What it Takes to Be a Marketing Leader in the Digital Age

Episode 8

October 1, 2018

In this episode of The Kula Ring, Jeff and Carman talk with Nikki Kapilevich, Director of Global Marketing at MTS Sensors. Nikki shares her experience leading two B2B manufacturers through the branding challenges of a merger/acquisition, and discusses the skills required to be an effective leader in the digital age.

What it Takes to Be a Marketing Leader in the Digital Age Transcript:

You’re listening to The Kula Ring, a podcast made for manufacturing marketers. Here are Carman and Jeff.

Jeff White: Welcome to The Kula Ring, everybody. My name is Jeff, of Kula Partners, and with me is Carman. How are you doing today, Carman?

Carman Pirie: Fantastic, fantastic. And you?

Jeff: Doing great, yeah. Just coming off of a week at HubSpot’s Inbound conference, when we’re recording this, and you’re just coming back to the office as well.

Carman: Yeah. But I was on vacation, so I was being a bit more of a slacker, admittedly.

Jeff: Well, Inbound’s like a vacation, or like New Year’s, as we used to say.

Carman: There you go.

Jeff: So I’m pretty stoked on the guest that we have with us today. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce her?

Carman: Yeah. Folks, I’m really excited about the guest today. And I think we’re going to be covering a topic that an awful lot of people are contending with. So let’s just dive right in. Nikki … See, now, Nikki, I asked how to pronounce your name initially, at the start of this, and I believe I did it great, initially. But now, as I look at how I told myself to pronounce it, I’m not so sure. So I’m going to try it here, and if I botch it, you correct me, like as the first thing that you say on The Kula Ring. But welcome, Nikki Kapilevich.

Nikki Kapilevich: Perfect, couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me.

Carman: That was stressful. Well, welcome to The Kula Ring. Great to have you.

Jeff: Indeed.

Carman: Nikki, why don’t we start. Look, I could tell the group about your title, and role, and whatnot, but why don’t I let you do that? Tell us who you are, and who you work for, what you’re up to.

Nikki: Sure. I lead the global marketing organization for a company called MTS Sensors, and MTS Sensors is a subsidiary of MTS Systems Corporation, which is a publicly traded organization that’s based out of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. MTS Systems, a little over two years ago, had acquired PCB Piezotronics, which was a 50-year, family-owned company based out of Buffalo, New York, which is where I’m located. And when PCB was acquired, I was put in charge of overseeing the global marketing organization.

The company designs and manufactures sensors. We’re a B2B company, and our sensors are used worldwide, primarily by design engineers for product testing. But also, there’s a tremendous amount of applications in the industrial manufacturing world, where sensors are used to monitor machinery health, to trend vibration levels, and then predict and help the maintenance teams, basically, take a look at the machine before it causes shutdown, or in the event of catastrophic failure.

Carman: And I must say, one of the most fun … Funny thing to say … the most interesting sensors I’ve heard tell of is the sensors that sense if other sensors are working. It just seems like a wonderful profit driver

Jeff: The most meta of sensors.

Carman: Exactly.

Nikki: That is true. There’s definitely a very wide range of applications that our sensors are used in, but those two, you know, for product testing and machinery health monitoring, are of primary use, yes.

Carman: And Nikki, I think we’re going to get right into it, because in your introduction, you talked about the MTS acquisition of PCB. And you headed up marketing at PCB, and you’re now the global marketing lead for MTS Sensors, which is pretty unique in and of itself, in that, you know, often, it’s not the one that’s being acquired that finds themselves running the new division. But I think there’s just a whole host of interesting challenges, pitfalls, et cetera, around how a marketing lead begins to tackle all of the issues surrounding a merger and acquisition. That’s what I think we’d at least like to get started with today if that works for you.

Nikki: Oh, sure. Well, first of all, there’s a tremendous amount of synergies that exist between MTS and PCB, which I believe is what paved the way for the acquisition. And interestingly, although MTS acquired PCB, the primary seats on the senior leadership team are held by the PCB folks. So I know that the formal terminologies were required, but in effect, the operations are, you know, follow the reverse acquisition, or almost like a merger; follow in the merger footsteps.

