Why Empathy is the Secret to High-Performing B2B Technical Content

Episode 204

October 4, 2022

On this week’s episode of The Kula Ring, Greg Paulsen, Director of Applications Engineering and Marketing at Xometry, gives insight into his formula for success when it comes to creating technical content for a B2B audience. Rather than focusing on the question of ‘what is,’ high-quality technical content that resonates should be centered around the question of ‘why’—why it benefits the customer, or why it matters to the industry at large. Listen to the episode to hear Greg talk about how understanding the ‘why’ comes through having been there himself; or in other words, through having empathy.

Why Empathy is the Secret to High-Performing B2B Technical Content 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. I’m doing great. 

Carman Pirie: It’s good to be recording yet another show, and I think today… Content is king. Everybody wants to talk about content in marketing, and not that that’s new, but for B2B manufacturers, to say that they struggle the more that content gets technical would be perhaps an understatement. 

Jeff White: Yes. 

Carman Pirie: I mean, often it’s just a decision of almost not producing technical content at all because they think if they do it, it’s just going to be wrong. 

Jeff White: Yeah. No, absolutely. 

Carman Pirie: Does that make sense? 

Jeff White: It really does. 

Carman Pirie: I mean, it doesn’t make sense, but it is what we see. 

Jeff White: It is certainly the case for most organizations. 

Carman Pirie: Or at least many. Yeah, and so I’m excited for today’s guest, because I just… I like chatting with folks who have cracked the technical content nut, as it were, and have done so in an interesting, innovative way. So yeah, let’s dive in. 

Jeff White: Well, and I think too, what’s particularly interesting is that every time we see somebody who’s doing this well, they’re often coming at it from a different perspective, which our guest is, as well. He’s a bit of an accidental marketer, really. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. 

Jeff White: Which I think is what’s so interesting. So interesting. Anyway, enough about that. Why don’t we get him introduced? So, joining us today is Greg Paulsen. Greg is the Director, Applications Engineering and Marketing at Xometry. Welcome to The Kula Ring. 

Greg Paulsen: Hey, thanks so much for having me. 

Carman Pirie: It’s awesome to have you on the show, mate. Why don’t you first — I think a lot of our audience will have heard of Xometry by this point, but maybe for those who haven’t, introduce the firm if you would and just tell us a little bit about you and your role there. 

Greg Paulsen: Yeah, absolutely. And by the way, I love it when someone’s like, “Oh, everybody must have heard of Xometry by now,” because I’ve been with that organization long enough where I remember the first time we got a natural mention without having to pay for it. I’ve been with Xometry for about eight and a half years now—the company’s about eight and a half years old—so it checks out. And it’s just like I said, I get a giggle inside every time I hear someone say like, “Oh, you guys do this.” I was like, “You know about us? Really? That’s so cool!” But we’ve definitely done a lot over the years. 

And Xometry is a digital manufacturing marketplace. We looked at how a lot of what I would call traditional businesses have been disrupted over the years with marketplace models. Think what Airbnb has done for lodging, or what Uber has done for transportation, or what has Amazon has done for retail. In manufacturing, a very similar story. It classically was a local-to-local experience whether you were the buyer, the person who needed stuff custom manufactured, or the supplier, or the person who’s doing the manufacturing, you didn’t often have the reach or the knowhow. You didn’t have this omnipotent view of what the industry was to where to source parts when they’re available, and also there’s a lot of opacity in the responses you got back. 

I lived in the world, by the way, like I am a non-traditional marketer or accidental marketer if you will, because I was someone who worked in engineering and product development before this. I’ve done a lot of sourcing. I’ve also been a supplier myself working in advanced manufacturing—additive manufacturing to be particular—and I know this RFQ feedback life cycle where you’re often waiting days just to get a quote response back, and when you do from several sources they’re all over the place. 

