Breaking Down the Brand Barrier

Episode 23

March 5, 2019

In this episode of The Kula Ring, Jeff and Carman talk with Christina Fuges, Editorial Director at MoldMaking Technology, and Tony Demakis, Sales and Marketing Specialist at Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales. Christina and Tony are the hosts of the Manufacturing Alliance podcast, and they chat with Jeff and Carman about using stories and personal connections to break down the brand barrier.

Breaking Down the Brand Barrier Transcript:

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. My name is Jeff White and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, how’s it going today?

Carman Pirie: Fantastic, Jeff. And you?

Jeff White: It’s going really well, excited for the guests that we have with us today. Normally, we’re just talking to one person, currently we are talking to two.

Carman Pirie: Yeah, usually we have a bit of a one man advantage, which frankly I think sometimes I think we need it just to keep up. So we’re going to probably be blown out of the water today and just hand everything over to Christina and Tony and maybe our host jobs will just go away.

Jeff White: Yeah, well they both have experience, probably more than we do, with hosting a podcast so, it’s probably not the worst idea.

Carman Pirie: Nice.

Jeff White: So joining us today we have Christina Fuges with Gardner Media. Christina you are the editorial director at MoldMaking Technology and as well as other trade publications.

Christina Fuges: Absolutely, yes I am, thank you for having me. I am excited to talk about our podcast specifically because of the type of focus and format that Tony created with the Manufacturing Alliance podcast, it’s very much in sync with our community of the MoldMaking brand. So I’m thrilled to give it some exposure and to share it with others who might want to join us or do something similar.

Jeff White: Wonderful. And the Tony you’re speaking of is Tony Demakis, Sales and Marketing specialist at Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales and also the initial founder of the Manufacturing Alliance Podcast. Welcome to the program, Tony.

Tony Demakis: Thank you guys. Good morning. We’re happy to be here and just share our story a little bit. So first, let me say, that you guys do a great job and I don’t want to take over that all because I say the same thing.

Carman Pirie: Look, this is like a podcast about podcasts. It reminds me the old days of blogging where every blog post was about blogging.

Tony Demakis: Yes.

Jeff White: Yes, no.

Christina Fuges: Sure.

Jeff White: You had to talk about all your friends who blogged as well.

Carman Pirie: Yes, indeed.

Jeff White: ‘Cause there were only a few of you.

Tony Demakis: That’s just natural growth. You have to do that.

Christina Fuges: And we’re all in this together, right Tony?

Tony Demakis: That’s it! That’s it.

Jeff White: One just hopes that it gets beyond our own borders and that other people actually listen to or read what we’re producing. Tony, if you wouldn’t mind, why don’t you kick this off by telling us a little bit about how you came to Alliance Specialties and how you began to form the podcast as a marketing tool and idea.

Tony Demakis: Sure. I’d be happy to. So we have to go back a little while. My wife and I had a graphic design and marketing company for about 12 years and in that time, I was doing work for Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales which is a plastic injection service company that my father started 39 years ago. So I was always doing marketing for that company and over time, we realized that we just didn’t want to be in this self-employed, graphic design, marketing business anymore. Got harder and harder to get clients to realize the power and the benefit of the work that we were doing and at the same point, Alliance needed more work and so my father and I, after an interesting conversation, decided that we would make this a full-time position and we’d give it a whirl.

And shortly after joining the company, I also realized that I was kind of out over my skis and didn’t know much about the industry or the people in the industry and it was kind of hard to get that network growing. And so, being a fan of podcasts and really thinking what can we do that’s a little bit different, I know a few people in the moldmaking space and the characters are amazing. I mean, the personalities of moldmakers and molders is just extraordinary and it’s got to be the same thing in all manufacturing.

So I decided to just buy some equipment and start a podcast and tell the stories of moldmakers, molders, manufacturing as a whole, of those companies that are primarily US-based and work to do what I can to start learning more people, learning more processes, learning what’s out there and help to, hopefully, grow the industry so that we’re all more busy and it flourishes and people know what’s happening back there.

So that was really how it got started.

