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 dmodels and whether it's giving away a cad or animating it or making a photorealistic image as like the number one content format for my audience, which iswhat we built our agency for for the metalworking leader. Welcome to the manufacturingexecutive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving mid sizemanufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compellingstories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob salesand marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the official episode number one ofthe manufacturing executive podcast. I'm Joe Sullivan, your host and the CO founder ofthe Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla seventy six. We've got a first guest here todaythat I'm really excited about and think it's going to help us kick thisthing off with a bang. So let me introduce Nick Golner. Nick isleading a new generation of manufacturers, combining the traditional values of his family's globalmetal working business with innovative, modern marketing strategies. After starting on the shopfloor at Hennagank Fabricating Machine Protection Components for CNC machine tools, it became adesignated certified machine tool sales engineer, cmtsee, and received his BS in Entrepreneurial Marketingfrom the Florida Institute of Technology. Nick now serves as the sales andmarketing director for advanced machine and Engineering and in two thousand and eighteen, nickbecame a partner and cohost of the popular manufacturing leadership podcast making chips. Shortlyafter joining, nick helped expand the podcast platform into making chips two, afull scale marketing agency specifically targeting the metalworking industry. He's able to combine hispassion for Content Marketing and metal working by collaborating with the team of dynamic industrialmarketers serving the making chips clients with results driven marketing programs. So, nick, welcome to the show. Thanks, Joe. 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 some experience with this whole podcastingthing, so seems like a natural fit. So yeah, I've got a fewepisodes under my belt. Yes, you do, and we'll mention itagain at the end, but for those of you listening making chips podcast,this is one you should all be listening to. These guys have been doingit for years and nick joined them and added a whole additional dynamic to it. So go check that out. So Nick did by introduction. Do youjustice or anything you'd like to add to that? Know, it was good. I appreciate it. It's hard to say what I do, and Iconcise way, because I wear so many hats, like a lot of othermanufacturing leaders. But really I'm just a third generation manufacturing kid from a companyof that designs and builds machine tools. It was mounted by my grandfather and, you know, coming up with clever ways to optimize processes and design themachinery that does that. That's kind of like my family's DNA. So yeah, just happened. A love of marketing, specifically content marketing like this. Soawesome. Well, you and I have known each other for man mustbe about five or six years or so, and and we met when they leastyeah, maybe it was even maybe it might even longer. I think. Yeah, because I think I launched my new website that I actually calledyou for about five years ago and we were talking a couple years before that. Just to yeah, I was trying to yeah, yes, you were, you were and you were. I remember you guys. You came through. You and some of your crew came to St Louis, where were located, and you think go to maybe had a customer down here you're visiting,or was one of my sales guys. I'm, you know, like youmentioned, on the sales direct up to so like I was bringing one ofmy younger sales guys who was one of the you know, hey, wegot to start doing some better marketing, and I was like, okay,we're going to go find this agency. I yea ended up finding you guys. Do like one of your guides that you create. Okay, those reallywell, all right, awesome, very...

