Marketing, Social Media, and Community: The Great Divide

Episode 223

February 21, 2023

We have all caught ourselves thinking about what the world has become, or what comes next for us. This week we are talking to Peter Hedger, who has put some concerted effort into understanding this conundrum. As a B2B manufacturing marketer he has some key insights into what might be coming next for us marketers. In a world saturated with social media and pandemic fallout Peter thinks community is going to be more important than ever.

Marketing, Social Media, and Community: The Great Divide 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: All is well. All is well, and you?

Jeff White: I’m doing great. Thanks. 

Carman Pirie: Nice. And look, today’s show is a bit of a unique one. I think we are always obviously talking about marketing and sales in the B2B manufacturing context, and that can kind of lead us I guess into some different directions, but I think today’s episode, we’re just going to look a little bit further around the corner than we usually do, I think, and maybe get a little bit more philosophical about where things are heading… I don’t like to say post-COVID, because then you’ll get everybody yelling at you that COVID’s never going away, and we’ll never be post-COVID, so I don’t mean to be a pandemic minimalist, but more just like as we learn to live with this, and whatever, and as society emerges out of what we’ve collectively experienced, today’s guest has some thoughts as to what that means in the world of marketing, and sales, and just overall connection to humans. I’m curious to kick it around, Jeff. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Well, I think it’s certainly been part of our ethos for a long time around connecting people to each other through marketing and things like that, but this is… I think we’re gonna go even deeper today. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I mean, I think… Just so people don’t think we’re just paying lip service to that, we literally have… People matter, objects don’t has been the core kind of ethos of Kula Partners since we started our company together, and we saw that coming to life in a lot of different ways, and of course if you know about The Kula Ring in Papua New Guinea, then you’ll know where Kula Partners and The Kula Ring naming came from, which is it was pretty deeply rooted into this kind of idea of human connection. But I didn’t anticipate today’s conversation, I should say. 

Jeff White: No, and you can’t see it but it’s printed on the wall behind Carman right now. 

Carman Pirie: Yes, yes. And even if it wasn’t, we would tell you it was. 

Jeff White: It’s because we’re just marketers. Yeah. But joining us today is Peter Hedger, and Peter is the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Composite Applications Group. Welcome to The Kula Ring, Peter. 

Peter Hedger: Thank you. I appreciate it. 

Carman Pirie: Peter, it’s awesome to have you on the show, and I hope I didn’t tee us up as to be too much of a crystal ball episode here. We’re really putting you on the spot. 

Peter Hedger: Sure. Sure. And that’s fine. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I like to peer whimsically into the future from time to time, so…

Carman Pirie: Nice. All right. Well, let’s get whimsical then, but before we do that, maybe we’ll start things off by introducing our listeners to you a bit more formally. Tell them a bit about yourself and about the firm, as well. 

Peter Hedger: Yeah. Great. Appreciate the opportunity to come on. Looking forward to the conversation. And my name is Peter Hedger Jr. My dad is also a Peter Hedger. And I have a son, Peter Hedger, so carrying on that name. What I do is sales, marketing, business development for a company called Composite Applications Group, and Composite Applications Group helps connect OEMs that are looking to innovate and be relevant, or have an edge with their competition, connecting them to a supply chain in advanced materials and composites. So, if you’re thinking of making something lighter, or get better battery life, or be able to be stronger, then that generally is the resonating drumbeat of the composites industry, and so my background has been in composites for the last 20-odd years. 

My grandfather started a company in the composites industry called Magnum Venus Products and I grew up with polyester resin in my blood, which is one of the cornerstones of the composites industry. And when I say composites for the purpose of this conversation, because it may come up again, composites would be fiber-reinforced polymers. There’s other composite materials out there, like polymer concrete and other things, and those are fantastic materials, but for my purposes if I refer to composites, it’ll be fiber-reinforced polymers.

Carman Pirie: Man, that is a… Talk about being born into an industry. My goodness.

Peter Hedger: Yeah. And there’s a lot of us. So, I have eight kids, and forewarning, if you hear different noises, there’s a chance that I could be interrupted. I’m at my home. But I have eight kids. I come from a family of seven. And there’s other families within the business that have large amounts of children, as well, so it’s a very Irish family. 

Carman Pirie: Helps deal with the labor shortage a bit. 

Peter Hedger: That’s right. We’re working on that. 

Jeff White: You may go bankrupt at the holiday parties, though. 

