How Digital Interactions Are Infiltrating Sales Experiences

Building Brands Ep 32 - Josh Neuberger - How Digital Interactions Are Infiltrating Sales Experiences

Josh Neuberger, Director of Marketing at Uzin Utz North America talks about how his team dialed up their digital sales interactions when they were forced to adapt during the pandemic and carefully considered how to craft personalized experiences for their customers despite the digital limitations they encountered. The results may surprise you.

Episode Links
Find Josh on LinkedIn
Visit Uzin Utz NA Online

Episode Transcript
Tim
Welcome Building Brands listeners. For Episode 32, I’m joined by Josh Neuberger, Director of Marketing at Uzin Utz North America. Uzin Utz offers strong brands for strong worksmanship who’d seen is a vertically integrated manufacturer of products systems designed for the preparation and installation of all types of floor coverings. In this episode, Josh talks about how his North American team dialed up their digital sales interactions when they were forced to adapt during the pandemic, and carefully considered how to craft personalized experiences for their customers. Despite the digital limitations that they encountered. The results may surprise you. Enjoy the episode.

Tim
If you’re an owner or marketer in the building materials, manufacturing, distribution, or contracting spaces, looking to set up your brand for success now and in the future, this is the podcast for you. on this show, we talk about brand and market strategies used in the real world that grow companies and truly connect with consumer audiences. So sit back, listen in and let’s get to it.

Tim
Okay, welcome Josh Neuberger, Director of Marketing at Uzin Utz North America. Thanks for coming on the podcast.

Josh
Hey, Tim, thanks for having me today really appreciate the opportunity to talk with you a little bit about digital marketing.

Tim
Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself your background, how you kind of got into the the building market. And then also talk a little bit about the company and the products that you guys offer to?

Josh
Yeah, you bet. So just a little background about myself, been in the flooring industry, predominantly, the wood floor inside of the industry for the last 15-16 years, I guess, going on. And really, I’ve really worked construction my entire life back in my college days, you know, just working in the summertime and kind of, you know, had a lot of hands on experience. And that kind of just gravitated to really honestly one day, I just needed a I said I probably should figure out some sales jobs or do something. And so I answered an ad in the newspaper, you know, this was like 2006, pre newspaper ad, no pre pre LinkedIn pre, you know, take your pic, website, all that kind of stuff. And I ended up working for a gentleman named John Taylor, who kind of took me under his wing. And basically, he needed a person to go out and give wood flooring estimates during the evening hours, which is the only time I could work going to school and you know, is the time that he wanted to be done for the day after installing wood floors. So long story short, ended up working for him for a few years, got some very good hands on knowledge, you know, some sales application ended up working for a distributor manufacturer prior to that, and then, you know, been with Uzin Utz North America here for almost over nine years. And it’s been kind of a roller coaster ride, you know, to this point, but it’s a it’s been a very, very fun ride in order to kind of blend that real world application to, you know, hands, you know, kind of practical application of hands on installation of fluorine to marketing to, you know, various, various industries that way. So,

Tim
yeah, what kind of products does the company offer? I think there’s a few different segments, right?

Josh
Yeah, so Uzin Utz North America, we’re a subsidiary of our parent company. Uzin Utz AG, which is based out of Olm, Germany, roughly about 1300 employees company is Ben was founded in 1911. In old Germany, our primary flagship brand Uzin U.Z.I.N. specializes in moisture mitigation products, tile, setting materials, self levelers, and really anything to do with the preparation of some floor prep, some floor prep prior to the installation of various floor coverings could be wood could be tile could be LVT. Another brand that we have over here in the states is wolf tools. So which has to do just like it sounds, all the insulation products to go with to support, you know, the insulation products of you know, tools and subfloor prep, tear out equipment, and so forth. And then we have our pollmann brand, which deals with everything from wood floor finishes, cleaning cleaners, sanding machines, and so forth, predominantly just for the wood floor industry. There’s also five other brands over in Germany that we haven’t brought here to the states yet but they all deal with some type of foreign related sundry. So really fluorine, fluorine, insulation, high quality, German engineered products that’s really in our blood and really in our lifeline of our company, which now is fourth generation owned by Philip and Julian who have kind of taken the helm from their their father, and assumed the two board board positions on our executive board.

