How a B2B Manufacturer Successfully Sells on Amazon

Episode 134

May 25, 2021

Should B2B manufacturers sell on Amazon, or do the challenges of maintaining control over branding and pricing outweigh the benefits? In this episode of The Kula Ring, Melissa Monteith, the former Channel Marketing Leader, Retail Channel Lead for Fluke Corporation, shares how the company successfully sells on Amazon. She talks about leveraging product content and integrating it with the Amazon experience and shares advice for maintaining brand control and meeting other common challenges that arise when hosting a B2B channel on Amazon.

How a B2B Manufacturer Successfully Sells on Amazon 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, sir? 

Carman Pirie: I am delighted to be here, Jeff. You? 

Jeff White: I’m doing really well. 

Carman Pirie: Nice. Look, you know, I’m always excited on this show when we get to tackle a topic that maybe is wrapped up in a bit of fear and uncertainty for a lot of our listeners. I think if we can shine a light on some of those places in manufacturing marketing and take away some of the confusion, then I just think it opens up the door to success for a lot of people, so today’s show has me stoked about that. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, this is a topic that has come up a number of times on the show over the past couple seasons, and really, it’s rarely in a positive light. So, I think it speaks to what our guest has done and the work that they’re doing to truly take advantage of a channel that is often, as you say, a bit of a cave of snakes. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, like spoiler alert, we’re talking about Amazon, and we’re not going to complain about how much money Jeff Bezos makes, or how little taxes he pays, or how it could be the death of local retail. We’ll save all of that debate for another day. Today, we’re just gonna talk about how manufacturers who are scared as hell about selling on Amazon, they don’t know what to do, we’re gonna put them in direct contact with a pro who is doing it all day, every day. 

Jeff White: Absolutely. Joining us today is Melissa Monteith. Melissa is the Channel Marketing Leader for the retail industry at Fluke. Welcome to The Kula Ring, Melissa. 

Melissa Monteith: Thank you so much. Happy to be here. 

Carman Pirie: Well, Melissa, thank you for joining the show, and I’m just so excited to have you here. Where Fluke isn’t a household name or for those that don’t know who Fluke is, maybe introduce the firm and your role there just a little bit if you would. 

Melissa Monteith: Sure. Fluke has been around for about 70-plus years. We’re out of the north Seattle area called Everett, Washington. We are the manufacturer and seller of world-class test and measurement equipment and we manufacture both in the United States and overseas. We sell all over the world. We have manufacturing centers also in the U.K. and Netherlands, as well, and we service over 100 countries. Our applications are for all industrial electronic services and solutions. Maintenance, electrical and temperature, HVAC, indoor air quality, calibration, but we have biomedical, and we have networks also. We service a lot of different customers out in the world. We keep the world up and running. 

Carman Pirie: Very cool. And I know that Jeff introduced your title, but maybe tell us a bit about what you actually do. 

Melissa Monteith: Sure. Yeah, I forgot that part. More than just the I guess explorer of cave of snakes I guess is what you called it, I am the retail channel leader for Fluke, so channel marketing is basically my role, but I am also the lead for that channel to help be more strategic, open up doors, explore opportunities for scalability. I service Amazon, as well as Lowe’s corporation also, so I’m helping to explore different ways to scale the retail industry for Fluke to get our products in front of the customers that need us most. 

Jeff White: I’m guessing too, Melissa, that this has become an even more important strategy since the pandemic, eh? 

Melissa Monteith: Yeah. Yeah, so last year we had this little thing called COVID hit, and we all were sent home. We are a highly distributed company in the electrical channel where most of our branches operated, and with the branches closing, people working from home, it was really important for us to ensure that our online capabilities and our products were available to those who could purchase online. Most of our salespeople, we have a strong salesforce out in the field, they were all kind of stuck at home, as well. We needed to find new ways to get them to be able to leverage information about our tools to get to the customers that needed it most. 

