A Manufacturing Brand Integration Playbook

Episode 175

March 15, 2022

John Eklund, Vice President of Marketing at ProMach, joins Jeff and Carman on The Kula Ring to discuss his playbook for integrating multiple companies into their house of brands after they are acquired. From collateral updates and cross-selling to websites and a centralized tech stack, learn how ProMach brings their acquired companies into the fold.

A Manufacturing Brand Integration Playbook Transcript:

Jeff White: Hello everyone, thanks for joining us on The Kula Ring! I’m excited to share an early episode of the podcast that you may not have heard. 

No one understands the impact of M&A activity on marketing quite like those of us working in the manufacturing space. Managing the brand and marketing of an organization that is constantly growing via acquisition can be a challenging affair to say the least, but our next guest has basically written the playbook on how to do it well, while creating a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Please enjoy this interview with John Eklund from ProMach, a leader in the packaging machinery space.

Announcer: You’re listening to The Kula Ring, a podcast made for manufacturing marketers. Here are Carman Pirie and Jeff White. 

Jeff White: Welcome to The Kula Ring, a podcast for manufacturing marketers, brought to you by Kula Partners, a digital marketing agency made for manufacturers. I’m your cohost, Jeff White, and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, what’s going on, man? 

Carman Pirie: You know, Jeff, I know we try to, because we’re recording these podcasts and then sometimes it’s four or six weeks out when we publish them, but I feel like sometimes maybe it’s just the Canadian in me wants to talk about the weather. 

Jeff White: Absolutely. Well, it has gotten absolutely freezing in the last two days. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, yeah, we’re kind of autumn’s setting in or whatever, so this is… maybe it affects our moods, or what have you. I don’t know. But I am excited about today’s show. I think we have a great guest, and it’s going to allow us to unpack basically what is the playbook, what do you do in a brand integration, post acquisition? It’s something that an awful lot of marketers encounter, of course, and today’s guest just has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and so I’m excited to be bringing that to our listeners. 

Jeff White: Me as well, and joining us today is John Eklund. John is the Vice President, Marketing at ProMach. Thanks for joining us in The Kula Ring, John. 

John Eklund: Well, thanks for having me guys. 

Carman Pirie: John, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show, and let’s just start with a quick introduction to ProMach, and perhaps introduce our listeners to you a bit more, as well. 

John Eklund: All right. ProMach is one of the largest packaging machinery companies in North America. We’re just a little bit south of a billion dollars in top line revenue. We’ve been in business for a little over 20 years, and kind of the elevator pitch on ProMach is we have best-in-class product brands pretty much everywhere on the packaging line, and then we have the ability to integrate a complete packaging line on top of that. So, I say however a customer wants to work with ProMach is exactly how we want to work with that customer. Whether they need one thing, or the whole thing, that’s pretty much what makes us unique, and it’s how we’ve grown as much as we have. 

Carman Pirie: John, the company’s only 20 years old you said, and you’ve been with them almost that entire ride, yes? 

John Eklund: Yeah. I came on in 2002, so we were founded in 98, and I came on board in 2002. Started out at one of the product brands, Roberts PolyPro, which is where I still have my home office here, and where I’m actually talking to you guys today from, and then just kind of worked my way up through the organization. I didn’t actually know ProMach was the organization I was joining when I joined in 2002, if that tells you anything about where the ProMach brand was positioned at the time. I think it was about a year into working for Roberts PolyPro, I saw something and I said, “What’s this ProMach thing?” And they’re like, “Oh, those are our owners. Don’t worry about them.” 

And that’s kind of where we started, and from there, I was fortunate enough to get to be kind of a big part in helping establish ProMach as a brand, and then changing the message of ProMach, and how we grow, and who we are. 

Carman Pirie: Well, take us through that thinking a bit, that brand structure, I guess that you evolved at that point, and then the acquisition strategy that it helped enable. 

John Eklund: Yeah, so going back to the founding of ProMach, we’ve always been owned by private equity companies. We’re on our actually fifth private equity company right now. What they saw was a fragmented market in packaging machinery. There’s an association called PMMI, which used to be the Packaging Machinery Manufacturer’s Institute. Now, I believe it’s the Association for Packaging and Processing, and that was kind of a growth for them to say processing is a part of this whole thing that we do in terms of our membership. 