...good, but I can remember wegrabbed lunch down the street here in the central West End of St Louis atthe Gamblin whiskey house. I can remember sitting there with you guys and hearingyour story and I remember sitting here thinking I don't know how I can justifytrying to sell nick and his crew marketing services, because I'm pretty sure theyknow what they're doing and they've got it figured out. And while there areprobably some skill sets you could have used from the outside, I can rememberflat out email and you the next day saying, you know what, Ithink you've got this and I think you know you'd be curiously your perspective,but you're a few years down the road here. I feel like I mighthave been right about that one. So well, yeah, so I rememberbeing pretty disappointed because I had kind of kind of like sourced you guys outand I loved your story to how it's a bunch of journalists who created anindustrial marketing company. I think journalism is like the skill, you know,the number one in demand skill for me, at least with my own agency,is people who can pull a story out of something, and so Iwanted to hire you guys and I remember being kind of disappointed that you werelike, you know, I don't. I don't think we're the right fitfor you because you've got so many of the pieces in place and you know, you're pretty much saying like we're not just like a Bo taque writing agencywho want we want to do like a full holistic you know, kind ofTurnkey Marketing Program for you and I was really looking for you guys, aslike the storyteller's to add an element to a program that I had already kindof built. But after that, you know, I thought about it moreand I just really appreciated the honesty and, you know, in hindsight I thinkmaybe you were right that it was better for me to kind of gothrough the lumps and bumps of trying to build my own program then just atthe time, you know, hiring an agency to kind of guide me throughit. So cool. Yeah, now makes sense. I think you've donean amazing job both, you know, on the Ame side of the businessand then, you know, of course, with making chips as well. SoI'm excited about this conversation because I know you and I obviously we thinkwhen we started our first conversations it's because we shared a lot of similar perspectiveson things. Industrial Marketing really did. But what's interesting is we're coming atit from two different angles. You came up and manufacturing in a manufacturing family. I came up in through marketing and design. Really was where I started, and and then we've sort of found our way from different angles to thismiddle ground, which is the industrial marketing world, or sales and marketing formanufacturing organizations, and so so I thought, you know, this would be areally interesting conversation and I wanted to start out by talking specifically about contentmarketing. I know it's a passion of yours. It's a passion of mineabsolutely, and so I think what what I see, and I'm guessing youagree, but one to hear your perspectives that in general, the industrial sectoris lagging behind dramatically on this front. And one of the things that reallystood out from our first conversations to year's back was that, you know,I felt like you were kind of all over and that was rare for meto see. Where you get it where? For most manufacturers, content is about, you know, talking about how great we are and all the thingswe do in our capabilities and why our competition is garbage and our customer serviceis better than everybody and it's all about you know, me, me,me, and what I saw from you was that you your perspective on itwas we need to build and cultivate an audience by helping solve problems, answerquestions, guide them through the buying process. So I'd love to hear your youtalk about this. What you know? What's your perspective on what content marketingis and, specifically the role you think it needs to play side ofa manufacturing organization? Yeah, so I think one way to help understand whatcontent marketing is, at least at least to me, and you know weread a lot of the same people so that they describe it this way aswell. But when the content is your product, then you're likely doing contentmarketing. So instead of describing the value of another product, like we makethe best widget and like all the things you just said were the contents describingthe value of something else, when the content is the value and when yourcontent is the product and that product adds value to your target audience, thenyou're probably doing content mark and I think that's an important distinction, because that'sone of the reasons why I did what...

I did with forming this joint venturewith the making chips guys. You know, both of my partners have businesses wherethey're, you know, in the manufacturing industry and owners and operators ofmanufacturing businesses. But the making ships podcast wasn't about car, machine and toolor about Zenger's industrial supply company. It was about the manufacturing leader, theaudience that they wanted to get to know. So they actually took the time tounderstand that audience. What's keeping them up at night? What are thetopics that they want to talk about? How can we all build this communityand grow together? And of course, you know, when it was naturaland conversation, they mentioned their businesses and what they did, but the productwas the making chips podcast and admission to equip and inspire other manufacturing leaders.No one would have listened to it if they just talked about how great theirmachine shop was or how they supply the best tools at the best customer serviceat a great price. It was about creating a community and to me that'swhen the