So, Xometry looked at this whole mess of things, these inefficiencies within the marketplace, and said, “What if we just put technology, just boom, right up front?” And they started with digital online quoting, so instead of a RFQ wait, we actually use AI and machine learning to predict the cost of parts, so instead of a ‘wait and see’ you get a ‘buy-it-now’ experience on pricing for custom manufactured parts. Now we offer over 17 different processes. 

And of course, just like Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, you’re nothing without a really strong supplier base, so our supply chain—instead of being just one shop and trying to limit what one shop can do, which you run into capacity restraints and everything else that we find inefficient in the market—we are a marketplace. We are connected to thousands of suppliers that have been vetted through our system who are fulfilling the work ordered. So, for customers it’s kind of instant gratification on sourcing custom manufactured parts. For suppliers, the people who are making it, it’s instant gratification on getting work on-demand that fits them really well. We use AI matchmaking on that side. 

So, it’s a really great digital transformation from what you see in a typically archaic industry. 

Carman Pirie: I love that introduction and I must say I think it’s the first time the word omnipotent has been used on this podcast, which… You know, it should not be the last. 

Jeff White: It’s a great word. 

Carman Pirie: It is, isn’t it? I’m kind of reminded of the little bit by Stewie in the Family Guy when he’s talking about God. He says, “I rather like that God fellow, you know. He’s very theatrical. Just a plague here, some pestilence there. Omnipotence! Gotta get me some of that.” 

Anyway, I digress. We can edit this out or leave it in in the final version, Jeff. 

Jeff White: It is the first time you’ve quoted the Family Guy in this show. 

Carman Pirie: We may need to. We may need to pay royalties or something.

Jeff White: Yeah. Greg, as you mentioned, a non-traditional marketer. You’ve come at this from a very interesting perspective, from an engineering perspective and a technical one. What are you doing in the marketing function at Xometry? 

Greg Paulsen: Yeah, absolutely. And like I said, I began when this was a startup, so if you weren’t selling the company, you weren’t doing your job. If you were a software developer in the startup phase, you were a salesperson. If you were the CEO, you’re definitely a salesperson since you’re the CEO. Financial officer? Salesperson. And I joined in doing business development but also a lot of project engineering, and we started kind of a project engineering and support team, but we’re all salespeople, right? You just… That’s what you have to do to grow. 

I’ve found that in roles that I’ve had in the past throughout my career, I always kind of end up being the person who talks to the customer. I think my former CEO at my previous company said it best, where you could teach a good communicator technical skills, but you can’t teach a highly technical person how to communicate sometimes. It’s sometimes much more difficult in the reverse. And I’ve always had a knack for bridging what I found as technical information and abstracting or translating it down in a way where my audience can understand what I’m talking about. 

So, I love working with engineers. I love working with highly technical people and I’ve been a sponge for that. But my customers—no one knows 17 manufacturing processes back and forth. There’s just… You know, there’s a lot of information that you have to help them through and build out, and that’s something that I’ve really excelled at and grown in over the years. 

Carman Pirie: In the prep notes for this show I had jotted down that you mentioned, before you kind of started this work, that the marketing didn’t really speak to customers particularly well. And I don’t want to suggest that you were being overly critical of former colleagues or anything of that nature. But that was an interesting kind of an observation that this isn’t speaking [to the customers], and you’re just bringing that up now as that kind of being a bit of your secret sauce. Why is it that people struggle so much in getting technical content to connect with customers? I mean, the technical content is technical because they think that the customer is technical, so in some way it ought to be almost predisposed to resonating with them. But why is that a challenge?

Greg Paulsen: Well, for me, technical content is not a Wikipedia article, and that’s the biggest difference. You can put up definitions and talk about ‘what is,’ and that can be scalable, and believe us—we have content writers and engineering content writers who can build those articles to gain SEO and traction, and help define the searchability and the findability of these services. But something that is very, very hard to replicate is empathy—that is, writing in a way where you’ve been in those shoes. So it’s not just ‘what is,’ but I always talk to our technical team and our content team [about this]—it’s about the ‘why.’ ‘Why should I do this?’ And the situations in which I may need to choose these processes. 