Tim
And, I mean, there’s multiple product segments so do you deal with various types of end customers is is it more on the design architect and building ciders more on the homeowner side who usually communicating with?

Josh
Well it kind of Tim it really depends. So our pollmann brand is definitely more geared towards Let’s just say contractor base, our ultimate, let’s just say end user that is actually ordering product and putting it in their warehouse, and then reselling it is, of course, our distribution network at various distribution networks. For each brand, depending upon what type of distributor they are in the flooring industry, some are more on a hard surface level, some more just on insulation products, some deal with just wood flooring contractors, but where our value really comes into the industry is really our technical expertise. And that’s where our sales, our sales, people who are called technical sales, or technical sales managers, really all come with some type of flooring related background. So they’re out there calling on contractors and pulling through the sale through the distributor of our insulation products. So it’s really kind of twofold that way, you brought up homeowners, you brought up architects and designers, another subcategory not so much with the homeowners are we are we after? Well, we do have a few materials on our pohlmann side that geared towards, you know, let’s say the homeowners, maybe with the cleaners and so forth, are at the end of the day, our core customers getting out and working with that contractor, and of course, our distributor partner, architects and designers on our food scene side, another segment that will we we get into, but we don’t really dive deep into again, relying on the contractor and the distributor kinda is our target audience.

Tim
You mentioned the technical sales people, I think that’s good, because it’s a little less fluffy, that way, you can actually pull people in through actual value props and pull them in through knowledge based sales, instead of just high level, fluff based value. I mean, there’s something there’s always something to value based sales, but technical, just seems like it works really good for that type of industry.

Josh
It has to I mean, you know, customers, we hear time and time again, what really separates ourselves from the competition is the fact that, you know, our guys answer the phones, but then they take it a step further, they’re willing to go out on to job sites, of course, it’s all pre COVID. And I know we’re gonna get to that a little, what a segue, you’re setting up here. We’re gonna, I know, we’re going to talk about that in just a minute. But you know, we’re willing to go out on to job sites to work hand in hand with that contractor to make sure that their job site is successful. And ultimately, they’re, they’re successful, that they’re profitable. And they’re going to keep using our products. So that that’s really where that technical sales, to your point, it really, really just comes in, you know, hand over fist. I mean, that is the way to go, versus fluff and marketing and all that other stuff, even though I’m the marketing guy so.

Tim
Yeah, like tying the profit to it too. You know, you have obviously the technical benefits of a product, but in a b2b sense, if you can also display or demonstrate the profitability of using the product, both from a value and duration and not having to replace it, whatever, is also a good way to pull people through. Yeah, but you did talk about pulling people through the sales process. So let’s talk about how that’s changed over the last 18 months. Because I know, that’s where you want to go with it. And obviously, we talked a little bit before this conversation. So I know where you might go with it, you have various is a very technical sale, in most cases, and you’re pulling people through distribution, it’s a little bit of a longer sales cycle. So how were you effectively doing that with what’s happened, you mentioned going on to sites and things was a big part of that process is not really right now, it likely will come back at some point as part of the mix. But how have you bridged the gap over the last 18 months to make sure that that engagement still works in your favor? And the customers favor?