Peter Hedger: That’s exactly right, but we’re trying to keep that demographic up. I think I’d probably line up a little bit more with an Elon Musk in the sense that I’m just trying to contribute back to society with some offspring. 

Carman Pirie: Look, as we kind of look ahead, and kind of teed this up a little bit in the show introduction, I think what’s kind of curious to me in our conversation is that there seems to be a bit of a juxtaposition to me between what seems like a fairly brass tacks, hardworking industry like structural composites and kind of your life in that, and then your thinking about what’s going to actually be connecting and resonating with people in the future and maybe even how marketing and sales in your industry and others will evolve. 

Peter Hedger: Right. 

Carman Pirie: What’s that shift? If you had to put your finger on it, what do you think that shift is going to be primarily?

Peter Hedger: No, that’s a great question. So, I don’t do a lot of marketing to consumers, but that being said, everybody that I come in contact with are human beings. We’re still not automated to the point where we’re not touching and feeling each other as we’re talking about business. And so, I’m still talking to people. That’s never gonna go away. But my impression with the advances in technology that we’re seeing now, especially things like… I mean, everybody’s hearing the buzz right now with AI, and ChatGPT, and all that stuff. Those are excellent tools. Those are excellent tools that I think are gonna have benefit to a wide variety of folks. But the implications on the human psyche and humanity in general is that we will see and feel less of each other

And I think what you’re going to see, and I think this is what you were alluding to in the intro, is that you’re gonna see a bit of a rebound. You’re gonna see the repercussions begin to resonate a little more forcefully as people desire authenticity and human contact again. And you’re seeing it now a little bit with the evolution of social media. We’ve distanced ourselves and portrayed what we want people to feel and think about us and less about the authentic person that we are. And you’re beginning to see the people that are gaining traction tend to be people that are brash, or harsher, and that’s because we’re being desensitized to everybody’s everyday life that is being portrayed, and so that feeling in the brashness is that they’re more real or more authentic when that may or may not actually be the case. 

And so, people are gonna start questioning more and more, and polarizing more and more in the personalities that we see around us, whether it’s social media, or the news, or whatever media consumption that we have, and people are gonna desire to actually meet their neighbors again, right? They’re gonna desire to have that human contact, and community, and expression that is received and reciprocated by actual people rather than artificial intelligence or talking heads. 

Carman Pirie: I mean, man. It seems to me like we’ve been beating this authenticity drum for an awfully long time. I mean, I don’t know, man. If I had much hair left, most of it’s gray, and I don’t think I had that much gray hair at all the first time I was sitting in a marketing meeting hearing people talking about the desire for brands to be authentic. 

Jeff White: Especially in those early days of social media. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. And I guess I just… It always seems to ring hollow a bit to me now, you know? 

Jeff White: Is it rebounding?

Peter Hedger: So, I would say… Well, I think the term authenticity is tired, right? It’s a tired brand. If you want to look at the way it’s been communicated, it’s tired because people that were looking into the crystal ball 10 years ago saw it coming. I think it’s here now, but because as communication professionals and marketing professionals we saw it coming, for us it’s very tired. The implications, though, right? The syntax of what authenticity actually means, that is what is more relevant now. So, you could call it what you want, but the actual implications of what we saw in the crystal ball 5 to 10 years ago, or even 15 years ago when social media became relevant, we’re like, “This is going to happen.” It’s happening now. 

And you’re gonna see it more and more where people are beginning to monetize social media rather than using social media to connect to people. And that’s what everybody’s caring about now, is the ability to monetize that social media presence, the ability to monetize influencers, et cetera, and it becomes entertainment and less about connecting to people, and more about consuming some type of entertainment. And when you have COVID now, and I think COVID was really galvanizing, and I’m not gonna say it’s post-COVID, but the culture is definitely post-COVID, and the consumer mentalities are definitely post-COVID. We are always gonna have COVID with us, but our behavior and consumption has changed. 

In my industry this was the interesting thing. So, in my industry we deal with a lot of recreation, okay? When recessions happen or the economy stumbles, those are the first to drop off. And so, when COVID, when the entire world shut down from COVID, we anticipated those markets to absolutely be decimated. But what happened was the complete opposite. So, everybody decided that they wanted to be with family. They wanted to be together. And they went to the things in recreation that brought them together. Boats, RVs, other forms of recreation, mountain biking, snowboarding, and that’s why if you went down to an REI, you couldn’t find inventory. If you went to a boat retailer, you couldn’t find inventory. Backlogs went through the roof and are still beyond what capacity allows right now. And it’s because people couldn’t be outside in their offices. They were confined to themselves. And so, they began to go and find things that they could do outside, together, away from everyone. 