And Xometry’s in a very unique spot because we’re not one shop just trying to tell you the capabilities, my one-page list of stuff that I can do. When you’re representing thousands of manufacturers’ worth of capabilities, it’s not ‘what can you do,’ because we can do basically anything. It’s ‘why should you choose one process over another.’ ‘What are the benefits for this?’ ‘When do I make a decision to change those processes to scale?’ And that’s something that is, very often, you just have to have it learned. You have to have burned your hand thousands of times like I have on the stove, and learned and corrected course along the way.

And so, when we build content at Xometry, especially the most relevant content—so things like that are on our capabilities pages, our design guides, our tech tips—it’s because we’ve been there. It’s because we’ve been there and we want to tell you these things in a way to help prevent a dissatisfying experience for you as a customer, as well as for the holistic manufacturing community. Just with better intent and design and better knowledge up front—just like garbage in, garbage out—this better intent up front leads to just multitudes of success on the tail end. 

And yeah, I was tapped on the shoulder for this, so talking about how we got to this point, as we were growing we did have marketing teams we built. We had outsourced technical content writers. We had everything that you can think a standard workflow would be as you scale, right? But we also looped in myself and our team of experts along the way, and started building out a kind of a review process to see what works, what kind of passes our sniff test, saying like, “Yeah, I would tell that to a customer,” or, “What is this? What’s the point here? What are we really trying to do? What’s the hook? Are we just putting words down or are we trying to put some meaning behind them?” And we would help kind of build out a better message or better story. 

And then ultimately I started doing some videos, some I call it “edu-taining” videos for the company. We have series like the ‘Will It’ series, as well as things like recorded webinars and other multimedia content, where we helped build decision tools and educate in ways that we found really, really entertaining. I’ve been with the company for eight and a half years, but it’s the last three years really that I’ve been what I consider on the full-time marketing side, so I’ve always been on either sales, technical sales, or operations side of things, but at some point we scaled to the point where it’s like we just… They’re like, “Greg can’t be part-time here on this agency. We want your full-time attention to just make sure that our marketing and what we communicate to our customers is technically robust.” 

Carman Pirie: I’ve got a couple of questions on that. I guess first things first, I want to know, you’ve been with the company for eight and a half years and no matter how much experience one has, of course that’s a lot of time with one specific company, which means that the experience with external companies is kind of getting less and less over that time if that makes any sense. Like you’re not working for 20 or 30 different manufacturers in that time, you’re working at Xometry, and I appreciate the big partner community, etcetera. I guess the root of my question is, what process do you have in place to kind of talk to customers to kind of make sure that alignment is real, versus you just think you’re talking in the customer’s language?

Because you know, I think that can happen. Marketers think, “Oh, no. I’m talking in the customer’s language.” But do they ever really check? 

Greg Paulsen: Yeah. And honestly that’s my biggest fear, right? Becoming stagnant, or not staying relevant in the industries which I’m speaking to. A hundred percent. You’re like talking to my deepest fears right now as far as my career goes. And I have had the fortune of… You know, I haven’t had just one position at the company, right? I’ve had multiple positions reporting to different branches, which has brought empathy, but yeah, three years in marketing. How do I stay relevant to what our industry is, which is constantly evolving? Truthfully, I live vicariously through our sales team, our technical sales engineers, and our operations team, and even our product team. 

So, I don’t see verticals as clearly as I think a lot of our organization does, so I’m able to get involved and work not just on the marketing aspect, but actual things like launches. Xometry, we just launched five more processes, so we’re up to 17 now because a couple months ago we launched a series of processes that are more tuned for scaled manufacturing from extrusion, die casting, stamping, and some other processes along the way. And you know, I’m not just telling the news. We’re here talking about what the customer’s experience is gonna be, what type of materials they’re gonna have access to, working back and forth with our technical experts and engineers, reaching out to our industry experts. Xometry has quite the Rolodex and I haven’t even mentioned Thomas yet, which has 560,000 suppliers, which is a Xometry acquisition last December, and that’s just been super exciting to kind of expand our breadth, as well as the services that Thomas offers from marketing services website designs, and other things to help individual suppliers. 

