Finding What Works: Digital Age Marketing For Those Who Aren’t at a Screen

Episode 255

October 3, 2023

So we do stuff digital now, that probably isn’t news to you. But, what if your ICP isn’t sitting at a screen all day? How do we make sure that the marketing content we are creating is going to get in front of them and be effective when it is? Jon Star of Methods Machine Tools tackles this problem head on. Method’s buyer persona is, more often than not, an operator or technician that isn’t stuck at a desk all day. So Jon has put considerable effort into making sure that their marketing efforts are effective to someone on the move. This is a great chat that covers data backed marketing and eventually the virtues of executive comms. Go ahead, press play.

Finding What Works: Digital Age Marketing For Those Who Aren’t at a Screen 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, a podcast for manufacturing marketers brought to you by Kula Partners. My name is Jeff White and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, how you doing, mate?

Carman Pirie: You know, I’m doing surprisingly okay. 

Jeff White: After dental surgery last night, no wonder. 

Carman Pirie: Yes. Yeah. Not to take our listeners through it in terribly gory detail, but there was a dental surgery that was required last evening, and you know, so if I’m slurring my words a bit more than normal today, I assure you I haven’t been at the tavern this morning. 

Jeff White:  We are Canadian, so you never know. 

Carman Pirie: That’s true. It’s more just the residual impact. But look, glad that I’m able to at least converse with you all today. 

Jeff White: Yeah. No, it’s good to have you mostly in one piece. Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: Indeed. 

Jeff White: So, I’m looking forward to what we’re gonna talk about today, because it is a subject that every modern manufacturing marketer runs into, and we don’t always know what to do with it. And of course, I’m talking about data. You know? 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Well, and it’s kind of almost a dual challenge, I think, of data, but also how do you deploy data powered, data backed marketing programs when you’re marketing to people who aren’t tethered to a desk all day? I think it’s a fascinating conversation. I’m looking forward to it. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Me as well. So, why don’t we just jump into it? So, joining us today is Jon Star. Jon is the Director of Marketing at Methods Machine Tools. Welcome to The Kula Ring, Jon. 

Jon Star: Gentlemen, good morning. Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here. 

Jeff White: Glad you’re with us. 

Carman Pirie: And I’m pleased that you did not have dental surgery last night, Jon. 

Jeff White: Well, you don’t know. I mean, you might have. 

Carman Pirie: I’m assuming. It would have come up by now. 

Jon Star: Yeah. I tend to get those appointments at the end of the workday too, and yeah, I don’t envy you. 

Carman Pirie: Well, look, Jon, introduce our listeners to Methods Machine Tools, if you would, and give us a bit of a glimpse into your world. 

Jon Star: Sure. So, Methods Machine Tools, we are an importer, distributor, service provider of CNC machine tools and engineering services. Company’s been around since 1958 operating continuously. I’m sitting here today at our national headquarters outside of Boston. We have regional offices around the country. We have direct and indirect sales motions covering the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. And you know, if anybody out there is familiar with Methods, or maybe not, we again provide and service a whole range of leading CNC manufacturers. FANUC, Nakamura-Tome, Yasda, Kiwa, OKK, Weiler, and our own Methods machining centers, and again, we as a service provider wrap that around with a full suite of services around automation, and integration, process management. Really all that heavy lifting on the engineering side to help our customers really excel as fast as possible. 

And yeah, Method’s not the largest company out there, but we believe in our products and our engineering services, and I’m focused on providing that total customer experience and solutioning. 

Carman Pirie: And Jon, how long have you been with the firm? 

Jon Star: So, I’ve only been here coming up on two years. It’s been a fantastic ride so far. You know, my background, I am not from the manufacturing sector historically, so coming into Methods and coming into the manufacturing world, and the CNC machining world was definitely new to me. My background took me in a bunch of different directions. Actually, when I graduated college about 15-17 years ago, I actually jumped right into the world of sports writing. I had a little bit of inside sales experience, but quickly learned after about two and a half years that doing inside sales and business development kind of work was not for me. So, I spent about six years covering Minor League Baseball, Major League Baseball, stringing at a few places, and then in about 2012, when my wife and I decided it was time to start a family, figured I better hunker down and get off the road, and stop with the crazy work schedules that had me going till all hours of the night, and took the foray into the corporate world. 