But essentially you’ve got 800 or so packaging machinery companies throughout North America, and what the ProMach vision was early on was, “Hey, bringing some of these companies together could add value,” and I think that was the original vision, it was kind of a rollup, and they did very well on that, and we’ve just kind of continued that model, but embraced it to be more than just a rollup. To be a very value-adding thing, and bringing value to customers, and getting that message straight in how we talk about ourselves, how we make it easy for a customer to understand what we do, how to navigate our organization, has been a lot of the evolution of the last decade in ProMach. 

Carman Pirie: And I think for our listeners, if they go onto the ProMach site, you’ll begin to see it’s pretty clear how this strategy is coming to life. I’d venture to say it’s one of the more-

Jeff White: Cohesive.

Carman Pirie: -cohesive and yeah, higher level of consistency and cohesiveness with that many product brands-

Jeff White: Especially for a company that leads with the product brands. You know, I think that’s pretty interesting. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, so it really is a house of brands strategy, but you execute on it in a very unique way. John, can you take our listeners through kind of what is your playbook when you get word of a new acquisition? 

John Eklund: You know, it’s one of those things, I’ve talked to my CEO a number of times. Every time we talk about what we do and how we do it, he kind of looks at me and goes, “This isn’t really that complicated, is it?” Essentially, I’ll outline our entire strategy in one sentence, which is acquire great companies, with really good brands, with strong management teams, and keep the brand, keep the facility, and keep the people. That’s the secret sauce, and I sometimes add on top of that a phrase that sometimes I’ll put an expletive in. I won’t for the listeners here, but that is, “Don’t mess it up.” You know? 

I think so many acquirers want to mess with it, and want to fix it. We don’t acquire brands that need to be fixed. These are market-leading brands, and the tendency is to want to come in and change things drastically, without remembering that these companies were successful before you, and you want them to be successful after you, and you want them to be successful as a part of you, and a big part of that is knowing where the balance is of involvement in what you do, what you ask them to do, and how you integrate them in. Letting them keep the things that make them unique, and make them valuable, and elevating those things, and then taking the things away from them that people don’t really love doing. So, you know, running payroll, and managing email servers, and a lot of the back office things, that’s where ProMach comes into an organization and says, “We’re gonna take care of that stuff for you, to give you more time and energy to focus on making great products, being great at servicing your customers, focusing on your competitors, and just generally having that laser beam focus on your business.” 

And that’s, in a nutshell, that’s kind of the whole secret sauce to this whole thing, is I’ve said it so many times to competitors, and people who just ask, is get good people and don’t mess it up. That’s the MO. 

Carman Pirie: No, I appreciate the not messing it up part, but at the same time, you do make some pretty significant market-facing changes with these brands. Unless you’ve just somehow managed to acquire dozens of brands that all have the same typeface in their identity. You know-

Jeff White: That would seem unlikely.

Carman Pirie: That would seem unlikely.

John Eklund: Well, that’s actually our acquisition strategy is we look for a particular font, we look for a particular icon shape, and then we just kind of roll from there. 

Jeff White: Yeah. If you guys have a pill-shaped icon, we’re in. You know, what you were just saying was pretty interesting, though, because in a lot of cases, your 20-year-old company is purchasing companies that may have been around for over 100 years, and you’re really bringing them into that house of brands as Carman was mentioning, and I think it’s really interesting how you’ve done that. Does marketing have any role in the acquisition target identification, as well? Are you involved at that, or is it only coming into your purview once the acquisition’s completed? 

John Eklund: It’s both. Obviously, opportunistically things come up, and you always have a look at those. Overall, we do look at what markets are emerging, what markets are developing, where should we be spending time looking? I’ve got a couple of market research studies going right now that really are trying to dial us in on certain industries that we think might be poised for particular growth, that we either want to develop new products in ourselves, or find the market-leading companies there and see if we can possibly have a chance to acquire them, and bring them into the fold that way. So, it’s a little bit of both in terms of that. 

My real involvement, where I start to get very engaged, obviously, about a month before an acquisition closes is when marketing really starts to work with the company that we’re gonna be bringing in, talking to them, trying to get a vibe for what makes them tick. You know, it’s one thing to look at the book on that company that shows a lot of financials, and high level, but that doesn’t tell you the story of the company. And the story of the company comes from conversations with whoever the president is, and some of the vice presidents, and you get a feel for really what makes them tick, what they’re passionate about, and that’s kind of where I start to really enjoy coming in and trying to figure out, “Okay, how are we gonna announce this? How are we gonna integrate this into the organization? Where are the synergies with our existing brands?” 