But all of that, my goal is to continue to be a sponge, understand the information, abstract it and fold it into the pitch of Xometry, as well as have what I call back pocket resources. If I don’t have the answer or I don’t feel comfortable with how I’m explaining it, I will a hundred percent bring in our technical engineering experts in those fields or external sources to help validate and understand where I am and where I need to improve. 

Carman Pirie: Understood. I’m just curious too, the last bit of this, and then I’m gonna have to let Jeff have some of the airtime here and actually ask you a question. My goodness, I’m hogging up all the time. But I guess you started mentioning the layers of oversight and review, etcetera, for this content, to ensure that it resonates and it’s technically accurate, etcetera. None of that sounds like a cheap endeavor. None of that sounds like an organization that’s trying to skimp and say, “You know what? I know we did this for 25 cents a word last year, but I think we could do it for 20 cents a word this year.” It seems like the exact opposite of commoditization of the content. Am I reading that correctly or do you face a lot of cost pressures internally? 

Greg Paulsen: Don’t get me wrong—when we have SEO content, we optimize for different efficiencies, right? So if we’re building articles to get longtail SEO words, we may make something specific but short, or do even like a video or something around that. One of my first endeavors actually when I joined a few years ago was just gaining words on Garolite CNC machining, which is… Garolite is a fiberglass-like composite that you can machine and it’s hard to source, but Xometry auto quotes it. So it’s one of those things where it’s like we should be getting a lot of this business because we make it so incredibly easy to source parts. But building just a little bit of a piece of content—doing a you know, a little how-to video—all of a sudden you’re getting page one rank on some of these words. 

So, there’s certain things that… We work strategically, so that we’re not just making content for the sake of content. Working strategically to help build where we can in the business. And you’re absolutely right, if you’re just trying to run machine shops, you’re gonna run into a lot of trouble and a lot of competition, but there’s other ways to work around it and grow your presence. 

From my end of things, I am a full-time salaried employee. So I’m able to… If I’m not directly building this, I’d be a capacity constraint, and again, my other biggest fear is always being a bottleneck, right? When we talk about this, I have team members who are just absolutely excellent and we work really well together, so sometimes it’s just checking and validating and adding two cents to add some of that empathy into those technical works. But there are ways to scale with checks and balances that are more efficient, like it doesn’t mean you have to write a hundred percent, but it does mean you want to kind of put in a little bit of sniff test here and there. Especially on like I would say the main content, the stuff that you really want people to go to. 

Because I know if they read that resource, they’re gonna be just so much more prepared in whatever process or decision-making that they’re going to do, so I really, really want to put a lot of time into those technologies and creating the main pages versus the peripherals, to just be technically rich and grow from there. 

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Jeff White: One of the things that I think is… It’s a bit of a giveaway talking to you right now, because we’re sharing a video at the same time as we’re recording the audio here, and what no one else has the ability to see that I can see is that you actually have a workbench behind you. I think you’re probably the first marketer we’ve ever spoken with who actually has a way to actually explore things and work out what you’re going to do from a content perspective, and actually I would assume build some things and solve some problems with that. 

One of the things that I really liked about your approach is that you just mentioned this very specific fiberglass material, you’re finding and creating content just for that, but you also use customer surveys and other things to kind of find out where those holes are. And I’m sure, just given the breadth and depth—you’re covering 17 manufacturing processes here—there’s gonna be a lot. How do you prioritize what you create content for and is it kind of a quantity of requests or is it an opportunity? Are you evaluating things against revenue? How are you figuring out what to actually build next? 