Carman Pirie: And you needed a little bit of help along the way, I’m assuming, and found Christina in some way, shape, or form.

Tony Demakis: Yeah, Christina and I have known each other for quite some time because Alliance has advertised with MoldMaking Technology since the very beginning and so because of that I was the guy that was sending in ads at the last minute and saying, “When can I get an extension ‘til?” And-

Jeff White: I’ve been that guy, too.

Tony Demakis: Yeah, so, like I said before we started. I live in the ish, and so kind of got used to that and we built up a relationship of being able to communicate with each other and have some fun with that and so when this idea all came about, she was the first person I reached out to to try and have a co-host because I knew she would be great at it. I knew that she has an extensive network of the exact people that I was trying to reach and the respect that she has in the community, I had no doubt at all that people would respond to her and we’d be able to start moving things forward. So it was an obvious choice for me.

Christina Fuges: Thank you, Tony.

Carman Pirie: Christina, this has been… I mean, it’s interesting because, of course, Tony is approaching this through the lens of how to reinvigorate content and reimagine content marketing for a somewhat traditional family business manufacturer and meanwhile, from your side of the coin, as a media company and one that’s focused on trade publications for manufacturers, I mean, you’ve been dealing with a sea change in your environment over the last decade or so. So in some ways, they’re trying to find a new channel and you’re trying to navigate this complexity from the other side. Talk to me about that.

Christina Fuges: Sure. First, I guess I want to tell you a little bit about myself. So I’ve been in niche trade publishing for more than 25 years now. With most of that experience with my current brand, MoldMaking Technology, for which I was a partner in launching back in ’98. And then we were acquired by Gardner Business Media in 2004. So Gardner Business Media is a publisher of 12 titles focused on one area, manufacturing, and our goal is to bring industrial buyers and sellers together through an integrated approach to media. Whether that’s print publications, websites, newsletters, webinars, research, in-person events, social media, video features and interviews, custom content, and yes, now podcasts. And all of that is focused on showing best practices and practical how-to information, explaining technology and how to help our customers to be more competitive in today’s environment.

Gardner is also a family organization, much like Tony’s company. It was founded in 1928 as Gardner Publications. So talking about this sea change, I’m trying to think, it was a few years ago they changed the named from Gardner Publications to Gardner Business Media and we’ve also… we’ve pretty much stopping referring to our brands as like MoldMaking Technology magazine. We drop the magazine because we are more than that now.

So dabbling in all of the different ways to get content out there, it feels like we are just content—not just. We are content producers now, beyond being an editor. You’re just constantly producing content in any way your reader wants to get it. So it is a challenge but it’s also exciting so being in the podcast realm, just another way to reach our readers and MoldMaking is… it’s a pretty niche… I don’t know if you’re familiar with MoldMaking Technology. I guess I should state that first or ask that ’cause it addresses the complete lifecycle of a mold, from the design, the manufacturing, and the maintenance of a mold. So we always say, “design to first shot”. So once it goes into the molding machine, we’re out and one of our sister publications, Plastics Technology kicks in.

So we’re focused on bringing our audience what’s new and what works in mold manufacturing. Anything from successful business practices to manufacturing strategies. So that could be an article, an application story, a shot profile, a tip of the month. So a podcast is just another vehicle to provide that same content to a new reader or teaching our existing readers how to get content in different ways. So that’s kind how I’ve looked at this podcast.

Carman Pirie: Is it your first kick at the cat, as it were? Is it your first podcast?

Christina Fuges: Yes, it is. Other brands—

Carman Pirie: So, in some ways, was this a bit of an experiment for you, to really just see, “Okay, to what extent can we use this channel? To what extent does our content kind of… can we repurpose it and adjust it slightly?”

Christina Fuges: Oh, definitely.

Carman Pirie: I guess talk to me about that and to what extent has it… have you found it succeeding in… differences between it attracting new versus, I guess, providing yet another channel for existing audience members?

Christina Fuges: I think it’s kind of both at this point. We’ve been… Tony and I together like since January or February when he first approached me and I was—

Tony Demakis: It was, AMBA Conference was the first recording and that was telling your story and the story of the magazine.