And where I spent a better part of 10-plus years in enterprise technology companies, and really had I feel like a very valuable experience progressing from internal marketing, into executive communications and messaging, and again, spent about six years in executive comms, and PR, and then really took that leap into sort of portfolio management and the marketing side. One, as a personal challenge, right? When the opportunity with Methods came about. And then two, looked at a company like Methods where there was so much potential in a marketing role to be able to help evolve what we do from a marketing standpoint and really help bring together a stronger brand, a stronger presence on the marketing side for Methods, knowing that we have such great products and services. 

So, definitely has been a challenge, but a fantastic opportunity, and I’ve really enjoyed every day I’ve been here. 

Jeff White: I really always love the journey of a lot of the marketers we speak with on this show because, you know, you don’t always talk to somebody who worked in writing for Major League Baseball. 

Carman Pirie: I know, right? 

Jeff White: Do you miss that side of things, Jon? 

Jon Star: You know, surprisingly not too much. I get asked that question a lot, and for me, it was I kind of look back and say, “You know what? I did it. I got bylines. I got experiences. It was great.” But boy, those late nights, early mornings, overnights, travel, that is a grind. And so, I still have some colleagues that are in that game, in that business, and it is not easy. It is not an easy life. So, no, I don’t miss it. I like being home with my family. 

Carman Pirie: It’s always the way, whether it’s baseball writing, or just more shall we say mundane business travel, it always looks a little sexier before you’re actually the one doing it, you know? Look, Jon. I do want to kind of hook on that executive comms and PR background a little bit. Maybe we’ll get into that a little bit later because I’m kind of curious as to how that experience has intersected with what we’re talking about. But kind of jumping into it, one of the biggest challenges that you’ve found as you’ve moved into marketing for Methods Machine Tools is that these people aren’t tethered to a desk. The influencers of deals are maybe not in a position to be as exposed to your digital marketing prowess as you would like, or at least in a different way. And then that kind of challenge is intersecting with this data challenge, I guess. This notion of especially in a company of engineers, kind of need to be able to back it up as you’re suggesting what we’re going to do next. 

So, talk to me about that challenge. What’s the… How did you kind of even package it, package up the challenge in that way? It must have been a bit of an awakening as you went into the business and started seeing, “Oh, this is what I’ve got to deal with. I’ve got a bunch of people I need to convince and they’re nowhere near a screen for a chunk of the day.” 

Jon Star: Right. And that was, I think, the biggest learning for me in the beginning was from a marketing perspective, the people that consume content, the people that are reading, watching, learning, when are they accessing that material? But more importantly, what is their day-to-day experience? And I think about our core constituency, and as marketers, everybody’s looking for that ideal customer profile, right? That ICP, and building personas, and all that work, and that is all very valuable work, and for me coming in from the outside of this industry, spent a good first few months just learning about what is the day-to-day experience of somebody who’s in this business? If our customers are operators, or our customer experiences are being led by operators who are working with their hands, they’re in machines, they’re not sitting at a desk like I tend to do too much of the day, how is it that you can convince people in an increasingly saturated world where there’s so much content? How do you reach those people? And again, it’s looking at all the channels out there, and I think for marketing in manufacturing, the biggest challenge has been how do you convert that person when they don’t know what you’re… They’re not familiar with your brand. 

And so, I’ve stepped in. What I did when I came in, I looked at all of the channels we’re leveraging. All the content we’re creating. Is it as informative as it could be? Is it as sharp as it could be? Knowing that for somebody who might have influence in a customer account, it could be that operator who maybe looks at his phone for 10 minutes while he’s in the breakroom trying to get down his lunch as fast as possible. So, really my first challenge coming in was looking at sort of our holistic marketing stack, if you would call it, from the technology, and the content, and the assets, and looking at going is this something one, that’s going to appeal to a prospective customer base? And then two, is it telling that right message and is it captivating? 

And from my experience, and I think about my experience looking at first being a writer, a journalist, I felt like that was a… From a core competency standpoint, I really look back on that and go, “Boy, that was so critical.” Because marketing at some level is about storytelling. Could be a 10 second story, it could be a 10 minute video, it could be a 30 minute podcast, but it’s really trying to convince and visualize that story for the customer. So, that was the big challenge coming in right off the bat, was here’s a 65-plus-year-old brand that has its own brand, represents brands with a lot of power. FANUC, Nakamura, Yasda, et cetera, right? These brands precede themselves. So, the challenge is how do you harness all that brand power underneath in our portfolio with our sort of uber brand as Methods and bring that to market in a really captivating way? 