Even though we were obviously sent home to work, a lot of our customers were still working out in the field. They still had a job to do. Still had to keep some manufacturing open. They still had to get electricity and network to where it needed to be, so in order to do that with our branches shut down, we really pushed forward on our online digital shelves, which mostly was Amazon, obviously. Also offers a wide selection of our products, as well. 

Carman Pirie: And I know a lot of people look at that opportunity in that, and that more of the buyers are online than ever before, but I’m certain that it was also a time when more competition is online than ever before. How has that experience been? Have you seen an uptick in effectiveness of the programs over the pandemic or has it been more challenging to compete? 

Melissa Monteith: Yeah, that’s a good question. When we obviously were all sent home last year and manufacturing took a big hit, we actually lost a ton of budget. I mean, everybody did. We all felt the pains. People were out of work. Shipping was almost shut down. Manufacturing across overseas was shut down. We actually took a big hit in our ability to market to our customers. We took a really good, hard look at our advertising opportunities online, our availability of inventory online, which was low everywhere because at that point, once COVID hit, what went really well for people were like the fever screening tools. Everybody wanted a fever screening tool and Fluke happens to make a temperature gun mostly used in the HVAC world, but for whatever reason we sold out of them within weeks on Amazon because people just wanted a temp gun. 

They were buying our temp guns, which are not cleared for FDA approval, and they have an accuracy rating of like I want to say 5 degrees, so it was not probably great for measuring your kid’s temperatures at home. We found a lot of those kinds of crazy behaviors online, where all of our products that were more focused or potentially could be perceived as temperature readings, they were selling, and then all of our other products were just either diminishing inventory. And then we had no budget, so we had to figure out how to strategically place our budgets to where we weren’t putting money towards temp guns. We weren’t really focusing on there because we didn’t want to lead our customers to purchase items that weren’t for the use of measuring fever screening. 

I automatically turned all of those campaigns off. We started focusing on the items that we are competing with. Not to sound egotistical, but Fluke is the premier brand of digital multimeters and clamp meters. We have a lot of competition out there, but everybody was feeling the same pain we were. And as long as we held our brand, held onto our brand on Amazon, we actually maintained really, really high returns. We were up close to 30 to 1 returns just by focusing on keeping our brand corner, just keeping that part of the market, letting go with some of the other stuff, peripheral kinds of sales. 

We were able to focus, dig our heels in on our brand, and we were able to maintain on Amazon really, really well until the opportunity to send more product to Amazon, because they actually shut down some of our non-essential products to Amazon for about two months. 

Carman Pirie:  Really a time of focus for you. 

Melissa Monteith: My job? Or just-

Carman Pirie: No, it’s just it was really a time of focus for the brand overall.

Melissa Monteith: Oh, absolutely. 

Carman Pirie: To really focus in on those core brand categories within Amazon and not get too distracted, especially with the restriction on budget. 

Melissa Monteith: Right. Absolutely. I also tell everybody that I feel like it was a blessing and a curse, COVID. It allowed us to really get back to what matters most, and to Fluke it’s the customer, really understanding what our customer needs from us at that time. A lot of companies are really about the bottom line, and the one thing at Fluke has always been number one is that the customer is our focus. When COVID hit, we did a lot of studies and understanding of how it was impacting each of our customers to understand what they needed from us most. 

What seemed to be the most impactful was just connection. We reached out to our customers, we got information from them, we knew how they needed to be sold, meaning like what information they needed to have in front of them to make the right decisions since they weren’t going to be able to get in front of a speaking person at a branch, per se. We dug our heels into doing more digital assets, giving more education to our customers, more webinars. We’ve done more webinars in the last year than I think we had done there in the four years that I’ve been at Fluke. 