Christina Fuges: That’s right. So that was the American Mold Builders Association Convention. That’s right. So getting to experience being the guest on one which I… he was chasing me forever to do it and I was like, “Oh, I don’t know.”

Tony Demakis: It was a year. It was a solid year.

Christina Fuges: “So I don’t want to put the focus on myself. This is ridiculous” and it was so much fun and just on a personal level and for my brand, the MoldMaking brand, I was like, “Wow! This is great exposure” and it’s just so happened to happen in year when we were celebrating a milestone, so I was able to highlight that. It was just another avenue for us to get more exposure and it worked, because people—and as Tony can attest to it, too—people noticed getting the emails or getting the phone calls of not even knowing the story of the brand. It was a way for me share which was the purpose of me hooking up with Tony. I want to get our readers to share ’cause that is a tough thing, to get moldmakers, I guess, no matter what age they are, to share what they’re doing and what’s going on in their shops.

So the podcast, to me, was a way of getting inside their shops physically, sitting down, relaxing, kind of what you guys did with us. Open up for a little bit. Get to know them. Get a shop tour and then start talking. It’s amazing what Tony and I have been able to… I mean, truly amazing. The stories we’re getting out of people that when I’m doing a typical case study or a technology article with these guys or gals, you don’t get that out of them. There… sometimes they can be very closed-mouth when you’re talking about technology or shop processes.

So we’ve kind of taken this podcast to more focusing on the people which does tie in technology and process but it’s focusing on them. They seem to open up a lot more. That’s been fun and so valuable because I think the new generation coming in, they appreciate that and I think it’s easier for them to open up but it’s teaching the more seasoned generation that it’s okay. I’ve actually gotten good story leads and made new contacts and I’ve solidified some other relationship by doing these podcasts.

Carman Pirie: This is one thing that I have found to be an interesting theme or pattern amongst folks that I know who have got into podcasting a bit of late and almost it doesn’t seem to matter the sector. What I hear them saying is, “This podcast is an awfully great excuse to connect with people” which I kind of love this notion of these people and I think sometimes when we think about new media, digital media or whatever—it’s kind of weird to think of podcasts as new. They’ve been around a while. It’s just experiencing a bit of a resurgence. But we often think of them as being less personal as a result and less predicated on relationships, but in some ways, it seems like the opposite is happening and I even remember, Tony, you mentioning that in our lead up to going live today that you saw it as really just a great excuse to connect and talk with customers.

Tony Demakis: Absolutely! So one of the rules or guidelines that I have is I… this is the first podcast that we’ve done not in the same room.

Christina Fuges: Yes.

Tony Demakis: So, whether it’s in Michigan or California or Illinois or wherever it is, we try to make a point to schedule a time with the interviewee and go out there and see them and really experience what their shop is, who they are as people, and sit eye to eye and really engage and hear their story. Sometimes we’ve had somebody’s wife come in sit with us—

Christina Fuges: It’s a physical connection, right?

Tony Demakis: —and share and be part of that. Right, right. It’s building relationships and I’m—

Carman Pirie: Well, guys we have a face—we both have a face for radio here so therefore we’ve tried to keep this relationship at a distance but we assure you it’s for your own good.

Tony Demakis: Well, I guess I appreciate that but I’ve never seen you guys so I can’t comment.

Christina Fuges: I saw your photos. I think you’re underestimating your looks.

Tony Demakis: There you go! There you go!

Jeff White: Sorry. It’s a very Canadian thing to do to play that down. We can’t help it.

Christina Fuges: I love that.

Tony Demakis: I appreciate your self-deprecating humor that you have ’cause I … we also have a little bit of that and it’s… I mean, it’s fun. It’s honest, right? I don’t pretend that I’m the best at this. I’m new at this but I enjoy it and I’m having fun with it and it’s—

Christina Fuges: And there are some times, Tony, there are things when we listen back to something we’ve done, we’ll be like, “Hmm, should we let that go? Should we edit that out? Do we become too informal?”

Tony Demakis: Oh yeah! I love editing. Editing is my friend.