content becomes the product and you're doing content marketing, and so Ireally like what they were doing and I was like, okay, how doI just let these guys know that I appreciate them? And I sent thema slut kind of a storytelling video that we created just about like the broadermeaning behind our company and our mission to bring more work back to the statesand why it matters and why it's an issue of national security. So thoseguys liked it and they're like all great storytelling. You should be a guestand you know, one thing led to another. But I think it's hardfor our industry, for most people, to understand. Okay, I can'tjust talk about myself or my products. You kind of feel like you haveto, like everything I create needs to be about me and what I do, and that's actually one of the most destructive things you can do for yourmarketing program is just be self centered. Totally go. They might two censeon it and well said, and it's almost just it's so natural for somebodyto just jump to here's who we are and what we do and why we'regreat, and the reality is nobody's listening. They have their own your prospects ofyour customers, they have their own problems. Are trying to solve,the things are dealing with, whether their engineers or plant managers or whoever theyare, they're doing with their job and what's in front of them today andthe last thing they need to do is here, you know, somebody shoutingsome some marketing, your sales message at them, especially when it's you know, it's not something they need and right now, so that that mindset shiftis when I see it happen with manufacturers. It's like this light bulb goes offand then they can start turning a corner and thinking the way they're theircustomers and prospects think. Yeah, and I'm a fan of product marketing.I'm a I'm like Turck. I watch commercials, I enjoy commercials. Ilike watching people explain the value of a product. I just don't really thinkthat's the content marketing that all the content marketers are talking about. Yes,that's, you know, like great product copywriting and great branding, and allthose things are important, don't get me wrong. It's just when we thinkcontent marketing, the product is the content itself, not the description of someother product. So now 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 a me. When you think about an organization like a meor you know, maybe someone who would be a customer of the making chipsagency, something that that I'm guessing you maybe here, that I certainly hearis from a salesperson or an engineer, a technical professional. They say,you know, contents, not my job. That's the marketers job. The marketersthey need to go make that stuff. And and it's a red flag immediatelywhen I hear that, or maybe not a red flag, with somethingthat makes you say, will hold hold on a 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 does, what's thefunction of content, and like as if you're a salesperson and in your innerroom and your your job is to communicate with these people, like whatever yousay is your content. So if you're giving a powerpoint presentation to a bunchof prospects, like, that's your content. If your job is to stand upin front of a group of potential customers and DESCRI I why they shouldwork with your business, that's your content. So if you're in a job,we're a huge part of your job, this communication, then content should matterto you and it does matter to you. I think where people gettied up is, well, I'm not...

...a graphic designer, are I'm nota great writer, I'm not more of a tactician when it comes to thecontent, where I actually build and create the content. That's what we haveyou know great marketers and Marketing Agency in creatives that they can really help withthat. But, like, content is everyone's priority, whether they want toadmit it or not. They think it's their priority. They just need tokind of maybe reframe how they think to understand like Oh, so you know, I have something to communicates, therefore I should care about content. Andso I think one of the things that's detrimental to that kind of alignment we'retrying to create is when we're dividing. Okay, marketers do this and salespeople do that, and I think like Peter Drucker's got this definition of marketing, which is to create and deliver value to a target market at a profit. As I whose job is that, as at, a salesperson's job,or's that a marketer's job? Like the answers, yes, it's everybody's job. So people do too much of this in all throughout our society where theytrying to kind of create distinctions and create divisions that polarize things. And Ithink the best companies don't really think about like well, I'm a salesperson,so I'm going to cold call and knock on doors and give presentations and I'ma marketer, so I'm going to like sit on the computer all day andI probably won't talk to customers that much, but I'll do a lot of writingand a lot of graphic design. Like those companies aren't going to getanything, though. I almost don't even like calling it a sales department ina marketing department. Just, you know whatever, call it like the customerSuccess Department or something like there, because I think that the division hurts.Yeah, no, makes sense. I think something you said the second agothat so to struck a chord is, you know, when you're an expertin something, whether you are a sales or marketing person in your organization,or you're an engineer or your whoever you are, the things you say areyour content, right, and I think it's the marketers job, at leastfrom my perspectives, the marketer's job, maybe the salesperson's job, to packageand deliver that content in a way that might be more scalable