The Kula Ring

A podcast for manufacturing marketers

The Kula Ring podcast is essential listening for manufacturing marketers who want to grow their digital presence and compete online.

Sponsored by Kula Partners—an agency committed to helping leading B2B manufacturers craft digital experiences that transform how they engage buyers, serve customers, and outpace their competition—The Kula Ring podcast features conversations about marketing, sales, and technology with top manufacturing executives from across North America.

The Kula Ring podcast is co-hosted by Kula Partners principals, Carman Pirie and Jeff W. White, both of whom are frequently sought after for their digitally-focused B2B expertise. They regularly share their insights with audiences including conferences like B2B Online and HubSpot’s INBOUND, the Gardner Manufacturing Marketer blog, and other podcasts focused on B2B marketing and technology.

Episode 59

Meeting Your Customers Where They Are

Featuring Michael Blake, Director of Marketing at KM International

Michael Blake, Director of Marketing for KM International, joins Jeff and Carman to discuss his company’s ecommerce launch, the evolution of their trade show strategy, and how he thinks video will be the differentiator between manufacturers that get ahead and ones that fall behind. In discussing these different marketing and sales tactics, Michael gets at the heart of KM International’s forward-thinking strategy: meeting their customers where they already are.

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Episode 58

How a German-Owned Manufacturer Markets Regionally Within the US

Featuring Jon LaPorta, Vice President, Marketing, Pfannenberg USA

Jon LaPorta, Vice President, Marketing, describes to Carman and Jeff how he has helped transform the marketing at Pfannenberg USA—the American arm of a German-owned manufacturer. Jon’s team works locally in order to appeal to the US market. Although they continue to align with headquarters on content and branding, this has allowed them to implement marketing automation, create their own website, and simplify their messaging.

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Episode 57

Using Video To Build and Strengthen Customer Relationships

Featuring James Stanaway, Director of Marketing, Epilog Laser

James Stanaway, Director of Marketing at Epilog Laser, talks with Carman and Jeff about how video content plays a major role in their marketing strategy. From creating how-to videos that support their customers post-purchase, to co-creating video with customers and showcasing user-generated content, James shares how Epilog has grown its YouTube channel to over four and a half million views—along with how they track each video’s contribution to sales.

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Episode 56

Taking a Customer-Centric Approach to Product Development and Marketing

Featuring Greg Palmer, Director of Marketing, National Nail

Greg Palmer, Director of Marketing at National Nail, talks with Carman and Jeff about how the marketing and product teams work together to use a customer-centric approach to product development. They also discuss which channels National Nail finds successful when launching products including trade shows, social media, and print.

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Episode 55

Using a Listening-First Strategy to Create Effective Marketing

Featuring Jen Miret, Director of Marketing, Bendheim

Jen Miret, Director of Marketing at Bendheim, describes the listening strategy she uses to create marketing that resonates with specialty architectural glass and systems customers. Tools such as keyword research, social media, and public relations enable Jen to identify market opportunities so that Bendheim can better serve its customers.

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Episode 54

Smart Factory Adoption, Rethinking Education, and Jumpstarting Digital Manufacturing: ManufacturED Special Compilation Part 2

Featuring Paul Wellener, Vice Chairman of Deloitte LLP and Leader of the US Industrial Products & Construction Practice; Dr. Gary Bertoline, the Dean of Purdue Polytechnic Institute; and Raj Batra, President of Digital Industries at Siemens USA.

As official media sponsors at ManufacturED 2019 in Chicago, The Kula Ring had the pleasure of podcasting onsite, interviewing leaders at the forefront of digital transformation in manufacturing.

This special compilation episode focuses on smart factory adoption, rethinking education, and jumpstarting digital manufacturing. Hear three short interviews with Paul Wellener, Vice Chairman of Deloitte LLP and Leader of the US Industrial Products & Construction Practice; Dr. Gary Bertoline, the Dean of Purdue Polytechnic Institute; and Raj Batra, President of Digital Industries at Siemens USA.

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Episode 53

Finding Top Talent and Enabling Your Teams To Do ‘Deep Work’: ManufacturED Special Compilation Part 1

Featuring Stephen Gold, CEO of MAPI; Cal Newport, acclaimed author; and JoAnna Sohovich, CEO of The Chamberlain Group

As official media sponsors at ManufacturED 2019 in Chicago, The Kula Ring had the pleasure of podcasting onsite, interviewing leaders at the forefront of digital transformation in manufacturing.

This special compilation episode focuses on the importance of finding top talent and enabling your teams to do ‘deep work’, including three short interviews with Stephen Gold, CEO of MAPI; Cal Newport, acclaimed author; and JoAnna Sohovich, CEO of The Chamberlain Group.

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Episode 51

Manufacturing Better Marketing, Sales, and C-Suite Alignment

Featuring Irina Kem, Director of Marketing at PACKPRO Systems

Irina Kem, Director of Marketing at PACKPRO Systems, is on a mission to smash the glass wall between marketing and sales. With over 15 years’ experience in B2B marketing, her advice to younger marketers is to get out of their offices and into important conversations happening between the sales department and the C-suite. Without a better fundamental understanding of their own business’s processes and pain points, Irina says marketers are setting themselves up for failure—but the path to B2B marketing success becomes clear in this episode of The Kula Ring.

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Episode 50

Customer-Centric B2B Channel Management in the Age of Amazon

Featuring D. Bruce Merrifield, President of Merrifield Consulting Group Ltd. and partner at Waypoint Analytics

D. Bruce Merrifield of the Merrifield Consulting Group and Waypoint Analytics brings over 40 years of B2B insight to this episode, in which he talks about how Amazon Business applied learnings from their overwhelming success in online consumer sales to take on legacy B2B distribution channels. Bruce says manufacturers need to radically transform their relationships with distributors—and distributors must reinvent their business models—not only to succeed, but to survive in the Age of Amazon.

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