Christina Fuges: There’s a line where do we become too informal. Am I representing the brand appropriately? I think I get a little more nervous about that sometimes than Tony.

Tony Demakis: You do and I think that’s because when we go into these places, what we end up having is four friends sitting around a table having a conversation and that is how we see this podcast ’cause it’s not going to be technical information. We are not technical data. I don’t want to be technical data because that’s not my wheelhouse. When I first talked to Christina about it, it was, “Let’s build relationships and let’s tell people stories. Let’s sit down and have four people sitting around and sharing stories about what’s happening in manufacturing and moldmaking, in their lives, how they got to where they are, what is their story. I want to tell their story.”

When Kelly and I, my wife and I, had our marketing company or design, I believe that everything is based on a story. There’s a story behind everything and that’s what engages people. What keeps people’s attention is the why behind it. Not what are you doing. Who cares? Anybody… everybody can do the same thing. It doesn’t matter, but why did you get to where you are? That’s what I want to understand and that’s how I like to connect with people and figure out what it is about them. What are they doing? How did they get to this point? How are they going to grow? Where are they in their life and their personal journey? All that stuff is, and it it seems weird to say that stuff about a manufacturing podcast but that’s where I think it’s different.

Christina Fuges: I agree and for MoldMaking, I look at it as the podcast was a different way to deliver different content. We focus on the technology and process in all of our other avenues so this was a great way for me to be like, “I love the people of moldmaking.” This was a great way just to focus on them. So that, it was clear distinction, to me, also like technology over here. Podcast is people.

Carman Pirie: And it’s clear to me how that excuse to connect with customers, to build that additional rapport would lead to a deeper understanding of their motivations, not just as people but as buyers as well. Like you learn more about this as customers, not just as people.

Jeff White: For sure but Tony, you mentioned in the pre-show as well that your initial idea for the podcast was to actually go out and interview your largest competitor. How did that go over with your dad?

Tony Demakis: You know, at first, he looked at me really, really puzzled. That customer is Stacy Bales from Bales Metal Finishing and I have no problem saying their name because we’re good friends now and it’s because we did that podcast. But when we initially did this, I told my dad what I wanted to do and he said, “I don’t understand it but whatever you think, I trust you,” and I said, “Okay. I want to interview Stacy Bales,” and he said-

Christina Fuges: In your dad way.

Tony Demakis: “You know, that’s our biggest competitor.” “Yeah, yeah.” He just looked at me very puzzled and said, “You know, that’s our biggest competitor.” I said, “Yeah, I know.” But she has an audience that we don’t have and I would like them to hear our story, and we have an audience that she doesn’t have and just because we do some things that are similar, we do plenty of things that are different. So if we can build a relationship between the both of us and we get… she can refer 1% of work that we’re not getting and she’s sending somewhere else and we can do the same thing for her, then we both benefit.

I wasn’t concerned that we were going to lose our customers. We have really good customers that we’ve built great relationships with. If they’re going to leave me because there’s another option that they just learned about and nobody’s just learning about Stacy Bales or their company. They’ve been around for 39 years as well. So if they decide to leave because I introduced them to the world on a podcast, which is not what happened, then they weren’t my customers to begin with. They were just looking for another option and they hadn’t found it yet.

Jeff White: Exactly.

Tony Demakis: So because of that, Stacy and I have a great relationship now. We’ve done work together and it’s really helped and I think because—

Christina Fuges: Because you’re all in this together. We’re all in this together.

Tony Demakis: We’re all in this together. There’s so much work out there that there’s no reason to fight about it. I mean, yeah, we all want more. That’s just human greed but when we’re full and we need to outsource somewhere, it’s good to have those relationships and partnerships with those people that you trust and that you’ve spent time with.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Kula Ring, conversations on manufacturing marketing. Don’t forget to subscribe now at That’s

Jeff White: How have you found the podcast as a vehicle for actual lead creation and finding new customers? Has it been a useful vehicle in that way?

Christina Fuges: I’ve gotten him into some good shops.

