all fear based,and I think that with manufacturers, I think it's a mixture of fear,being afraid of what people will think or competitors. Are they doing this?No, then we won't either. You know, we want to. It'slike status quote. So I feel like there's just this huge opportunity to getto know yourself. Get to know yourself as a brand. You know youdo customer personas well. What about your brand persona? If you were ayou know, what kind of car would you be? Are you the Mercedes? Are you the Chevy? Are you the UGO? They even make yougo? You goes anymore? I don't know, but you get the pointright, like who are you to people, and what lane are you going todrive in? And and then that will also help you show up consistently. You know, you're not going to be all over the place one minute, oh, we're really funny this week, and then the next week we're verystaid and we're very we're not going to comment on black lives matter becausewe don't have an opinion like you have to. You don't have to,but I want to encourage manufactures to get human. And what do you think, because this is not all about me. I know you have opinions about thistoo. Sure, yeah, and I think those are all great points. I mean, I always say that people like to work with people theylike. You know, it's show faces on your website, your communications.We just default to written communications because that's what we've, you know, donefor the last twenty, thirty years, since emails about around or whatever.But like what there's you can it's how how easy is it to use atool like loom or bomb bomb or and said a video message like put youwhether it's in your sales communications. We do it a lot of in ourinternal communications, rather than take it fifteen minutes to write out a long emailedinto side to our team, like I could say it in in two minutesas opposed to write it in fifteen and then my tone is communicated to thecommunication. You could see my face and hear my voice. And when youstart doing that externally again, whether it's in sales communications, whether it's acontent on your website. So I think bringing a human elements, like weare real people. This is not just a brand that's out there, likethere are people behind this and people, and especially when you have charismatic peoplein your organization and you know, put put a spotlight on that, becausethat's a differentiator that can immediately be a differentiator for you. I everready talksabout how great their people are and how they've got the best customer service andhow their customers love them and never leave them. Will can what? Whatfrom that can you physically show before somebody even meets you in the first place? Right, yeah, and and the other thing, like you mentioned,that Wei Syndrome earlier. I talked about this a lot. You can tellif you're suffering from the Wei Wei Syndrome. Look at your website. Do thefive second speed test and say how many times immediately in five seconds doI see the word we versus the word you? And if you can,like today, flip the script right and and stop talking about yourself, Icall it navel gazing. Growing up, I had these cousins. They werea lot of cousins that were boys and growing up in Indiana it's hot,humid. They're running around with no shirt on all summer. I'm Super Jealous. I couldn't do that. And I noticed at some point, you know, they're looking down and they're making their...

...really button talk. Oh, andI thought it was so funny and I remember thinking you guys are so stupidand but they were fascinated with their own navel and about fifteen years ago Ifound this picture of this little boy and he's doing exactly that and I useit in a lot of my Webinaris and presentations and every single time people crackup and I say, but this makes so much sense and we've all doneit. So I am guilty, you're probably guilty and and I think that'sthe cool thing, is that that you and I are doing with our workand our agencies is we're helping manufacturers do things. We've already made the mistakes. Right. It's like we're not offering you a meal that we wouldn't serveourselves. We wouldn't eat it ourself or serve our own family. So Ithink that's the cool thing, as experimenting, and I always tell people like youknow, we're the test tube. We've tried this, we've made thesemistakes and we've and then we've also helped other companies work through this. So, yeah, I think we've got to stop that. We we send her, flip the script, make it about you, because that's people care aboutthemselves. They want to know what's in it for me. Exactly right.Let's go to number two. So number one was manufacturers need to humanize theirbrands. So number two, manufacturers often fail to clearly articulate their unique sellingpoint. Yes, well, how many websites do you go to and itlooks like everyone else, especially if you're a manufacturer. So if we geta new client and we're doing a competitive analysis and we look at their youknow, who their competition are, and we pull up all the websites andnine times out of ten they all have this similar feel and look and content. And I say, well, what is your unique value proposition? Andthey look at me and say quality, with our quality products, customer service, solutions, on time delivery, and I say that's fantastic. And thenat the end of each of those could you say like everyone else, andI get this look of like and I've done this for myself, so I'vebeen through this process and it was brick to the head, brick to thehead, brick to the head. Well, that's like every other agency. Sohow are you really different? And you think, oh so, Ithink the faster you can dig a little deeper and and it's probably right underyour knows right, it doesn't have to be like you and I were talkingabout the steam cleaning of the VAT story from Schlitz. How you know?Just because everybody does it but nobody's talking about it. So maybe it's