Inevitably, any company that we bring into the fold, I’d say there’s three really good product brands in ProMach that are kind of the low-hanging fruit of if you could spend time with them, then you’re gonna figure out already that there’s a lot more business we can do immediately, right out of the gate. And you know, just trying to identify those is a big part of coming in, in some of the early things we do. 

Carman Pirie: And then from there, you move to announce the acquisition, obviously. I’m just trying to play along the timeline. When does the web-facing side of it flip? 

John Eklund: Yeah. Well, even before the web-facing, once we bring them into the fold, obviously we have to identify where they fit in the architecture, so we have the different business lines that we run ProMach with. We have our Filling and Capping group, our Flexibles group, our Pharma group, Product Handling, End of Line, Labeling and Coding, and then we have our Performance Services group. So, it’s gonna generally fall into one of those areas, and then from there, we begin work to your earlier question. That is where we start redoing the logo, where we look at not just the logo they have, but we’ve gone back with some of these companies, and historically, these companies as you mentioned could be 100 years old. I think the average length of a ProMach product brand, they’ve been in business for about 40 years. Last time I looked at the numbers, in terms of how long they’ve been going at it, so there’s heritage, and there’s a lot of equity built up into a lot of the things they’ve done as they’ve gone to market over the years. 

So, what we try to do is figure out what’s unique about their logo, their logo type, their story, something that we can build off to create this more unified brand as we redo the logo, and we do move them to the consistent typeface, and what we call our little icons. I’ve heard them called bugs, or buttons, but that’s where we evolve to, and that’s a very collaborative process, working with the division that we’re bringing on board. We’ll have the entire senior management team on board, they’re welcome to bring as many people as they want into it, and we’ll go through several rounds of iteration to get to that new logo design that we all agree on, that we then roll out across the organization. And that’s kind of the first thing that has to happen. 

From there, then you’re talking about business card updates, collateral updates, and then getting to the websites, a lot of depends on the complexities of the website that they have. We have a very established framework we like to work within. It’s kind of based on best practices from the fact that we run 34 websites, so we have a lot of data within our analytics that tells us what user behavior is kind of consistent across the brands. People want to see products, they want to see videos, so we lead with some of the heroes, and then we know that owning a piece of packaging machinery is not just about that initial sale. It’s about the anywhere from 5 to 30 years that you’re gonna live with that machine, so making things like aftermarket parts, and service, and retrofits more prominent on the website. 

Sometimes companies already have a lot of that stuff, and sometimes we’re really working with them to develop the stuff, so the timeframe… I’d say as a goal within four to six months, we try to have a new website spun up for them. Sometimes we can do it earlier, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. 

Jeff White: Do you use a consistent tech stack across all of the sites? Like does everybody get the same marketing automation and all those different pieces? Or are there some companies that you do it a bit different? 

John Eklund: Yeah. We centralize, again, a lot of the server management, using the same content management technology. We’re in the middle of a project now getting all of our brands brought into Salesforce, and leveraging Pardot for the marketing automation side, so we’re always in the middle of some initiative, and that’s a big one for us now. But getting everyone onto the same framework makes things run a lot better when everyone can be trained the same, and we want to put the management and editing of the websites into the hands of the marketing teams at these brands. That’s a little bit of a different paradigm, I think again when it comes to ProMach, is because we do have strong leaders in businesses, we want them to own a lot of what they’re doing. It doesn’t need to come up to corporate for approval. We want them to have the flexibility to be nimble. 

A lot of the things that made them great before they were a part of ProMach, again, let’s not mess it up. So, your ability to make quick changes, and be nimble, and react to the market. “Oh, there’s this new trend coming with whatever,” go ahead. Put things out there. We really encourage that, and then the other part of the secret sauce is how we share that across the rest of the organization, and I think that’s another big thing that we have continued to mature on, is how we collaborate and share best practices, and that, as much as anything, is another big part of the secret sauce. 

Carman Pirie: Well, I’m curious. So, how has that changed? What do you do differently that enables that collaboration, other than simply doing it? 

John Eklund: There’s a lot you can do with technology, but at the end of the day, you guys know this, it’s a people business. And there’s no substitute for bringing people together, so when it comes to how we collaborate, we’ll bring our general managers together, and have them meet each other, have them give presentations to each other. A lot of times we say, “Brag about the things you’re doing really well.” Hey, if you think you’re doing something really great in terms of aftermarket parts kits, brag about it. Get up in front of everyone and say, “Hey, we’re doing this, and it’s working,” and then what happens is somewhere, five to ten, hopefully all of them will say, “That’s a great idea. I’m gonna do that.” 