Tony Demakis: She has, but she has a very strict firm rule that when… because… so quick back story. There was a lot of fear and hesitation from Christina and some of the other people there because we are an advertiser. Truth be told, Alliance is an advertiser with MoldMaking Technology and we do that because we value what MoldMaking Technology brings to the marketplace which is, again, one of the reasons that I really wanted to work with her and so there was a hesitation because of a competitive advantage, if you will, that because they’re working with us, it may not look favorable to other people in our same space. Yeah, our competitors.

And so we… I have a very… I have a rule as well. I don’t like to promote Alliance while we’re doing the podcast. That’s not my goal. My goal, at that moment, is to engage and learn about the customer—not the customer, the person we’re talking to, which, hopefully down the line, will turn into a customer. But from all the shows that we do, maybe we mention a little bit ’cause it ties into something that’s similar to what they’re going through but my goal is never to promote Alliance while I’m there. I want to talk about them, learn about them, and promote their business and what they’re doing to the best of my ability and that’s my whole goal.

But that being said, yes, we’ve talked to some really interesting people and some shops that I typically would not have been able to get into on my own and that’s because of that partnership and that relationship.

Christina Fuges: It is very unique that we have a technology service supplier partnering with a media company. It does… I feel like that’s pretty unique and I hope it can continue that way ’cause it is. It’s just different and he’s right. There’s a nice, clear separation between who he is in terms of the president of the company that supports us versus the founder of a podcast getting to know people and I think it works really well and he’s… you do a great job with that, Tony. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Tony Demakis: But she does make sure to tell me every time we get to the door of some place, “Listen, I don’t want to hear anything from you.”

Christina Fuges: Exactly! Nothing.

Tony Demakis: “Don’t go in guns blazing with your calendars and your folders and your business cards and your this and your that. Just no. This is not that.” I said, “I know, I know. I understand.”

Jeff White: But I brought these brochures. What am I supposed to do with them?

Tony Demakis: Yeah.

Carman Pirie: Maybe I’ll just leave them here in the lobby.

Christina Fuges: Don’t give him any ideas.

Tony Demakis: We’ll make some paper airplanes and have a contest.

Jeff White: Carman and I are both consummate sales guys so we’ll always be looking for that angle.

Tony Demakis: But you know what? It’s on top of that, not even just that but it’s allowed us to do live shows at NPE or IMTS or Amerimold and have a whole new audience where people are able to see us and hear what we’re talking about.

Christina Fuges: They’ve really been the fun ones. I forgot about those, like the ones that Tony has helped put together that we—I don’t know if you’re familiar with IMTS and NPE—doing panel podcasts live from a trade show. They were fantastic! And the exposure that got the manufacturing podcast as well as MoldMaking was awesome. The traffic walking by and “Well, what’s going on over there?” I mean, that worked really well.

Tony Demakis: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Carman Pirie: Christina, I’d be curious to know how you’ve seen the podcast grow the audience. Even what kind of media mix you’re seeing be more successful in your business these days. Are you seeing an increased focus on in-person events as an example?

Christina Fuges: Yes. So this a tough space we’re in right now. I still think it’s transforming what we’re doing I can’t say for certain what one is better than the other. I know that, yes, live in-person events, and I can only speak for Gardner, that is the greatest area of growth right now for the company. Which is awesome because there was a time not too long ago where people were opting out of trade shows because of the internet. I can look up a supplier online. I don’t need to see them face to face but that has been… people have been craving that on site. Again, what you said, Carman, the whole connection aspect. So a lot of our conference events and our trade shows have been taking off.

Webinars are another thing, which I know they’ve been around forever also but they’ve also been taking off as a way to deliver content. Especially ones where it’s not just a technology supplier speaking or presenting, but they’re getting a customer. So a shop to kind of lead that discussion online. A lot of our social media, I mean, we’re required to be using this. How can we not to stay relevant but as you probably will know, it’s tough to know if that’s working right now. I still struggle with that. I’m doing it all, like we’re repurposing a lot of content and constantly, I think, we have a consistent messaging across every platform that’s out there. It’s tough for an editor nowadays having to do that but I have gotten people. It was Charlie from Webco Plastics who ended up being a contributor to the magazine. He is also… we did a podcast with that company. I met him because of being on Twitter. He’s like, “Oh, I noticed all of your activity on Twitter. I’m Charlie.” I was blown away by that.