Carman Pirie: I’m curious, because of course people talk about that, paint that picture as you just did of the time-starved person who’s not in front of a screen all day, but is on the phone over break, or what have you, and the instructions to marketers coming out of that, some of them are a little more blatantly obvious than others, like i.e., form factor of that content, being able to see it on the phone even, pretty critical. Seems like table stakes these days, but it should be noted, I just spoke to a manufacturer before this podcast whose website is not accessible via phone. 

So, the form factor piece is a bit obvious, but I’m curious. How else has it shifted your content approach? Does it mean that you need to be more straightforward, or to the point, or how else has your storytelling approach shifted based upon this unique target? 

Jon Star: The form factor question is really important, right? Because when we think about channels, especially everything is increasingly in a mobile world, and then now you’re trying to juggle and learn what are the algorithms like, right? Whether it’s Google, or YouTube, or LinkedIn. When you combine the factors of it’s gotta be mobile friendly, it’s gotta be short and to the point, it’s gotta be informative, and I think from a storytelling standpoint, from what I was really… What I really try to drive now is how do we show up in a way that is representative of what our customers are experiencing, right? Does our content enable people who are consuming it to visualize how it will solve their problem? To visualize like, “Yes, that is something that I do every day.” 

You know, in our world, in the CNC machining world, it could be a certain type of cutting. It could be a certain type of automation. It can be a certain type of integration where we know that customers have a lot of engineering challenges. So, how do you show great examples of that engineering, of that product, of that cutting, so that a customer or prospect, perhaps in as little as 30 seconds, can go, “Boy, I’ve had that challenge. Now I’m seeing something that goes right into my sweet spot of what I need to solve.”

And then from the form factor side, it’s like we’ve seen YouTube deploy their YouTube Shorts. I’ve been trying to pay attention to how LinkedIn responds to some video, and responds to different form factors of video, or different form factors of images, and graphics, and then the backend of that is like, again, you touched on data earlier. It’s like, “What are you able to discern out of those analytics and that content performance that will then inform your go-forward content strategy?” 

Jeff White: When you’re coming into an organization like this, and serious longevity, 65 years, been doing some marketing, did you find any hidden gems of content that was really resonating and really working? And did you find anything that was just like, “Wow, we’ve spent a lot of time and money on this, and it really didn’t do anything?” 

Jon Star: Yeah. To answer the second part first, I think, and this applies largely to what I’ve seen now in the manufacturing sector, is that there is a… We know there’s a generational shift in terms of decision makers in this industry, sort of your influencers, your power brokers in this industry, and so with that has come this evolution in the content. And I think when I came into Methods, there was still a lot of… There were some aha moments we’re going, “Guys, we’re following a model that has basically been left behind.” A lot of physical assets, physical brochures, things like that. Not to say there aren’t still points in time for that sort of thing, but really what my biggest challenge is, and the team here from a marketing perspective, is how do we really go through this marketing transformation where there’s been a lot of historical marketing that while good, has not provided the scale and reach that we need from the digital side. And so, that is sort of… If I were to put the charter of our marketing team here under one sort of banner, it’s really evolving into a much more digital-first marketing engine. 

And you know, that’s been… That’s requiring a lot of internal learning, some change management behaviors, even changes to the cost structure, and how we fund marketing, and what are… how we go attack marketing. And so, there’s still a lot to learn, and a lot to sort of pull forward on our side, but… So, you know, what I’ve found, what is working, and we’re going through it right now, because as I’m talking to you gentlemen, we’re about one week away from a large open house here in our headquarters, here outside Boston. And you know, we’ve found that even despite this shift to all the digital trends that we’ve talked about, and I mentioned, there is absolutely still that place for physical events. Shows, bring people in. 

