The Kula Ring podcast is essential listening for manufacturing marketers who want to grow their digital presence and compete online.
Sponsored by Kula Partners—an agency committed to helping leading B2B manufacturers craft digital experiences that transform how they engage buyers, serve customers, and outpace their competition—The Kula Ring podcast features conversations about marketing, sales, and technology with top manufacturing executives from across North America.
The Kula Ring podcast is co-hosted by Kula Partners principals, Carman Pirie and Jeff W. White, both of whom are frequently sought after for their digitally-focused B2B expertise. They regularly share their insights with audiences including conferences like B2B Online and HubSpot’s INBOUND, the Gardner Manufacturing Marketer blog, and other podcasts focused on B2B marketing and technology.
It’s all about being customer-centric, says our latest guest, Kevin Must, Corporate Marketing & Communication Manager for Cold Jet. In this week’s episode of The Kula Ring, Kevin talks with Jeff and Carman about how data segmentation is helping him and his team understand their customers and their ideal audience better.
Using Data Segmentation to Target Your Ideal Customers 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 are you doing, mate?
Carman Pirie: All is well, and you?
Jeff White: I’m doing great. Thanks.
Carman Pirie: Nice. Nice. Maybe a little hungry, you know? I should probably record on a full stomach.
Jeff White: You never know.
Carman Pirie: It’s a minor point.
Jeff White: It is. It’s a minor inconvenience for you but everybody else is fine.
Carman Pirie: Since you asked.
Jeff White: Yes. Yeah. Indeed. So, looking forward to what we’re gonna be chatting about today.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. You know, I guess so much of marketing, as marketers, is we are always talking about new customers, right? New leads. New, new, new. It’s all about acquisition. And, that’s important, no question. But an awful lot of manufacturers can significantly enhance and grow their business by selling more to the customers they already have.
Jeff White: Yeah. The cross-sell is huge.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. And I think that’s why I’m excited for today’s guest to kind of shine a light on some of the work he’s doing in that regard because I think it’s something that frankly just a lot of people can benefit from.
Jeff White: Yeah. And they’re doing it in a really interesting way too. Powering it with marketing automation and getting into the weeds with it. So, it’s pretty cool.
Carman Pirie: And I must say, a really cool company.
Jeff White: Yeah. The product is neat. I can’t wait to hear about it.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. It’s like you can geek out about the product for probably half the podcast.
Jeff White: Not fair to the guest, though. So, Kevin, joining us today is Kevin Must, Corporate Marketing and Communications Manager at Cold Jet. Welcome to The Kula Ring, Kevin.
Kevin Must: Yeah. Thank you, gentlemen. Thanks for having me this morning.
Carman Pirie: Kevin, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show, and I gotta say, I am not blowing sunshine, I think this… The idea of using dry ice to blast stuff is just damn cool.
Jeff White: Dry ice anything.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. Yeah.
Kevin Must: It is. It is. That’s one of the main reasons that I came to the company, you know, seeing the product and everything that they do, all the industries that they touch. It’s a very fascinating product, for sure.
Carman Pirie: Well, why don’t you tell our listeners just a bit more about you and Cold Jet, so people know what we’re doing with the dry ice, as well?
Kevin Must: Yeah, definitely. So, for myself, I’ve been in marketing toward the manufacturing space for a little over five years now. I came from a software company where we developed and sold software to sheet metal fabricators to manage their operations, program their CNC cutting machines, and just kind of manage their overall materials and requirements for jobs. I started with Cold Jet about three months ago now, so it’s still relatively new, but the product is just amazing.
So, we have essentially two product lines, the first one being our dry ice blasters, so what these machines enable is for people to clean parts, say a plastics, injection-molded, some sort of injection-molded bottle, where it’ll have flashing around the side of it, they can use dry ice and little dry ice pellets to blast the flashing off of it. The unique thing about this is that dry ice is a very soft material, so it won’t be abrasive to the surface or create any markings on the surface or anything of that nature. So, it works for a lot of different materials, and essentially what happens is there’s a thermo-shock that when it hits a surface that has a contaminant on it, say there is something that has oil on it, or just build up from say a printing press, the cold shock essentially embrittles that and makes it fall off of the substrate.