But for marketing in particular, yes, there were definitely a set of challenges that I had to deal with and be faced with, and not just myself, and with the team here in Depew, but you know, the team grew from 10 to 27 people. And we really exploded globally. And my primary concern was to get to know everyone, right, get to know folks in various pockets of the world. We have a very strong team in Europe, a very strong team in Asia; obviously, a team in multiple locations here in North America. And the first and foremost objective was to get alignment. First, let’s meet the team. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s get the trust going, and credibility going, get to know the business, get to know the skill sets. And let’s get aligned. You know, let’s understand what the overall vision is going to be, moving forward; what are going to be the revised and updated needs of the organization, and how can marketing support the vision and the needs of the organization?

My challenge has been to assess the needs of the combined organization, and then make sure that we’re staffed accordingly, that we have the right functional roles, that we are using the same tools; and if not the same tools, then so we understand what each business is using, and get some synergies going, get some economies going, and consolidate as much as possible. So I would say that the challenges were the people, systems, and tools; functional roles, personalities.

And the biggest challenge, which is still a challenge, is, of course, the branding integration. And that is, you know, MTS Sensors has a very strong brand, brand recognition, in Europe, and actually worldwide, and so does PCB, right? So I can’t tell you that that challenge has been resolved already. We basically just agreed for the foreseeable future that MTS and PCB will maintain their unique brand identities because we believe that there’s a tremendous amount of recognition and market share, you know, assigned to each. And we certainly didn’t want to jeopardize that and distract the business.

Carman: Yeah. I think that the dynamics around brand synchronization merger in an M and A, that could be the topic of probably a series of podcasts, in and of itself. Just get back to the team side for a minute; 10 to 27 strikes me a being a huge jump, number one.

And then, beyond that, you’re also dealing with folks in a much broader geographic footprint than you had originally, I believe. So I know that you mentioned you wanted to get everybody on the same page and whatnot, and that all makes sense to me. How did you, I guess, any tips that you might offer to folks heading down a similar route? I guess, what things might they want to be keeping in mind as they are moving from 10 to 27 in the blink of an eye?

Nikki: Sure. Well, it’s interesting, because you find yourself basically exposing a lot of weaknesses of the organization, that don’t really think about branding, and integration, marketing integration. You know, when they think about mergers and acquisitions, they sort of look at the business proposition and make sure that the, from a business standpoint, the acquisition makes sense. But I find that, well, in particular, in this case, in the case of MTS acquiring PCB, the whole topic of, “Well, so now what? What’s the vision? What’s the branding integration plan? Are we going to maintain two websites or one? Are we going to maintain five logos or integrate into one? Are we going to have one marketing plan that’s going to unite all of the businesses and geographies, or each is going to sort of run their own siloed marketing operation?”

In my having to bring the troops together and having to integrate the teams, everyone is looking up at me, as the person with the vision, and with a lot of the answers to all of these questions. And you know, because marketing and branding hasn’t been fully vetted, and defined, and you know, determined, I didn’t have many of the answers. So my initial objective was, “We’ll get through all of that. We’ll work through all of that as a team. For now, let’s just understand who we are, and understand the businesses, and see if we can find ourselves in a position to make recommendations to the leadership team, and to the business stakeholders; and make sure that, you know, if we do decide to integrate, and if we do decide to consolidate, that it’s not going to be destructive to the business, right?”

So the challenges to look out for is, while everyone is looking for solutions and for the answers, day one, it sometimes is not case. And sometimes, patience, and agility, and ability to be adaptable, and have an open mind, and being open to change, is the skillset that’s a lot more important than knowing how to integrate brands.

Jeff: It’s interesting, too, because I mean, you mentioned a moment ago about how the makeup of the marketing team isn’t necessarily considered as the business case is being brought forward for an acquisition; but yet, it can have a massive impact on how the business progresses once it is merged, you know, from sales, and marketing, and all of those pieces. So, yeah, quite right. There’s a huge potential impact from your organization to the overall company.

Nikki: And to keep it simple, you know, the business proposition, in the beginning, was, “What’s going to be the story that we’ll tell to the investor community, to the public at large, to our customers; both internal and external customers?” And the story really resonated. I mean, it was very simple, and it made sense. They’re synergies. You know, MTS is the household brand in the test and product testing world, and so was PCB. And so it made sense to bring the two sensor organizations, or testing and measurement organizations, into one big sensor powerhouse. And certainly, we share, shared, and today, continue to share a customer list. So the sensors that we were selling to the aerospace and defense companies, we find that MTS Sensors is also selling their sensors to the same account. So there’s definitely a tremendous amount of synergies and applications in the accounts that we share.

