The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 year ago

You Don't Have to Blog: Content Marketing for Manufacturers That Works w/ Nick Goellner


Try describing a mechanical thing with a blog post. It's not easy. It's not the right format. But try taking a 3-D model, making it photorealistic, and then doing animations of how it works. Now, you're on to something.

So when you think about content marketing, do you think blogs, social media, and podcasts? Or do you think, "What's going to help my audience?"

On this episode of The Manufacturing Executive Show, Nick Goellner, sales and marketing leader for Advanced Machine & Engineering and managing director of Making Chips, talked about content marketing in the industrial sector.

Here's what we discussed with Nick:

  • The role content marketing should play inside a manufacturing organization
  • Why content is your job even if you are not a marketer (it's all about the function of content)
  • The reason you shouldn't be scared your competitors will rip off your content
  • The books Nick's reading this summer

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

So I like to think about thred modelsand whether it's giving away a cad or animating it or making a photo,realistic image as like the number one content format for my audience, whichis what we built our agenty for for the metal workingleader welcome to the manufacturing executivepodcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that aredriving midsize manufacturers forward here, you'll discover new insides frompassionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share abouttheir successes and struggles and youill learn from B to be sales andmarketing experts about how to apply actionable business developmentstrategies inside your business. Let's get into the show, welcome to the official episode numberone of the manufacturing executive podcast, I'm Joe Sullivin your host anda cofounder of the Industrial Marketing Agency Gerrilla. Seventy six wee got afirst guest here today that I'm really excited about and think it's going tohelp us kick thes thing off with a bang. So let me introduce Nick Goner Nick isleading a new generation of manufacturers combining the traditionalvalues of his family's global metal working business with innovative,modern marketing strategies. After starting on the shop floor at Hennegink,fabricating machine protection, components for CNC machine tools, titbecame a designated certified machine tool sales engineer, CMT se andreceived his BS in entrepreneural marketing from the Florida Institute ofTechnology. Picnow serves as the sales and marketing director for advance,machine and engineering, and in two thousand and eighteen nick became apartner and cohost of the popular manufacturing leadership. PODCAST,making chips shortly after joining Nicktope expand the podcast platforminto making chips. Two Point: Oh a full scale. Marketing Agencys, specificallytargeting the metal working industry, he's able to combine his passion forcontent, marketing and metal working by collaborating with the team of dynamicindustrial marketers serving the making chips. Clients with results, drivenmarketing program. So nick welcome to the show thanks, Jo it's an honor to bethe first manufacturing executive on the manufacturing executive. PODCAST,THAT'S PRETTY COOL! Well, I figured we'd start with somebody. Who's got asome experience with this whole podcasting thing so seems like anatural fit. So Yeah I'I've got a few episodes under my bolt. Yes, you do andwell mention it again at the end, but for those of you listening making chipspodcast, this is one you should all be listening to. These guys have beendoing it for years and nick joined them and Adit a whole additional dynamic toit. So go check that out so nickdo by introduction. Do you justice oranything you'you'd like to add to that? No, it was good. I appreciate it it'shard to say what I do and I concise way, because I wear so many hats like a lotof other manufacturing leaders, but really I'm just a third generationmanufacturing kid from a company that designs and builds machine tools. Itwas founded by my grandfather and you know, coming up with clever ways tooptimize processes and design the machinery that does that that's kind oflike my family's DNA, so yeah, I just happend a love marketing, specificallycontent marketing like this so awesome. Well, you and I have known each otherfor must be bout five or six years or so, and we met when thelase yeah. Maybeit was even maybe I migte on I think, yeah, because I I think I launched mynew website that I actually called you for about five years ago, and we weretalking a couple years before that, just to yeah I was trying to yeah. Yes,you were you were, and you remember you guys. You came through you and some ofyour crouwcame through St Louis wher we're located and you to go o, maybe ada custwer down here you were visiting or it was one of my sales feel Triso.I'm you know, like you mentioned, I'm a sales dir up to so like I was bringingone of my younger sales. Guys O was one of the you know: Hey, we got to startdoing some better marketing and I was like okay we're going to go, find thisagency yeah. I ended up finding Gus Trou, like one of your guides that youcreat okay, thowas, really all right, awesome, very good, but I can rememberwe grab lunch down the street here in...