somethinglike that. That is your unique value and it and it isn't necessarily whatyou do, but it's what you solve. So that is something that I seelike a lightbulb goes off, and you probably do as well. Whenyou say that to a manufacture they say, Huh, okay, well now that'sa whole different mindset, right, because we're all focused on what wedo. And if we could switch that and focus on what is it yousolve for the person who's coming to your website, and then, by God, say that at the top, above the fold. Make it a sentenceand let them know right away it's here's what's in it for you, here'swhy you should buy this and here's why you should buy it from us.And it's a sentence or it's it could be five to six words. Pleasedon't make it long, please don't make it anything ubiquitous, anything. Ifyou start using the word quality, Dear God, get out the Red Penright and say Nope, nope, we still haven't hit it. And andwe call it uncovering your unfair advantage. And it could be something as simpleas and we did this recently for a client. We make it easy.They looked at us and said, let's so that's so simple. We said, I know, but nobody else is talking about it. And you guysdo this at every turn. So use it. That your advantage. Itdoesn't have to be some crazy, convoluted thing. It could be so simpleand I think when it's right under our nose, we probably take it forgranted. You know, there's always something great about what you're the work thatyou do and the results that you get. But you go ahead. Doesn't everybodydo that? Yeah, for sure. Yeah, there are a couple smarterpeople than me that I'll reference and response to what you're talking about,because I agree across the board. And were we at Gorilla last December westarted implementing Eos, so the entrepreneurial operating system based on traction by Geno Wickman. A lot of manufacturers, a lot of marking people operate on this systemand you know, one of the things that is part of developing your yourVTO, your vision traction organizer, which...

...is like a two page business plan, is to be able to articulate what are your three uniques, and theway that Gino Wickman describes it is like you say one of these uniques andthere's probably, I don't know, eighty, ninety percent of the other companies inyour space could also say the same thing. When you add the secondone in, now it's down to like twenty percent. And then when youadd the third one, and nobody else can say all these three things togetherabout what you know, what unique value they create. And so I thinkthat's one good way to look at it. Is To you and you and youcan't say, you can't say the best customer service. You can.I mean you can write but like, as you said, just like everybodyelse, everybody says that and nobody has a reason to believe that until they'veexperienced it. That's the problem. It's like a chicken egg situation here.It may be true for many of you listening, but you need to digdeeper and either you know, hang your hat on something that truly is,is different for your or else you need to be able to demonstrate that,yeah, you're you really do have the best customer service or whatever that thingis you got. You got to show it. Somehow, whether it's throughcase study or testimonial or success, you know, so success story or somethinglike that. But if you there are two platforms, that frameworks that werebig fans of. Talk about these plenty for writing, you know, abrand narrative or positioning language. In the first one is it's a book calledNew Sales Simplified by Mike Weinberg. I actually I was fortunate enough to gethim on this show, which was by far the most popular episode. Hadpublished probably coming up on a year ago at this point, but and hitchapter eight of his like best selling sales book. You sell simplified is aboutdeveloping what he calls a sales story. But basically the framework is this.It's stating simply, as you said, Alison, like the thing that shouldbe right there on your home page like a billboard, at eight words orless or whatever. You know, this is who we help and hat likethis is who we help. We help these types of companies to accomplish thisthing and then and then from there you go into you know, companies likefill in the blank come to us when they're experiencing issue, issue, issue, issue, issue or trying to achieve you've bullet bullet bullet, bullet bullets. So you're put you're wrapping your whole value proposition around not the things youdo but the things that matter to your audience. Right. And then,very briefly after that, that's when you say, you know, the wayswe help accomplish that are these ways and here's what makes us different. But, like the bulk of all that is, it's focused on the issues of youraudience and the things that they're trying to achieve, because that's what mattersto them. They don't care who you are what you do until they believeyou've seen their their issues before, you've helped other people like them solve thosethings, and then they'll start listening to who you are. So that's one. The other one I really like, which probably more people listening are familiarwith, his building a story brand by Donald Miller. Where you are,you're I can tell you already you're a fan there, where he draws aparallel between business and and like the you know, Hollywood script where whether it'syou know, whether you as the manufacturer, are Gandalf as the guide to yourcustomer, who is Frodo or, you know, Yoda or Obi Wan, Kenobie leading Luke Skywalker, like you are not the hero of the customersjourney. The customer is the hero and you are there to guide them andget them the right solution. And so it's another really it's I think it'sa fun and and really smart framework for being able to articulate what what differentiateto and how you create value. Well, absolutely, and that's I'd love himand I love of how he talks about there are seven