or can reachthe right people. And that's why I believe that the expertise in the brainsof your company, subject matter actors have to be the source of anything thatsay gets published, whether it's a written piece of content, whether it's avideo or in the interview like this. Right, it's and I think it'sthe marketers job to sort of extract that knowledge and figure out how to packageit, how to deliver it, how to get it in front of theright people, but it's got to come from the expert right. Yeah,it's that's a great way to say it. It can't be like, okay,marketers write a bunch of articles about you know how I do engineering.Well, 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 distillan extract knowledge from others and recreate it in a way that more people canunderstand and that it can have broader appeal, and so I'm always looking for agood journalist. Awesome. So the word on the street is that you'vegot a little hidden gem that's been gold for you on the content front andand I wanted to hear you kind of enlighten our listeners a little bit.Yeah, we don't think of this as content marketing. Is it's not,you know, one of the you know, traditional forms of content marketing, butto me it's like the most valuable form of content marketing for my audienceand that's we give away cad model. So it's a digital representation of aphysical product. It describes the product, it does a job for the audience. It saves them a bunch of time. They can plug it directly in theirapplication to see if it fits, to see if it's something they wantto purchase. The you know, physical manifestation of so why is that notcontent? It is. And so for us, like we have a lotof 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 mycad there's a huge chance that they're going to buy the actual product from us. So we do a lot with D models. And it's not just offeringthe CAD downloads for free. It's also, you know, try to like youryou guys have great writers, but try describing mechanical thing with a blogpost and it's not the easiest way. It's not the right format in mostcases. In some cases you can elaborate on it and tell a story aboutit or explain it and the written format might help you. But for uswe've been taking d models and making them...

...photorealistic and doing animations of how theywork, and that has just been gold for my eyes. So I liketo think about like d models and whether it's giving away a cad or animatingit or making a photo realistic image as like the number one content format formy audience, which is what we built our agency for for the metalworking laterand so I just think, okay, is it an article, the blogpost? Probably not. Is it a youtube video? Maybe the animation willend up on Youtube, but it's not all the conventional forms of blogging orcatent marketing that everyone thinks of, but it's what's going to help my audience. So I always like to have the story dictate the format instead of theother way around. You know what's the story you're trying to tell and whata smart way to operate. Yeah, thank you. Yeah, absolutely,you got you got to think about how you know in people who are outthere talking and interfacing with customers and sales people, account managers that you knowengineer to engineer conversations. These are the people who understand how your audience consumesinformation and wants wants to gather information, and so I think it's just sucha smart way to do it. You know. Yeah, why write somelongform piece of content when what they want, from everything you've experiences, is catmodels? Let's put it out there and, yeah, give them whatthey're looking for, and that's the thing that's going to help them move forwardin the buying process and earned your trust in the process. Right. Yeah, and sometimes a longform piece of content is great. It's just not alwaysthe answer. So what I found when I was looking for a lot ofdifferent marketing agencies before I had my own, was most of the proposals would belike, okay, we're going to give you this many blog posts amonth or this many videos or and it's like, well, you don't reallyknow what you're trying to communicate yet, so how do you know what formatyou should communicate it? And for me it was like am I'm more likelyto get someone to give me an email address and exchange for a cab modelor exchange for a written article that describes the CAD model? They just wantthe damn cad model. Yeah, so I don't why don't we just giveit to him? So what would be your what would you say to someonewho may be listening right now that that's saying, oh Geez, you justput that stuff out there for free. I mean could in our competitors justsort of copy that and take that and make it their own? You know, we need to keep that stuff behind closed doors for after we start theconversation. What's your answer to that? Well, you don't always have togive like the most detailed possible cad model to where they have all of yourintellectual property. You know, in this industry you want to protect your intellectualproperty. That's important, but if they really want something, they can buyit and reverse engineer and there they have it, or they can call someoneelse to get the model from you, and then you know it's going tohappen if they really want to get it. So why not just give it tothem? And they're probably not going to reverse engineer and build it themselvesif you understand like how how things cost what they cost. That would beunwise and waste the money and time. So for me it's like I'm alittle bit more open innovation and open source with my thinking and I might aswell be the one who gives it to him, because if my competitor givesit to him, they'll get the order anyway. Yeah, and