...the central West town of St Louis, atthe gambling whisky house. I can rember sitting there with you guys and hearingyour story, and I remember sitting here thinking. I don't know how I canjustify trying to sell nick and his crew marketing services, because I'mpretty sure they know what they're doing and THEYV got it figure it outand whill. There are probably some skill sets you could have used from theoutside. I can remember flat out email and you, the next day saying you knowwhat I think you've got this and I think you know you Ould Be curose R,your perspective, but your a few years down the road here I feel like I mighthave been right about that one so well yeah. So I remember being prettydisappointed because I kind of I kind of like sourced you guys out andI loved your story to how it's a bunch of journalists who created anindustrial marketing company. I think journalism is like the skill you knowthe number one in demand skill for me, at least with my own agency- is peoplecan pull a story out of something, and so I wanted to hire you guys and Iremember, being kind of disappointed that you were like you know. I I don'tthink we're the right fit for you, because you've got so many other pieceof this in place, and you know you were pretty much saying like we're, not justlike a botikue writing agency Wan. We want to do like a full holistic. Youknow kind of turn key marketing program for you, and I was really looking foryou guys as like the story tellaers to add an element to to a program that Ihad already kind of built. But after that you know, I thought about it more,and I just really appreciated the honesty and you know- and I insihe Ithink, maybe you were right- that it was better for me to kind of go throughthe lumps and bomb so trying to bbuild my own program than just at the time.You know hiring an agency to kind of guide me through it, so cool yeah nomake sense. I think you've done an amazing job. Both you know on the Ameside of the business, and then you know, of course, with making chips as well.So I'm excited about this conversation because I know you and I obviously W e.We think when we started our first conversations. It's because we shared alot of similar perspectives on things. Industrial Marketing Related. Butwhat's interesting is we're coming at it from two different angles. You cameup in manufacturing in the manufactured family. I came up in through marketingand design really was where I started and and then we've sort of found ourway from different angles to this middle ground, which is the industrialmarketing world or sales and marketing for manufacturing organizations, and soso I thought you know this would be a really interesting conversation and Iwanted to start out by talking specifically about content marketing. Iknow it's a passion of yours, it's a passion of mine, absolutely and so tick.What what I see and I'm guessing you agreebut wane to hear t yourperspectives, that, in general, the industrial sector is lagging behinddramatically on this front and one of the things that really stood out fromour first conversation o years back was that you know I felt like you were kindof all over, and that was rare for me to see where you get it, where ou W formost manufactures content is about. You know talking about how great we are anda all the things we do in our capabilities and why our competition isgarbage and our customer service is better than everybody and it's allabout you know me me me, and what I saw from you was that you know yourperspective on it was we need to build and cultivate an audience by helpingsolve problems, answer questions guide them through the buying process. So I'dlove to hear your you talk about this. What you know, what's your perspective,on what content marketing is and specifically the role you think itneeds to play inside of a manufacturing organization yeah. So I think one wayto help understand what content marketing is, at least at least to me,and you know we read a lot of the same people so that they describe it thisway as well. But when the content is your product, then you're likely doingcontent marketing so, instead of describing the value of another productlike we make the best wegit and like all the things you just said, were thecantents describing the value of something else when the Cadta is thevalue and when your content is the product and that product adds value toyour target audience, then you're probably doing content mark and I thinkthat's an important distinction,...