It was amazing to see us get back to what Fluke was all about from the very, very beginning, which is about the customer. Understanding their pain points, what they need from us today, and our engineering team got involved. They started working towards a human temperature screening gun. We worked towards developing a thermal imaging camera that was to take pictures of the whole face for corporations that were bringing their employees back into their buildings. We just started to figure out what else could Fluke be doing more of. We worked on donating masks, so we used some of our materials that were leftover from other parts of the organization, and we developed masks for our local hospitals, and the face shields for local areas, so we really just got back to square one, which was actually super impactful for me as an employee to see where we were getting lost in the whole meeting goal, meeting goal, KPI. 

Everyone has all these things they’re trying to hit. And at that moment, we just realized that’s not important. What’s important is making sure that we’re meeting the customer where they’re shopping, meeting the customer where they need it, getting them the ability to still get the tools they need, and the information they need, even though they’re stuck at home or in a situation where they’re being in full mask gear. PPE is more important than ever. The cleaning of our tools is more important than ever. Sanitation. All that stuff. We just realized that we needed to shift focus and really pay attention to what they need most from us, which is connection. 

Carman Pirie: And in understanding that, I guess I’d like to kind of understand a bit more of those additional sales tools that you introduced there that you really felt helped. I understand that webinars were certainly a big part of it. I think there’s a lot of marketers out there that never thought they would do as many webinars as they ended up doing in 2020. But I’m curious, what else is on that shelf? 

Melissa Monteith: Sure. We also, most of our trade shows moved to more of a virtual trade show. We’re still doing them today. We just had a Grainger show pass that was virtual. Just it’s a whole different feeling of being in person on a trade show. NECA’s one of our biggest trade shows. It’s for the National Electrical Contractors. And to not have that connection with our apprentices and the people who are out doing the work, the electricians, the HVAC techs, just not being able to talk to them and not only get to know them as a person, but also get to know them as like what they do for a living, and to understand that some of the most inconvenient things can be solved in such simplest ways, so we went to a virtual trade show, which to be completely honest, I don’t think anybody has found that to be completely fulfilling. That, again, human connection is just not there, and people are just coming to see, but you don’t get the tchotchkes. You don’t get the free drinks. You don’t get any of that stuff at a virtual trade show. 

But we’re looking forward to keeping that connection the virtual way, so they can get the information they need, but also looking forward to the day where we’re back in person so we can get back into getting to know the customer better. That’s another part that we’ve kind of shifted to. We’ve also created these vertical brochures, which have been really impactful for Fluke over the past almost 15 years we’ve been creating these things, but they’re more of like a brochure that shows different parts of workflows that our tools can actually help with, and different tools help with different workflows. We have troubleshooting tools. We have calibration tools. We have different routine maintenance tools, and just to see like this is your job. It’s an illustration of the work you are in. It shows that our tools can be used in all different parts of it and how your one tool that you might have, a DMM, a digital multimeter, can actually be used in various parts of your workflow that you may not realize, but also opens the door to potentially widening your breadth of tools. 

Potentially, you might need a power logger, or a vibration monitor. Whatever that tool is, we have it all here for you, and Fluke has moved into a stage of rebranding for one Fluke, where we’re combining a lot of our brands together to be a one-stop shop for our customers. Because we realize that a lot of our customers work in different aspects where they might need a network tool, and they might need a calibration tool, and they need an industrial DMM or a clamp meter. We’re focusing on pulling all that in to get the customer exactly what they need, which is like one person to speak to about everything they need. 

Those virtual brochures ended up being a huge sales tool because we moved them to more of an online PDF, and then we’re even shifting to more of a virtual aspect of the virtual brochure, of the vertical brochure, where they can actually click on different things and it’ll tell them how they’ll use that tool in that workflow. It’s really just about educating the customer, giving everything they need at a single touch, like they can go online, they can go onto this website, they can click on this. We even have our branches and our distributors giving this information out and using them as sales tools, as well. There’s a lot of really great things that are happening inside Fluke. We’re just trying to get closer to the customer, giving them the information they need when they need it, where they need it. 