Now, I will note that we draw a clear line between sort of the industry trade shows and events on our properties. I think when it comes to the trade show network, the trade show ecosystem in this industry, I think there’s… I think an inflection point, and maybe it was driven by COVID, was reached where as a marketing business, as a marketing team, as you’re budgeting, that ROI on those trade shows is, over time, not really gonna end up giving you what you’re looking for. However, we’ve found a lot of success in bringing folks to our offices, right? This is gonna be the fourth open house we’ve run at one of our facilities in this last year. And there’s still a lot of power in getting your customers on your property. And that, I’ve found, has worked, and has been a historical real marketing high point for Methods, is that when we feel very confident in the power of the brand, and the power of bringing people together on site here. 

But knowing that, from a trade show perspective, just again in that ecosystem of trade shows, we made the decision to pull back from those just from an ROI perspective. The marketing game for us now is really scale, reach, and being able to do that selling when your salespeople are not in front of the customer. 

Carman Pirie: I always find it an interesting challenge when we… this notion of in-person events. I mean, I think what’s fun about it is in-person events are not only good for the customers that are showing up, but the salespeople, and other executive team members, or people from just inside the business that are there, they get a lot of qualitative, if you will, benefit out of it. They can feel that they’re building connections. They can feel the momentum. And as a result, yes, sales will probably come out of that, but it’s always fascinating to me how organizations are kind of okay with the more qualitative measures when events are in place, but marketing, when it comes to other data-driven awareness initiatives or what have you, tends to get sometimes held to a bit of a tougher ROI standard. 

I guess I’m curious, Jon, with that long preamble, how are you approaching it? As you’re looking to measure what’s working and what’s not, you’re looking to make more data-driven decisions, are you looking at those things that you’re doing at the awareness stage and defining how you measure ROI a bit differently? I.e., is kind of ROI of those awareness initiatives in some way just can we get somebody to an in-person event at some point in the next 18 months, yes or no? Are we starting to get to that kind of measure? 

Jon Star: Yeah. I mean, measuring qualitative data is a challenge, right? Because you don’t often have hard metrics. When I think about like our open house, how I view my role at that show is to gather that qualitative data, is to just have those conversations. Not trying to sell them from a marketing perspective, but just kind of learn. Why’d you come? What are you looking for? What do you see here that you like? What kind of challenges is your business having that brought you to this kind of event? Or maybe it is just, “Hey, it’s customer experience, customer appreciation. They like working with us so they’re coming to the event.” I think the qualitative notion is hard. 

But what we think about in measuring our data is you gotta have those fundamental key performance indicators, right? And have, from my discipline, I try to look at everything we’re doing. What are our objectives and what are those key results, those KPIs that we’re trying to measure? And everything should be bound within those guardrails to say we’re not just trying to spray in every direction and hope something lands. 

So, whether it’s qualitative data in terms of… You know, I think I will admit that from a qualitative standpoint, I’m still learning with respect to what works best for our business. But it really is just kind of really capturing those conversations, capturing those impression points, and really trying to distill that into an affirmative opinion, and that’s what I’m trying to capture at these shows, right? What are consistent themes, messages, points that I’m hearing that could then give me at least a baseline of information to go, “Okay, we’ve had X number of people coming through the door in an open house, and here are just the top five themes that I’m hearing.” And that’s kind of what I ask of our sales reps there, the other support staff we have at the show, is just… You know, we take a debrief after a show and say forget how many people came in at the moment. Forget how many leads we got or quotes we put out there. Just what did we hear? 

And then at the same time, really trying to measure our audience after the fact with some surveying, or things like that, where we do get a little more quantitative data, but also looking for that qualitative data in terms of just raw feedback, right? Not even a numerical piece of feedback, but just give us that raw feedback and make some determinations from that, and then look at the qualitative results of that against the quantitative and see if there’s any connecting themes there. 

Carman Pirie: Makes sense to me. I’m curious. As you’ve pursued more data-driven decision making in your marketing at Methods, have you… What’s surprised you the most? Have you looked at a dataset or kind of the results of a marketing initiative or what have you and said, “I didn’t see that one coming?” 

Jon Star: I can think of one example. You know, about a year ago, so we represent a brand line of 3-axis 5-axis machines, big horizontals, I mean these are machines that are used across automotive, aerospace, big pieces get cut on these things, and about I would say almost about a year ago this week, I would say, we became… We overtook full national sales and service of this product line, right? Japanese company. We represent it here in the U.S. And you know, so we just put out a press release and said, “Hey, we now represent this brand nationally, sales and service.” 