And that’s why you still see that going on right now, and so the consumer mentality has changed. 

Carman Pirie: I was just chuckling a bit at the outside together but away from everyone. There was that notion of I think in the heart of the pandemic response, people retreating, in some ways nesting that happened there, and people were… And I do think that that drove, for better or worse in some instances, maybe deeper connections to family. Depends on if you like your family or not, I suppose. 

Peter Hedger: But no, let me talk about that a little bit, right? You’re finding that when the families had to get together, this… So, our culture nowadays is so easily distant. So easily distant. When something COVID happened, it caused everybody to come in and have friction again, and that friction created sparks, and some families didn’t survive that. There’s horror stories of marriages and families that just got shattered because they had to get to know each other again. And that’s an indicator of where our culture had grown to without even us knowing. You know the whole boil a frog, right? It’s the boil a frog analogy with the social media and it goes back to what we were talking about before with authenticity. 

We talked about what was gonna happen when the water boiled but the water wasn’t boiling yet. We were all frogs in the pot. And they slowly turned the heat up, and the heat has gotten to the point now where it’s boiling, and if people don’t jump out they’re gonna be distant, and more distant, and then when they get forced together with something like COVID it galvanizes it. There’s friction. There’s tension. And if they don’t have a base of relationships, it can cause stress. 

Jeff White: How do you think manufacturers are thinking about this? How is it coming to life for them, you know? Do you think that people are actually considering… I mean, it seems like in the industries that you work with, in the B2B deals that you would be working on where you’re selling to another manufacturer, you’re aware of what they are doing and kind of the products that they’re making that they have an end consumer in mind. Are the manufacturers thinking about those new relationship and community dynamics as they go to market? 

Peter Hedger: Yes. And how it affects me, so I’ll give you my perspective and I’ll extrapolate as much as I can and speak for my customers as much as I can. Obviously, my influence and my ability to do that is limited, because I don’t work for them, but I have talked to… For instance, I had a run in with one of the big three, which I guess that’s irrelevant now because the automotive world is completely different, but when we brought technology to them that they desired, the request from them was that they only wanted technology that would affect the customer experience. So, they wanted it to be warm, they wanted to affect them in a way that was positive, not as harsh, and so now in my thinking as a business-to-business marketer, how I’m talking to my customer base is shifting again. 

So, when people are wanting to have community, and they’re wanting to have family, and they’re wanting to actually engage in that friction, they’re desiring that friction and that spark again, as they do that, how do I communicate my product or service to a manufacturing industry that is communicating that type of message to an end user? And so, I have to communicate my product very similarly, right? There has to be a thread between selling technology to an industry and that industry communicating that technology to a consumer. And how I do that, it’s really gonna depend on the industry itself, like when I talked about the ability for the customer’s experience to be altered. How does a graphene particle change the nature of whatever that technology is going into an automobile, right? Is it gonna make the seats warmer faster? Does that change the customer’s experience? Is it gonna increase the pliability or the tactile sensations that they receive by touching the leather on their upholstery? Those types of things I have to be conscious and aware of and know how to communicate technology’s impact on things like that. 

So, I’m making a lot… A lot more dot connecting has to happen within my mind with the companies that I represent, the companies that I’m selling to or communicating to. 

Does that make sense? Is that helpful?

Jeff White: Yeah. I think so. You know, it’s interesting to kind of think about it in that context, like how does it improve or alter the experience of the end user, and you gotta talk to your customers about how that’s going to come to life. 

Peter Hedger: Yeah. And it becomes marketers talking to marketers. I need to know, and I’ll use the name MasterCraft Boats. What is MasterCraft’s desire for their customers to feel when they get onto the boat? I need to know that because I have a wide variety of products and services that I could represent, and if I’m bird dogging a certain group of technologies trying to figure out if they make sense or are irrelevant to a MasterCraft Boats, I need to know what MasterCraft is desiring to communicate to their end user, and I have to bird dog those technologies for them that will make MasterCraft truth tellers and not liars about their services, right?

They need to say, “We’re gonna do X,” whatever X is for their customer, and I need to provide them a technology that allows them to do X or provide X to their customers. So, that’s the thread I’m talking about that I have to be aware of and communicating. It is very specific to each individual customer, and I have to be aware that when I’m talking to them, I need to know what the market says from a macro and what the customer says from a micro, and what their differentiation is in the market, and how my communication to them has to be specific. 