...because that's one of the reasons why Idid what I did with forming this strant venture with the making ships guys. Youknow both of my partners have businesses where they're you know inthe manufacturing, industry and owners and operators of manufacturingbusinesses, but the making ships podcast wasn't about car machine andtool or about Zanger's industrial supply company. It was about themanufacturing leader, the audience that they wanted to get to know, so theyactually took the time to understand that audience, what's keeping them upat night. What are the topics that they want to talk about? How can we allbuild this community and grow together? And, of course, you know when it wasnatural and conversation, they mentioned their businesses and whatthey did. But the product was the making chips podcast and admission toequip and inspire other manufacturing leaders. No one would have listened toit if they just talked about how great their machine shop was or how theysupply the best tools wit, the best customer service at a great price. Itwas about creating a community and to me that's when the content becomes theproduct and you're doing content marketing, and so I really like whatthey were doing and I was like okay. How do I just let these guys know thatI appreciate them and I sent him like kind of a storytelling video that wecreated just about like the broader meaning behind our company and ourmission, to bring more work back to the states and why it matters and why it'san issue of national security, so those guys liked it and they're. Like ohgreat storytelling, you should be a guest and you know one thing led toanother, but I think it's hard for our industry for most people to understand.Okay, I can't just talk about myself or my products. You kind of feel like youhave to like everything I create needs to be about me and what I do and that'sactually one of the most destructive things you can do for your marketingprogram is just be self center, totally Grod Thatma my two cents on it and wellsad- and it's almost just it's so natural for somebody to just jump tohere's who we are and what we do and why we're great and the reality isnobody's listening. They have their own your prospects and your custers. Theyhave their own problems, are trying to solve the things thay're dealing withwhether they're engineers or plant managers, or whoever they are they'redoing with their job and what's in front of them today, and the last thingthey need to do is here. You know somebody shouting some some marketingor sales message at them, especially when it's you know it's not somethingthey need and right now, so that that mindset shift is when I see it happenwith manufacturers, it's like this lightbulb goes off and then they canstart turning a corner and thinking the way theyre their customers andprospects thing yeah and I'm a fan of product marketing. I'm AI'm like Turk,I watch commercials. I enjoy commercials. I like watching people,explain the value of a product. I just don't really think that's the content,marketing that all the content marketers are talking about. Yeah,that's you know like great product, copywriting and great branding, and allthose things are important. Don't Gete me wrong. It's just when we thinkcontent margeting the the product is the content itself, not the descriptionof some other products. I think that's a really really interesting and greatway to look at it. So you know you've got making chips. You've got ame whenyou think about an organization like Ame, or you know, maybe someone whowould be a customer of the making chips agency, something that that I'mguessing you, maybe here hat that I certainly hear, is from a salespersonor an engineer, a technical professional. They say you knowcontents, not my job, that's the marketers job, the marketers. They needto go, make that stuff and and it's a red flag immediately when I hear thator maybe not a red flight, but something makes o say well hold hold ona second and here's. Why and this I want to hear your take on that yeah, soI think it comes down to like understanding what what content doeswhat's the function of content and like if you're a salesperson and hen you'rein a room and your job is to communicate with these people, likewhatever you say, is your content. So, if you're, giving a power pointpresentation to a bunch of prospects, like that's your content, if your jobis to stand up in front of a group of potential customers and describe whythey should work with your business, that's your content! So if you're in ajobwere a huge part of your job is communication, then content shouldmatter to you and it does matter to you. I think where people get tied up iswell, I'm not a graphic designer, I'm...

