TribalVision Partner & Co-Founder, Damien Cabral recently spoke with Advanced Manufacturing Now’s Alan Rook to discuss how outsourced marketing services for manufacturers benefit TribalVision clients in New England and across the USA.
To listen to the interview transcribed below, you can visit https://soundcloud.com/tribalvision/eastec-manufacturing-trade-show-outsourced-marketing-for-manufacturers-podcast.
Narrator: Welcome to Advanced Manufacturing Now, the podcast for manufacturing professionals. From the design screen to the shop floor to final assembly, we drive the conversation for making manufacturing smarter. Powered by SME. Connecting people who are passionate about manufacturing. Visit us AdvancedManufacturing.org.
AR: Hello and welcome to Advanced Manufacturing Now, the podcast for manufacturing professionals. I’m your host Alan Rooks, editor and chief of Manufacturing Engineering Magazine, and were joined today on sight at EASTEC by Damien Cabral, partner at TribalVision, Damien welcome to the show!
DC: Yeah, thanks for having me! Looking forward to this!
AR: Alright, so tell us a little bit about TribalVision, and its role in the North American market, what do you guys do?
DC: Sure, the easiest way to think about us is were an outsourced marketing department for hire, so what that means is we help small to medium size businesses that either don’t have a marketing department at all and want us to play that full role, or have a marketing department that’s lightly staffed and they want us to augment their internal staff from a resourcer or skill set prospective. We work exclusively with small to medium size businesses and the vast majority of our client base is actually manufacturers here in the Northeast area, although we do have some manufacturers across the rest of the country as well.
AR: Okay great. So in general what kind of marketing challenges do you see facing manufacturing companies in today’s marketplace?
DC: Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of manufacturers that never had to worry about marketing. They thought marketing was a logo and a brochure and through distributor relationships or just the strength of their product have sold the way they’ve been selling forever. And now in this environment, they understand they can’t do that anymore. They cant solely rely on sales guys and cold calls and a few trade shows a year to fill the pipe if they want to grow the way they want to grow, and with the nature of marketing and just how diverse the landscape is today, it’s almost impossible for one person to be able to handle all of your marketing. So even if you have a small one or two person team internally from a marketing perspective, with Amazon coming on the marketplace and Google and Facebook and GDPR regulations with email marketing and all that, it’s impossible to know everything you need to know as one individual marketer. So, that’s really where we come into play because clients who work with us are essentially leasing an entire team at a blended rate with varying degrees of speciality and tenure in the marketing space. So, we’re a good staff augmentation from a marketing perspective for a lot of our clients.
AR: So, in general, why would a company want to use outsourced marketing instead of their own staffers?
DC: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, often times because one the existing staffers are completely full from just the needs from the day to day business and they don’t have the time or even the skill set to write a comprehensive marketing plan. So, often times clients who bring us in, they have no marketing plan written down at all. They’re just going to the shows that they go to every year and trying this email marketing thing or this LinkedIn thing and just dabbling in it, but there’s no real codified plan to say, “hey from a organizational perspective we did X dollars last year and we want to do Y dollars this year. These are things we’re actually going to change, this is how were going to approach the market, this is how the messaging is going to lay out, these are the tactics we’re going to roll out that are new, and this is how we’re going to report on all those initiatives to see if we’re moving the needle or not with numbers besides just revenue.” So, were classically trained in writing marketing plans and the marketing plans we write given that we work with so many manufacturers, they’re not around brand awareness right? They’re around lead generation, how were going to get marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads to hand over to the sales guys so they can actually close them. So, typically in-house staff doesn’t have the capabilities or the time to write those marketing plans, and then after the marketing plans are written, if there is internal staff in place, they already had a full time job with maybe one or two hours free a week. Now we just dumped a whole bunch of new initiatives on them, typically they’re going to need additional staff to do that and it’s just easier for them to lease team members from us to actually implement on those new initiatives, even if eventually once the new programs are built and reporting is running and everything you is on auto pilot at that point, then sometimes we just transition it back to the internal staff after a few months.
AR: Okay interesting, so do you handle PR as well as marketing? Or is it just strictly marketing?
DC: Sure, we do some PR but it’s not our specialty. I mean a lot of our work is around one, writing the marketing plan, but two, then standing up all that. So what do you need from an asset perspective? Do you need a new website? Do you need to re-message you? Do you need an overhaul of your few print materials? After we get pass the assets then were looking at your technology stacks and saying “hey, do you have a CRM in place?” Most manufacturers don’t, they’re running off spreadsheets. Do you have a marketing automation platform in place to send emails that are more sophisticated than just batch and blast where we can do time based emails based on someone comes into the system? Most manufacturers don’t have that, and then from there, what reporting systems do you have set up to make sure you’re measuring what you’re actually running, and we really try hard to have all that in place to make sure one, we’re testing and learning once things are running but two, you know what’s going on with your marketing initiatives and we’re really keeping an eye on how you’re spending your money and your time.
AR: Gotcha, so how does social media figure in this package?
DC: Yeah, I mean a lot of manufacturers don’t think it does at all because they say, “hey my clients aren’t looking for me on Facebook”, but that’s just not true.
