The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 2 years ago

The Power of the CAD Model w/ Adam Beck


Are you really doing content marketing if you don't create white papers, write blog posts, and deliver long speeches about the benefits of your product? Can a CAD model help educate your prospective buyers just as effectively as a nice, fat e-book can?

On this episode of The Manufacturing Executive Show, Adam Beck, Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions, talked about educating your audience using CAD models.

Here's what we discussed with Adam:

  • How to protect real manufacturing models while using a CAD model as a form of content marketing
  • The day-long event he put on for content marketers in industrial manufacturing
  • How to educate customers using models as a marketing tool

To ensure that you never miss an episode of The Manufacturing Show, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify, or here.

If you think about each of these cab models as a relevant piece of content for a manufacturers audience. They have such an arsenal at their fingertips, but they have to see it that way. Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving midsize manufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast. I'm Joe Sullivan, your host and a CO founder of the Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla seventy six. We have another really interesting guest today. Adam back is the director of marketing at Cadina's part Solutions Marketer for nearly twenty years. Adam is working to transform industrial marketing from look at me to look at my customer. Adams all about going above and beyond to ensure his customer as the best possible experience. This often isn't considered a direct function of marketing, but Adam knows that those relationships paid dividends into the future. Adam believes that nobody cares about the features and benefits. Instead, people care about how something is transformed a business process or a life. By showing how smart, creative and forward thinking his customers are, Adam can tell a story which is far more relevant and interesting and puts everyone in a position for success, and that's exactly why we have him here in the show today. So I'm that note. Adam, thanks for joining us, thanks for having me absolutely well. I can't help but notice, in this crazy air where we're all working from wherever we're able to work from, what's going on into your background there. What's the story behind the guitars? Yeah, we are in my basement, extra bedroom closet, which also happens to have my guitar collection up there on the wall. I play guitar, but I also make guitars for myself from that's just one of those things that go on a vacation and buy a hunkle wood and come home and make a guitar and that's my souvenir. So that's a couple of them hang on the wall. Yeah, that's awesome. Wow, what a hobby. I know you've been a builder of many things that personally and professionally, I suppose it being a manufacturing guy, but tell us a little bit about, yeah, yourself and your background. Yeah, so I've worked as a marketer for roughly twenty years. I did have about a three year stand in there where I went and was car builder out in California, so I got to see and be hands on and really making a thing from the ground up, and I think that helps give me a different understanding of the approach to parts and components and the overall end product of a manufacturer or a builder. Yeah, totally makes sense and I know I appreciate you turned in the camera and despite you know, it's funny like what's in the background these days of everybody's zoom meetings and everything, and I know from talking to you prior to hit and record here that you've somewhere upstairs you've got a couple of crazy kids run and around, which is familiar to me as well. So you locked yourself wherever you...