...not a great writer, I'm not more of atactician when it comes to their content, where I actually like bill andcreate the content. That's what we have you know great marketers and MarketingAgency and creatives th. They can really help with that. But, likecontent is everyone's priority, whether they want to admit it or not, theythink it's their priority. They just need to kind of maybe reframe how theythink to understand like Oh, so yeah. I have something to communicate.Therefore, I should care about content, and so I think one of the things that'sdetrimental to that kind of alignment. We're trying to create is when we'redividing, okay, marketers do this and sales people do that, and I think, likePeter druckers got this definition of marketing, which is to create anddeliver value to a target market at a prophit. It's like whose job is that isthat a salesperson shop or is that a marketer's job like the answers? Yes,it's everybody's job, so people do too much of this in all throughout oursociety, where they're trying to kind of create distinctions and createdivisions at polarize things, and I think the best companies don't reallythink about like well, I'm a salesperson, so I'm a cold call, anknock on doors and give presentations and I'm a marketer. So I'm going tolike sit on the computer all day, and I Y won't talk to customers that much butI'll do a lot of writing and a lot of graphic design. But those companiesaren't going to get anything, though I almost don't even like calling it asales department and a marketing department. Just you know, whate callit like the customer Success Department or something like there, because Ithink that the division hurts yeah no makes sense. I think something you saidsecond ago that sort of struck a chord. Is You know when you're an expert insomething whether you are a sales ar marketing person in your organizationor you're, an engineer or your Ou know? Whoever you are the things you say areyour content right and I think it's the marketers job, at least from myperspectives, the marketer's job, maybe the sales person's job to package anddeliver that content in a way that might be more scalable or can reach theright people and that's why I believe that the expertise in the brains ofyour company's subject matter, acturs, have to be the source of anything thatsay, gets published whether it's a written piece of content, whether it'sa video or an interview like this right, it's I think it's the marketers job tosort of extract that knowledge and figure out how to package it, how todeliver it, how to get it in front of the right people. But it's got to comefrom the expert right yeah, so that's a great way to say it. It can't be likeokay markets write a bunch of articles about. You know how I do engineeringwell you're, the one. Who knows that? So that's why I was talking aboutjournalism earlier I love journalists, it's their job, to kind of Distil, anextract knowledge from others and recreate it in a way that more peoplecan understand and that it can have broader appeal, and so I'm alwayslooking for a good journalist awesome. So the word on the street is thatyou've got a little hidden. Gem. That's been gold for you on the content frontand I wanted to hear you kind of enlighten our listeners a little bityeah. We don't think of this as content. That markting is it's not. You know oneof the. You know traditional forms of content marketing, but to me it's likethe most valuable form of content markting for my audience and that's wegive away cab model. So it's a digital representation of a physical product.It describes the product, it does a job for the audience. It saves them a Bonchof time. They can plug it directly in their application to see if it fits tosee if it's something they want to purchase the you know physicalmanifestation of. So why is that not content? It is, and so for us like. Wehave a lot of engineers who need to buy our products and they need to you know,apply them in their system and if I can get them to download my cad there's ahuge chance that they're going to buy the actual product from us. So we do alot with thred models and it's not just offering the CAD downloads for free.It's also, you know, try like here, you guys have great writers but trydescribing a mechanical thing with a blog post and it's not the easiest way.It's not the right format. In most cases, in some cases you can elaborateon it and tell a story about it or explain it and the written format mighthelp you, but for us, we've been taking...

...thred models and making them photorealistic and doing animations of how they work, and that has just been goldfor my eye. So I like to think about like thred models and whether it'sgiving away a cad or animating it or making a photo, realistic image as likethe number one content format for my audience, which is what we built ouragency for for the metal working leader, and so I just think okay, is it anarticle, the blog post? Probably not? Is it a youtube video? Maybe theANIMATIONL wind up on Youtube, but it's not all the conventional forms ofblogging or Cathem marketing that everyone thinks of. But it's what'sgoing to help my audience, so I always like to have the story dictate theformat instead of the other way around. You know, what's the story you'retrying to tell and what a smart way to operate yeah. Thank you yeah!Absolutely I mean you got. You got to think about how what you know andpeople who are out there talking and interfacing with custoers sales peopleaccount managers that you know engineered engineer conversations.These are the people who understand how your audience consumes information andwant wants to gather information, and so I think it's just such a smart wayto do it. You know yeah, why write some long, forim piece of content w whenwhat they want from everything you've experience is cad metels, let's put itout there and y ah give them what they're looking for and that's thething that's going to help them move forward in the buying process and earnyour trust in the process. Right, yeah and sometimes a long form piece ofcontent is great. It's just not always the answer. So what I found when I waslooking for a lot of different marketing agencies before I had my ownwas most of the proposals would be like. Okay, we're going to give you this manyblog posts a month or this many videos, and it's like well, you don't reallyknow what you're trying to communicate yet. So how do you know what format youshould communicated and for me it was like. Am I more likely to get someoneto give me an email address and exchange for a cat model or exchangefor a written article that describes the Cat Medal? They just want the DamnKam Model Yeah. So why do? Why? Don't we just give it to so? What would beyour? What would you say to someone who might be listening right now thatthat's saying Jee, you just put that stuff out there for free, I meancouldn't our competitors just sort of copy that and take that and make ittheir own. You know we need to keep that stuff behind closed doors forafter we start the conversation. What's your answer to that? Well, you don'talways have to give like the most detailed possible cad model to wherethey have all of your intellectual property. You know in this industry,you want to protect your intellectual property, that's important, but if theyreally want something they can buy it and reverse engineer t and there theyhave it or they can call someone else to get the model from you. And then youknow it's going to happen if they really want to get it. So why not justgive it to them and they're, probably not going to reverse engineer and buildit themselves. If you understand like how how things cost, what they cost,that would be unwise and waste of money and time. So for me, it's like I'm alittle bit more open innovation and open source wof. My thinking and Imight, as will be the one who gives it to him, because I, my competitor, givesit to him. They'll get the order anyway, yeah and I think it's a hard adjustmentfor a lot of companies to make. But the reality is in a situation like that,more often than not, the reward is going to outweigh the risk, because, ifyou're not doing it eventually, when your competitors is who's going to havetheir attention, the company, that was scared to put it out there, the companythat said now we're going to make this. This buying process is straightforwardand helpful as possible for our prospect, and you want you kind of wantto transfer ownership before the sale. So you want them to feel like it'stheir thing. That's why I'm such a fan of like product selection tools andproduct configurators and things where you know what would be the questionsthat your applications engineer would ask before you get to the productthat's being built? Is there a way to kind of answer those questionsdigitally and save both people a bunch of time and get closer to this silutionor even taking a stuff further and actually canfigure the product and havea price or a price range minus the final details that you would have tohave that wonder. One conversation with...