I thinkit's a hard adjustment for a lot of companies to make, but the realityis in a situation like that, more often than not the reward is goingto outweigh the risk because if you're not doing it, eventually, when yourcompetitors is who's going to have their attention? The company that was scared to putit out there, the company that said now we're going to make thisthis buying process is straightforward and helpful as possible for our prospect and you want, you kind of want to transfer ownership before the sale, so you wantthem to feel like it's their thing. That's why I'm such a fan oflike product selection tools and product configurators and things where you know what would whatwould be the questions that your applications engineer would ask before you get to theproduct that'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 the solution? Or even take it a step further and actually configure the product and havea price or a price range, the final details that you would have tohave that one to one conversation with somebody to get and if there is away to do that. In some cases...'s just to customize that. It'simpossible. But if there's a way to do that, what happens is thatperson who went through that and kind of like build their own solution. Theyfeel like they already own it a little bit. The ownership has been transferred. It's my thing now and I want this thing. I put in allthe parameters, I said no to the things I don't need, yes tothe things I do, and now here I am with the price and I'mgoing to buy that now or I'm going to have like the final conversation withsomeone to hash out the last few details on then by it. So alot of people are like hey, I just want them to call me rightaway. Like well, time is money. It's going to take a bunch oftime to go through all that with them and if they can configure itthem elves and get close, you'll save a bunch of time and that thatpsychological transfer of ownership, I think does a lot to make someone want tobuy from you. Makes Total Sense. So I published an article recently abouttwelve BDB marketing and sales books to consider reading the summer and think you commentedvery quickly on on my linkedin post when I sort of featured the first onesthat you and I've a lot read a lot of the same books, likeyou mentioned earlier, and first one on my list, which is is oneof my all time favorites, is new sales simplified by Mike Winberg, andthink your comment was, yeah, this one's mandatory reading for for my salesteam, and I was curious from your perspective, what was it about thatparticular book, the the sort of Golden Nugget that you took away from thatthat made it mandatory reading? Well then it's about new sales. So it'sI think in the title it can be confusing, like is it new salessimplfied, like a new book, or in what he means is like newsales, like sales you don't already have, customers, you don't have yet.It's about going and finding that next opportunity, that next relationship, thenext partnership. And for me, you know, the guys I have inthe field, the guys who have their head up looking around for that nextopportunity. I want them to be focused on hunting that farming. So Iwant them to focus on getting us a new customer, not babysitting in accountgoing on the same milk run. And that's what that book is all about. And it doesn't just say what I just said. It gives you somelike actual simple but tactical ways to have success with hunting for new business.And one of those ways is the what he calls the sales worry or,you know you call it like your elevator pitch or your, you know,unique sales proposition or whatever people call it. And I liked the format of thatsale story, which is number one, talk about the issues or the problemsthat you solve for your target market, then briefly discuss what you actually do. Like make that the shortest part of it. Here's what we offer, here's our products, here's our services. Keep that the short part and thenend with what's different and unique about your approach. And so if youfollow that structure and sales conversation, you'll have a lot of success. Andthat what I found it, being like a sales and marketing dude, isthat structure works super good for marketing content as well. So so it's likethat, you know, being able to tell a good story and making itabout them and not yourself is consistent through sales and marketing, which is oneof the reasons why I don't like to create distinctions when I don't have to. Totally love it, and I what I mentioned in that article I wrotewas exactly what you just said that you know. I think it's chapter eightof that book, is this idea of the sales story, and I agreeit's the best way to art that I've seen to articulate in very concisely thevalue you create and for who. It translates perfectly to writing positioning for yourcompany that there's so many, so many generals out there. It's in myworld as a marketer, it's in manufacturing world. You know what really setsyou apart and who is the audience you serve? You need everyone's the OneStop Sha, the one source solution. I still have one of the mousepads that we made that says like one source solution. That's like we're reallynot. I mean there's so many things that we don't do. So II'm trying to squash all of that, but it goes back to what wewere saying with you know what you communicate is your content, and so ifyou know how to communicate in a way that's audience centric or buy or Centric, and the sales story is one of those ways, then you're going tohave more success, whether your salesperson or a marketer trying to help a salesperson. So love it totally. What else is on your summer reading list?Well, you know, you mentioned new...