Josh
Yeah. So Tim, you know, 18 months ago, we we really didn’t know what we were in for. I don’t think anybody did. You know, the good news is we are starting to see more on site, job site visits. And so we’re making some progress back to you know, we’ll call it pre pre march of 2020, or whatever you want to, however you want to call it there. So really, what happened over that time period is it really didn’t force us to do anything necessarily different in our planning, our planning was always to get more digital, really expand on our digital offering when it comes to marketing and sales. But what it did is it just basically said, All right, as opposed to you guys clipping along at 10 or 15 miles an hour, you guys got to try to figure this out at like 100 miles an hour, and hurry up and and and do it. And what really kind of, there was a moment and I clearly remember the moment when I was speaking with the National wood flooring associates Association, the NW fa. And they basically had just canceled their convention, which is an annual event that was supposed to be held in Milwaukee. And we had grand plans and and just to back up a little bit we had, we had a tour going on at the time where we actually bought a trailer and a truck and we were driving all over the country and we had grand grand visions of that, that all came crashing to a halt here, you know in March of 20 2020 still gonna do it at some point but but we had to kind of put that on pause but when I was talking with them about their Expo, they said you know, we’re going to try to do this thing virtually. And I said virtually, I said what how are we going to have an expo virtually they kind of laid it out and it was One of the first attended virtual experiences that we kind of engaged in. And I said, You know, I think, I think they’re onto something here. And so very, very early, probably within about two or three weeks, we actually we decided that we were going to, we were going to try to do some webinars, and we always do these product demos, and these, you know, distributor open houses, where we do it in person live, you know, we have our rep there. And so I was talking with our Northwest, manager on the Pullman side, Zeb Blau, and he said, What do you want me to do? And I said, you know, what I said, I would love if you could just set your table up your tent, everything like you were going to go do this distributor event, but do it in your in your driveway. And then you get your wife and your kids did like film this video. And he goes, really? And I go, Yeah, really, I said, we’re all sitting at home right now. Like, I think it would be funny, you know, and I just thought it would just kind of add value. Well, lo and behold, we had no idea we actually had, like 75 people attend our first our first ever virtual event, we just emailed it out, we had him cutting the driveway welcoming people. And it was just so relatable. Because, you know, if you think back to what you were doing in March, and April, everybody was at home. So So we said, Hey, we’re gonna bring this bring this to market, this open house, we had a new product to talk about. So we so we talked about it, we went through it, we answered some questions. We actually got zoom bombed during the event, we had to quickly quickly throw somebody throws somebody out. But it was a very successful event. And we sold product. And so then we said, Okay, wait a minute, we can continue to do this. There’s people still working, because if you know, Tim, if you look back, the construction industry slowed down, but it never stopped. It never very, very, very fortunate to be in a in a market where yes, some jobs slowed down, some things didn’t happen. But on the residential sector, everything went gangbusters because everybody was at home doing everything.

Josh
So that was really the start of this digital platform where we said, Hey, we really, we have something, we can continue to do things. And we can continue to launch products. And so last year alone, roughly speaking, our sales were pretty much even if not a little up across the board with how they were in 2019, which is when and then on top of it, we launched six new products actually closer to eight new products. And we did it all virtually without any hands on demos. And we did it through a very strict platform where we basically had people attend webinars, we would walk through it with our own people, then we would walk through it with our distributors. And then of course, you know, to the to the market. And that is become our new way of launching products. And our distributors have actually thanked us, they said, Hey, you know, normally we would have to pull all of our salespeople off the road and off the field. And they would have to listen to, you know, a two hour spiel and everything like that, which is fine. But now we’re able to do that in 45 minutes, wherever they’re at, bring them up to speed on the product. And then when our local salespeople get back out there, and they start talking with the distributors or the contractors, we’ve bridged that first gap or bridge that first conversation. So we’ve like knocked down the barrier right away. And we can deep dive into some you know what I’ll call the meat and potatoes of a good conversation about a new product.

Tim
Yeah, and you have meat and potatoes, I think one important thing that you did, you start to set up a very nice digital system, but you were also adding new products to the market. Yes, that helps. Because it draws interest into the experience that you’re trying to provide people too. So there’s two sides of this, right? There’s the business side of always having r&d help back up the sales team and the market and the brand. But also, you have to have all the touch points still in place. And if you can’t do them in person, you created them digitally. So the two things work together very well in that aspect,

Josh
Yeah and then on top of it, we were able to record them. And we keep we keep all that, you know, basically, if there’s no pricing or sensitive information, we keep all the recordings of the webinars that we started doing right on our website, so people could actually access them 24 hours a day, seven days a week at any any point in time, or go back and review things, which is something that you just don’t get in an in person experience. Don’t get me wrong, the in person experience, hands down trumps the virtual experience, but there’s a way to do both so.