...somebody to get and if there is a wayto do that in some case, it's just too customized thet, it's impossible, butif there's a way to do that, what happens? Is that person who wentthrough that and kind of like built their own solution? They feel like theyalready own it a little bit. The ownership has been transferred. It's mything now and I want this thing I put in all the parameters. I said no on ofthe things. I don't need, yes to the things I do and o here. I am with theprice, and I'm going to buy that now. I'm Gong to have like the finalconversation with someone to Pash out the last few details and then buy it.So a lot of people are like hey. I just want them to call me right away. It'slike well time is money. It's going to take a bunch of time to go through allthat with them and if they can configure it themselves and get closeyou'll save a bunch of time and that that psychological transfer ofownership, I think, does a lot to make someone want to buy from you makestotal sense. So I published an article recently about twelve BTB marketing andsales books to consider reading the summer and K. You commented veryquickly on my linkedin post, when I sort of featured the first ones thatyou and ih've lot read a lot of the same books like you, you mentionedearlier, and first one on my list, which I is one of my all time.Favorites is new sales simplified by Mike Wineberg and think your commentwas yeah this one's mandatory reading for for my sales team- and I wascurious from your perspective- what was it about that particular book? The theY sort of Golden Nugget that that you took away from another made itmandatory reading? Well that it's about new sales? So it's I think in the titleit can be confusing like is it new sales simpified like a new book or inwhat he means is like new sales like sales, you don't already have h ecustomers, you don't have yet it's about going and finding that nextopportunity that next relationship tha next partnership and for me you knowthe guys I have in the field the guys who have their headup looking aroundfor that next opportunity. I want them to be focused on hunting that farming,so I want them to focus on getting us a new customer, not babysitting anaccount going on the same milk run and that's what that book is all about, andit doesn't just say what I just said. It gives you some like actual simplebut tactical ways to have success with hunting for new business and one ofthose ways is the what he calls the sale story, or you know you cau it likeyour elevator pitch or your. You know unique sales proposition or whateverpeople call it, and I liked the format of that sale story, which is number onetalk about the issues or the problems that you solve for your target market,then briefly discuss what you actually do like make that the shortest partwith it. Here's what we offer. Here's our products, here's our services, keepthat the short part and then end with what's different and unique about yourapproach. And so, if you follow that structure and sales conversation,you'll have a lot of success, an the what I found it being like a sales andmarketing dude is that structure works super good for marketing content aswell. So so it's like that, you know being able to tell a good story andmaking it about them and not yourself is consistent through sales andmarketing, which is one of the reasons why I don't like to create distinctionswhen I don't have to totally love it, and I what I mentioned in that article,I wrote was exactly what you just said that you know Thi. I think it's chaptereight of that book is this idea of the sales story an and I agree it's thebest way to ar that I've seen to articulate in very concisely the valueyou create and for who nd. It translates perfectly to writingpositioning for your company that there's so many so many generals outthere it's in my world as a marketer, it's an manufacturing world. You knowwhat really sets you apart and who is the audience you serve? You needeveryone's. The one stop shitter the O source solution. I still have one ofthe mouse pads that we made that's Jus like one source solution. thit's likewe're. Really not I mean there's so many things that we don't do so I I'mtrying to squash all of that, but it goes back to what we were saying with.You know what you communicate is your content, and so, if you know how tocommunicate in a way, that's audience centric or biorcentric, and the salesstory is one of those ways. Then you're going to have more successfulthyr yoursalesperson or a marketer