Greg Paulsen: Yes. That’s my-

Jeff White: Perfect. All right. Carman? 

Greg Paulsen: Yeah, that’s the answer. Yeah. We are a business, right? We have our goals on what we want to do for revenue, for retention, and building our customer base. There are some things that help out a lot, right? We are connected to our suppliers, and we know what they can do, and then we know what we list on our site, so you can also see the gaps where… A great example is right around actually when we acquired Thomas, we launched sheet cutting, which turned out every shop that was doing sheet metal probably has a laser or some way of blanking sheet. We didn’t really advertise that directly to our customers, but we were able to go and build this out, and it’s almost like a preparation step when you’re forming a metal part, just cutting that out, and expand out those materials and processes. 

So, we sometimes will look at, ‘How can we celebrate what our suppliers can do really well, and economically,’ right? We have this beautiful supply demand curve where if every one of my sheet metal suppliers can also cut a flat profile, then we can really be competitive in the market from the launch. And that will roll into, ‘Okay, how do I present it to my customer?’ So, we’re launching sheet cutting—not just what the technical requirements are—what are the materials, and thicknesses, or gauges that we can cut, but also, ‘Oh, man. If I put this offering on my website, I need to have content that backs up and helps our customers understand and build their expectations around what happens when I press buy.’ 

And so, we start building out that content kind of deriving from our manufacturers. Sometimes there are I won’t say oddballs, but there are strategic goals that we can see through data, and we’ll make initiatives through that, or we’re looking to build a business unit, we’ll build some prioritization to build content through that. But I also want to say that, we have been a content machine for years and if you’re a new customer starting today, you may have not seen that super good article or that design guide that came out a few years back, so we are always inventing content, but we’re also building automations and workflows in a way to bring relevant content that’s been created to our customers to give them a holistic experience of Xometry. 

You kind of get these ebbs and flows throughout the years with technical content where you always have to create, because everything’s new. And then at some point you get to a stage where it may not be new to me, but it’s new to that new customer, right? And using that content or rehashing in certain ways to take one piece and turn it into can this written piece be a poster guide? Can it be a video? Can it be a little audio clip? Can it be a social post? And taking that and reforming it in different ways, to present it in new ways. 

What I’m trying to say is there’s a lot of ways to transform your existing content and have it work harder for you than just as it’s originally created. 

Carman Pirie: I’m kind of curious. I think when a lot of people, a lot of marketers are producing content, if they think about where it kind of fits within the customer journey, they certainly… There’s a strong prioritization of buying stage or decision stage content. That’s where often people start. And certainly, awareness stage content is first and foremost on a lot of people’s minds. I find that a lot of marketers kind of… Maybe they don’t get to the onboarding content or the kind of early stage, when somebody’s just become a customer, they’re just starting to accept their first deliveries or what have you. Have you thought about it kind of through that lens? It seemed to me like you were kind of hinting at that, that some of the content that you were automating and whatnot was for existing customers to help in that onboarding phase, but I don’t want to put too many words in your mouth. 

Greg Paulsen: No, I think you’re absolutely right. There was a podcast, How I Built This, and one of my favorite lines was when he was interviewing the founder of Stonyfield— which, you know, makes cream and yogurt products, and dairy products—and he said the hardest part to sell is the 18 inches from the spoon to the mouth. Just getting the person to take the taste. And then once you’re there, the aha moment jumps in. 

And you’re absolutely right. From an onboarding stage, I found throughout the years, when I do a presentation, I found when I use the word “instant quote,” people think it’s instant quote submission, because their latest and greatest experience for quoting was a digital submission form, and what we’re actually providing is pricing and lead time immediately on our services. And so, I started changing my language when I talk in webinars, or podcasts, or other mediums, to “instant pricing,” even though we have all over website instant quoting, to help build a better expectation of what we have. But when we get customers, you know, kind of warm leads, inside sales, and that are working through a workflow, and even on our site, we have covered it, essentially, with many places where you can find how-to’s, quick videos to actually use the platform itself. So, yeah, I live in the technical processes, but the product marketing side is just so, so important when you are a digital marketplace platform. 