stories that rulethe world. So is yours a story of rags two riches? Is itovercoming the monster? You know, is it? Is it a quest oran adventure? And when you start thinking about that, think about your story. That is a unique part of your business that doesn't exist any place else. Then think about what is your customer story? So if you think aboutit in you know, circles and then they overlap, it's that sweet spotin the middle. That's your shared values, that's your shared part of the story. So what does your customer look like in their hero state when they'veovercome the monster? So address what the monster is and when they've overcome it, there what what's happening? So if you can show them that right awayand I encourage manufactures to do this in there about us section of their websiteas well. Don't start with a history lesson because again, that's all aboutyou and if you change, you're about us, and I think that Idid get this from Donald Miller, come to think of it. But soI want to give credit where credit is due. But talking about flipping yourabout us, you can have a history. It's absolutely important and it's unique andit's special and it and again, doesn't exist any place else and it'show you got to where you are today. But if you could move that downbelow the fold and start with a paragraph or two, really small paragraphsthat talk about about us, who we...

...are in terms of who we arebecause of you, who we are with you, and if you do that, it's so much more interesting to people. Again, you're continuing that humanizing sharedexperience guiding them, and then put a call to action right there inyour about us, because if why I'm shaking my head, I'm relating,I'm feeling like God, yeah, they really, they really get me.Well, what might they want to do next? And that whole point isgoing to tie into a question that I'm going to ask you in a littlebit about nearsightedness and assuming that everybody is always ready to buy. So we'llget back to that, but I think that that's an opportunity and against thisis simple. This is not an expensive thing that takes a long time,that's going to take a lot of effort that you gotta you know, Isuggest if you aren't a copywriter or professional, that you work with one or youknow a company like ours. But it doesn't take a ton of moneyand it doesn't take a ton of time. So these are some simple, quickwins that you could implement right away. Yeah, I like the tangible advicethere. It's great. Let's go to number three. So manufacturers havea disconnected marketing system or a lack of alignment between strategy and execution. Whatdo you mean by that, Alison, and what what can they do aboutit? What's the opportunity that is created here? Well, we created thisperiodic table of customer touch points, and the reason that we did that wasit's so much easier when you can see right in in a at a glance. Well, here are all the opportunities where we could be touching people,and when you can see, well, which one of these are do wehave activated? And then you see, well, which one of those thatare activated are optimized, and then you see what which ones are dormant,and you go home. Most of the time people go we need to beat a few more points this. Boy, why aren't we here, in hereand here, and why aren't the yeah, those really aren't optimized.Why aren't we doing a better job? So it's really a tool that helpsyou see for yourself. Instead of somebody like me going look at that,it's you going look at that and it's this revelation like a lightbulb goes off. So it's a way to help you see or become aware of where you'reshowing up and if it's effective and if it's not, don't don't Fret.Like you have an opportunity to make it better. Again, I've put myselfthrough this. It's something you could go through every year and say, okay, so let's say we want to optimize, we want to optimize these twenty fiveor thirty or fifty touch points. How are they all connected? Youknow, and I had mentioned to you before, my old creative partner oftwenty years had me by this Hoberman's sphere it's right back here, up abovemy head, and I was like, why do we need a toy,and she said, just wait till it gets here. So it got tothe office and she opened it up and she was just like and we bothwe started talking and we said, Oh my God, that is like yourbrand experience, right. And when you've got see how there's different colors thatare connected. Now imagine if you've got this sphere and you disconnect, whatis left? It's this fragmented not really just a fragmented strategy and execution,but a fragmented experience for your customers. So you know, it's the differencebetween going to like I recently bought a nectar bed. Okay, it's acompany that's a manufacture right, they manufacture mattresses. And after I did myresearch online, ninety percent of it, everybody listening, ninety percent I didonline. Then I went to the store, a store, and I just experiencedall the different beds and how they were displayed and how they talked aboutthem. And then when I ordered the bed, first of all, theirwebsite was incredibly easy to use and very intuitive. Secondly, and here wasa unique selling point that totally sold me not just a five year warranty ora ten year warranty. This was a three hundred jured and sixty five dayguarantee that if I did not like this mattress I could send it back,no questions asked. And I thought what they must be really confident in thismattress. And so, anyway, not to go off on a tangent withthis long story, but what an experience. So then to get the mattress,have it be everything they promised. And then guess what happened after thepurchase? This is that nurturing part. This is that connected system part thatI talked about. They sent me an email and it didn't just say thanksfor purchasing our mattress, we hope you like it. Follow us on socialnectar out it was like that at all.

