As the host of the B2B Marketing Excellence podcast, I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tracy Beers, the Marketing Manager at Wintersteiger. Tracy's experience spans various industries, including skiing, snowboarding, agriculture, saws, and metalworking. I was thrilled to delve into her insights on marketing in these different areas.
The Importance of Staying Current in Marketing
In our fast-paced world, staying current and evolving in the field of marketing is crucial. Wintersteiger, a brand that recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, is a testament to this. The brand's survival and thriving success in our ever-changing economy is a testament to its ability to adapt and innovate.
Tracy attributes Wintersteiger's success to its diversity and precision engineering. The company manufactures precision equipment for various niches, including sports, agriculture, metals, and wood. For a legacy brand like Wintersteiger, continuous education, innovation, and strategic marketing are essential for remaining competitive, relevant, and positioning the brand for future success.
The Significance of Brand Recognition
An interesting anecdote I shared during our conversation was about meeting someone at a high school reunion who recognized the Wintersteiger brand as a ski tuning company. Tracy confirmed that Wintersteiger is indeed well-known in the sports division, particularly for ski services machines. However, she also highlighted the brand's agriculture division, which focuses on precision equipment for seed breeders and food sustainability. Wintersteiger's commitment to sustainability has been ingrained in the brand since its inception.
Evaluating Marketing Tools: A Must for Every Team
Tracy and I discussed the importance of evaluating the usage and overlap of marketing tools within a team. After the initial excitement of using a new tool, its usage tends to decline. To address this, Tracy has implemented a system where the team reports on how much they use each tool and assesses its benefits and costs. This approach helps to avoid wasting marketing dollars on tools that overlap significantly.
The Rule of Seven in Omnichannel Marketing
In our conversation, we also touched on the topic of omnichannel marketing. Tracy follows the rule of seven, which suggests that prospects need to see or hear a marketing message at least seven times before taking action. In the manufacturing sector, where Wintersteiger operates, the decision-making process is longer and requires more touchpoints.
The Power of Education and Communication in Marketing
For industrial equipment, it's not enough to rely solely on inbound marketing or social media. Tracy highlighted the importance of educating the audience about the benefits and features of their products. She believes that education and communication are the foundations of effective marketing. Building trust and relationships with customers through informative and authentic messaging is key.
Social Media Marketing in Different Industries
Tracy and I explored the potential of using social media for marketing in different industries. While she hasn't tried it in other industries yet, she believes it could work well in the agricultural industry. Interestingly, agricultural professionals often post pictures of their equipment on Instagram rather than Facebook. This shows the importance of focusing on the social media channels where the target audience is most active.
Marketing: A Puzzle to Solve
Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution and requires testing and adaptation. It's like solving a puzzle, where sometimes the pieces fall apart and need to be rearranged due to changes in the economy, such as the impact of COVID-19.
The Future of Marketing: Challenges and Opportunities
Looking ahead to 2024, Tracy humorously mentioned needing eight arms, referring to the overwhelming workload in marketing. Resource allocation and strategic planning, especially with the emergence of AI and various platforms, will continue to be significant challenges in the future.
As a marketer, I've experienced the benefits of using AI tools in my speeches and understand the importance of demonstrating how to use them effectively. It's crucial for marketers to think critically about whether they're using the right tools and strategies to meet their goals.
In conclusion, my conversation with Tracy Beers was a deep dive into the world of marketing in diverse industries. It highlighted the importance of staying current, evaluating marketing tools, understanding the power of education and communication, and preparing for future challenges and opportunities.