So, it’s a very unique offering and we’re still… It’s been around since 1985, but now with more sustainability measures for companies, they’re looking at better methods, not including sandblasting or water pressure washing, to where they’re trying to cut down on more of the consumables that they’re using. And then our second side, so we pretty much touch any industry that needs to clean parts when they’re finished or prepare surfaces for the finish. And then our second business line would be our dry ice production systems.
So, the hot topic right now is vaccine distribution and shipment, so we have a very large medical supplier… I’m not sure that I’m able to say their name, unfortunately, but that is developing the vaccine, and they’re looking at a solution to essentially ‘dose,’ dry ice into their boxes to ship them. Because as we all know, these vaccines need to be kept at a very cold temperature, and dry ice seems for them to fit best into the whole global supply chain. Liquid nitrogen can be costly and a little more dangerous to handle, so dry ice has very similar properties in the fact that it can keep things very cold for about seven days before it sublimates into gas and then needs to be reapplied.
So, just depending on where they’re shipping it to, how long the shipping is gonna be, they have algorithms that they workout on how much weight that they need in the box of dry ice, and I believe they even take into account the humidity, the air temperature, and all of those things to really hone in on how much dry ice needs to be used. And then another sector for us is food home delivery, so as we know that’s blowing up right now. The food boxes that you get delivered to your house are traditionally using gel packs, they’re looking at ways to become more sustainable, and dry ice is that solution for them.
Carman Pirie: Really cool. I’ve gotta say, I think I was in this weird talent show in grade five or six, and we had heard that dry ice could help make stage fog, and I’m pretty sure that’s true, but we had no idea what needed to happen between having dry ice and stage fog. We just knew that we knew a guy that worked at the local hospital that had access to dry ice. So, he was my uncle, so my uncle could get my dry ice, so we got a bunch of dry ice and then we blew fans onto the dry ice at the side of the stage thinking it was going to create stage fog, and it didn’t.
Kevin Must: Yeah. You likely needed to drop a little bit of water on it to get that fog.
Carman Pirie: So ridiculous. But until now, it’s like my only interaction with dry ice, so this is decidedly more pleasant. Look, I gotta-
Jeff White: Well, and I think too when your competitors are in sandblasting and liquid nitrogen, I mean, you’re in the cool stuff, right?
Carman Pirie: Exactly right.
Jeff White: Right from the get-go. I’ve seen Terminator 2. I know how this works.
Carman Pirie: You mentioned that the technology’s pretty interesting, cool, and that was one of your reasons for joining, but I’m also aware that… You mentioned this in our leadup to this conversation, that another reason for you joining the firm is that they had just a strong kind of data framework that could help you power your marketing automation program and help you think about how you could accelerate the business here and actually give you the tools with which to do it. I found that interesting. I think you’re probably the first person I’ve heard of this, who took a job largely because of the data framework at the organization. Fascinating to me.
Kevin Must: Yeah. You know, as a marketer, I never was quite good at math. But when it comes to data and kind of analyzing trends, for some reason my mind and brain work very favorably toward that. So, as you mentioned, Cold Jet is a very, very data-driven company, and just continue to grow the type of data that we’re looking to essentially analyze and see how we can best utilize it, so that was a huge thing coming in and seeing how segmented our database is, and how regimented they are with whether it be the products, the industry that this particular customer is in, other interests that they’ve expressed. It helps from a marketing side, especially marketing automation, for me to be able to go in and create campaigns on cross-sell, upsell, and maybe even just notifying people and educating them of other offerings that Cold Jet has that they may even have as part of their package that they purchased, but after you get trained, and you get into your kind of daily work life six months down the road, some of those ideas or some of those things that you were taught kind of slip through the cracks.
So, having this greatly segmented database helps me as a marketer to send them more information regarding, we know that you have this machine model, here’s some other application nozzles that you may be interested in that also fall in your industry, that we see other customers of ours within your industry using and you don’t have on your account, so here’s something that may be of interest to you to look at.