Tim
Yeah, those assuming they don’t go out of date content wise, those just keep working for you to what a great way to like, utilize something over and over and over again and benefit the customer at the same time. Yeah, yeah. So you keep talking about the in person experience as to what were some of the things, maybe challenges and successes on trying to recreate some of those real world interactions that you were previously able to provide customers or existing distributors and sales reps before? Yeah.

Josh
So one of the things I mean, one of the things that let’s just call it distributor open houses are always satorious fours guys show up for the T shirts, they show up for the show for all the fun swag and so We said, you know, why couldn’t we do this right now? Why? Why do we have to limit ourselves to just basically, you know, not doing that if they attend one of these open house events. So what we did is we put a protocol in place. And we worked with one of our third party fillers that basically fills all of our marketing swag and, you know, send stuff out on on behalf of our company, to our employees that requested, we want to them and we said, hey, what if we gave you a list? And we said, we want to put XYZ ABC on a box, send it out after these webinars? And oh, by the way, can we personalize a letter? And they said, Absolutely. They said, No, we can do that. And I said, Can you do it for 20? Can you do it for 200, they said any number in between that a problem. And it was a reasonable fee. I mean, we’re not talking, you know, hundreds of dollars to do this, it was you know, a packing fee that we normally would would have for for some various things. And then of course, whatever the cost of shipping is pretty, pretty minor. So then what we did is we said, we need to have a set schedule. And so we put a set schedule out there for various webinars on the various different brands, various topics everybody knew knew what was out there, we upgraded our experience a little bit so that in case we we could minimize zoom bombing.

Tim
So you did learn from that? I think zoom learned from that, too.

Josh
Yeah, yeah, we’ve learned from that. And, and, you know, we just found for our company, at least, we found the GoToWebinar platform, actually to be a good platform for us for various reasons. But then we said, Alright, now we need to take this digital world, how do we make it over to the to the real world, and that’s where we used our third party fulfiller. And so we would get this list of people that would give us all their contact info information, then we would actually get a box, they would put it all together, we had a very, you know, very nice thank you letter, and it would be addressed to that individual. So it’s personalized letter, then it would be you know, signed from whatever territory manager is in that region, based off of the brand or whatever the case is. So it’s a personalized letter personalized, you know, let’s call it thank you from that Rep. And basically all goes in a box, and it shows up and it shows up, you know, no later than five days later after the webinar just depends upon where they live in the country. So it’s very, very instant response. We take that list, we share it with their with our sales reps. And we said, Hey, here’s a free lead. Go call these people, they’re going to get a box in the next five days, use it to follow up the sales reps codeine real quick. And they said, Wait a minute. So all you need to do is get people here to these webinars, and you guys are gonna send something out on my behalf. And all I need to do is just make sure they sign up. Yeah, that’s it. And so very quickly, you can see how how some things kind of steamrolled. And for one of our events, we actually had over 250 people, it was unbelievable. It was the launch of a very one of our high selling nc 890 products. And I think we figured it out when we launched that product, somewhere in a matter of because we did about three or four different webinars that day, just depending upon, you know, some said, Hey, we want to just for our company, whatever, we were able to touch roughly around 500 people and we never left her house. And and we provided very good quality content, had that follow up. And away we went and we even got our distributors on board, then we said, Yeah, we’ll do it on behalf of yourself, too, you need to do is get him to sign up.

Tim
Well think about that, compared to a trade show. And some booths at a trade show, depending on the size of the company, you know, where they are in the show might only get 500 people to give them information at the show. But that’s over the course of many days. And the leads aren’t quite as warm as someone that signs up for a webinar that takes that information at first. Right. Right. It’s kind of a big deal. Now, the other thing that’s important, I think, to point out in this is that people are offering they know what’s happening when they sign up for a webinar or they’re entering your sales funnel, right? It’s a concession they’re willing to make to get the information, the information is great as something that comes back to them as a return on that investment of information that they provide. But you’re going one step further and giving you know you’re giving them that swag experience on top of that, but yeah, it was really about that opportunity for the second touch point that I think is a real benefit for the sales team. And it’s what you’re doing is they’re they’re like soft touch points, right? It’s information it’s swag, it’s it’s a follow up. It’s not really like sell, sell, sell. It’s more like keep coming into our world. You’re like that is an experienced us experience based funnel. Not a pitch sale… direct sale based funnel.