So the story made sense. But as we all know, the devil’s in the details, right? So how do you continue to tell the story and build on it? And you know, what is going to be the branding story? What’s going to be the branding strategy? What’s going to be our new identity? And what is the visual system that we’re going to adopt, worldwide? How do we make it consistent, and standardized, and basically not force our customers to remember nine names? How do we strengthen the one or two? And like I said, those decisions are still underway, and discussions are still underway. And we’re doing the best that we can with what we have.

And today, we have a strong recognition in the MTS name, as well as PCB. And so where it makes business sense, we go under one umbrella or under the other. It just depends on the situation.

Carman: And it strikes me that, you know, I guess these big chunks of effort around the brand consolidation or not, the synchronization of the digital properties, that can all take an awful lot of time to work through and make sense of. I’m curious if there are other pieces of it that maybe move faster. The one that comes immediately to mind is, maybe on the marketing reporting side, that maybe how we achieve the performance may differ in one organization versus the other, but perhaps we measure the performance in the same way. Also, maybe on the sales side, maybe the sales organizations were supported differently, and now they’re supported in a similar way, because they’re being supported by the one entity. Does any of that resonate? Have you been able to move these teams closer together in either of those areas?

Nikki: For sure, in terms of KPIs, and in defining the measurement strategy, we look … The two primary metrics that we track are website traffic and lead generation. So those, I would consider to be our global KPIs, right? No matter what the business, no matter what the entity, or the business sector, or the market segment that runs their marketing plans and campaigns, we measure everything by traffic that we generate to our website or website properties, because like I said, we operate multiple website properties; and how do we generate leads, from which advertising programs.

So from my sort of 30,000-foot view, you know, my biggest challenges, and the goals for year two, post-acquisition, are … Okay, if you put aside the decision on what’s going to be the web solution for all of the businesses, and what’s going to be the brand for all of the businesses, if you put those decisions aside, can we agree on global KPIs? Can we agree that all marketing that we do, you know, trade shows, digital advertising, print advertising, organic, paid, search marketing, can we agree that the two primary metrics that we’ll measure will be website traffic and lead generation? And we reached the agreement.

Then, of course, the next level from that is, “Okay, what kind of reporting? How do we generate reports? And what dimensions do we look at? Do we use Google Analytics or some other automation tool? You know, what will our actual reports look like? And can we consolidate how we generate the data and how we analyze the various data points?” You know, we all know that nowadays, if there’s one word that sums up marketing, it’s “more.” We have more data to parse through. We have more channels to cover. We have more data points that we need to analyze. And so the only thing that we don’t have more of is time and resources.

So rather than sifting through 15 different reports that are submitted by 5 different regional marketing managers, we make some agreements on consolidation of those reports. And so I look at 5 now, versus 15.

Carman: Nikki, I’m going to steal that “more” line and use it daily from here on out. So I’m just going to apologize in advance, because I know I couldn’t not steal it now if I tried. It’s just going to come out of my mouth when I talk.

Nikki: Yeah. But it’s true.

Carman: But you’re right.

I mean, there’s more of everything, and it’s not more time. I think that was a spot-on comment. And it leads me to wonder, you know, as you’re looking at evolving that marketing organization and growing that team, what are the skillsets that you’re looking for that will help you deal with that added level of complexity? Yeah, it just brings a lot of questions to mind.

Nikki: Well, modern marketing has obviously evolved, right? It went from being, you know, one side of the brain that’s more creative and design orientated, to the analytical and more mathematical. And technology has made it possible. And so what’s happening in real time is modern marketing leaders, we have to be nimble. And we have to develop teams that step up to the plate. And we have to develop teams that are high-performance and high-agility. And in the past, there used to be conversations like, “I think that the audience will respond a certain way to an ad.” Nowadays, it’s basically, you know, I know how the audience is going to respond, because we have access to so much information about our customers, and the way that our customers are engaging with our content, and what their needs and wants are, based on various data points that we collect.

So the marketing discipline, as a whole, has transformed over the years, and technology made it possible. And what it does is, it puts front-forward, the whole concept of return on investment. We can no longer hide behind the excuses of, “Well, how do you run an ad in print, and then know how it contributes to the bottom line?” Those excuses are gone. Now, with everything being digital, or you know, you really have to make sure that at least 80% to 85% of your marketing budget is invested in digital. You can, and you should, provide the answers to upper management, in terms of how various campaigns and programs are contributing to the bottom line.