Jeff White: I love that. You don’t often see marketers as a persona in a B2B sales-

Peter Hedger: No, you don’t. That’s right. 

Jeff White: … play, you know? We’re not often kind of targeting them. It’s always engineers or others. 

Peter Hedger: That’s right. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. You know, part of this, of course, is customizing that, and kind of understanding the individual customer that you’re looking to sell to, but then of course part of what we’ve been talking about here is the overall kind of cultural shift that would be something that’s being experienced by every one of those customers. So, if we’re making some judgments based upon that shift that we see, there’s some pressure for that to be right. I guess I’m curious. Have you thought about what if you’re wrong? Have you thought about like what if 20 years from now, that actually we’re more siloed, we’re more isolated from each other than ever before? 

Peter Hedger: It’s a great question and it really calls into my own personal beliefs, and I think this is what’s gonna have to happen for a lot of people, is their own personal beliefs are gonna come into an account, and then I have to desire that confirmation bias. So, even regardless of whether or not you want to be more isolated or not, I do not, and I don’t believe it’ll be that way because people are communal, and as they desire that community you’re gonna get that confirmation bias because I’m gonna bend it that way with any and all influence that I have. Because it is essential for people to continue to have that friction or we cease to challenge each other, and when we cease to challenge each other we cease to grow, and so it comes back to the humanity of who we are, and what we believe, and how we act our lives out with integrity on a day-to-day basis. 

And when I say integrity, it’s not just the moral aspect. It’s the integrity of being true to yourself with the way that you want to grow, the way that you desire to grow, and that can be a moral thing or not. The integrity extends beyond just morals and ethics and into the day-to-day life, and it’s really the integrity of who people are in general that is being called into account nowadays, right? It’s the integrity of our desires. Do we desire this really or do we desire this? And this can be X. Do we desire this really or do we desire this because it achieves a persona that we desire for ourselves, but not actually something we really and truly desire? 

And I think integrity, boiling it down, it’s the integrity of humanity that is being called to account the more we get involved in artificial intelligence, because artificial intelligence is a mirror of what we’re talking about here. And is it a mirror of our true selves or a mirror of what we want everybody to see of us, which is what social media has created? So, it’s the confirmation bias I think that I would say that I will desire, and will influence, and will carry forward those desires to be real and authentic, and I think others will do the same, and I desire that to be a confirmation bias, right? I desire to look back and say, “See, I said I was right.” I’m gonna push that way. 

And if I’m wrong, the consequences are consequences that we as a people are gonna have to deal with, because there will be serious consequences to isolation. 

Carman Pirie: Well, and it’s interesting to think about community-based isolation maybe is how I’m gonna, on the fly phrase it, which is to say one of the things that social media has allowed us to do is find like-minded people and then only commune with them. And it’s been interesting to me to see some of the overlap between that in social media and that in real life. Not to get too political on this show and by no means is this something that I am active in pursuing, but I do try to expose myself to different ways of thinking, and as a result of that I tend to follow a few social media accounts out of the state of New Hampshire that are more libertarian, free staters, et cetera. That kind of whole New Hampshire separatist movement and things of that nature. It’s very fringe and whatnot. No question about that. But it is an indication of a community that I think largely comes together via social media and is now actually locating, collocating geographically together, so it’s interesting to me because it’s like there’s this… It’s not just a question between individual isolation and community. It’s also a question between community where we get those friction and different ideas versus community where we largely all agree because we’re swimming in our own bathtub or drinking our own bath water. 

Peter Hedger: And that’s the fear that I have, okay? So, that’s a great point. I mean, we have established these polarizing camps because we’ve been given the liberty to give people the persona of what we want people to believe we believe. It doesn’t necessarily mean that when you are squeezed, this is what your belief system is that actually comes out. It means that I have the liberty to polarize myself into a camp. And to me, that’s exactly what’s happening throughout the world now, is you get these polarized camps where people don’t have the consequence of the friction of actually having awkward conversations face to face, because 50% of language is body language, okay? And if you’re not engaging with people in a physical way, you’re missing a lot of what they’re saying. So, you’re hearing and seeing pictures and videos that are curated and cultivated based upon what they desire to have you believe, and everybody is becoming their own marketer. They’re marketing themselves on social media. That’s essentially what they’re doing, and the message of their life, and the banner above their life is what they’re cultivating to be consumed by other people, and everybody desires that artificial community to reinforce the belief of what their belief is and to confirm that their belief is valid, and that creates polarization. That creates all these camps that you’re gonna start getting. 