Josh
Right, right. Yeah. No, it’s, it’s, I mean, you just touching that point from start to you know, start to finish. And so many people said, they said, Man, you won’t believe how many webinars we attended. And we didn’t even get a thank you email. You guys are giving me a package. And it shows right up on their on their doorstep. And it’s personalized and it looks and it’s just, hey, we didn’t forget about you. We can’t come see it right now. But we didn’t forget about it. And that was that was really, really something That was that was powerful for us to your point. You know, it’s another soft touch point, it’s a warm lead opportunity for the salespeople. And we just kind of kept the pipeline going with, with whatever we could do there. And if you’re in a b2b experience a type of sales experience, then you’re really trying to sell the value of your company working with the other company to, and that isn’t just based on price, if everyone just did b2b business together, because you offer the lowest price. I mean, that’s commoditization, right, they could go to anyone else to get that price too, or beat someone down. You want to keep giving them reasons to say, like, we got to work with these guys. They’re always reliable, they know how to communicate with us, and they never get on top of us about buying something or whatever it might be. Yeah,

Tim
yeah, that’s building brand reputation, really, just simply put, and it also like you’re injecting more human experiences into what right now is a disconnected human experience world.

Josh
Exactly, exactly. And that, and that is something that you just hit the nail on the head there. You know, we just get so used to doing the video calls and everything like that, I think there was probably a point in time, and, you know, May of last year where I think all of us were like, oh, my goodness, if we have to do another video call, this is this is gonna be I can’t do it, I can’t do it. But there’s an advantage to the video calls. And now I think our challenge moving forward as we kind of come out of this pandemic, and we lose out the travel and all this stuff. And I just had a conversation with my team about this is really kind of saying, Okay, how do we use this in a hybrid fashion? You know, how do we go about ourselves, where we still rely on video technology to utilize that, because it’s a great tool, but we don’t overburden it so much, that we’re just video fatigued out. And we still don’t forget about that, that interaction, because I will still say in here today, I mean, that face to face interaction is still ultimately the best way to gain business, it’s ultimately the best way to you know, develop that relationship, keep that relationship going. But there the video can certainly help and assist and foster that that relationship moving forward. So, you know, we’re starting to work on that part of our program with this is really kind of blending, you know, having some hybrid meetings where we have some in person, people, some attending virtually, just making sure that that we can accommodate everybody’s comfort level, time zones, etc, you know, whatever, whatever we need to do there.

Tim
Well, and if you haven’t set up right to the client, or customer and customer might also be like, don’t bother coming out, like, we’re good. If you guys want to do this, from a digital standpoint, we’ve already experienced that once with you before, it was really easy for our sales reps, why don’t we do that, again, you know, if you want to, we’ll get together in a smaller fashion later on, or something like that is something that could come from their side to not just your side wanting to do that.

Josh
And it’s as well, it’s happening, Tim, we’re hearing that already from our, from our customers, you know, probably a couple months ago, you know, basically this year, we had several customers say, Hey, we know you have that new product, we want to see you. But guys, we can get this done a lot quicker, save it for the spring, you know, let’s do something bigger than or whatever we need to do. So yeah, it’s it’s been a, it’s been a good thing, no doubt,

Tim
is that how you might be incorporating some of the more technical in person get togethers, right? Like, let’s save those for a different type of interaction between our companies and plan that a little bit differently.