I getting these little drips, theselittle drips, these little drips in email. I got something in themail, I start seeing them on social media feeds as a sponsored post.So the point is, and this ties into why manufacturers asked you and Iall the time, well, why do we need to be in social somuch? Why? What is really the point? What's the Roi Et lasts? Aren't those aren't those out at you know, are people really paying attentionto those? We don't want to bother people, and this is part ofthis connected system. If at every part of the journey, and again youhave a lot to say about this, this customers journey, so I can'twait to get into it. But at every point it's about before, duringand after the purchase, and I like to call it after the purchase isjust until the next purchase. So how do you continue nurturing before, duringand after, and what's that experience like for them? So if you canclose the gap in your Hoberman's sphere and you can connect all the dots,doesn't have to be perfect. It's a constant evolution. But think of themomentum. If this thing is rolling down a hill, it's gonna go smoothlyand quickly and it's going to have gas, going to have energy, where ifit's disconnected, it's clunky and I think it leads opportunity for people tofeel confused, to feel like you don't understand them, to feel like youforgot about them and, like Seth God and says, you got to showup and show up and show up and you got to be where the peopleare and not try to talk to everybody, but talk to the people who willmatter, demonstrate for the people who will matter. And I hope thatwasn't like word vomit and a really long explanation, but I get really excitedabout this. Yeah, I know it was good. I think, andI won't say too much here because I'm gonna I think this ties actually tothe last number five that we're going to hit on shortly, or we're goingto get into manufacturers measuring the wrong things. But I think that, like whenI think of this disconnected system, or you know, you mentioned somethinga few minutes ago, like why do I need to be in social whydo I need to be doing this? Like all these little people, allthese little components, work together. And if you ask me to answer thequestion, well, what's the Roli on that social media post I made lastweek, or this, you know, this piece of content that we developedas part of, you know, our content marketing strategy, or you knowthe email, email blast that went out on, you know, October fifteenor something. I can't answer that, and nor should I have to be, because these are all pieces of a system and there's each of them servesa different purpose. You know, there are things you do on the marketingfront that are there to capture demand that exists and to drive results fast,and I'll talk about that when we get to number five. And then thereare things that you do to consistently be in front of the right people,to create awareness, to build trust, to establish yourself as an expert practitionerin your space so that when that audience enters a bicycle, be the firstone they think of. When they go to Google, they recognize your namealready and they have positive associations with it. But when you try to look atthe you know, contribution of each of those things individually, all ontheir own, and if you chose to do this, this and this andleap leave the rest be, none of them are going to accomplish anything foryou. Like we, you're a podcast host and, like I, lookat this podcast, you're at your episode, seventy four of this podcast, andhow many weeks has it taken me to publish seventy four episodes? Seventyfour weeks exactly, because every single Tuesday morning one goes live and I can'ttell you what the Roi on any individual podcast episode is. But I cantell I can tell you the Roi on doing this for almost a year anda half and I can tell you the intangible things that have come from thatand the people I've met in the referrals that have been made and the clientsthat have been one as a result of those referrals. And so it's allpart of a system. Right in the podcast rous is just a piece ofof a bigger system, like every individual episode is a piece of the podcastsystem. In the podcast is a piece of a bigger system. So havinga strategy, like we know that we need to reach these types of peoplefrom these types of companies and we know they care about these things because we'veheard that from their mouths and we've done the customer research and we've worked withcompanies that resemble them and we know this what matters to them. So we'regoing to build our marketing program around those things and then we get into thetactics. What are the tactics? are going to be a piece of that. And that's how you create that. You know holistic marketing program well.And and one thing, yes, yes, yes, to everything you just said. Wholeheartedly agree. And the thing that I tell manufactures, and Ithink this is exactly what you were talking about. Is, you know,the old idea of Roi was to always focus on well, how much?What's the return in dollars? And, like you said, we can't alwaysput a number on that and it's not...