And then, that’s a big part of it is actually sharing business part, but the even more valuable part, if you were to just set all that aside is just the networking time. It’s the fact that when you join ProMach, no matter what position you’re in, you have a network of peers already that is gonna be larger than probably anything you came from. You’re a general manager, we’re a general manager led business, now you have 30 other general managers that you can ask questions to, that you can lean on, that you can say, “Hey, I’m really having a hard time with this.” Odds are someone else has already gone through it. And it’s the same message for the sales team, it’s the same message for the marketing team, it’s the same message for the engineering team, and that’s a really big piece of it. 

And there’s no shortcut to having drinks, breaking bread, having a meal with somebody, in terms of getting to know them, getting to trust them, and then being comfortable enough to not feel like, “Oh, I need to go to corporate and ask them if I can talk to that other general manager.” Just reach out to the other general manager. And it sounds so simple, but creating an environment where that thrives I think is a big part of what makes ProMach who it is, and it’s a big part of how our CEO has kind of defined how this business should operate. And that’s why we can continue to scale and add more brands, and it still works. 

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Carman Pirie: I love the notion of… I guess both Jeff and I are involved in different agency owner networks, where frankly, just it’s an invaluable part of professional development, to just have that peer group. And that’s something that is kind of almost a free prize inside, it seems, with ProMach in an acquisition. 

Jeff White: Well, and you don’t see this in corporations where there’s the sharing of that knowledge in equal people across different divisions quite as often. 

Carman Pirie: Well, it’s quite rare. Yeah. That’s fascinating. I wonder, what has been, I mean it all sounds sunshiny so far, John, I don’t mind saying. But you know, but you’ve been there for almost the entire duration. There must have been some challenges or pitfalls along the way. What do people need to really look out for as a new brand is coming into the fold? 

John Eklund: Well, you know, I’ll get back to kind of what you just asked, but you’re right is that this wasn’t always natural. 2005 is really when we started to make this effort to position ProMach, and create business lines, and put businesses together that have these synergies, and kind of change that model where we have kind of that layer of you’ve got the corporate space, you’ve got the business line management, and then you’ve got the individual product brand management under that. 

So, it was my former vice president, who’s a dear friend of mine, I think he would say we still have a lot of scars on our back from getting this thing where we wanted to get it, and you know, an example is in 2005, when we brought all of the brands into one trade show space at the big Pack Expo that we do each year. We had one of our product brands literally put up a wall, because they said, “If I’m associated with the rest of you, it could be bad for my business.” So, it wasn’t a figurative wall, it was a literal wall, and it was at that point where we’re like, “Okay, I think we’ve got a really big uphill battle.” 

I was fairly young at the time, and I thought, “Boy, we should just make them do it.” And I think one of the big lessons I learned from the senior team at the time was you can’t just make them do it. It has to be natural. You’ve gotta show them the value, and let them come to it, and I think a lot of it’s kind of like trying to feed a squirrel. You know, you gotta hold your hand out, let them come to it. Whether or not feeding a squirrel is a good idea is beside the point, but you can’t force it is really where I’m getting at. Maybe a dog would have been a better analogy there. But you’ve gotta show them the value and let them come to it, and I think that is a big part of what I learned, is patience. 

And it got better each year, and what we see now when we bring a product brand into the organization is almost an immediate, “Okay, I see why this is good. I’m ready. Let’s go.” And that paradigm shift has happened subtly over the last decade. So much of it is our reputation. ProMach has a reputation in the market of I would say being kind of a friendly acquirer. You mention the branded house versus the house of brands, and obviously being a house of brands means that we recognize the equity in what we’re getting when we bring a company on board, and we value it. And I think that paradigm sets the bar really high. Then what we’ve got is, we’ve done over 30 acquisitions in our time, and most of the leaders of these companies we acquire stay on to run the business, and that tells you a lot about how they think about it. 

And what we have there is a lot of references for new people coming on, even before the acquisition happens, where they can call and say, “What is it really like?” And then the general managers will say, “Here’s what it’s like, and it’s all been very positive.” 