Josh
Yeah. So, you know, with our, with our company, Tim, basically, a lot, there’s a lot of hands on, you know, so we’re selling construction materials, which are meant to be touched, used, applied, whatever the case is. And so we want to make sure that that we don’t lose focus of that at all, and, and there’s nothing that’s going to replace that job site or that territory, technical salesperson, being in front of you showing the product, seeing the product, seeing the product mixed, or flowing, or leveling, or whatever the case says. And that’s the stuff that we still need to do. But we can supplement it then because then when you’re there, you’re focused just all on that physical. What is that product doing? What is it looking like, you’re not sitting there watching what the products doing? Well, somebody is rattling off a bunch of technical space. That was the old way. Now you’re going into it and you’re like, Well, I know all the technical specs, because you and I talked about this on the video call. Now I just want to see the product in action, kind of almost validate your your sales claim. And then we can move on and we can go to you know, a closing point, whether that’s I’m going to go buy the product, or we’re going to go on a job site or whatever the case is. But that customer now comes into the sales pipeline into that demonstration at a much much more educated rate than just walking up to you at a at a trade show with the table.

Tim
Right? Yeah. And you also mentioned like the tangible aspect of this two samples still play a big role in what we’re doing right usually, you know, they can touch or feel something if it’s part of a demo to you, but also especially For the architects and designers, they’re, you know, they have the samples on hand too, because they’re trying to also convey the value to the next person in line that they’re trying to incorporate this into a project for. Yeah.

Josh
Yeah, in Tim, you know, we’ve we’ve thought about that one, too. And actually, we have a, we have an opportunity with a contractor on the west coast, where we actually are going to be talking about one of our products that you’d see inside NC, 172, and 170. And so we have pre made samples all set up, and so that after we go through the webinar, anybody that wants to request a sample, we have them pretty much locked, loaded, ready to ship out. We talked, we talked about doing it beforehand, the company preferred that we just wait and see who requested it. But if we need to, we’re gonna still have those samples, we’ll send them out pre pre the webinars so people can touch it, you know, they understand what we’re talking about, which is just again, adding that physical presence to the digital presence. But at the end of the day, you know, nothing like seeing that product being used in person.

Tim
Yeah, and there’s still a cost that goes with having that product. I mean, it’s product costs, but the shipping and the packing and everything too. But it just between that the swag box and things that you’re doing all of those just lead to a higher percentage or probability of being able to convert them and close them into an actual partnership customer.

Josh
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Tim
Yeah. I mean, when you talk about the cost of acquisition for something like a tradeshow, which is a much more short term interaction, and will this lead turn into an actual customer, and then you switch that over to what the cost is for like a swag box, a sample kit and the equipment maybe is to do a webinar, right, and the software costs the two or you can still do trade shows, I’m not advocating essentially to just drop them all together. But when you look at the two side by side, you can very easily justify the cost of what you could do to build a multi touchpoint digital experience for someone revolving around webinars and mail pieces and things like that.

Josh
So it’s funny, you bring that up. So remember, I told you we touched, I don’t know, what did I say close to 500? People? Yeah, in that one week, we figured out in like four or five hours, we were able to basically effectively communicate to our distribution channel, this new product launch, roughly about 500 people give or take. And we figured that that would have at least taken four weeks, and at least 50 to $60,000 worth of travel at a minimum, that doesn’t include labor, wages, any of that other stuff. So at the end of the day, it’s probably closer to six figures, you know, if we if we put all that stuff in there, and I think we figured it out. I mean, whatever the cost of our webinar is divided by Well, we did 50 or sorry, you know, go to go to webinar platform, divide that by how many webinars we’re doing, we’re not even close. We’re not even in the 1000s per webinar, you know, for that. So you’re absolutely right, when it comes to that, you know, the cost to do that is significantly less to a company.

Tim
Everything in perspective.

Josh
Mm hmm. Absolutely.

Tim
So, is there anything that you can sort of see on the horizon for the building materials and building products industry? I mean, I know, obviously, we’ve been talking about a lot of like, feature forward stuff with what you’re doing internally in your processes. But is there anything larger outside of that, that you see happening in the industry, that that’s worthy to this type of conversation?