So as soon as you hear something like that, you know… it motivates you to continue doing whatever it is you’re doing. So that works. And we have e-newsletters too and they’ve taken off also. It’s really just giving them the content in as many ways as you can until we can figure out actual true custom content. I would love to be able to give Joe Smith from ABC Mold the exact content he wanted, when he wanted it, and the exact format he wants it and maybe someday that’s what we’ll all be doing.

Carman Pirie: It’s… whether you speak with somebody who’s in the daily newspaper business or whether somebody in the trade pubs, I mean, I think that for the manufacturing marketers that are listening to this podcast and feeling like they’re kind of in the midst of change, this is something that you folks have been living for longer and it’s hit your… it’s hit the business of what it is you do in a much more direct way. So it’s always so interesting to get a chance to speak with you about this evolution and I do think that there is something about this. You can almost measure yourselves to death, I think, in terms of trying to figure out, “Okay, which channel’s the right one?” And it’s like, “Well, you know, it’s hard to know which channel’s the right one” and like you say, some of these need to be in any way and maybe we need to be okay with the fact that we’re just creating, albeit, sometimes very small on-ramps onto this highway that we’re trying to build, but every one of those channels is an on-ramp.

Tony Demakis: I think it’s not a matter of which one. I think it’s the answer is all of them. You can’t say, “I’m only going to do Twitter.” “I’m only going to do Instagram.” “I’m only going to be on podcasts.” “I’m only going to do video.” Because you’re missing an entire segment if you just pigeonhole yourself into one thing. You have to be everywhere and you have to be engaging. You can’t create a Twitter account and just read Twitter and expect that do anything for you. You have to engage with people and try and get those conversations started and be part of the fun. Be part of the conversation. Post pictures on Instagram and start conversations. Reply to somebody else’s post and just be, not transparent, but transparent. If you like something, tell somebody you like it and keep that conversation growing. Yes, exactly.

Christina Fuges: Then you’ll get more of it! Right! If you tell… if you share your feedback, you’ll get more of what you want. We just need to know what that is and we’re kind of being all forced into anyway because the next generation that’s entering manufacturing and it is happening, something, again, I thought was not going to happen. They’re pretty much demanding that and Gardner…

Tony Demakis: You thought everybody was just going to go away? What do you mean you didn’t think it was going to happen?

Christina Fuges: Well, I was nervous for a while. When we started the magazine, the average age of a moldmaker, like our core reader, was 56 years old. Now, 20 years later, I’m a little nervous about that and then to see what is happened is so exciting. But they do demand a different… a lot of them aren’t picking up magazines and these are the people that are eventually going to be the decision makers, who’s buying your equipment, Tony. So if they want content a different way, we need to provide that. Plus, you know what too? A lot of that different delivery is just more fun to do. Doing video features and getting on site is sometimes more fun than sitting down, writing a technical article. So I’m kind of enjoying learning something new also.

Carman Pirie: And I think those various formats also lend themselves to that tension you expressed earlier when you’re like, “Geez, should we edit that out? Did we get a little too casual? Did we get a little too…” They help kind of break down that barrier, that kind of brand barrier, if you will, and it just becomes people connecting with people then and I think that this—

Christina Fuges: Oh, I like that!

Carman Pirie: When you’re feeling that tension, it probably means that you’re doing something right.

Christina Fuges: That’s a good quote. Yes.

Tony Demakis: Yeah. We’re going to have to use that. I mean, but you can even tell, if you guys… I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to listen to the show at all or what but the podcast that we did with Legacy Precision Mold in Michigan was one of my favorite ever because the direction that they went down and what their business means to them, and not just to them, but their faith and everything was so awesome to get to tell and share in a manufacturing space. It’s not something that a magazine’s ever going to cover. It’s just not. It’s not something a video is going to cover. They’re not going to bring that up, but because we were there at that time at that moment and that place-

Christina Fuges: It got emotional.