I think another big value add is when we… I work a lot with the sales team. I think the sales team is one of my most important internal customers, and my message for them when we bring them on board is who would you like to do business with that you’re not doing business with? And odds are, we’re already doing business with them. You know, we’ve got 40,000 customers, so I can get you a warm introduction from another ProMach salesperson, and help you get your foot in the door somewhere, where maybe you weren’t able to get before. So, it’s having a lot of things that are the equivalent of that, to say, “Here’s a little value. Here’s a little value. Here’s a little value.” And then they get to see that being a part of this conglomerate, this organization, I think… Some of the team tells such great stories about, “Oh, we got bought by ProMach, and I’m ready to hate them, and working for the man, and big, big organization, nameless faces,” and I think eight years later he’ll say, “I’m still trying to find a reason to hate you guys, but at the end of the day, I really love being here and I love being a part of this culture.” And that’s the validation that we’re doing it right. 

And then we just have to fight really fiercely hard, as we continue to get bigger, to make sure we continue to do it right. And I think that’s a part of what I try to help with. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, and I think it’s interesting, it’s this notion of valuing the brand that you’re acquiring, but then at the same time, you’re not afraid to change. It’s interesting, we started this conversation talking about the level of consistency, and I’ve seen other marketers face this challenge, and their idea of valuing the brand that they’re acquiring is to not touch it at all, to not make any changes on the marketing and sales side. I just love the fact that that isn’t your approach, like you’ve somehow been able to strike the balance of showing that you value what they’ve built, while at the same time being able to accelerate it and advance it. 

I want to just back up a bit though to that, because you brought in the sales team, and clearly, cross-selling is a big part of this strategy. I wonder how that’s said, or to what extent you’ve worked at enabling that cross-sell, and any tips that you can give our listeners for that. I think it’s something that whether it’s salesperson protectionism that can creep in there, or just getting the data from one brand to another. I mean, there’s all kinds of things that can stand in the way of an effective cross-selling strategy, so we’re all ears. 

John Eklund: Yeah. I think one of the things I’m most proud of is that we have kind of figured out our cross-selling strategy, and that it really seems to be picking up momentum now. Again, I think it goes back to the fact that we can add value to any customer out there in a different way than almost any of our competitors. Because most of the competitors to ProMach are competitors to our individual product brands, and that’s the way the packaging machinery market is set up. 

You have a great case packer company, and there’s probably three to five great case packer companies out there, and you could say that for every particular application on the packaging line. But again, when a customer sees the value of, “Oh, wow. I can buy from multiple of your brands, and have a relationship that goes beyond just the thing I need,” to where again, right now you just need a labeler, or a capper, or a filler, or a case packer, but tomorrow you might need to put in a new packaging line, and to realize that you’re working with a company that is already structured to handle that is a really big deal, because the trends you see at the customers are cutting engineering teams, having to do more with less, SKU proliferation that comes from the fact that consumers want everything from a bulk pack to a single serve, and everything in between. So, their lives are hard, and then when they find an organization that can simplify it, it really does help. 

And so much of that is making sure that all of our sales team and our service team, don’t forget the service team, it’s a really valuable piece of the business. The service team gets to work on a packaging line fixing a problem, and customers will tell a service team way more than they’ll tell our sales guys, and let them find opportunities where a customer says, “Oh, I also need help with X, Y, or Z.” So, we encourage our sales team just to ask a good question. Say, “Is there anything in front of or behind the machine that we’re talking about that we can also help with?” And if so, we’ve created a system where anyone, again, sales or service, can put in what we call… It’s Pro Lead, that’s our cross-selling. They can put in a lead in about three minutes, and if it generates a sale for the other business that they turn the lead into, they can get a pretty nice bonus on that. 

And that incentive is one thing, and again, for three, four minutes of your time, to be able to make… It’s a pretty generous bonus. I’m not gonna tell you right off the bat what it is, but we’ve worked a lot tinkering with what it should be, and that’s worked really quite well. And we don’t ask the sales and service team to be the expert at everything ProMach does. Very few people can be an expert in everything ProMach does. I’d venture to say nobody is an expert in everything ProMach does. I’m pretty good at it. I could probably… If you asked me to name all the brands off the top of my head, I could probably do it. That’d be a fun game. But you know, we just ask them to be aware that, “Hey, yeah, you’re selling a filler. We also have great cappers.” What then happens is, again, what I mentioned is some of the organizations and some of the product brands have a really good synergy with one or two others, and they get to know them very well. 