Carman Pirie: Which, of course, sounds easy enough, right? But I think we’ve all been in those positions when we know that that’s what you need to do, and you know that there’s gold in those hills, but it’s also… If the data isn’t structured in a way that you can access it and action it, then it’s really, you’re hooped. So, I think that’s really, that’s an exciting thing to kind of walk into in some ways.
Kevin Must: Yes. It definitely is. Very much so. It’s very helpful.
Jeff White: Well, and I think too, as thinking through what other manufacturing marketers should be thinking about there is just the power that it gives you. You mentioned that you’re relatively new in this role, but the power that it gives you to better understand what you sell, what’s most popular, who the customers are, what kind of industries they are in, that… Seeing that means that you can probably be more effective more quickly than somebody who’s coming in and there’s next to nothing, or some spreadsheets, or whatever. It enables you to have that memory.
Carman Pirie: Almost like better data enabling better orientation for the marketer in some way.
Jeff White: Yeah. You can actually hit the ground running and you don’t have to spend eight months planning and trying to figure out what’s what and what’s going on. You can start running campaigns relatively quickly. That’s great.
Kevin Must: Yeah. Definitely.
Carman Pirie: Well, look. To the extent that we can, we don’t want to give away all your secrets, but let’s peel back a little bit. What are we doing here in order to kind of leverage this data and drive our cross-sell activity?
Kevin Must: Yeah, so you know, as I mentioned, since our database is so segmented regarding what machine model they have, or what industry they’re in, I’m able to essentially pull this data and automatically generate lists of customers per industry or machine to then alternatively send out email campaigns to them and notifying them of best practices from others in their particular industry with that machine, maybe an upgrade of a machine. So, for instance, we recently released what’s our Aero2 PCS 60 machine for blasting, and the one before this was the Aero 40FP, so for those customers that had the Aero 40FP for five, 10 years, and they maybe are looking for something a little more intuitive or innovative, we’re able to then send campaigns to those specific customers, or even the Aero 80, just any of the Aero line, to say, “Hey, here’s our new offering. Here are the benefits over the initial Aero machine and what you’re getting with the new one being connectivity and IOT enablement.” So, this helps us and them to keep their machine running without if… Should there be a breakdown, traditionally we would have to send a technician on-site to go and help them. Now, with our new tool being IOT enabled, we have an app that our service teams can virtually connect with them, and they can use the camera on their phone or tablet to show our service team what they’re seeing, or experiencing, or hearing, and the service team can then better troubleshoot remotely.
So, now it’s keeping their machines up and running longer and more quickly when they do go down, but it’s also saving money on the backend for travel expenses and just overall costs of doing business, so that’s big for us. And this new app, called Cold Jet Connect, is another offering that we recently released that we’re starting to build campaigns around to notify our current customer base, regardless of if they have an IOT-enabled machine or not. This is a service platform for them that they can scan a QR code on the machine, it pulls up product documentation, training videos, and things of that nature.
As we all know, there seems to be, especially right now, pretty high turnover when it comes to manufacturing operators, so we wouldn’t want to send someone on-site every six months or one year for training if it’s for the basic type of training that a video could suffice. So, that’s kind of one thing that we’re using this for, is the upsell to a new machine or even just education of, “Hey, we have this new offering. You can train your employees without us coming on site. You can fix your machines without us coming on site.” And then that kind of just helps the customer. It’s all about being customer-centric and making sure that they’re getting the most out of our machines.
Carman Pirie: Who wants to go first here, Jeff? Look-
Jeff White: You go ahead.
Carman Pirie: Well, I was just like man, we’re one and a half months, two months into the role, right? It’s early days to be pulling together something of this level of complexity. I’m curious, is a lot of the kind of content to power this already in place, like industry-specific content that can be used in those industry-specific lists and things of that nature? Or are you kind of having to build that as you go?
Kevin Must: Luckily, it’s already in place. We have a very strong and active sales team, not only in the U.S. but globally, that we have different methods for them when they do go on site to do a demo, or go on-site as an annual service call, just to meet up with their customer, see how they’re doing, they do a great job of making any documentation, whether it be photos, videos, what their benefits that they’ve seen have been, and increases in overall operational efficiencies. Then they submit that through us, so we have a huge archive. I mean, probably like 900 of these, so there’s plenty of information for me. It’s now a matter of going through all of it and kind of picking out the ones that seem most effective, essentially.