Tony Demakis: And having the conversations that we were, they totally opened up and it got really emotional and it was a great, great podcast in my opinion and the best part was when it was over, when the show was over and we stopped recording and we’re talking with Tom and Tyler, the father and son, they both said, “Man, this went really long” ’cause we talked for about an hour and a half. We, I mean, like I said, it just becomes friends sitting around the table having a conversation and nobody wants that to end.

So we got done, we’re cleaning up, and Tom, the father said, “This went really long. How are you guys going to edit this?” And I said, “Well, you know, we’ll go back through. We’ll see what’s what and find where we can trim some dead space or some silence so people don’t think it’s over and we’ll go from there.” And he said, “I hope it goes without saying, I would rather keep the personal stuff in and take the stuff about the business out.”

Christina Fuges: I remember that.

Tony Demakis: So, and that to me, speaks volumes to why we’re doing this. It’s not just work and technical. It’s people.

Christina Fuges: And he’s also someone when we walked into that shop, he was a nervous wreck. He didn’t know what a podcast was. He was so uncomfortable and Tony, I don’t know if you know, he always has these kind of games he does to kind of get people a little more comfortable and that even was difficult to get through the two of them but the more you talk to him, you literally saw his body just relax and then he didn’t want to shut up so it was like, “Wow! We did it! We did it!”

Tony Demakis: Yeah.

Jeff White: Mission accomplished.

Tony Demakis: Yeah.

Carman Pirie: Guys, I really thank you for bringing this perspective to The Kula Ring today. It’s been lovely to chat with you and to learn more about how you’ve… I just really feel like we’ve moved beyond a simple content experiment and a different way of doing marketing for a manufacturer. We’re really starting to uncover some of the real benefit to the work that you’ve been doing around building these relationships and connections and frankly, it just comes across in your voice. You can tell as we’re speaking with you that it’s had a real impact on your understanding of those you serve and those you get the privilege to working with every day. So I thank you for bringing that to the show today.

Christina Fuges: Thank you for inviting us.

Tony Demakis: Aw, I’m glad that you gave us the opportunity. I would love to have—

Christina Fuges: Absolutely. Return the favor.

Tony Demakis: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. And I would love to have your listeners listen to the Manufacturing Alliance podcast. I mean, we’ve put it out there everywhere we can and tell us how we can get better. You know, listen to this and go, “You know, I guess they kind of sound a little bit interesting. I’d give them a little bit of a chance.” That’s all we want is a little bit of a chance and tell us if we’re terrible. If we’re terrible, don’t listen. We’re not going away. So don’t tell us to quit ’cause we’re not going to do that ’cause we enjoy it, but the manufacturing industrial way is continuous improvement and that’s what we’re looking for. So tell us and the only way we get better is working with professionals like you guys.

Carman Pirie: I’m certain that we’ll be sure to link up your podcast and show notes.

Jeff White: If you wouldn’t mind just share the URL with us now.

Carman Pirie: Yeah.

Tony Demakis: Well, the URL is on the Alliance website,

Carman Pirie: I think if you just… folks, if you go to the site and just in the top right hand corner, you’ll see a link to the podcast and be able to go from there and I think you’ll really enjoy it. Please do give it a listen.

Christina Fuges: Exactly. Thank you, Tony. All the ones I’ve done with Tony are all on We have a podcast link and you can get them all right there.

Tony Demakis: You can also find all the shows on MoldMaking Technology’s website as well.

Christina Fuges: Thank you so much.

Jeff White: Wonderful.

Carman Pirie: Very cool. Well thanks so much guys! We look forward to chatting with you again soon and given your inclination towards in-person interviews, we look forward to welcoming you to Halifax in the very near future.

Christina Fuges: Bye-bye!

Tony Demakis: Aw, that sounds like a plan!

Carman Pirie: Talk soon now.

Jeff White: All right, thank you!

Tony Demakis: All right, bye-bye.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Kula Ring with Carman Pirie and Jeff White. Don’t miss a single manufacturing marketing insight! Subscribe now at That’s

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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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