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 132

Building a Better B2B Marketing Strategy with New Technology

Featuring Dan Ricklefs, Vice President of Marketing at Precision Pulley & Idler (PPI).

For many manufacturers, the drive to build out their organization internally has been strong for the last five or more years in response to a rapidly-changing marketing and sales landscape. In this episode of The Kula Ring, Dan Ricklefs, Vice President of Marketing at Precision Pulley & Idler (PPI), talks about how the organization is expanding its marketing infrastructure after a series of successful acquisitions. He discusses his playbook for creating marketing strategies, how the company is evolving its marketing tech stack, and the significance of adopting marketing technology as a tool for knowledge transfer to address upcoming retirements.

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Episode 131

How Podcasting Creates Value for an Electrical Distributor

Featuring Chris Grainger, Engineering and Services Manager at Electrical Equipment Company (EECO) and host of the EECO Asks Why Podcast.

How can manufacturers participate in podcasting in a valuable way? In this episode of The Kula Ring, Chris Grainger, Engineering and Services Manager at Electrical Equipment Company (EECO) and host of the EECO Asks Why Podcast, reflects on how the success of the podcast has impacted the organization. He talks about how the podcast has helped integrate the organization’s marketing, sales, and service teams and how the podcast has led to more content marketing initiatives.

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Episode 130

Understanding Customer Use Cases to Inform Product Marketing

Featuring Fin Watterson, Director of Product Marketing at Stratasys.

Some manufacturing marketers need to help customers envision how to use their solution while also learning how customers use their products. This week on The Kula Ring, Fin Watterson, Director of Product Marketing at Stratasys, talks about the role of a product marketer in a manufacturing organization, translating product information from the engineers and builders for customers. Additionally, he discusses how Stratasys worked with one customer to develop marketing messaging around their application use case.

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Episode 129

Optimizing Marketing Initiatives to Get Closer to the Customer

Featuring Mike Kazmierczak, Vice President of Marketing, Digital Energy & Buildings End Market at Schneider Electric.

How can manufacturers use customer trends to inform their marketing decisions during critical changes in the marketplace? In this episode of The Kula Ring, Mike Kazmierczak, Vice President of Marketing, Digital Energy & Buildings End Market at Schneider Electric, shares how he’s using data and voice of the customer to optimize new marketing initiatives. Additionally, he discusses how Schneider Electric is changing roles across the company to cater to customer types and personas and how this structure impacts the marketing content they produce.

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Episode 128

How a Manufacturer Adapted Relationship Selling for Virtual Environments

Featuring Ryan Carley, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Mason Controls.

As trade shows and conferences continue in virtual forms for the foreseeable future, manufacturers must identify ways to optimize relationship selling. In this week’s episode of The Kula Ring, Ryan Carley, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Mason Controls, talks about how relationship selling has changed for his team during the pandemic, how they are adapting the sales process with new remote tactics, and where he thinks relationship selling is going as virtual connections continue to be the norm.

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Episode 127

Using LinkedIn to Build Relationships that Lead to Business

Featuring Robert Johnson, General Manager and Business Development at MAC Prefab.

How do you cut through the noise on LinkedIn? Robert Johnson, General Manager and Business Development at MAC Prefab has close to 45,000 contacts on LinkedIn and has discovered how to keep them engaged. Building relationships on the business-focused social media platform has led to several successful business opportunities for Robert and MAC Prefab—especially since he started spreading positivity on a daily basis.

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Episode 126

How Distributors Can Support Manufacturers’ Digital Growth

Featuring Sean Donovan, Digital Channel Manager for the Americas at MSA – The Safety Company.

As manufacturers adapt to a digital-first product experience, how can industrial distribution channels evolve to add value to the chain? In this episode of The Kula Ring, Sean Donovan, Digital Channel Manager for the Americas at MSA – The Safety Company, says most manufacturers are interested in investing in distribution channels that want to grow their brand versus commoditize their products. He shares examples of how distribution channels can help manufacturing brands come to life and provide value beyond the spec sheet.

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Episode 125

How an ERP Rollout Can Benefit From a Marketing Lens

Featuring Sam Gupta, Principal Consultant at ElevatIQ.

During an ERP rollout, manufacturing marketers in small and medium- sized enterprises often find themselves on the outside looking in. Sam Gupta, Principal Consultant at ElevatIQ, says marketers should be integrated into ERP initiatives because of their unique ability to identify new products and new markets. In this week’s episode of The Kula Ring, Sam talks about what marketers bring to the table that service personnel might miss, and how providing all team members with access to real-time ERP data can improve customer experience.

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Episode 124

Using Video Prospecting to Sell to Engineers

Featuring Brian Wellhouse, Supplier Marketing Manager for Sensor Products at TTI.

Manufacturers who offer a broad range of solutions rely on face-to-face conversations with prospects in order to find the best fit, but the pandemic has reshaped the sales relationship into a virtual experience. In this week’s episode of The Kula Ring, Brian Wellhouse, Supplier Marketing Manager for Sensor Products at TTI, talks about how virtual prospecting drives the conversation to be more action-oriented sooner. He talks about how his company conducts virtual prospecting with engineering teams, how they use LinkedIn to find new prospects, and what kind of marketing materials they develop to find engineers on LinkedIn.

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Episode 123

How an Industrial Manufacturer Partners with Startups to Unlock New Revenue Streams

Featuring Ryan Knox, Director of Marketing & Innovation at Flexfab.

Flexfab is an industrial B2B manufacturer who designs and manufactures highly-engineered products in a wide variety of materials and designs for the aerospace, automotive, rail, and heavy-duty truck industries. In this episode of The Kula Ring, Ryan Knox, Director of Marketing & Innovation at Flexfab, talks about the company’s initiative to connect innovative startups with industrial companies to leverage emerging technologies within their manufacturing processes. Ryan talks about how Flexfab draws on existing relationships and industry connections to establish new revenue streams and foster innovation within industrial industries that are often overlooked.

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