Carman: I find this to be a really challenging catch-22, in some way, because you know, on the one hand, making data-informed decisions, of course, makes sense. Of course it makes sense to use the data that we have at our disposal to make wiser investments. And I know that many marketers, one way that they may respond to what I’m about to say is, they say they leave a certain percentage of their budget for experimentation, which is fine. However, I kind of wonder sometimes in this, I guess, being an old, grizzled agency guy now, and maybe being more on the side of digital and data-informed than not over the last decade, I wonder if some of the, not magic is gone, but if in some ways, if we don’t allow ourselves to take the bigger risks; because we’ve gotten into a habit of justifying every penny in this very data-driven way. And maybe it doesn’t allow us to take the gambles.

Jeff: I think this is just because you want to be Don Draper. That might be it.

Carman: I may want to be Don Draper on a number of levels, including my love of old fashions. However, you know what I mean, though? I kind of wonder.

Nikki: I do. I know exactly what you mean, Carman, because you hit the nail on the head. You said the magic word, “experimentation.” So nowadays, it’s not about asking the question, “What works, and what doesn’t?” I think the question is, “How fast can you tell? And how fast can you see that something is working and double down on it? And how fast can you see that something isn’t working, and abandon that experiment, and move onto the next?” So I think that we have to allow our teams to experiment as much as they can. And this is why I say that the marketing leaders, they have to be nimble, and they have to be agile, and they have to attract people who are nimble and agile.

And I think it’s a combination of two things. I think it’s the skillset, so you have to be more analytical, and you have to understand the digital landscape. And you have to really understand your customers, and know where they go, where are they hanging out, and where should you be, right, in front of your audience? But I think, more important … So it’s the skillset, but then more importantly, it’s the characteristics and the personality traits of a person, of a modern marketer, that is able to experiment and move on; experiment and move on, and have that open mind to, like you said, taking risks, small and big.

Carman: It’s that psychology that, I think, you hit the nail on the head there, I think, because I guess that’s the crux of the question that I have. Is that person, you know, that has that mindset of being analytical, and being in tune to that, is that going to be the … Is that the best person to put in charge of taking the risks? Will they take the same risks? You know, if I pay attention to the health data and whatnot, well, of course I wouldn’t smoke. But you know, maybe a risky person is the one that smokes, right? And I don’t know, I’m trying to put these two things in the … I don’t know. Jeff, am I making any sense?

Jeff: Well, I think so.

Carman: I think that means no. The universal thing, guys, that everybody needs to understand, is when Jeff says he thinks I’m making sense, that means the answer’s no.

Jeff: But I do think that, you know, there aren’t as many opportunities to try the big idea anymore, unless you’re in a certain category of product. You know, in consumer goods, I think you can try and roll out a really creative, really exciting kind of campaign. And it’s less about kind of seeing if that one PPC converts at half a percentage higher than the previous one. It’s more about, you know, create great products, and the sales will follow; you know, the Apple model that everybody likes to espouse. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that it works as well in a B2B context. And many marketers and folks aren’t interested in kind of taking that challenge.

Carman: Yeah. We’re certainly in an environment that doesn’t want us to take those risks, I think.

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Nikki: Well, what are some of the biggest challenges that you guys are faced with when you talk to your customers and prospects? I mean, to me, when I speak to my peers, it’s definitely ROI. How do we measure it? How do we prove it? How do we prove that marketing is not just a support function, that it actually assists in driving business? What are some of the things that you guys are hearing when you talk to marketing professionals, and manufacturing marketing professionals? Because I know that that’s the space that both of us are in.

Carman: So you know, like right up until this moment, I thought we were the hosts of the podcast. And now, we’re answering questions, and she’s asking them.

Jeff: And they’re better.

Carman: No, look, I think we’re living in the same world. And those questions are absolutely front and center. And there’s also, it’s worth noting that you can’t really … I mean, it doesn’t matter how good your data is. It doesn’t matter how good a marketer you are. You cannot forecast ROI in advance with precision.

Jeff: No.

Carman: It’s directional, at best.

Jeff: Leading indicators, but not.

Carman: Well, yeah. I mean, ultimate return on marketing investment is a bit like financial accounting. It can only be done after the fact, right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Carman: I was just in Amsterdam last week, and there’s this great Dutch proverb that sits over top of one of the shops in downtown Amsterdam. And any Dutch people listening will roll their eyes at my translation of it, but basically, and I won’t try to say it in Dutch, because that would even be worse, but it says that the cost precedes the benefit. You know, you need to invest. And there’s a kind of suggestion that there’s a bit of that blind faith, right?