...can, I guess. Yeah, my wife is on duty right now on her shift, but we basically tag in and out all day. I do have a tw year old that has recently mastered jumping and that's his preferred mode of transportation. So if it sounds like there's an earthquake directly above us, that's what's going on right. Love it. Yeah, awesome, we we do it however we can these days. Awesome. Will you and I first met, I think it was about a year ago or so, and what really caught my attention was condinus was in the throes of planning this first ever industrial marketing summit, and so first I want to talk a little bit about that, but can you give me a little bit of background first, about your company, codinus part solutions. I think you guys are doing some really interesting and innovative things in the manufacturing space. Yeah, so really to take it even a step more removed from that, you know, engineers have a difficult job and that's how we help manufactures. We help them. These engineers are out there, they have to come up with creative designs, but they also have all these parts and pieces that go into that design, things that they don't necessarily make. When we kind of describe it as a Lego set or whatever, if you're snap and Legos together, you can make something pretty quick. If you had to create every Lego in the process, that really slows down the process of making that and sort of stifles creativity. So a lot of engineers are online. They're hunting for parts, you know, they need bearings and gears and motors or a bench or receptacle, if they're in architect whatever that thing is that they need to put in their greater design. They're hunting for them online. They're looking on manufacturers websites and they want to find those models or a file and grab it, make sure it's the correct one and they want to put it into their design and move on. And that's what we do. We help manufacturers create a safe representation of their products that they can put on their website. It's Super Portable, it's safe because all the Ip that you could you can't manufacture that product from that. It's a representation to go inside of another model and it enables outputs in like a hundred, hundred and fifty formats so they can make sure that everyone in their audience gets exactly what they need. And it's a great lead gend tool, but it's also a customer service tool. Yeah, it's super interesting because it's something I imagine a lot of manufacturers struggle with is how do we deal with CAD models? We know our customers want them and but it's a lot of work to, you know, have a solution for this online from scratch, and so you kind of have this package solution that can be deployed. Yeah, yeah, so if a manufacturer was going to put up cad models on their website, there's so many hurdles there. It's just the volume formats. You don't want to put up your real manufacturing models because someone could take that down and take it and make it so you want. You want to have all your ipeo pulled out of it and then you know the timing and delivery and all of that. It all becomes a challenge and it starts to snowball and that's where we have our tool is. Basically it's a cloud based application and we don't really have cad models. We have the recipe for each of those catamalls, which is what makes it lightweight and portable and you can put this on a website without it being this huge storage situation and engineer looks at... on the website spins it around. It comes with the D preview and they're happy with it, they hit download and that starts a instance of that actual cat tool in the cloud which generates a model on the fly, has the configured part number and all that, and they get an instant download. The exchanges. The engineer, architect leaves their email address. So that's, you know, it's an understood content marketing tactic. Exchange. Yeah, but so unique. You know, it's almost like this sort of overlap in this area of, you know, their product and content marketing, which is something I don't know if I really seen too often and you know, it's something that stood out when I first saw the CADENIS website and I was looking your solution and trying to understand, you know, exactly what it was, because it's the idea of, say, somebody downloading an Ebook or, you know, signing up for a Webinar. Like it's a very similar concept there in something that a lot of bad companies are doing. Not so many doing it well maybe, but you're creating your essentially, you know, allowing your customers to create value for their customers in a way that, you know, most companies just wouldn't even know where to begin with, I guess. Yeah, I think the closest analog you can maybe have is the music industry. You know, if if a band is given away a free download of a song to promote their album or their tour, it's sort of in the vein that kind of have to give the product away. Which is the difference this is it's almost a soft sale. We when, you know, we've done surveys over the years four or five times and our manufacture partners tell us again and again that, you know, this isn't it's not always a one to one. Usually we see that eighty percent of the time when it engineered downloads that model, they do buy it. It's sometimes a six, eight, twelvemonth lead time, but they can see and they can forecast and they can see how this is going to affect their business into the future. Yeah, makes sense. Well, as I was kind of starting to mention of a few minutes ago here, that you know about this time last year when we first talked, you were planning the first ever industrial marketing summit, which was sort of an event that was tacked on too content marketing world, a big marketing industry event. For any of our listeners who aren't familiar with that, that takes place in Cleveland every year, right. And what was interesting is, and I think something that just sort of caught my attention by you guys and your philosophy personally, is the idea of creating value for your audience, as opposed to just sort of, I was describe it as blasting a megaphone in their ears and talking about, you know, mimime and who's all the stuff we do and things we sell and why you should buy from us. And and you guys are clearly we're taking a different approach. And so it's one thing to publish blog posts or to record some short videos of yourself. You guys want as far as to say we're going to create an entire event just to educate our customers, prospects and really the manufacturing industry around the idea of how to market your company here in the industrial sector. And so would let me here to sort of what you're in spiration was and tell us a little bit about how that event played out. Maybe. Yeah, so our inspiration was that I was looking for events to have the typical trade show booth at...

...and I was going to all kinds of marketing events and I couldn't find anything specifically in the Industrial Marketing Niche. There is some betb things and there was some that were way, way BTC, which that's so different marketing from a lot of times from what industrial manufacturers doing. So we started kicking the idea around and content marketing world seemed to have a really good industrial audience already in attendance, and so we started talking with them. What if we had a day of content and we found some manufacturers and other marketers and just put them in the forefront and let them talk and create this more is more atmosphere where they can all share ideas and meet each other and talk about and successes they've had and failures they've had and ways that they can all grow their business. That's great and so tell me kind of you know, what was the turnout? How did you that go? Well, was anything you learned from it? Yeah, it was. It was a really good turnout. So we had sort of two days of there was we had a big cocktail party the night before and everybody came out and we had pizza and that was a lot of fun because we have, you know, to a lot of our team as virtual a lot of our clients are all over the country somewhere all over the world, and it was a great time just to get everybody together and put a lot of faces with names. There's some people we hadn't even met in person before, which is pretty fantastic to do that. And then the next day we had basically six hours of content, five speakers and about a hundred and fifty people at that last year. So it was a great opportunity to just see how some of these you know, we have companies of all sizes. We have companies that have ten products and we have companies that have ten trillion products. Once you look at all the configurations. We have companies with huge marketing departments and we have companies without a marketing department. So it was really cool to compare and contrast and hear them share ideas and kick ideas, new fresh ideas around about how they can all grow their business. And makes sense and I love bringing the other people with different perspectives and sort of using it as a time and place to purely educate. You know, there's it's one thing to do to do a live Webinar. You everybody detends webinars where it's really just a product. Pitt tried sort of in disguise and that's not what this was. Yeah, no, we didn't even take the stage. Yeah, I went up as an MC, you know. And it's a shift. It's a real it's a philosophy shift. I think there's a lot of times where, four or five, ten years ago, someone from our company would have given an hour pitch about our features and benefits and it's just tiring. Nobody wants to hear it. They want to hear about it in application. They want to hear how the river hits the road and what that did for somebody. Otherwise it's just kind of all fluff and a bolleted list and it's tough to make it interesting. Yeah, I mean you said it kind of in the intro that you sent over to me that you know people are not interested in hearing about features and benefits. That's that's not at least not right away, right. They want to solve a problem, right. Yeah, and I as a marketer, I have five hundred blog posts that I've created on our website over the last eight or so years. If...