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Carman Pirie: Kevin, you’ve been burying the lede here. If we could just tell our listeners how to get a sales team to do what you just described, I think probably we could monetize the damn podcast. Well, that’s astonishing to me. We’ve interviewed people on this show who have sent parts into space and didn’t take a picture of them before they sent them.
Jeff White: Before they left.
Carman Pirie: I’m not joking.
Jeff White: One of the things. That was it.
Carman Pirie: That’s amazing to me. But it’s a great example of if you can crack that nut if you can find a way-
Jeff White: It will pay dividends forever.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. That’s great.
Jeff White: Actually, that kind of leads into the question that I had for you earlier, because you were talking about the amount of turnover that a lot of manufacturing operators have, and all of that, and having training available, as well as having repair guides available directly on the machine and kind of leveraging that content, one of the other things that you’re actually doing there is you’re really targeting a number of different personas in that buying group, and I think one of the things that are interesting about that is that not only do you have great data about who has what machine, and clearly great content in order to power that, but I think this is a lesson for a lot of people that it’s not just about the engineer that’s going to be choosing that machine to go into an application process. There are implications and other people that are going to have a role in that, and if you can prove that you are better able to serve all different parts of the manufacturing organization, I have to think that that can come through in your messaging, too.
Kevin Must: Yeah, definitely, and that’s kind of part of the sales process that has been put in place here at Cold Jet that everybody follows very strictly, and they’ve seen that it works. I mean, we’re doing a fantastic job this year over last year, and even last year was a great year for Cold Jet with all things being equal, if you will. I know it’s been a wild ride these past two years, obviously, but the company’s growth has just been fantastic, and I think most of it can be attributed to the very thought-out sales process that we have here and how sales and marketing play together. We’ve seen it, and I’m sure you’ve heard it from plenty of other ones, where the sales team wants all this stuff and marketing is like, “Well, is it practical?” And vice versa. Marketing wants things from sales and sometimes they don’t play along as nicely as they should.
So, you know, I think there’s been a great culture built here in Cold Jet that we’re all in this as a team and you know, if you help us, we help you, and kind of vice versa, as well.
Jeff White: That’s fantastic. One of the places that you’ve seen the power of this data and content and everything else come to life is your approach to trade shows, and as more and more manufacturers are getting back into in-person trade shows, as well as virtual trade shows, I’d love to hear a bit about what you’re doing at Cold Jet to power that and make that work.
Kevin Must: Yeah, so this year we’ve been pretty light on trade shows. We are attending the Amerimold Show toward the end of September up outside of Chicago, so this is for the plastics industry, essentially, and plastic molders. But in the past, and again, I can’t really speak to the historical trade show events that they have been to in the past, but from my previous role, I know when you go to a trade show, you can get the scanner and you can scan the attendee’s QR code on their badges, and it has a lot of awesome information on it. Whatever their timeline is for purchasing, their budgets, where they stand in the decision-making process, and that’s all fantastic information. The issue is it’s not connected with our marketing automation platform.
So, now at the end of the day or the end of the show, we have to pull these lists, upload them to the marketing automation platform, and then be able to set our campaigns to send emails. So, one thing that I’m testing and that we’re looking to implement for the Amerimold Show, since it’s a little bit smaller of a show, and seems a little counterintuitive, but I know that people are doing this still. Without the scanners, they’ll collect a business card, staple it to a piece of paper, and then fill in notes on that piece of paper, and then next week when they get back from the show, that’s kind of part of their clean up from the show, if you will, to manually input all of this data, all of these contacts into their marketing automation platform.