Wasn’t really trying to go beyond that, right? But boy, within the six months after a press release and some pickup in our industry media, I’ve seen now that we’re 12 months out a significant pickup in traffic to our website, product inquiry through our website, service requests through our website, and now it’s like now we’re learning and going in through data that we can acquire either through our CRM or through accessible manufacturing data. Boy, now we know where to go hunt, right? Because now we’ve started to see where’s our web traffic coming from. Who’s coming to us? Who’s finding us? And now it’s informing us one, content to create. Two, geotargeting, trying to ring fence opportunities and then really strike at them, and use our CRM to go, “Okay, we’re taking this activity. What are we seeing on the backside of it?” 

Jeff White: I think it’s interesting because there would be an awful lot of marketers that would just poo poo the idea of a press release in 2023, or 2022 when I guess that one went out, but you know, as our former director of strategy used to say “it really works!” It’s always interesting when a tactic that some people just don’t really think matters shows that kind of longevity and helps point the way towards what additional types of content would be beneficial just by getting that media mention, getting that pickup, getting it out there beyond your own kind of internal platforms. 

Jon Star: Right. Very tactical. A very specific marketing tactic. But from that, we saw significant traffic and pickup. I mean, even to this day, where we can find traffic that is navigating from something that was up on an industry media site a year ago. So, it is… You know, again, that’s just one more sort of tool in the toolbox from a brand position, but then looking at it and going, “Okay. Whether it’s media engagement, CPC, organic content, paid search, paid social. All that sort of thing.” When we get to the data-driven side now, one of our biggest challenges from the marketing side since I’ve come in is implementing that, really taking a holistic look at the content stack, the marketing stack, what we’re doing from the paid search side, and now harnessing all that in through our CRM so that our field is more actively informed and proactively informed so that they can start having much more informed insights into where they should go sell, who they should go call. 

Because one of the biggest things I learned in the beginning was a lot of our reps, and again, we’re not some of these other companies where they’ve got reps that… Some of our reps cover significant geographic territories. And so, they don’t have the hours in the day, week, year, to be knocking on doors all the time, so the biggest thing, one of the biggest things I looked at coming in was how do we take our CRM to another level where we can now apply data based on what’s coming in through our website, what’s coming in through our campaigns, and enable our reps to see that information so that they can start proactively engaging prospects without having to knock on doors and cold call all the time, knowing that, “Okay, I’ve got six calls to make today, but I know that these people have been on our website, downloaded a brochure, consumed a piece of content.” 

And then what we do from the marketing side is really look at all that holistically and say, “Okay, this is where we’re seeing activity. Let’s double down on that.” Or we tried this over here and it didn’t really work, so let’s just kind of pull back from that and make it a lower priority. But again, that’s all gotta be under the guise of a defined strategy. And I do think from a manufacturing marketing side, if I think there’s one takeaway that I’d like to share from the discipline side is setting that strategy for your team, for the other departments so that they know what you’re working on and what you’re working toward, and what they can expect from you from the marketing side. Because I think the shift of taking marketing from a sales support function into a real revenue driving piece of the business, that’s also one of my biggest goals here, right? It’s not for marketing to just be this cost center, but to actively drive revenue.

Carman Pirie: That’s really great advice, Jon, and I’m kind of… My inclination to drill down on that is running in conflict with my curiosity around the executive comms side. So, maybe I’m gonna feed my curiosity. This started with a bit of a realization that a bit more of a traditional approach, PR, is showing some unexpected results. I would think it’s fair to say that one of the areas where manufacturers maybe don’t leverage as much as they could is the power of their executive team and executive communications. What has been your impression of how manufacturers think about executive communication given that you’re somewhat new to the manufacturing space?

Jon Star: Look, I think holistically your executive team internally is your voice. It’s your identity, right? And I think whether you are a small… You could be a shop of 20 people. You could be a medium size business of several hundred or a large enterprise, right? The executive leadership team’s ability to map, chart, and make a vision for the company, and be able to distill that down at every level, is a critical piece to culture, operations, talent retention, which is a critical piece right now in manufacturing, and so I think again, going back to that idea of you don’t have people tethered to a desk. You have people who are just head’s down, working in a machine, working with their hands. They’re not thinking about what’s happening up here, but they will feel it when there’s a shift or a change. 