I was talking about it features and benefits every time, it would just be boring for me and it's tough to create relevant content when I can meet and discuss what these manufacturers are doing and talk about the reality of their situation and their audience and talk about it in a genuine way. I think it's just it's more interesting for me to write and it creates more interesting content at the end of the day, and everybody wins. Yeah, absolutely. Well, the content marketing world is, for those who don't know, is put on by well the creators, Joe Politzi, who's the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of a handful of really great best selling marketing books, and I know a big part of his philosophy is you build the audience first, right. You figure out who your best at serving. You figure out how to create value for them around the things that they care about, questions they have, the problems are trying to solve, the things are trying to achieve. You build trust with that audience and then you kind of figure out the best way to monetize it or turn them into customers as opposed to just blasting this marketing and sales message at them. And it seems like you guys have content marketing worlds a perfect stage for you guys, because it's exactly the way. It seems like you're operating on the mark. Get in front, right, right, which it's kind of funny. It was questioned buy a few people our audience and it didn't understand. How are we? What's the content part like? Isn't that all like white papers and stuff? Will know that is if you're that kind of a business. And there's. No, we're not replacing white papers and blog posts. But if you think about each of these cad models as a relevant piece of content for a manufacturers audience, they have such an arsenal at their fingertips. But they have to see it that way. They have to see that, oh wait, my actual cad data or cat information or product information is content that I can, you know, put a form in front of or not, but that someone wants to consume and creates a marketing opportunity for me and a future sales opportunity. Yeah, and I think that's something that I see manufactures struggling with a lot, the idea of, you know, feeling scared to give away too much. Well, what if I invite, if I put this out there, whether it's written content or cad files or you know whatever, video of me talking about you know some topic that I'm an expert in. There's a lot of worrying that happens. You know, it's too much. Our competitors are going to copy us, a can steal our customers. And I always make the argument that there's a lot more risk in not publishing than in publishing, because the benefits just far away the risk when you can earn the attention and trust of somebody and all of a sudden you have, you know, the right customer engaged with you. Content helps you get found in search engines. Is Helps you start answering questions and earning trust, and all of this is a part of the industrial buying process now right it's people are out there, are looking for information and trying to educate themselves before they're ready for a sales conversation. Yeah, they're not going to talk to you if you're a manufacturer and you think they're going to like just call you up out of the blue and want to shoot the breeze before they're fully educated. It ain't happening. And so you have to put information out there so they can self educate, they can...