...an ambiguous, fluffy market is position, because we just can't. It's I like to think of it as Roiicube. So let's think about Roi in a whole new way. What's the returnon investment? Can we measure it or not? Maybe not. What's thereturn on influence? Ah, we can measure that. And what's the returnon innovation? So if you think about Roi in a whole new way asreturn on influence, return on innovation and return on investment, I guarantee ifyou're doing all those different activities and they're all working together, you're getting oneof those returns, if not more than one, at every single touch.So that's my two cents on that. Yeah, I like that way tolook at it. So I want to hear from you because I've been doinga lot of talking and and you have so much knowledge and so many greatideas. I know that you've talked before how manufacturers suffer from near sightedness.I myself in very near sighted and I can relate to this in more waysthan one. So how would you say manufactures are leaving money on the tableby assuming that everybody is always actively in a bicycle? And and then howis that showing up in their content and their marketing efforts? Yep, sote and me up for number four here. This markys idea of marketing and yoursightedness. So, you know, it's almost counterintuitive to think that thebest way to grow your business is to not be building lists of people inhammering, you know, cold calling and knocking on doors and and listen,I there's a place for that. I'm not going to sit here and,you know, discourage sales teams were effective at prospecting, from from doing that. There's there's absolutely a place for it. But marketing is not the same thingas sales. It's not. Marketing is largely a long game and tolook at marketing the same way you look at sales is the wrong approach.If you are a manufacturer selling some kind of you know, you're a machinebuilder, you're selling cat ex equipment or you're selling a you know, fivehundred thou dollar solution or a fiftyzero solution, whatever it is. For a lotof manufacturers out there it's you're dealing with longer sales cycles. You're dealingwith committees of buyers that include, you know, technical professionals like process engineersand automation engineers and plant managers, and you're dealing with facility managers and you'redealing with, you know, procurement people in CFOs and CEOS and and youneed to influence a number of these people throughout that buying process. So,first of all, it's you know, it's a longer sales cycle and Istill see marketers being held accountable for well, we're not producing marketings, not generatingrevenue and we've been we've been doing this thing for three months. Okay, will your sales cycle six months like? First of all, let's let's let'scome back to reality here for a second. And Yeah, and andremember that. You know, how fast could one of your sales people movesomebody into into a bicycle? Right, and you can't expect marketing to beatthat. marketings are to tea up these opportunities and be able to, youknow, get the right eyes on you. So those opportunities can get created thefirst place. But you know, I think the main point that Iwant to make care about marketing, near sightedness and changing the perspective on thatis it really comes down to this. This is a topic I've talked abouta lot recently, so some of you may be sick of me me sayingit, but here's the reality. For most of you, probably somewhere betweenone and three percent of your total addressable market is in an active bicycle rightnow. Think about that for a second, when you think about everybody who couldbe a potential customer of yours, how many of them do you believe, at this exact moment in time today, are out there looking for a solutionthat you could provide them? Actively looking? Do they maybe need one? Is it under the surface and they don't realize it yet, or it'skind of on, you know, the back burner, it's on the horizon. Okay, sure, yeah, there, but but who is actually out therelooking? It's a small percentage of people. Yet so much marketing thathappens in the manufacturing sector is done under the assumption that the person on thereceiving end is actually buying right now and that they want to hear your messageabout all your your products, features and benefits and how awesome your company isand how great your customer services and some of the stuff we talked about earlierthat manufacturers think are their unique selling points. But do you want to hear asales message right now, Alison, from you know, from someone aboutsomething that maybe you'll need in a year, but not right now? Like youdon't want to be you don't want people screaming at you, you know, trying to blast a sales message. You're turning that off like the sameway you turn off. I just bought a car the summer for the firsttime in a long time, and so I was in active buying mode forthe last year because it's a big, just big purchasing decision. I'm notgoing to put like I probably won't even...