Josh
Yeah, I think you’re gonna see a continue as Eric continue digitalization approach. And what I mean by that is, I think it’s, I think, for a long time, we, you know, I’m going to use the paint industry as an example, if somebody wants a new color room, you know, paint for the room, what do they do, they go to the paint store, the big box store, they go get the chip, they walk out of the store, and a lot of those paint companies, yeah, they have the, you know, chooser room scene, and they can kind of change, you know, various, various things. And I think those have gone over? Well, I think they’ve gone over well, even more so these days in the digitalization effort. But I think what we’re gonna see in the, especially in the building trade industry is I think we’re gonna see more of that digital connection. I think, companies definitely have to be more at base. I mean, I know we’re talking about, you know, we’re certainly in the midst of upgrading our apps have to be more mobile friendly, you know, the, the, you know, past with being able to just say, hey, go to my website, go to my website, and don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you know, just having more knowledge at your fingertips is going to be very, very critical for the for the end user. And then I also think it goes a step further, in some of the cases, especially for the consumer, the consumer wants to know, Hey, what are you using on my home to build the home to, you know, whatever that may be. So I think that’s kind of where we’re starting to see that more is that more manufacturer interaction on a digital aspect right directly to the end user, which may be the building owner, or actually the homeowner itself.

Tim
When you’re talking about the paint industry, too, I know they do this in the flooring industry to a certain degree. But now augmented reality is coming into play as well where you can pick the swatch or the the tread pattern or the wood species and actually throw up your phone, after you’ve like scanned your room, and then have it put in there because it’ll recognize the type of surface plane that it needs to apply it to you and kind of cut out all the stuff that it shouldn’t be. Absolutely, absolutely, like, that’s, that’s insane. And that’s, you know, it’s a, it’s an investment to get that type of thing in there. So you’ll see the bigger players doing this first, obviously, and then maybe at some point, it’ll become more accessible for the smaller players. But at some point, the same way a website used to be just for the bigger players, and then all the smaller players came into play, augmented reality might become table stakes for some sort of products like that i and that’s, that’s a little bit of a scary thing to think about for some smaller companies. But if the technology becomes more accessible, and the producers of those apps and features become more accessible is something that will become attainable for those types of companies do.

Josh
I was started off the webinar by saying I answered a newspaper ad and that was, it was only in 2006. Here were in 2021. Granted, it feels like it was just three years ago, as opposed to you know, what, almost 15 years ago. So you know, newspaper ads are kind of obviously by the wayside, not saying anybody that is listening that that does. So I’m not taking a stab there. But to your point, I think the technology is going to come a long ways. And I think that that is going to be something we’re having that knowledge at your fingertips, and really, really providing both that hybrid digital platform is going to be the way definitely the way of the future so.

Tim
Well and the other aspect of this too, is you’re actually providing information to people up front in a way where if they are contacting you, they’re probably already warmed up to the idea that they might want to buy from you too. Yeah, what’s that going to do for your sales process? It’s gonna make it incredibly shorter, and highly more probable that they’re going to buy?

Josh
Yeah, yeah, no, you’re absolutely correct. I mean, your your close rate should be much higher than say, just before through the traditional sales process. Doubt.

Tim
Yeah. And so let’s talk about just brands in general, that I mean, you guys have, we talked about how even creating the personal touch points is something that reflects back on the brand itself as someone you want to do business with, but what’s one critical thing that the listeners should be doing with their brands as well?