And then finding those leads and turning them in is a great way to grow the business, and that has helped our revenue quite a bit. Again, ProMach’s goal is to grow faster than the packaging machinery market grows, and if we’re doing that, then we feel like we’re taking market share. And the cross-sell I think is the biggest key to that, because every salesperson and service person has a touch point with a customer to tell them just a little bit more about this organization that we’re a part of, and I think that awareness of the other solutions on the packaging line—again, it’s that subtle paradigm shift over the last decade, to where, “I just want to sell my thing”, to, “I see the value in me telling a customer we can do for them, because it helps me differentiate my thing.” And that’s been a really big part of the story, and again, I think it’s constant reminders that this is out there. 

You know, if you just set it and forget it, it’s one thing, so we publish a newsletter each month that we call out who’s doing really well. We want to reward the brands and the individuals that we feel like are really standing for a lot of the things that we value, which is the cross-selling, the integration, the collaboration, but again, just bringing more solutions to customers. At the end of the day, that’s kind of the guiding light, is let’s make it easy for our customers to do business with us. And that’s kind of what drives the whole thing. 

Carman Pirie: And am I right in understanding that essentially nobody owns the account at the top level? I mean, there isn’t a ProMach sales relationship manager or something of the sort, that owns the global account? But rather it’s more almost network-owned, if you will, amongst sales from the different organizations? 

John Eklund: Yeah. You’re exactly right. You know, we have strategic account management within our product brands, but at the end of the day, if we did nothing, at ProMach, what we generally find is any given customer, if I was to pull them up in our system, is probably already buying from two or three of our brands without us doing anything. And that is just because they had to build a packaging line, and they bought best-in-class equipment, which is the brands that we acquire. Again, we like them to be best-in-class, so naturally, they already have bought an Axon, and a Wexxar, and a Brenton, and that means that there’s not any one individual who owns that relationship. 

We may have some brands that are really good partners, that the customer may prefer to work with, but at the end of the day, it’s about accessibility to everyone and everything that we have and understanding that customers make decisions all the time. And the great thing is when you’re talking to a customer who doesn’t know a lot about ProMach, and we kind of used to call this our shock and awe slide when we would do a capabilities presentation, is we’d say, “Oh, and by the way. You’re already buying from seven of our brands, and we’re in five of your facilities.” And they’d go, “Oh. Okay. Well, that’s cool.” You know? 

Jeff White: That’s amazing, and I love also how you’ve codified the lead registration and sales process across the whole organization, to enable anyone to kind of bring a sale into the org, and if I recall correctly, when we initially spoke, at that point you had already acquired three brands this year alone. Is that right?

John Eklund: Yes. That’s correct. 

Jeff White: So, it’s no wonder you need a process this well sorted, in order to be able to do that, at that pace. 

John Eklund: Well, you know what the great thing about that is, is obviously we can get those brands into our cross-selling program very quickly, and a lot of times it may be I need to do that in the third to fourth week of acquisition. But I’ll get a phone call or an email from one of our other salespeople to say, “I’m trying to put a lead in for them, and I can’t find them,” and they’re already thinking about the company we acquired in terms of how we can bring more value to the customer, because we now have this in our portfolio, and that’s very telling to me when that sort of thing happens. It excites me. 

Carman Pirie: John, it sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge from the growth of ProMach with us today. I really enjoyed the conversation, and I hope our listeners have, as well. 

John Eklund: Awesome. I enjoyed it, as well. Thank you, guys. 

Jeff White: Thank you. 

Carman Pirie: All the best. 

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John Eklund

Vice President, Marketing at ProMach

John Eklund joined ProMach in 2002 and is responsible for leading the efforts in marketing, advertising, communications, branding, market research, and strategic planning. John has successfully integrated over 20 acquisitions and has led the company sale process to private equity investors multiple times. John is presently driving CRM and marketing automation standardization across the organization, and prior to that he developed and launched ProMach’s updated branding strategies as well as ProMach’s cross-lead incentive programs. Prior to joining ProMach he worked in the oil and gas industry as the Marketing Communications Director for Brammer Engineering. John earned his M.B.A. from Louisiana Tech University and his B.S. degree in Marketing from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He is also active in PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, having recently served as Chairman of the Business Intelligence Committee.

The Kula Ring is a podcast for manufacturing marketers who care about evolving their strategy to gain a competitive edge.

Listen to conversations with North America’s top manufacturing marketing executives and get actionable advice for success in a rapidly transforming industry.

About Kula

Kula Partners is an agency that specializes in maximizing revenue potential for B2B manufacturers.

Our clients sell within complex, technical environments and we help them take a more targeted, account-focused approach to drive revenue growth within niche markets.


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