...see another car ad for years becauseI'm not I'm not looking for it right. So I think the point here aboutnear sightedness is there is a percentage of your audience it's actively buying andyes, you need to be in front of them. You need a strategyto get in front of them, to deliver your value proposition, to openthe door to a conversation with those people and to be able to close thosedeals, to get them in your funnel. But a majority of your audience isnot buying right now. But so does that mean you shouldn't be marketingto them? No, absolutely not. It just means that the type ofmarketing you need to be doing to them is not the same as sales.It's not blasting a bottom of funnel ready to buy sales message at them.It is here's what it is, here's what it needs to be. needsto be understanding what matters to own their job. It needs to be creatingvalue around your product category or that you know the things that you do,that you know that your product or your service, your solution can do thatactually is meaningful to them. Your job is to educate and create value forthat person around your expertise as it applies to the to their job, andto earn attention and trust and position yourself as a thought leader and to beso they know your your the d resource in your space for this thing,for this category, and so when they enter that bicycle, you're the firstone they think of. And so that's really what I'm talking about. Withnear sightedness, we can't make the assumption that everybody is buying now. Wehave we need some patients. We need to play the long game, captureexist demand where it exists, but be prepared to build brand and awareness infront of people and realize those results will come in time. But you can't, you can't be doing everything with the expectation of results tomorrow. Exactly.Well, I'm going to clap right now because that was beautiful and and true. And you know, and it's not just a marketer. I don't knowwhat the right word is, but like you know, from the sidelines andsaying you know, you should do this, this is it's I think it's ayou're a marketing professional who is observing a pattern, and that is that'sinsight. That's just you've got to pay attention to that as as a manufacturerand say, HMM, you know, these folks are seeing this thing happeningeverywhere. Am I doing this thing? Oh, wow, I guess weare. Well, how could we do better? So it's really again,just uncovering this opportunity to be cognisant that most of the people you're talking tomost of the time are not ready to buy right now. So what else. What's in it for them? Why should they pay attention to you andwhy should they think of you when they are ready? So I think thatwas that was brilliant. So let's jump into number five, because there's alot with with this to unpack as well. How are manufactures measuring the wrong marketingresults and what are the opportunities there that? I feel like there's moneybeing left on the table. Yeah, so you know, as I Iwill quickly describe sort of the evolution of marketing measurement over the last fifteen,sixteen years or so. I graduated college in Undergrad and o five that fallis when Google analytics came out. I came up with the ability to measuredigital marketing like it was there from from day one for me. But it'sstill, you know, like we went into this era where do your abilityto measure anything was very limited, frankly, and and quickly moving into this youknow, all of a sudden we have all this date at our fingertips about, you know, website traffic, where it's coming from, what contenton our site is being consumed, and that very quickly evolved, ormaybe I should say devolved into Oh, we can measure stuff now and nowwe need to measure everything and it's gotten to a point where, and believeI'm a huge fan of being able to measure things, but there's so muchdata available and it's led to this obsession among marketers with trying to measure everythingand to the point where they're not looking at the right stuff and or theremake their drawing conclusions to early about, you know, what's working and what'snot, and they're completely missing the opportunity because they're making decisions too early.So, you know, here are just a few examples, like website traffic. Okay, website traffic, and then let's let's say leads, like leadsgenerated through forms on your site. I'm talking about like White Paper downloads andand you know, ebooks and things like that. You know these are shouldthese things we measured, absolutely, but they are leading Kpis. That's whatthey are. They are not and all bl these are not bizarre, theseare not business outcomes. Website traffic will tell you are we getting visibility?And you need to look more carefully at that even and say, you know, for example, what what pages through search engines are people entering through?Are they coming through the pages that are...