So, what we’re testing is a business card scanner, so instead of using the QR code scanner that’s on their badge, which has an immense amount of information, we’re looking at just also collecting business cards from visitors to our booth, scanning it into the app, and then through some rules and workflows that I have set up, once it gets scanned it will automatically enroll them into a list for that show for that day. So, if it’s day one, they get put into the list for day one attendees, and then say 7:45 PM that night, 6:45 PM that night, an email blast will go out to all those attendees that visited us that day saying thank you for stopping by, if you have any further questions, we’ll be here the rest of the week, feel free to stop by.
So, as we all know, there’s always this clutter after you get back from a trade show next Monday or Tuesday. Everybody’s sending emails. So, now I’ve got 50 emails from the trade show. How many of them get opened and read? Probably very few. So, we’re looking at if we can engage them that same day, will that… You know, we’re the first ones in the mailbox to them. Will that keep us top of mind when they go home or when they come back the next day? Being a capital equipment expense and purchase, they want that kind of face-to-face and more reassurance that this company is the leader in their industry and in this particular product line.
Carman Pirie: I really… It’s funny because you can approach it on the one hand as almost ‘let’s avoid this post-show work, right?’ It’s annoying to have to do after and all that. And it’s a good motivator. But that human psychology is at play with the buyers too, right? When they’re there at the trade show for that two or three days, or whatever it is, they’re focused and that’s what they want to be doing, and that’s… They’ve taken that time out of the schedule to be on their game for that thing at that time. And then, of course, when they get home, just like you guys, you got other stuff you need to do, so do the buyers, and I love this notion of starting the automation, starting the email, getting that, building that relationship at a time when they’re focused on it at the show. I think that’s going to pay huge dividends for you.
Kevin Must: Yeah, and we have to remember, you know if they’re gone for three or four days and not at their desk, or not really keeping up on email, not only are they coming back to all these trade show emails, but they’re also coming back to their daily work emails. So, again, how can we engage them at the show, while they’re still at the show and in that mindset of research and maybe even purchasing? That’s the ultimate goal, right, is to have someone sign a PO on the show floor, which with capital equipment, that’s easier said than done, obviously, because it’s not like a $10 purchase.
Jeff White: I hope you have a bell.
Kevin Must: That would be great.
Jeff White: Yeah. Everybody starts running towards the Cold Jet booth.
Carman Pirie: I just think it’s a nice use of technology to help enable kind of the way humans want to work anyway. So often we’re… Sometimes it feels like we’re pushing technology or forcing its use into a place where it isn’t necessarily maybe even welcome. But in this instance, it makes total sense to me.
Jeff White: I think so too. One of the questions I have about it is you must still gather the data from the QR codes on the badge, eh?
Kevin Must: Yes.
Jeff White: Because you’d be crazy not to, especially-
Carman Pirie: Just so we’re clear, Kevin, ‘eh,’ was a Canadian way of asking a question.
Jeff White: But I mean like you’d be crazy to give up on that potential sales data and other things. I think it’s interesting that a lot of the trade show presenters and organizers, what they’re trying to do is to get you to be using their application and accessing the data from within that so that they can monetize your use of their platforms and all of that, but I have to think that there’s a real business case for them to open that data a little bit and really enable the people who are attending their trade shows to leverage it, rather than trying to keep it in their own format and everything, eh?
Kevin Must: Yeah. I’ve reached out to a few of those companies for the scanner apps and kind of crickets, if you will, asking them how can we implement this or integrate it with our marketing automation platform, and you know, they kind of hold that close to their chest, which I get it because then they’re looking at it as will this make me obsolete…almost. But the reason this one came about especially, this show that we’re going to, we’re part of… It’s called Tool Room Live, so there are five other presenters or exhibitors in this space, so we have like three different scanners from what I gather, and they’re all kind of… We’re all using it within that booth. So, someone may stop by one booth, and they get scanned, but they may not be a lead for us.
So, this is a way to kind of do a dual validation, because we’ll get all the leads from everybody that comes into Tool Room Live, but did all of them stop by our booth? Well, we don’t really know. You talk to hundreds of people throughout the week. It’s really hard to go back through and be like, “Yeah, I remember talking to them, them, them, and them,” where if we collect the business cards, now we can validate okay, we have the full list with all that information that was behind the QR code. Here’s the list of business cards that we scanned, so we know that these were the visitors to our booth, and now we can start pulling that data from the QR code, as well, and putting it into their user profile or contact profile.