Jeff White: I’ve got a couple of questions about what you just said. In terms of that new content that you’re using to sell, we’ve often thought that manufacturers who sell in a B2B relationship with someone like an electrician or a contractor, although it is a B2B sale, sometimes it acts a little more B2C-ish because you’re selling more to individuals than to companies, and these folks are difficult to target as a group, but do you think the fact that a lot of those independent operators and electricians are more like that makes Amazon an even more appealing channel to them? And I guess the second part of that is how are you leveraging your content on the Fluke site and integrating it with the Amazon experience? 

Melissa Monteith: Yeah, so retail offers Fluke the opportunity to access the largest pool of customers across any of the business channels. It really is. Amazon, while a lot of people are kind of iffy with it, they’re not as scared of it, or they just don’t like the perception that Amazon is growing too big, too fast, and maybe their own shopping experiences on Amazon are kind of making them a little sour to the Amazon world. 

We realized that by not looking at Amazon, we would be shutting off the doors, the access to our products to the largest pool of customers. And it’s not even about potentially stealing customers away from our other distributors at all. It’s about meeting the customers where they are. And if a customer is solely dependent on say a Graybar or a Grainger, they’re gonna keep going back to that, because that’s where they have their relationships. They have something that Amazon cannot offer, which is that personal relationship. You can’t get that from Amazon. Amazon can’t be there to say, “Let me help school you on this. That’s not what you need. You need this.” Amazon’s there to tell you, “Buy. Buy this. Please buy this.” They’re just there to literally just be that place that you can learn if the manufacturer provides the right information to the customer, but really, it’s just about it’s there, it can get to you in two days, and it’s offering a pretty competitive price if not the best price.

Because that’s what Amazon is best known for. They will scour the internet looking for the lowest price and they’ll beat it. And so, they also offer the opportunity for multiple sellers to sell your product. So, it’s not just us selling our products on Amazon. It could be anybody. It could be that Joe’s Toy Shop could be selling our DMM. We want to know who Joe’s Toy Shop is as a manufacturer, but they can sell it, as well. So, whether it’s online or in big box retail, our products are more available to discover and interact with because of retail, because of this opportunity this channel offers, and the best part about Amazon is that it really is a self-serve. It’s whatever you want it to be on that product display page. 

What we do is really just build a foundational product display page. That’s the first thing you can do to set up the Amazon flywheel is really just build really good content. Have really good information. Have a really good product title. All of your bullet points need to be on point to what the customer is looking for for your product. And then you need images. You need a beauty shot. A hero shot. An application shot. A video is super impactful to a customer who doesn’t necessarily know what your tool is or does. Especially in the world of test and measurement, I am not an electrician. I am not an engineer by any sorts. I am a true and proud marketer. That’s what I do. But in order to be a really impactful marketer, I need to understand what my tools do for my customers, and so if I don’t understand what my tools do, the customer is not gonna know what the tools do. The first thing I do is really just understand what are all these buttons. What do they do? And not only what do they do, what’s it solving for the customer? And then I put that on the product display page. I put it in my words so that anybody can go upon my page and say, “Yeah, I get what this tool does. It matters to me. This is exactly what I need.” 

Then you build out what’s called enhanced content, which is on the bottom part of the page. It’s a bottom fold of the page. It’s open to any seller on Amazon. Well, I should say that it’s actually open to the manufacturer on Amazon, but the sellers have an opportunity if they have their own manufacturing page that they can create their own. But it really belongs to me. I own my A-plus content for my products, so what I do is really build really strong content, get really good images. People using the tool. People tend to really get a lot of use out of seeing other people use a tool. That’s actually the number one seller is if an electrician sees another electrician using a tool on the site and they’re like, “What is that? I’ve never seen that before. What does it do? How does it make your job better?” And that’s what sells the tool. 

I try to do the same on my page by really building up enough content that it builds search optimization. The more content you have on your page, the better your tools will show up in search when customers are searching for it, and then that’s really your foundation for selling on Amazon. 