...related to keywords that matter to us. For example, people who are converting on your site that are, youknow, downloading content or, more importantly, filling out consultation requests. Are theythe right people? Where they coming from, where they originating? Theseare all leading indicators that are we moving in the right direction? What canwe glean from this information? But there are so many agencies out there stillthat are selling themselves on being able to you know we can double your traffic. In three months. We will you know we're going to quadruple your leadsand to them all, a lade means it's some person filling out a formon your site, when ninety nine percent of them are probably doing nothing butbogging down your sales teams time, wasting time and and, for that reason, actually hurting you because they're not the right people. And so again theKase. We have to distinguish between what is a leading KPI and what isan actual business outcome. Business outcomes are things like sourced pipeline, like actualquoted business with the right types of companies that can be traced back through yourmarketing activities and then resulting revenue from that like that is where marketers need tohang their hat is on. Are we generating tangible business outcomes? Not,are in and not stop at are we driving traffic and leads? So I'llstop there and throw it to you, Alison. No, I your spoton and I think, to just really simplify it, that what came intomy mind was it's quality over quantity. So, and how many manufacturers doyou know that have been taken advantage of by companies that give marketing a badname and they're selling them this? That's you know, will will? Weneed to double your your number of followers? Well, you know what, that'sDandy, but what if they're not the right people? Like we don'tneed Russian Porn Stars in droves following are it doesn't mean anything. So youlistening? Please, don't be fooled. If somebody makes these big promises toyou, it doesn't matter how many people like you right. I think weall can fall into that trap of, like you're talking about, measuring thewrong things. So I think it's so important and I would love like youand I could talk about that for another three hours. But I think thatthat is some huge value that you bring to the manufacturing community and to yourcustomers. Is that I've been very impressed with is that you guys are reallygreat at digital execution and and helping people create that right the holistic, connectedcomponents, and then measuring the right things so that they can really understand.You know, this doesn't have to be overwhelming. I don't have to belike a genius to understand all this stuff, because it's confusing for most people.Yeah, I don't know about you, but sometimes I get overwhelmed and Ijust think, wow, what is all this stuff? You know,and you have to take a step back and say, okay, what's reallyimportant? What? But it's great to have people like you who can lead, lead me through the process. If I don't understand and I'm not goingto feel dumb and after we work together I'm going to feel so much more. I'm going to trust myself and I'm going to trust that I don't haveto know everything you know and we don't have to we don't have to measureeverything, but at least I'm going to understand what are the right things tomeasure and to have this more, I think, realistic idea and understanding.Is that sound right? Yeah, I think it's great. Well, Ithink. I think we did it here. I think we've set the record sofar for longest, longest show. Yeah, which is not surprising tohave to marketing people. It's debating five topics, but I think I'm thrilledsome of the stuff we were able to cover here. I think it's allreally important stuff. I think there's some big opportunities for manufacturing people out thereand hopefully, you know, some people be able to take some of thisand turn it into you know, action. Right. Yeah, absolutely, andI really look forward to revisiting the manufacturing rebrand. Yes, we aregoing to be talking about that for for sure. Well, Alison, thanksfor doing this. Can you tell our audience how they can get in touchwith you and also where they can learn more about your agency, felt marketing? Yep, we're felt Marketingcom and you can find me on Linkedin. JustSearch Alison to Ford. I'm really easy to find. I'm there a lot. It's my playground. And then also you can shoot me an email ifyou have a question. I'm a not going to try to sell you anything. I'm happy to just help. So you can reach out to Alison atfelt Marketingcom and I would really appreciate it if you would also check out MFGout loud. We're on all the platforms and we have a slightly different approachthan Joe and you might get some value out of it. Joe Is goingto be a guest coming up here in the next month or so on ourpodcast as well. So if you are up for a courageous conversation about salesand marketing for manufacturers, check out MFG out loud. Yeah, please dothere. There's some really great podcasts in the manufacturing sector, so I amalways happy to promote those, but Alison...

...and Ray do a great job withtheirs and really dial in on those marketing and sales topics which, as Ithink you've learned today, we're both quite passionate about. So go check outmanufacturing out loud. Well, Alison, thanks for doing this. This wasawesome and I'm excited to continue the conversation on your show and and more moreconversations offline see we can keep doing to, you know, to help help changethe perception of manufacturing the outside world and keep moving the industry forward.So absolutely well, thank you for everything that you're doing. I am trulya fan and you guys are doing great things for manufacturers and I really appreciateit. Awesome well, thank you, and as for the rest of you, I hope to catch you on the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive.You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. To ensure that you never miss anepisode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'dlike to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an everexpanding collection of articles, videos, guides and tools specifically for bedb manufacturers atGorilla Seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (85)