Houston, Marketing, and Einstein

Houston, Marketing, and Einstein

Happy Labor Day

Monday is a holiday in the US. We’re supposed to take the day off and have a “last day of summer.”

I wound up being like a European and took about half of August off. Almost two weeks pretty much off the grid. Then a trip to Foxboro. And as always in August and September, I am up to my ears trying to find referees for soccer matches.


I’m having difficulty digesting all the devastation in Houston and the Texas coast. As I write this, the remnants of Harvey are beginning to reach Ohio. Looks like where I live it too far north. There are years we’ve been drenched by hurricane leftovers.

But 50 inches (1.27 meters) of rain?

I was helping organize a meeting at the end of September in Houston at BP. Needless to say, that meeting will now be November or December.


Bruce McDuffee wrote recently about a new ebook he has published for all you marketing types reading this blog. He specializes on helping companies market in the manufacturing space. This is a difficult proposition because people come into marketing from different paths in manufacturing than in consumer goods. (And yes, I owe him a long overdue guest post.)

Check out this free eBook.

A company’s website is its virtual storefront. Whether you’re looking to build your first website, or if your existing site just isn’t getting the traffic or leads you were hoping for, you may wonder what it really takes to have a great website.

This eBook offers 25 tactics to drive traffic, increase leads, and get more sales.

Here’s what’s covered in this 53 page eBook:

  • Get found online with SEO and a strong underlying website structure
  • Design for usability
  • Content that engages, brings people back, and gives your firm credibility
  • Bottom line conversion tactics

Thinking like Einstein

I subscribe to a site called “Big Think.” Lots of interesting ideas served daily.

Perhaps you knew that Einstein figured out the principles of Special Relativity and General Relativity and gravitation through the use of “thought experiments.” It was an exercise in imagination. After his insights, he was able to go back and work out the math (which is fascinating).

In this recent article appeared this thought:

How can you utilize Einstein’s approach to thinking in your own life? For one – allow yourself time for introspection and meditation. It’s equally important to be open to insight wherever or whenever it might come. Many of Einstein’s key ideas occurred to him while he was working in a boring job at the patent office. The elegance and the scientific impact of the scenarios he proposed also show the importance of imagination not just in creative pursuits but in endeavors requiring the utmost rationality. By precisely yet inventively formulating the questions within the situations he conjured up, the man who once said “imagination is more important than knowledge” laid the groundwork for the emergence of brilliant solutions, even if it would come as a result of confronting paradoxes.

Manufacturing Marketing Matters

Manufacturing Marketing Matters

Manufacturing Marketing InstituteAnd now, a brief interlude to discuss marketing. I have helped a few companies (actually way too few) focus their marketing efforts over the years. Through a mutual friend, Rebecca Geier, I met Bruce McDuffee, Director of the Manufacturing Marketing Institute.

He recorded an interview with me about marketing for manufacturing. It’s a podcast where I’m the subject. Some good ideas for marketing people on my list. But also interesting for the people on my list who buy things. Perhaps you could lend some insights on how not to reach you. And maybe what you’re looking for when you’re searching for information about products and services.

Here is a partial list of topics:

  • Marketing is difficult, not only for manufacturers but for everyone.  Learning how to put it all together is challenging.  Developing a strategy is a good first step.
  • Sometimes the leader just doesn’t understand marketing because they have an engineering, science or sales background.  Marketing is much, much more than developing collateral and setting up trade shows.
  • Those manufacturing companies that can advance the practice of marketing to a strategic, revenue producing function will have a significant advantage over their competition.  The CEO should have a trusted advisor who knows the discipline of marketing, but more often than not, this is a missing advisor. [9:00]
  • Huge disconnect between marketers who know how to market in the modern age and the leadership.  Some leadership demands ROI for marketing activities, but it is not a clear black and white attribution. [11:00]
  • In order for manufacturers to advance the practice of marketing, the CEO has to be affected somehow. A cultural shift from product focus to audience focus has to start from the top down. It is very difficult for this change to take hold from the bottom or grass roots level. [14:00]
  • An audience focused marketing strategy that shares expertise (content marketing) can, by itself, be a differentiator in the market place. [18:00]
  • Check out Rebecca Geier’s book, Smart Marketing for Engineers, for more information about content marketing and inbound marketing when your target audience is engineers.
  • One company Gary mentioned makes it mandatory for every executive to spend a full week shadowing a customer and reporting back what they learned. [22:20]
  • Automation Direct,  example of success with marketing and understanding the target audience. [25:45]
  • Gary’s blog is The Manufacturing Connection
  • Gary’s podcast is Gary on  Manufacturing

By the way, I reviewed Rebecca’s book, Smart Marketing for Engineers. It gives some insight, also, into my frustration with press releases that say nothing. Oh, there are many words. But meaning sort of evaporated as the marketing committee edited it in order to maximize number of buzz words per square centimeter.

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