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Carman Pirie: I would be curious because you mentioned a lot of… Indeed, there’s a number of other people that would be selling your products on Amazon, as well. How often does your great content, your great product descriptions, et cetera, great titles, headlines, how often do they get ripped off? 

Melissa Monteith: If a third party decides to create a new product, what’s called an ASIN, which is an Amazon number, like they create a new Amazon item that’s already created, like I have it, but then they create one themselves just so that they can control the content or control what’s called the buy box, so they get credit for the sale. When we get notification of that, we actually as a manufacturer can control that, and we can actually pull their ASIN, their item number under ours, so they can’t actually own the page. That’s all about your brand registry. You have to do a really good job of scouring to make sure nobody’s stealing your brand and make sure that nobody is ripping off your images. Oftentimes, and this is like an Amazon thing, they have an algorithm that runs in the background to try to clean up information or combine third parties and potentially Chinese knockoffs. They try to do all that stuff in the background to clean up a lot of that catalogue. 

What happens is sometimes their pictures become our pictures, and often we’ll be like, “Uh, that’s not our picture. That’s not the right picture. We can fix all that.” But it’s really to stay on top of your catalogue. That’s the most important thing is just paying attention to what you have, making sure that you’re watching your information. The information, they don’t really… Like the data and product titles, that stuff doesn’t really change because of what happens with third parties, but images do happen to sometimes merge because the image library is very fast. But it’s really just important to stay on top of who your third parties are that are selling your products. It’s really tough, because we have a MAP policy at Fluke, where we have to adhere, or our distributors have to adhere to a minimum advertised pricing of our products, and so when we do see those violations happen, it’s primarily due to a third party that’s unauthorized. 

We have done a really good job of combating our unauthorized resellers on Amazon, which I think is part of the big scary, part of the snake issue in the cave. 

Carman Pirie: It absolutely is. 

Melissa Monteith: For manufacturers. Yeah. It’s super scary to kind of not feel like you can control your brand, and that’s why it’s really important to register your brand with Amazon, and really build that relationship with your vendor manager at Amazon, so that when things do happen you have a case, and it can get solved pretty, pretty quickly. But we go after our third parties all the time for either potential fraud or counterfeit. We also have the pricing issue, so we have people that go after them for that. And they do a really good job, but sometimes people are very incognito. They hide. And they’re most likely selling it out of their garage, or out the back of a truck, but we do our best we can do, and that’s all we can. It’s tough to kind of get 100% there, but we’re pretty close. 

Carman Pirie: And if you don’t mind my asking, is that an effort that you resource internally with the legal team? Or is that something that you also maybe have outsourced assistance on from an investigative perspective?

Melissa Monteith: Yeah. Currently, it’s all internal. We have a great legal team at Fluke. We have a lot of really involved people as far as brand goes, so they’re highly connected with it. And not only that, but I’m also very connected to the brand registry, so even though I’m not the legal, I still even as a channel marketer, I can go in and file a case to get it fixed. It doesn’t have to be you paying somebody $500 an hour to go fight this. You can just do it yourself. As long as your brand is registered with Fluke, you can actually go after that. And we’ve had issues where we have a brand called Pomona Electronics that recently we found out that our brand store was going to a Pomona’s organic juices, which is definitely not what the customer is looking for. They’re looking for alligator clips and test leads. And when you click on it, it goes to juice. 

We had to fight. It took a while to fight that one a little bit, because they also owned Pomona as a brand. So, we had to just be creative with the whole Pomona Electronics versus Pomona Juices. But that happens, and you just kind of figure it out, and then you build… Once you have it all solved, then you can just kind of go off and running. 

Carman Pirie: And Melissa, I mean, you said it quite right. Losing control of the brand is one of the big concerns that people have, and I thank you for shining a bit of a light onto the fact that that is something that’s manageable and it’s not maybe something you have to be scared of. You can certainly work through it. I’d be curious, what challenges would you put out there other than brand control, if you will, in terms of the top two or three main challenges when selling on Amazon? 