You get these camps together, you’re gonna get friction, and the larger those camps get before they get that friction, the more consequences happen. And that’s why I think overall social media can be helpful for staying in touch with people, but if people don’t realize the implications of that polarization and friction that is inevitably gonna come and get together in communities, it’s gonna hinder a lot of political and social advancements. And in my opinion, I think we need to have those conversations now as a society rather than later, and as a marketer my desire is to communicate that, is to continue to bang the gong of authenticity. It’s to continue to say we need each other in a very real way rather than looking towards what we think everybody wants to see from us. 

Jeff White: I agree. I just wonder if that’s kind of the way we’re headed. 

Peter Hedger: I doubt it. No, I doubt it. We love entertainment and it’s just gonna get gaudier, and gaudier, and more in your face, because it’s desensitization. We’re being desensitized to somebody dropping a curse word, or somebody revealing themselves in a weird way, and you’re getting… It’s just all around us. We’re being drawn to the audacious. We’re being drawn to things. And why? Why are we being drawn to the audacious or the guy that says the awkward thing? Because we don’t have the ability to have that real, gut-wrenching feeling and conversation with ourselves and the people around us, so we’re living as Plato would say through the other people. That’s why theater was invented, so you could live through the experience in a theater and not act it out yourself. 

And so, that’s why there’s a camp that says by experiencing violence on television, it keeps people from being violent. Do I agree with that philosophy? No, but that’s what you’re seeing now. People desire to be that authentic self. They desire to be the one that says that audacious thing and get all of the attention, and so they try it on for size. And they go out and they say something audacious, and they see if people respond, and they continue to ping things off of that wall that just responds to themselves what they want them to hear, and when they find something that sticks they lean into it, and then they become more and more audacious, and that desensitization is happening throughout social media now. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I mean, look, I’m gonna sound like an incredibly old man when I say this, but man, I remember growing up in my hometown, you could go into the barbershop as a young boy and you basically… Up here in Canada, in my part of Canada, there really were only two political parties, so basically a polarized two-party system much like the U.S., I suppose. And you would go into the barbershop, and of course there would always be a good healthy debate going on about something, but they had to do it. They had to look each other in the eye while they were waiting for a haircut and drinking a cup of coffee, right? And there was a certain kind of-

Jeff White: Civility. 

Carman Pirie: Go along to… Yeah. Everybody still got along even though they disagreed. And you could certainly see in a realm of… Look at political disagreements on Twitter. They did not have that same level of civility because we’re not face to face. You’re quite right. I think this has been just a fascinating kind of conversation on so many levels, and I’m kind of curious to just begin to imagine how B2B manufacturing marketers who are often so pushed into thinking about you’re selling to engineers, it’s about the facts, it’s all about being down to brass tacks all the time, right? 

Jeff White: These four pieces of content to move you through the funnel. 

Carman Pirie: Right, and it’s gonna be interesting to see that attitude come up against this more human, if you will, kind of consideration. 

Peter Hedger: No, that’s a great question. I think… So, here’s another dilemma, and I’ll pose this to you guys. So, as a consumer, not a marketer, because we consume things, are you more or less opposed to the idea of people essentially reading your mail? Essentially knowing so much about who you are that the advertisements that are fed to you are basically what you were heard talking about, right? It becomes far more convenient to get what you want at the expense of your privacy and your liberty, okay? And is that a price that you’re willing to pay for the ability to find your desires at a faster pace? Because that’s what we’re called to do as a marketer, or I’m called to do as a marketer. I’m called to know my customer so well that when they turn their head, there it is that I have what they want, so I need to know them. 

And with social media and the data that is available to be mined, do you think that it is worth it for you to sacrifice some of your liberty, some of your choice, to be fed what you’re being curated to consume? 

Jeff White: Man, that’s an interesting point, especially as you look at the growing pushback towards tracking. Apple, of course, leading a lot of that with their privacy policy and do-not-track functionality, and then GDPR and cookie compliance for tracking being removed. I wonder if part of reaching your desired end state of more and better community is going to be helped along by the changes that are happening in technology right now.