I don’t know if I answered your question, Nikki, but I was trying like hell not to.

Nikki: Blind faith is certainly allowed, but again, back to an experienced marketer, what differentiates an experienced marketer from someone who’s just entering the profession? And that is, you know, having that intuition, and having that almost sixth sense toward, you know, maybe not with precision, but knowing enough to see that a certain campaign or a certain initiative has the propensity of being productive and contributing to the bottom line. I mean, speaking … You know, we can speak in generalities all day long, but one very specific example that I wanted to give you, that I’m certainly proud of, is that we used to spend a lot, a lot of money in paid advertising; and I mean, north of $100,000.

And the team didn’t really have the knowledge, nor the savvy, to optimize the performance of our AdWords campaigns. And we went out, and we got help. We knew that just kind of letting it go was not a good solution, because we couldn’t really justify the ROI. We knew we were spending money. We knew how much traffic the AdWords campaigns were generating. But beyond that, we knew nothing else, right? So we couldn’t really tell the story.

And so we went out, we got help. And basically, a professional came in and said, “What you’re doing is okay, but you’re attracting a top-of-the-funnel type of traffic.” And top-of-the-funnel is okay if your brand is not well known, or if your ads speak about  papers, and brochures, and application notes, because we all know top-of-the-funnel traffic is, you know, they’re still in the research and evaluation stage, right? They’re not ready to buy. So there was a disconnect between the kind of keyword strategy we employed and what our ads said, right? So our promise in our ads didn’t really correspond to the, what we were actually offering on landing pages.

So we changed the strategy. We turned it upside down. And we said, “We are not going to be attracting top-of-the-funnel clicks. We’re going to go after the bottom-of-the-funnel clicks.” And our ads will be highly precise, and our ads will be tailoring the users who are ready to purchase sensors, right? So we’re going to be investing in a keyword strategy that signals buyer behavior.

That changed, went from … And I know it’s going to sound counterintuitive, right, because we’ve spent upwards of $10,000 a month on AdWords. And our click-through rate was below 1%, right? So the change that we made to our AdWords strategy, by flipping both the keywords, and the ads, and the landing pages, from attracting top-of-the-funnel to bottom-of-the-funnel, not only reduced our overall spend by a third, but it increased our click-through rate tremendously, right? We would not have known the changes to make, we would not have known the nuances of the relationship between keywords, and ads, and landing pages, right; because it’s not, I mean, marketers are jacks of all trades and masters of none. So unless you have someone who’s dedicated just to paid advertising and paid search, your typical marketing manager is not well versed on the winning strategies of Google AdWords.

So the decision was, spend a little, bring somebody who does; let them set you on the right path, and then double down on what works. And that’s exactly what we did. So today, our AdWords spend is less than $20 grand, but our click-through rate is through the roof. And we’re actually, because we’re attracting bottom-of-the-funnel type of clicks that are going directly into our e-commerce, we’re actually able to show a direct contribution to the bottom line by tracking e-commerce sales. So that right there is a small success story of asking the question of … asking the right questions, that, “Hey, we’re spending a lot. We don’t know what we’re getting for it. You know, we need help,” and then getting help, getting organized, and then doubling down. Those are the types of strategic decisions I think that marketing leaders today should be savvy enough to make.

Did we know for a fact that by going out and hiring a professional consultant, that you know, we’re going to be raining orders? No, but it was an informed decision. And we were involved every step of the way. We learned something from it, right, learned from professionals. And the return is obvious.

Carman: And I think that, you know, that is probably the hinge of it, is to make sure that, because you said it yourself, “Did we know exactly what the return could be? Could it be predicted with precision? No, but we knew directionally where it was going to be. We knew where we ought to be going with it, and that we didn’t have the skillset in-house, and we needed to go elsewhere.”

So that makes sense to me. And then putting it in place is part of that, of course, having the proper discipline to ensure we’re measuring the success of that initiative.

Jeff: And understanding it internally, as well, because I mean, even with a marketing team the size and scale that Nikki’s working with, you know, it’s still difficult to have specialists in absolutely every platform.

Carman: Yeah, of course.