...test, they can try on your product basically see how it fits, and then you can start to have a conversation about delivery and pricing and all those things totally. I'm completely on board with that. I love how you guys are practicing. Can you speak at all to you know, at least from your experience, what kind of impact it's had on your business to take this approach? I mean you mentioned all the articles, are blog posts you've written over the years. We've done this industrial marketing summit. Like you guys, are clearly there to educate and teach your audience. What kind of impact has it had for you guys? Yeah, our company has been on steady growth for years. From our marketing metrics had been the first few years. I think we five or six X are our web traffic and a lot of it is, you know, we're writing and writing or writing. Then we take another look at it and we say, Hey, our audience of the manufacturer still needs this. You know, they need to they need help educating their customers. What what's in? What's another value add that we can do? So what if the new catalog, it comes with a new product, with a whole announcement that we push out there to the press release wire, but also social media and email. Last we do it. We still do all those type of marketing, but it's all in a you know, the strategy is help our customer murst be more seen, help them reach their audience and make them be the experts and the smart, forward thinking companies, and we get brought along for the ride and that's the great part for us. So we do at these announcements we take have taken that a step further and last couple years and that we create basically a how to demo for each manufacturer. So we shoot a video on their website walking through the pics and clicks how to actually use the tool, because we found we're too close to it. Sometimes we assume, oh, everybody knows how to use this, but some of these manufacturers, their audience, they have never seen one of these tools before. D configurator on their website is kind of a foreign idea. So we make a ninety two video and that's just something that we include because we want it to be easy for them to educate their audience and who better to help them educate their audience than the people who created the tool? Totally makes perfect sense, and I see started touching on this already here a little bit, but you know, one thing you sort of mentioned before we hit record in some of the communications you I've had, you know, kind of leading up to this conversation, is this overlap between customer service and marketing, and you had talked specifically about delivering tools and data and value on demand with the goal of creating a great customer experience. Now this is something you're passionate about, something that's core to the the business model at Coudinas, and so wonder if you could kind of unpack that a little bit more for the listeners. Yeah, so, for on the manufacturing side, the delivery of cad models has traditionally been a customer service function, you know, maybe an even engineering function. But someone would call into manufacture x and say, Hey, I see your one, two, three, four, five six bearing online. Can you send me a CAD model? or maybe they'd email about that, but there would be its end, its engineering. They create this model and they email it back. It was kind of slow. It was maybe in... format too, formats whatever they had available, and it took somebody to actually do work, somebody out of their function. If it was customer service, I'm sure they have real customer service functions. They could have been doing or a fose engineering team. They have work to do too. So by putting this online they sort of shift that customer service and they provide the ownership to the marketing team. This becomes a marketing tool, but it's also serving their customers better. So they make it on demand. They can now deliver these any time of day to their customers and whatever format they want, in any configuration they want, and they get the leads in exchange for it. So it really provides marketing with a lot of content. Yeah, it's a really interesting approach. I've consulted a lot of manufacturing organizations over the last ten years or so and my company has done work for them and help try to transform them into more helpful content focused organizations. But the perception of marketing inside of manufacturing organizations is often, you know, it's kind of in its own silo. They're making brochures and they're doing who knows what was the website right, trade shows exactly, and and that, and it's just looked at as kind of an expense and this thing we do. You know, we do our marketing stuff over here and off in the marketing department's very disconnected from sales and it's absolutely not tied very well into customer service from what I've seen. So I love that. I talk to people sometimes who have figured out in the manufacturing soace how to get marketing and sales working together really well. But this is so the first time I've really talked to somebody about how marketing needs to be such an integral part of customer service. Yeah, it's funny because I've had other marketers say, how do you get your sales team to give you access to your to their customers? I say my sales team doesn't slow me down in the least. They know once, once I get a hold of them or my team gets a hold of them, they're going to love us because we don't ask for anything. You know, we know that we are a marketing tool. We are marketing to industrial marketers and on behalf of industrial marketers at the same time. So we are all about whatever value add that we can come up with to help our manufacturing partners look awesome and reach their audience and create the customer experience they're trying to create. That's great. Well, you guys are, you know, kind of a you have a product, you know, in a lot of ways your product company. You're also a company that offers a marketing service, which is kind of unique. So you know, trying to put this all back in contacts, to kind of put a bow on on this conversation here. What kind of advice can you give, considering who our audiences here, executives a manufacturing businesses. What kind of advice can you give to take some of these concepts that you've embraced and sort of apply them into their business? This idea of being a helpful marketer, the idea of tying it to customer service, I think you have to understand your customer and you have to understand the pain and you have to understand what they are trying to do for their customer. So you know this is such a chain of different customers and what our customer needs and what their customer needs and what they're trying to do at the end of the day,...

...and how can you help them do that better? So are the manufacturing side. They know that their audiences the engineer or the architect, so they need to help them get the data for their products. Our audience is that manufacture. So how can I help them educate their audience or provide something of value to their audience or just do their job faster or, you know, what can I offload from them? What is their challenge and how can they help them do that? And for every industry or every market it's going to be a little bit different, but I'm always looking for ways that I can shine the spotlight on our manufactures and help them look great at the end of the day. A lot of who I deal with is the marketing departments at these manufacturing companies. I want them to look great to their boss. So how do you help them look great to their boss and what can you do to continue that in the future? It's such a simple concept but I think one that just gets overlooked with all, you know, all the tactics and fancy tools out there and I think I see too many companies go in there first throwing darts and try and this tactic or that. And really, if you just start with who are my best customers? What do they care about? How can I help create value for them? Well, Adams, was a really great conversation and thrilled that you came on to talk about this because you're in this really interesting overlapping world of manufacturing with a product and being an industrial marketers, I think there's just have a unique perspective on things. So can you tell listeners sort of where the best place to find you is in case they have follow up questions or would like to get in touch? Or Yeah, probably for some of them explore the product you guys have to offer? Yeah, so our website is part Solutionscom. Our company is called Kiddinus, part solutions or an international company. Part Solutionscom, though, is paart solutions, pluralcom, or they can email me directly at Adam dot back at part Solutionscom. Awesome. Well, Adam, thank you once again for joining us and 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 an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles, videos, guides and tools specifically for bedb manufacturers at Gorilla Seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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