Melissa Monteith: Oh. That’s a tough one. There are a lot of challenges with selling on Amazon. A lot of them are pretty contractual related, which I don’t typically get involved with, so I’m not gonna go down that rabbit hole, per se. But I would say just the challenges with Amazon is that it can grow very, very fast if you don’t pay attention to it and your team could potentially either have to scale with it, or be a very lean organization like we are. We at Fluke, we’re lean in that respect. I would say the biggest challenge with Amazon is that it can grow super, super fast without even looking at it. It’s almost like a set it and forget it is what I tend to say with a lot of what Amazon offers, especially with our products, which have a longer buying cycle. We do have some transactional products, but we have some products that also take a while to convert. And if you don’t pay attention, your budget could be blown in a day, or it could potentially take 30 days to go through your budget. That’s the challenge of Amazon is that you get out of it what you put into it, so if do a really good job of setting up your foundational PDP page and you do a really good job of getting really consistent brand messaging on your A-plus content, you do a brand store, you could potentially scale very, fast, very quickly. 

Be ready with your supply chain, because we have run into that situation, especially recently with COVID. Everything’s out in the Pacific Ocean right now. Supply chain can be a tough one to watch for. I would say you have to watch your inventory levels, because if you do PPC on Amazon, and you don’t watch your inventory levels, you could be potentially paying for somebody else’s sale. 

And then there’s the whole buy box situation, which we watch very, very closely, but if somebody, a third party comes out of nowhere offering a brand-new tool for half the price, they’re gonna win the buy box every time. Those are the kind of guys that you want to watch out for, especially if you find out they have a lot of inventory of that product. Then it’s potentially a stolen situation, or potentially somebody does not really have the inventory, they’re just saying they have inventory. There’s a lot of different things there. There’s FBA. FBA is a huge challenge for us at Fluke. 

FBA is fulfilled by Amazon. Any third party that chooses to be an FBA is a challenge for us, because in the past, if somebody were say violating MAP, or violating our price policy by half, 50%, we would buy that inventory because we could trace that product back to the original seller, and then really go after the distributor who’s selling to an unauthorized seller, or potentially we found people were stealing stuff. Those things have happened in the past. With FBA, that inventory is commingled, so when it happens, the third-party FBA is commingled with our inventory, so there’s literally no way for us to decipher what’s ours, or Amazon to decipher what’s ours and what’s theirs. It’s literally we could be sent our own product, or we could be sent their product. If there’s multiple FBA sellers, forget it, because you’ll never be able to tell who got what. 

That’s one of the biggest challenges with Amazon. 

Carman Pirie: How do you mitigate that? What do you do? 

Melissa Monteith: If you have ideas, please let us know. It’s a tough one. Yeah. I think the best thing to do at that point is really just going back to stage one, which is working out a deal with our distributors to actually work with authorized resellers, actually really just getting more information about who they’re selling to. If they’re working with resellers, let’s get those resellers on our list. Let’s make them a partner of Fluke’s. Let’s understand who they are so that we get less and less unauthorized resellers. That bucket just becomes smaller. So, less of a worry. 

That really just goes back to relationships. We just have to do a better job of really getting contact with our distributors, letting them be allowed to sell and to authorize resellers, getting their information, and then making that pool of sketchy people a little smaller. 

Carman Pirie: I love that. We’re gonna make the sketchy people pool just a touch smaller. 

Melissa Monteith: Just a touch smaller. Yeah. That’s the goal. 

Carman Pirie: It’s a good goal more broadly, I think, if we could get there. 

Jeff White: Sketchy people. Caves of snakes. 

Melissa Monteith: I mean, retail’s been called worse. Yeah. Hopefully, a firefighter group over here, for sure. 