Nikki: Right. I mean, nowadays, the one thing that I’ll tell you is that when we recruit, we definitely look for analytical skill sets, and look for experience with digital platforms, more so than, you know, art direction and creative. Although, I mean, that’s still an important aspect of marketing. But I definitely, when I’m involved in interviews, I look for understanding in various digital tools and digital methodologies, more so than traditional marketing and traditional advertising.

Carman: Nikki, I think I could continue this for at least another half hour, but I feel like we’re getting close to time. But I just had this one last question around, you talk about what you’re looking for as you’re recruiting new talent. I’m curious, how do you find … What’s the experience on that recruitment side, particularly as you look at your global offices? Is it easier to find people that are thinking that way in the US? Is it easier to find them in Europe? Any insights there, or I guess, seat-of-the-pants impressions, as it were?

Nikki: That’s a great question. I haven’t had much experience with recruiting in the European markets, recruiting to our European direct offices. In Asia, we just recently, in China, in particular, we hired a lady to drive our marketing initiatives. Actually, interestingly, she’ll be responsible for both sides of the business, for PCB and MTS side of the business. And we give the skill sets, or the desired skill sets, to a recruiter. And you know, in all situations, we try a little bit, organically, to recruit candidates. And then at some point, we involve a recruiter. And they ask us questions about, you know, “What are you looking for? What’s the objective of the position? And what kind of skill sets, and backgrounds, and experiences?”

And in China, in particular, it’s difficult to hire somebody who speaks our analytics language, because there’s no presence of Google in China, right? It’s all Baidu. So that’s one area of the map where we won’t get 100% consistency in reporting and in the metrics, but we’ll find a way to find comparable metrics, via Baidu, that exist in Google Analytics. But, so it changes the conversation a little bit.

But yeah, I mean, geography really doesn’t matter. What you’re looking for is just someone who understands the transition from traditional to modern marketing, has a keen knowledge of the foundation of digital marketing, and is able to carry on a dialogue, beyond trade shows and desktop publishing, right? So I have a suite of questions that I ask every candidate, to test their knowledge of AdWords, Google Analytics, search engine optimization techniques, email blasts; their knowledge of the various SPAM laws, and understanding of how to avoid getting into trouble with regard to unsolicited external communication. So like I said, regardless of geography, I think that, whether you’re recruiting here in the United States or across the board, I look for a skillset that’s more aligned with digital than traditional marketing.

Just recently, you know, to kind of touch on another investment that we’re making, recognizing return on investment expectations of upper management is, you know, I wrote a new job description, and I’m hiring somebody for the position of marketing analyst. So it’s someone who would work very closely with the marketing managers to develop the campaigns around the various tools and measurement techniques that we have; so setting up the campaign, such that we can measure traffic, measure leads, measure engagement with the customers, and understand how the customers and prospects engage with us at various stages of the funnel. So again, you know, companies that believe in and understand modern marketing will make the right investments, in people and in functional roles.

Carman: I think that’s a great bit of guidance, and probably a great place to conclude today’s episode. Nikki, this has been fantastic. I think you’ve given the listeners a lot to think about and digest. I know I have a lot to think about, coming out of this. It’s just been a great conversation. Thank you so much for taking the time. I know we’ve-

Nikki: Thank you, guys. Thanks for having me.

Carman: We’ve had technical glitches, trying to set this up. So for those listening in, we’ve got Nikki kind of tapped into our podcasting platform, via irregular means, let’s say. So if there are any audio challenges, that may help explain it. But hopefully, it sounds good for you all, and you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. Thanks again, Nikki. We appreciate it.

Jeff: Thank you.

Nikki: Yep, thanks. Thanks for having me, guys. Take care.

Carman: You too. Bye-bye.

Thanks for listening to The Kula Ring with Carman and Jeff. Don’t miss a single manufacturing marketing insight. Subscribe now at KulaPartners.com/TheKulaRing. That’s K-U-L-A, partners.com/TheKulaRing.

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Nikki Kapilevich

Director of Global Marketing at MTS Sensors

Nikki Kapilevich is the Director of Global Marketing for MTS Sensors, a global supplier of mechanical testing systems and position sensors. Nikki is a veteran marketer with over 15 years of experience navigating the digital landscape and one of the company’s top marketing executives. She is now tasked with aligning the marketing strategies for MTS and PCB Piezotronics, a recently acquired and well-known sensor brand. Nikki’s skill set makes her the ideal executive to align the two B2B organizations in a landscape that is becoming more and more dominated by a digitally-focused buyer’s journey.

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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