And I’m not sure if this is exactly where you’re going with it, but that’s something that is part of our role too. It’s not just the tech specs—like the ‘what is,’ ‘the why is’—but building that very quick way for people to see the ‘how-to’ and get them excited about trying it themselves. Because yeah, that little distance, just the click to get a quote and dragging and dropping a file in, you’re getting quotes in seconds. So, it’s that time it takes, or like reducing the anxiety of what happens when I click here is also part of our goals, yeah. 

Jeff White: Just as a side note, I’m going to link that Stonyfield episode because that has ups and downs that… You know, Steven Spielberg couldn’t take you on a journey as good as that story. It is one of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to in my life. 

Greg Paulsen: It’s a good podcast. 

Jeff White: And I aspire to be one tenth as good of a host as Guy Raz. But anyway. 

Carman Pirie: Well, look. I’m curious. What’s the best piece of content you’ve ever created? What’s the one thing that you’ve written, or produced, or had a part in, that you’re like, “That’s a grand slam right there.” 

Greg Paulsen: So something I’m really proud of, and something that I’m working to build more of as well, is a series called ‘Will It.’ And this is a series we have hosted on YouTube, and we use Vimeo for site hosting. (If you’re on Xometry’s YouTube channel, look at Engineering Challenges—that’s where you’re going to find this series of videos.) I came from product development, and I’ve broken a lot of parts in my life. You know, on purpose, as well as accidentally, and during different phases of testing. 

Just a real quick background: I worked in ruggedized defense products, so stuff that soldiers may use or may be installed in forward operating bases, and we had military standard tests throughout that. Whether it was chemical compatibility, impact resistance, hot and cold temperature tests, flame retardants… and I wanted to create a series of experiments demystifying what a material can do. Because when you talk— especially on 3D printing, which has been my background—there’s a huge hype curve there on what 3D printing can do. And I’m like, “Well, I actually used it, and I’ve used it for 15 years in end use applications. And I could tell you when and where to use the process for material, but if you don’t believe me, let me show you.” 

So I essentially have design material swatches depending on the experiment I’m doing, and I will print them out in a variety of processes that are often seen as competitive processes, but I just want to put them on a level playing field by making the same design in each one of these processes or materials. And I put it through a test that is not a scientific test. It’s one that you could have empathy around. Like you may not know, for example, when I talk about tons of pressure, you may not know what that feels like, right? But you know what it feels like to smash something with your foot. And so, we can do that, and I know our first couple ‘Will It’ tests were just like a water leaking test and 3D printing essentially disc golf frisbees and chucking them at a wall. 

And although there’s some wiggle room at the science, the results really did show a differentiation of the product that we were selling, as well as it’s something that someone just can instantly empathize with. Like they know what it’s like or what it could be like to chuck something at a wall, or put something on the end of a power drill and watch it kind of spin around and vibrate, tumble in a cement mixer, you know… and we’ve made a series of these videos to explain the properties and expectations of different processes using experimental design that can be replicated in your—first, I’m gonna say don’t try this at home—but can be replicated with home products. 

So I think that’s something that is a unique twist for us, especially on the additive manufacturing side, but I’m really happy with those videos that we’ve produced. And we’ve had a slowdown during the pandemic just because getting on site was really difficult, but that’s something that we hope to do more and more of, especially as we have all these processes and we’re able to show more materials than ever before. 

Carman Pirie: I guess what really strikes me about that, is that oftentimes people think about technical content, and they think about that the hurdle is to make it sufficiently technical. Like how do we make it more scientific, right? So that we don’t appear stupid in front of all of the very smart engineers who are going to be consuming this content. And Greg, this notion of bringing empathy into it—especially in this video example—it kind of runs the other way of that a bit, doesn’t it? 