trying to help a sales person so love it totally.What else is on your summer reading list? Well, you know you mentionednewsale simplified, and that was the... we started with, but he wrote afollowup boot called sales management simplified, and I thought that one wassuper good to it's, not on my list for this summer, but I reread certainsections of it when it comes time to, I think about how I'm Goinna do my salesmeeting his structure for sales meetings was number one. You start youdon't have a long meeting and you just review the results, the actual salesthat the person got and the reason you start with results, because at the endof the day, that's that's what sales is about. Get you know getting actualsales, not doing all your activities or how many doors did you knock on, or youknow how many post did you put on linked in or whatever it ultimatelycomes down to the results? Did you bring revenue into the business? So youstart with that, but any good manager knows you can't really manage results.This covid thing is a perfect example: it's hard to push all of your salespeople and to push your company to have the best sales, your ever when you knowthe economy shut down for months. So what's next after results, that's whenyour review the pipeline, the opportunities that could turn into asale- and you talk one on one with your sales person. Okay, what's in yourPipelane, how did it get there and how can I help you close it and thenultimately, pipblane creties results, and so what creates pipeline and whatcreates pieline is like your day today, sales activities. So that's where t crmsystems or, however, you log activity, becomes immensely valuable because Ineed to see how they're creating pepline, where are they finding theirnew connections? What's on their calendar for next week wht? What didthey do last week? And so if the results are killing it chances are,they have a very full pipeline and that's because their activities aresolid. So those meetings are a lot shorter than the meetings. I have withpeople where, okay, you don't have results. Why not okay, witl your Piplisof that full and okay. So what are you doing? How do you spend your time? Andyou know how can we work together to figure out okay, how you can have moresuccess with how you spend your time and so for me, that structure totallychanged everything and my sales guys know I'm going to communicate with thatstructure and they know what to expect, and they know what's important andwhat's important is the results? That's why we start with the results, but youknow at the end of the day, you can't really manage results. You can justcreate pipeline tough, your activities, so I thought that was really valuablefor a sales manager. Yeah totally make sense, wit yeah check out those books,new sales, simplified and sales management simplified by Mike Wineberg.I think any any manufacturing sales leader would greatly benefit fromeither of those okay well. Well, Nick, this is been a really awesomeconversation. It was great to catch up and do it publicly with the recordingon, and I think you've brought a lot of really great insights to the audience.So can you can you tell our listeners? What's the best place to find you orget in touch with you? If they follow up questions and please y? U Now giveyou making chips podcast a plug to becas! Think everybody here should belistening to that as well. I yess! So as far as making ships you can find usat making chipcom Mak ING Chipchipscom. It's also available on any of thepodcatchers, so Itune Stitcher flatify, you know whatever you use to listen topodcast and then is at ame and Haneg H, t we're at where I'm the marketingdirector and the sales director best way to communicate with me w would bethrough linkon. You could just search Nick Golner go ellner and Yo you'llfind me on linkeon. That's that's the social media platform and most activeon awesome. Well, Nick. Thank you for taking the time to join us on ourofficial first episode of the Manufacturing Executive and for therest of you. We will see an accent. You've been listening to themanufacturing executive podcast to ensure that you never missed an episodesubscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learnmore about industrial marketing and sale strategy, you'll find an everexpanding collection of articles, videos guides and tools specificallyfor btob manufacturers at Grilla. Seventy Sixcom Flashan warn thank youso much for listening until next time.

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