...sales simplified, and that was thebook we started with, but he wrote a follow up but called sales managementsimplified, and I thought that one was super good too. It's not onmy list for this summer, but I re read certain sections of it whenit comes time to like think about how I'm going to do my sales meeting. His structure for sales meetings was number one. You start, you don'thave a long meeting and you just review the results, the actual sales thatthe person got. And the reason you start with results because at the endof the day, that's that's what sales is about getting, you know,getting actual sales, not doing all your activities or how many doors did youknock on or, you know, how many posts did you put on Linkedinor whatever? It ultimately comes down to the results. Did you bring revenueinto the business. So you start with that. But any good manager knowsyou can't really manage results. This covid thing is a perfect example. It'shard to push all of your sales people and to push your company to havethe best sales here, ever, when you know the economy shutdown for months. So what's next after results? That's when you review the pipeline, theopportunities that could turn into a sale, and you talk one on one withyour sales person. Okay, what's in your pipeline? How to to getthere and how can I help you close it? And then, ultimately,pipeline creates results. And so what creates pipeline? And what creates pipeline islike your daytoday, sales activities. So that's where let's crm systems, orhowever you log activity, becomes immensely valuable, because I need to see how they'recreating pipeline. Where are they finding their new connections? What's on theircalendar for next week? What what did they do last week? And soif the results are killing it, chances are they have a very full pipelineand that's because their activities are solid. So those meetings are a lot shorterthan the meetings I have with people where, okay, you don't have results.Why not? Okay, we your pipelines out that full and okay,so what are you doing? How do you spend your time? And youknow, how can we work together to figure out, okay, how youcan have more success with how you spend your time? And so for methat structure totally changed everything in my sales guys know I'm going to communicate withthat structure and they know what to expect and they know what's important. What'simportant as the results. That's why we start with the results. But youknow, at the end of the day you can't really manage results, youcan just create pipeline through your activities. So I thought that was really valuablefor a sales manager. Yeah, totally makes sense that. Yeah, checkout those books new sales simplified and sales management simplified by Mike winberger. Ithink any, any manufacturing sales leader would greatly benefit from either of those.Okay, we'll mick. This is been a really awesome conversation. It wasgreat to catch up and do it publicly with the recording on, and Ithink you've brought a lot of the great insights to to the audience. Socan you? Can you tell our listeners what's the best place to find youor get in touch with you the follow up questions? And please give yourmaking chips podcast a plug Tocsin. Everybody here should be listening to that aswell. Yeah, so, as far as making chips, you can findus at making chipscom and akimng chips hipscom. It's also available on any of thepodcatchers, so itunes, stitcher, platify, you know, whatever youuse to listen to podcasts. And then, as at a me and hen egg, where I'm the marketing director and the sales director, best way tocommunicate with me would be through Linkedin. You can just search Nick Golner Goelnerand you'll find me on linkedin. That's that's the social media platform I'm mostactive on. Awesome. Well, Nick, thank you for taking the time tojoin us on our official first episode of the Manufacturing Executive and for therest of you, we will see you next time. You've been listening tothe manufacturing executive podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribeto the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learn more aboutindustrial marketing and sales strategy. You'll find an ever expanding collection of articles, videos, guides and tools specifically for BB manufacturers at Gorilla Seventy sixcom learnthank you so much for listening, until next time.

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