Jeff White: That’s really cool.
Carman Pirie: Yeah, that’s really cool.
Jeff White: Yeah. It must… Again, it’s just all about having a place to put that data that actually allows you to leverage it and organize it in a way that makes sense.
Carman Pirie: And is the corporate data that you’re leveraging beyond the trade shows, just in general, is it mostly just in a CRM now? Is it via an ERP connection into your marketing automation platform? I guess what’s-
Kevin Must: Yeah, a little bit of both, so our ERP is gonna be more on once the order is placed and it turns into a sale, then they can start accounting for how much it costs to build the product, and how much time it’s gonna take, and scheduling. From the CRM side, though, we use SalesLogix for our CRM and quoting, and all of that, so essentially what’s happening is there’s a one-way communication push from SalesLogix to HubSpot, which we’re using for marketing automation, so then from there, and the reason we could do the one-way push is we don’t want HubSpot writing to SalesLogix, because we want to use only one of them as our master source of information. And kind of how our forms work on the website, they push through SalesLogix first.
So, with this then, with that information being pushed over to HubSpot, we can even take a look at deals that are created, if there’s a quote that’s been outstanding for 120 days, and then start really looking at automation of how we can nudge these forward. You know, what does it take to get this person over the hill? They’ve been sitting on this quote for 120 days. Why? Is it because communication fell off, they’re still unsure? Maybe we can send a white paper to them to really push their decision-making process to the approval instead of the decline for this, essentially.
Jeff White: I think it speaks to this is a constant thing with marketing technology these days, is how are you going to integrate these systems, because although they can talk to each other, they don’t necessarily talk to each other, and they don’t necessarily talk to each other in the directions that you want them to. You know, so having synchronization tools, and data alignment tools and all of that is as big a concern when implementing a Martech stack as complex as this one as the tools themselves.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. Keeping up with the integration requirements over time. Yeah. I agree with that.
Kevin Must: Yeah. We’ll be testing here soon like meeting links and things of that nature too, so just being able to get in front of a prospect in any medium that they feel most comfortable with. You know, a lot of people within the manufacturing space are fine picking up the phone and just giving a call to learn more information. However, generationally, is that gonna change? Are we gonna see people wanting to schedule out a time three days from now so it’s on their calendar and they can set aside a half-hour to make sure that they’re fully invested into this communication?
So, that’s another thing. We’re looking at implementing scheduling on a calendar for pretty much a prequalification call or an introductory call with our inside sales staff, and that way the prospect can get a little better understanding of what our product can do, what applications it’s for, and then before we go ahead and send them along to the salesperson, we can pre qualify them, so then that way the salesperson is making the best use of their time.
Carman Pirie: Well, I think you’re skating where the puck is going there, for sure. I mean, certainly, anybody under 40 or so thinks you’re a psychopath if you want to have a phone call that’s not scheduled. If you just phone them, it’s like it’s the equivalent of doing the drop by. It’s like dropping by somebody’s home for a visit back in the ‘80s or whatever. What’s going on? So, yeah, I think that it’s really interesting to hear how Cool Jet is evolving that sales organization using I guess additions to the marketing automation platform, frankly, to help enable it, and it’s really cool.
Well, Kevin, I could probably… We could keep talking about this for another hour or so, but I think this has been fantastic. I thank you for joining us on the show today. It’s been fun to kind of get a practical insight into your use of the technology and just kind of how you’re bringing it to life. It’s been fantastic.
Kevin Must: Yeah. I appreciate you all having me on the show today and I look forward to chatting with you guys more. Maybe if we’re ever at a trade fair together in the future, come on by and see the Cold Jet booth.
Carman Pirie: We’ll come by and get our business card scanned.
Kevin Must: There you go. We can enroll you all into a list.
Jeff White: Yeah. Finally, get that dry ice you’ve always wanted.
Carman Pirie: Exactly. We’ll talk about the stage fog after the show.
Jeff White: Fair enough. Thanks, Kevin.
Kevin Must: Thank you all.
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