Carman Pirie: I was going to ask you what you thought the biggest opportunity was with Amazon, but I think you almost disclosed that with the biggest challenge, which is that it can scale very quickly. That’s both a blessing and a curse, I would guess. Are there any other kinds of nice surprises that you’ve discovered along the way? 

Melissa Monteith: That’s a good question. I would say the only untapped opportunity that I would look into, Fluke has had some challenges there, but we do have Fluke Networks that does play in this field, is to do drop ship with Fluke, or with Amazon. Any opportunity you as a manufacturer have the chance to drop ship to customers via Amazon, or via Lowe’s, or via wherever, you should do it. There obviously are some supply chain issues to work through, some contractual stuff, money, all that stuff for certain. That stuff aside, any chance that you have to drop ship is the best, because it gets you connected to the customer even more, even closer than you can with Amazon. 

Currently, as a vendor of Amazon, as a manufacturer, we have no information about who our customer is on that side. We lose all opportunity to know who our customer is through Amazon. But as they’re drop shipped, you get their information, you get where they live, you get everything you can. You have the opportunity to put more information into the box about shopping at Fluke, or get more information from, that sort of stuff. That’s gonna be super impactful for you as a business, especially if you’re a smaller business, or a smaller manufacturer. The more opportunity you can get customers to know who you are as a manufacturer outside of Amazon, the better. I’ve ordered products, and you may have also, where you go to Amazon because it’s convenient, because it’s an app on your phone, and then that ends up being a drop ship, which I don’t see as a customer. But then I get emails from the manufacturer that say, “Hey, if you shop from us, if you help save us money by shopping directly with us, it costs you exactly the same. You might have to wait two more days,” but it’s better I guess for the company to save money versus shopping through Amazon. 

It’s like a better connection with the company, so that you actually can understand who you’re buying from for the why, not the what. Like I want to buy from this company because they do good things for this, not because they sell this. I think that’s what Fluke should do more of, because we want our customers, apprentices all the way to the journeymen and supervisors, whoever that person is, we want them to know why Fluke does what they do. Not what they sell. And I think often we get stuck as like the meter company, or Fluke is great because my teacher told me so. Really, it’s great because it’s safe. It’s a super, super safe product that we put a lot of effort into ensuring that our customers are not getting hurt on the job site. We do everything in our power to do that. 

I think the more connection we can make to the customer and you can make to your customer, the better. 

Carman Pirie: That drop ship tip is I think a great way, and like you say, for smaller manufacturers who may be looking to leverage Amazon for brand discovery or what have you, that’s a… Yeah, absolutely. 

Jeff White: Really, it allows you to circumvent the main issue that a lot of people have with Amazon, which is not getting the customer information. You know, I mean that’s brilliant. Love it. 

Carman Pirie:  Well, Melissa, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. I knew that we would start talking about Amazon, before you know it, the time would be up, and here we are. I think we’re going to have to bring you on for yet another episode here soon, but I want to thank you for joining us today. It’s been a real pleasure. 

Melissa Monteith: For me, also. I appreciate the new title. Cave of snakes. I’m gonna put that somewhere in my title. I definitely need that added because that for sure sums it up. 

Carman Pirie: I think we should need an accompanying illustration, as well. 

Jeff White: There you go. 

Melissa Monteith: Absolutely. 

Jeff White: Something with Indiana Jones. 

Melissa Monteith: I’ll definitely give you credit for that, too. 

Jeff White: Very good. Thanks a lot. 

Carman Pirie: All the best. 

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Melissa Monteith

Former Channel Marketing Leader, Retail Channel Lead for Fluke Corporation

Melissa Monteith is the former Channel Marketing Leader, Retail Channel Lead for Fluke Corporation, the world leader in the manufacture, distribution, and servicing of industrial test, measurement and diagnostic equipment and software. Melissa has 13+ years working in the B2B/B2C manufacturing industry extensively exploring the customer buying journey and purchasing behavior. Melissa is based out of Seattle, WA and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the Pennsylvania State University.

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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