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I mean, to answer your question directly around is it worth it, I think most people have… They’ve been desensitized to that privacy concern. But then there’s the weird… Rather than is it worth it, I’d almost ask marketers sometimes is it worth it. How many brands do I see marketing to me after I’ve already bought what I was researching? You know, like there’s a-

Jeff White: You mean you don’t need another king size mattress?

Carman Pirie: That’s exactly… That’s a great indication. How do you know I’ve been shopping for a mattress? Anyway, but yes, it’s like once you’ve gone through that purchase, you have two more months of people paying to serve you ads that are completely irrelevant. I think a lot of marketers are questioning how useful that is. Combine it with the ability to do that, is in some ways going away or getting harder with the privacy shifts Jeff’s making. And then we wrap it all up with the fact that Gen Z and the new, younger generation coming into the workforce, et cetera, kind of aren’t clamoring towards social media in the same way maybe that we did as the first generation to be engaged with it. 

Peter Hedger: Yeah. I have this debate with my wife sometimes because she’s always like, “You know, you need to be careful what you’re searching for,” or, “Isn’t it creepy that we’re doing this? We can’t allow them to do this.” And I’m like, “You know, I agree with that to an extent, but when I’m trying to find something and it’s just handed to me, it’s a sweet thing.” It’s nice to know like, “Oh, hey, it’s been a month since you bought toothbrushes for your eight kids. You might want to consider buying toothbrushes.” Then I look around and I’m like, “I don’t have any toothbrushes. I really need to get toothbrushes,” because I’d rather pay for those than cavities, right? And so, it’s that kind of… I don’t know. It is giving me what I want. 

But here’s the moral dilemma that I see happening and it’s bearing fruit now is we are all in echo chambers. Our own echo chambers. We are saying things and getting parroted back what we say by the community that we have cultivated in an artificial way. And so, that leads us to more navel gazing and mirror staring than ever before, and I’m a firm believer that true happiness is not the fulfillment of self but the fulfillment of other people’s selves, meaning getting out of yourself and quite being self-centered and self-focused, and being other-centered and other-focused, and yes, that comes from my faith, and what I believe all of the purpose of existence is, and that’s a very informed… That informs my decisions and my perspectives tremendously. 

But it plays out that way, right? We love the story of somebody who lays their life down for somebody else. I mean, that’s why Santa Claus is the perfect altruist, and he’s always gonna be popular with people because that dude… The theory of Santa Claus is that dude’s out there just giving people what they want and he knows what they want through some metaphysical way, and he’s fulfilling their desires in a very non-self-serving way. But we’re all taught right now that social media is there for us, so we serve ourselves in these echo chambers and it’s difficult. 

Carman Pirie: I have no idea how we’ve circled around to Santa Claus in this conversation but I-

Peter Hedger: He’s the perfect marketer, right?

Carman Pirie: I just want to end it now. I think it’s like we’ll end at Santa Claus, and scene, right? In addition to everything you mentioned, he has some incredible logistics capabilities. 

Peter Hedger: Exactly. 

Jeff White: His supply chain is never, ever compromised. Unless it was a Cabbage Patch Kid in 1984. 

Peter Hedger: I’d like to get his customer personas. I’d like to get into Santa Claus’s database and find out how he is gleaning market intelligence from social media in order to be able to better serve his customers.

Jeff White: Oh, man. 

Carman Pirie: For those of you in Canada, like i.e. five of you, I’m pretty sure there was some collusion between Santa and the Sears Wish Book at one point. I think they shared persona data. 

Peter Hedger: That’s true. 

Jeff White: Quite right. 

Carman Pirie: Well, look, Peter, it’s been a fascinating conversation. Thank you for sharing your perspective with us today. It’s been a pleasure to have you on the show. 

Peter Hedger: Yeah. It’s been a pleasure being here. Thank you. I appreciate you guys. 

Carman Pirie: All the best to you. 

Jeff White: Thanks a lot. 

Peter Hedger: Yeah, thank you. 

Jeff White: Great to meet you. 

Peter Hedger: All right, take care. 

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

Read Full Transcript


Peter Hedger

VP of Marketing and Business Development

Peter Hedger has a passion for helping people make connections in business. Structural Composites is a company that helps their customers take ideas and make beautiful composite products out of them. They serve their customers by providing solutions to their composite needs. By bringing together over 30 years of composite experience and relationships, they help their customers succeed and flourish in an industry with huge promise. My goal is to help them communicate their ideas to the world and further the composites industry.

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.


You are using an outdated browser. Things may not appear as intended. We recommend updating your browser to the latest version.