Josh
Well, I think the big thing with the branding, marketing and things that I’ve kind of learned over the over the years is really just to be consistent, you know, if you if you are a high quality brand, manufacturer, and I know everybody says Well, I manufacture high quality products. But what I mean by that is nowhere near where you stand. I mean, there are some you know, some manufacturers that have products that are the upper end, there’s some that have, you know, down in the lower and easiest way I can equate that just take the auto industry, certainly Cadillac is a is a premier value, auto compared to say a Chevrolet Not that there’s anything wrong with either car, it’s just obviously they’re at a different price point. There’s different you know, features and benefits for for that price point. So be consistent with what you’re doing. And what I mean by that is anything that you’re going to establish with your brand, make sure it’s high quality, make sure that it’s consistent, make sure that everything that you’re doing all the way across the board is very, very consistent in your imagery in your message, because people pay attention to that. And they definitely pay attention to that. Even in this quality of digital digitalization. It’s much much better, I think, to do maybe less digitalization, but have very good effective digitalization than just throw a bunch of stuff on a wall and say, Hey, you know, yes, we got videos, yes, we have this, yes, we have that. And that’s something that we’ve really kind of taken taken heart to is we’ve said, you know, look, we know we can do a lot. There’s a lot of different social media platforms out there. But our resources really only allow us a much more narrow window, that we want to do these things very, very well. So I would say, be very consistent that and then I think the other thing is, you know, my big thing is, you know, go for it. And what I mean by that is, is that if you have a very good idea, or you think this might work, bounce it off for a few few people, whatever your sounding board is, and then go for it, you know, hopefully, whatever, whatever you’re going to be doing, or you’re going to be trying I mean, you just got to take that leaps and bounds, especially in this day and age I there is no rulebook for this, there’s nobody that can say, well, boy, I went to school for 10 years in digital marketing in the middle of a pandemic. No, there’s no there’s there’s none of that. So write your own rulebook. Make sure whatever you’re doing makes sense for your company. And if you think it works for your company, just try it. You can always pull back that is the beauty of digitalization is that if anything doesn’t work, you can pull it back really quickly and you can make it make it disappear. So you know, you’re not necessarily investing 1000s and 1000s of dollars in print advertising or you know, product datasheets or anything like that. Click the button it can be changed or upgraded or enhanced. So those would be just kind of my my couple, couple pointers just for anybody taking a look at different things in marketing so.

Tim
You know, what’s interesting about the digitalization and consistency point is if you take like the Cadillac and Chevrolet example, and use and Chevrolet goes out and tries to be Cadillac in their posts, right, guess what? Social media is self policing, by the customers. Yeah, they will see through that immediately, not only will they see through it and laugh about it, they’ll comment about it, and then start to tell other people about it, too. So you have to be very careful. I liked how you kind of put it like no, no, which plane you’re playing on, and then play the best role, you can differentiate yourself on that plane appropriately. Absolutely. And then be consistent about it. And then you can still present yourself very professionally, very well put together. But your message has to kind of meet the need of what your product is doing. And that level of the market.

Josh
Absolutely. Absolutely. 100%. So yep. That’s, that’s the big thing there.

Tim
So is there anything that we haven’t touched on that popped into your head that I haven’t asked you about that you want to slip in? Before we wrap up?

Josh
No, I think we’ve covered quite a bit there, Tim. Yeah, I guess just kind of some, some very final thoughts. Again, I just can’t harp on enough. I mean, just try different things. Make sure we’re what works for your company. Just understand that just because one company or even your competition is doing a lot of digitalization or lack of digitalization, you got to make sure it works for your company and make sure that it works work sense. And there’s so much information out there that if you’re not educated on something, go educate yourself. Everything just as much as we’ve talked about our own companies being at your fingertips, there’s a lot of information out there. And worst case scenario, hire somebody look, internally, we had some we had some German colleagues who I’m very fortunate that actually work on basically all types of digital marketing platforms in Europe, and they have connections with the big players like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. And they walked us through our own seminar, it was a free education, Tim, I’m not going to beat around the bush on that. And so if you’re in a large organization, you’re blessed to have that, look, internally find those resources, we have people that have their own YouTube pages, personally, you know, use use those resources to just help you know, get into that digital platform. So anything that’s at your fingertips there, it can be done. It can be done nicely. And of course it can be done very cost effectively as well.

Tim
Awesome. Good stuff. Before we wrap up where can people find more about you and a little bit more about the Uzin Utz brands?

Josh
Well Tim I’m I’m available on LinkedIn, of course and and then of course, the any of our Uzin brands are available on our websites, which would be us.uzin.com, it would be pallmann.net. And of course, wolftools.com. And any one of those websites, you can get to the other websites. And you can find all of our information, digital catalogs, product, data sheets, everything that we just kind of talked about, you’re able to find right there for you. So really appreciate you asking me to be part of this show.

Tim
Awesome. Thanks for being here. Good conversation, man.

Josh
You bet.

Tim
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