And so, being able to have internal messaging from an executive level to say, “This is what we’re doing, why, how, when, where,” and really be able to paint a consistent, steady vision, and show that everything we do is toward that north star vision, right? I think no matter the size of your company, as a business leader, as an executive in a company, that is foundational to how your company operates. Because the stronger your culture, the stronger your internal awareness, the more that folks can show up every day and realize how their individual work ties back to that north star, I just think the more healthy and productive your business is going to be. 

Carman Pirie: How important is that executive comms externally?

Jon Star: I would say from… I think of a CEO, let’s say, or a president of a business unit, and this was always my approach with executive comms. A CEO can be a silver bullet, but you want to deploy him or her strategically, right? I think there’s definitely something to CEOs having social presence, engaging on social, right? Because that is a brand awareness message, right? It allows people to see who’s that person running the company. But I think when you’re talking about events, or PR, things like that, executives should be deployed in a strategic message so that their message doesn’t get oversaturated, or they sort of get lost in their message, so when they step out there his or her message is gonna resonate, right? And that when they put something out, you know there’s gravity behind it. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. That’s good advice. I always wonder. We’ve had occasion to interview the occasional president or CEO of a manufacturing firm that’s really leaned into being a public presence more on the sales side or on the product introduction side or what have you. It’s always surprised me how much more benefit manufacturing CEOs get out of that versus other CEOs. I think, for instance, there’d be a lot of founders in the startup space or what have you that… The importance of having a founder story and getting out there in media is consistent in their categories, and therefore it’s kind of almost a me too game. They don’t get much benefit out of it. They just have to be there. 

Whereas, in manufacturing, it feels to me that there’s still a bit of blue ocean there. Maybe I’m leading the witness too much now, Jon. 

Jon Star: Yeah. And I think it kind of goes back a little bit to that evolution of who are the business leaders in manufacturing today, right? I think there are those that are just more comfortable leaning into it because they’re a little bit more of a “digital native,” perhaps, right? Or they have at least an experience in doing it, but then there also are those executives and leaders who just say, “Hey, we’re not a big company.” So, I lean into it as the leader, and want to put the face to the leadership, because it’s a reputation game too, right? The more you come across as a thought leader, the more you come across as a trusted leader, ideally, the more positive impact that’s gonna have back on your business. So, I would say I think for executives, and particularly the larger your business gets, I’d say it’s a really good opportunity from a branding perspective to have a public facing CEO. 

But again, I think from a social perspective, from a content creation perspective… Look, this is certainly a biased opinion, but I think any business leader that puts him or herself out there would benefit from having a communications, PR, or even a marketing lens to look at it and go, “Why am I doing this? What’s my message? And how do I keep it crafted and honed so that it’s achieving the objectives I want it to?”

Carman Pirie: Jon, it’s been wonderful having you on the show. I really enjoyed this conversation. It’s been a nice meander, if you will, from the challenge of data, and selling to folks who are very busy and otherwise not in front of a screen, to the role of executive comms. It’s been great. Thank you for sharing your-

Jon Star: Yeah. I appreciate you guys having me on. It’s always a great conversation. As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve into its next iteration with reshoring, and domestic manufacturing opportunity, and technology, there are larger technology trends that I think are going to continue to shape and change how we market in this industry. It’s a really captivating time. And that, for me, is why I was so interested by the opportunity to come to Methods and have the opportunity to lead the marketing function here because I just feel like, and I tell our team this every day, there’s so much green field out there. No shortage of challenges, but so many opportunities to try and learn, and do new things, see what works. And as a creative, what else could you want? 

Jeff White: Appreciate you sharing your perspective and sounds like there’s a good potential for a version 2 episode next year and find out where you’ve landed after that. 

Jon Star: Yeah. Absolutely. 

Jeff White: Thanks, Jon. 

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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Jon Star

Director of Marketing, Method Machine Tools

Jon is a marketing and communications leader with 15+ years of experience in journalism, media, executive communications, and product and solutions marketing. He joined Methods in 2021 after more than a decade at global enterprise technologies companies to lead the company’s digital marketing transformation, with a focus on strategic planning, brand positioning, and content creation.

On the strength of data-driven strategy and operations, Jon is passionate about leading change internally and projecting storytelling externally to highlight how Methods’ solutions support manufacturers of all sizes achieve their best business results.

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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