Greg Paulsen: Yeah. I mean, the technical specs are very, very good for engineering and simulation. But the truth is if you look around you, how many things around you are a tensile bar? None. None of it is. And so, when we talk about design, and design intent, those tech specs will bring you so far, but those are specs around tensile bars, but there’s a reason why you can cut a steak with a plastic knife. You know, it’s not just the material properties—it’s design. That knife, if you could look at a cross profile, is a T that reinforcing rib on it. And that’s what we’ve tried to put into these experiences, is there’s a practicality there. In fact, actually, although we do some material sampling, I’m actually not a fan of material swatches as a sample typically because I’d rather… If you had a larger design, I’d rather you just take a digital cutout of a piece of your design and print it or manufacture it directly, because it’s gonna be like, ‘That’s my design in that material.’ 

It’s not some little rectangle in that material that doesn’t really tell you too much other than, ‘What does my rectangle look like?’ And that’s something that again, I’ve worked with the practical experience for such a long time that the science does need to exist. That technical content, that technical aspect does need to exist. But my job to communicate is the differentiation between these products, the where and why they’re used, and that has a little bit more of a qualitative aspect to it. 

Jeff White: You can educate and entertain, as you said, at the same time. 

Greg Paulsen: Edutaining. Yeah. 

Jeff White: Yeah. I mean, you know, the next logical step with this is to go kind of where MythBusters went and if you can’t break it, you need to blow it up. That’s the last stage.

Greg Paulsen: That actually… That’s my previous job. We’d call it crawl, then walk, then run, where you first start pretty gently, and then you start building up, until essentially you’re trying to slam the thing in a car door, you know, and your goal is to bring it up to a failure mode. 

And by the way, I’ve had experiments where I thought I was gonna start gentle and then they just went hard from the get-go. There’s a really good one called Will It Tumble that we filmed. Again, we filmed it, like the film quality is what it is, because we kind of filmed it during the pandemic, and we were all in masks and close quarters, so we were trying to play it safe there, but it’s a really entertaining video where we test 15 different materials made over five different processes and tumbling in a cement mixer, and I thought it was they were just gonna be this gentle drop. No, that cement mixer only had one speed and it was just basically just slamming these balls of materials down, and it was like, “Okay, so we’re gonna get some failures within the first 14 seconds here and down select really, really quickly on what’s gonna survive.” 

Jeff White: That sounds like perfect content for people who are still 12 years old at heart. 

Greg Paulsen: Aren’t we all? 

Jeff White: Yeah. [Laughs]

Carman Pirie: Look, this has been fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us today. I really enjoyed this conversation. 

Greg Paulsen: This is fun to talk about. I mean, the other thing I’ll say is I know we talked about this full circle on being an accidental tour guide and whatnot, is I think there is something to have technical empathy, to have empathy for the customers, and one of the things that I’m really fortunate for… Really, really, really, really fortunate for, is working with leadership and people within the company who have helped me grow the messaging and what I want to do and build it into a scalable system through marketing. But that’s not always the case, you know, and so I’ve been really, really fortunate along my journey here and just want to express my gratitude because we do some really cool stuff at Xometry and it’s really cool to be part of that experience from broadcasting the technical content to working directly with our customers and everything in between. 

Jeff White: That’s a great way to leave it. Thanks a lot, Greg. 

Greg Paulsen: Thank you so much. 

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 kulapartners.com/thekularing. That’s K-U-L-Apartners.com/thekularing.

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Greg Paulsen

Director of Applications Engineering and Marketing at Xometry

Greg Paulsen leads the Applications Engineering Team at Xometry, working with customers and suppliers on unique projects and sharing the capabilities of Xometry’s proprietary digital manufacturing marketplace through creative technical content. He sits at the intersection of technology and manufacturing, and under his direction, his team plays a key role in Xometry’s mission of accelerating the digitization of the industry. He is also a subject matter expert in 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding, and beyond.

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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