DC: I mean a lot of work we do is based around account based marketing, which is different then just spray and pray, right? We’re working with the sales team to identify the top 100 or 200 targets for the year, we’re building email work flows to go after those targets with very specific messages, but at the same time we’re taking those emails, using custom audiences on Facebook and LinkedIn, and matching them on a one to one basis. So you’re not just saying “hey, I want all the engineers at this medical device manufacturer” and hoping you’re hitting the right people. We’re actually saying, “I want Tom Sloan at this company”, and matching them while they’re on Facebook with ads at the same time you’re emailing them.
DC: So, there are ways to use Facebook and other social media profiles for B2B audiences because essentially as long as you know it’s that person you want to get in front of, you don’t care if they’re on their Facebook profile or if they’re on CNN.com, you just want that eyeball.
AR: Absolutely, that’s very true and that’s well said. So what are a couple examples of the work you’ve done and what have been the results?
DC: Yeah, a lot of what we’re doing now like I alluded to earlier is account based marketing because it is a much more targeted way at going after those design engineers that are trying to spec you into the next job or anything like that. So, typically it takes two to three months to stand up a campaign and then two to three months to really dial it in and make sure it’s working and run all your tests, but we have some clients we’ve been running for three months, we got them fifteen good leads, two or three of those turns into actual deals, and was multiple millions of dollars in recurring order.
DC: So for not much money right, to lease a team from us for a short period of time and minor technology investments, a lot of our manufacturers are used to parting with $250,000 dollars for a machine.
DC: You know, big capital expenditures, these IT investments and small ad dollars can make a really big impact to make sure you’re keeping that shop floor pretty busy.
AR: Yeah, absolutely. Now typically do you work with a customer for a period of time and then move on? Or are there people that stay with you and have you keep doing on going work?
DC: Honestly depends on their needs and their size and budget. We have some really very large manufacturers who we’ve been working with for over five years now and recurring manner and we have a seat at the table at a board meeting. We do presentations, all that, and then we have some smaller manufacturers that are doing fiveish million dollars a year, they’re a job shop, pushing out product, and from the getco we’re designing our marketing plan and our strategy & our campaign to eventually transition it back internally ,either a higher or lower end marketing coordinator to replace us or transition it to their existing internal staff. So that would mean we’re going to write the marketing plan, we’re going to build all the new assets, we’re going to turn on the campaigns, we’re going to get the reporting in place, and then we’re going to train our replacements.
AR: Now you mention that you’ve been in business for about nine years and what changes in your business and in the manufacturing business in terms of marketing have you seen over that period?
DC: Yeah it’s a wild ride, especially on the email marketing side. So with GDPR coming into place, with a lot of European markets, a lot of our manufacturers operate internationally, that’s very tricky to be able to be reaching out to people in cold manner and still be compliant. But to be honest, I think it’s bringing back the old days, having some cold calling as part of your mix is a little more important. sending something in the mail as silly as that sounds. I always say Capital One is still sending mail for a reason, it’s not because they don’t know what there doing, they know it works, you just got to have the right message at the right time to the right list. So, that’s a lot of what we do too, is we try to combine traditional marketing with online marketing and not say all this traditional stuff is dead. There’s still a place for a trade show, there’s still a place for a really nice package to come in the mail, and there’s certainly a place to lead with a lot of these digital initiatives upfront to try to keep your cost low, but get in front of the right eyeballs.
AR: Absolutely, now for our readers who have not heard of GDPR, tell us a little bit about that and what are the implications.
DC: Yeah, Europe as most of your people probably know, they’re way ahead of us as far as privacy laws in Europe, so they had a pretty sweeping law come out in the past year that really limits how cookies contract people from a digital advertising prospective. What you can and cannot do from an email prospective in the European markets, and it pretty much shuts down all of cold email. So that’s where good list management really comes into place, and there’s a lot of other laws about how you store your data and cybersecurity laws. So what it really means for your guys is, if you’re only operating in the United States for the most part you don’t have to worry about it, but you should still have a basic understanding of it. If you’re operating on the international stage you absolutely need to be involving your marketing team with your attorneys and making sure you’re following best practices cause the fines are astronomically high if you’re not. And the basic tip for your readers right now, when you have an email list sign up, making sure you have people indicate country of origin.
DC: Because you have to treat people in the United States, you have a lot more free-wheeling. do whatever you want with the United States people, versus anyone in Europe, you really have to be careful about emailing that person with explicit consent to email them.
AR: Sure, yeah these days you go to shows and there’s lots of people from Europe here and they say send me some information here and all of a sudden you got a problem on your hand.
DC: Yes. Yeah you don’t want to bump up against the European government.
AR: Well thanks for visiting with us today Damien and thanks for your insights into outsourced marketing, it’s a really fascinating topic.
DC: Sure, I really appreciate being here and if anyone wants to learn more about TribalVision
or what we do, we’ve got some case studies and client testimonials on TribalVision.com.
AR: Okay great. And if any of our listeners want to find more podcasts, they can visit us here at AdvancedManufacturingNow.com, and thanks for listening!
Narrator: Thank you for listening to this episode of Advanced Manufacturing Now. If you liked what you heard, feel free to share the show and head over to iTunes where you can write a review and subscribe to keep up with future episodes. Don’t forget, you can join the conversation and learn more AdvanceManufacturing.org.