Creating Research Fueled Research Marketing

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series episode, our guest speaker was Lori Highby. Lori is the Founder and CEO of Keystone Click. Her company is a digital marketing agency that helps businesses creating a research based marketing strategy. 

To create a Research Based Marketing Strategy you need to put sufficient work into it. This is why we had our today’s talk to understand how this is done.

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series episode, our guest speaker was Lori Highby. Lori is the Founder and CEO of Keystone Click. Her company is a digital marketing agency that helps businesses creating a research based marketing strategy.

The conversation started with Curt introducing Lori and welcoming her to the show. The special thing about Lori’s business is that she started it in 2008 when there wasn’t enough digital marketing knowledge around the globe.

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Beginning her talk formally, Lori shared a presentation with the audience. At the beginning of the presentation, Lori said that she belongs to a manufacturing background as her father was also a manufacturer. She then talked about creating a research based marketing strategy and how her company works on that.

Further, into the conversation, Lori explained digital marketing in detail. She said that starting digital marketing, you first have to clearly define your goal and what will benefit your company. Moreover, once your goal is clear, you have to understand which social media platform is the most suitable according to your company and goal.

Lastly, according to Lori you also have to focus on the money when creating a research based marketing strategy. After this, Lori shared a few examples of how you can have a research based marketing strategy.

Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.

Apart from this, Lori shared an example of how to create a research based marketing strategy. She said that you have to see who your favorite customer is and then work around them. For example, you will see what that customer likes or dislikes and how will it work for you guys.

This way, according to Lori you will attract more customers just like that one. Moving on, she said that once you understand this, you have to focus on the keyword strategy as well. For this Lori said that you have to search the keyword on google and if it has less than 2 million results, it is a fairly easy keyword.

By the end of the conversation, Curt asked Lori about how she breaks the research based marketing strategy to her client. To this Lori said that she tries to educate them and make it as simple as possible.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

The conversation ended with Curt and Damon thanking Lori for her presence.

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laurie, lori, website, manufacturer, component, question, clients, specific, talk, happening, day, channels, keystone, content, goal, covered, damon, connect, marketer, paid


Lori Highby, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson


Curt Anderson  00:00

So we have a ton to cover a ton of Paxos is I’m not sure if Damon’s overnight with us or not, guys, Kurt Anderson. Thank you. Welcome. Happy Friday, May 14. And guys, man, I’ve been looking forward to this for like, eight months or so. So this is my dear friend there is human. We’re just talking about you, dude. So, guys, Damon Pistulka The man with the most so. So guys, let me do a little intro to my dear friend Laurie. So Damon, I know you can hear me so even though I can’t see you. Hey, Damon, what’s that shirt that you have on?

I can’t see that shirt. The two Oh, dude, turn them up. It’s gonna wear just for you, Laurie, we had you. My manufacturer, Mr. Damon are the really two old dudes in the balcony. So let’s just let’s just jump right in. So David, I don’t know what you’re doing in September of 2008. But the rest of the world was financially collapsing. Lehman Brothers kind of took this little tumble. But this tenacious entrepreneur, this fearless, fearless, just relentless businesswoman decided to launch her own business. It’s called Keystone click. And so my dear friend Laurie. Heidi is the founder and CEO of Keystone click Lori, thank you for joining us today. Welcome.


Lori Highby  01:31

Thank you. So excited to be here. I love this group. Super fun. So many amazing people I’ve connected with.


Curt Anderson  01:37

Let me so since you’re so modest, and you’re so home, I’m going to give a few things. We have a bunch of fellow Wisconsin folks here. We have Aaron we have Greg. We have our two different well gals over the border. But we have Gail Paul Vail. Thank you guys for joining us today. There’s Aaron, Greg misu, my main man and mad at Madison. So guys, Laurie has a bunch of things going on. First off, she’s going to teach us how to skate to the puck, man. She’s a big, there’s no one.

There’s not a bigger hockey fan in the city of Milwaukee, the Laurie scan an ice rink. She also has an incredible podcast, I’ve had the honor and blessing of being a guest number of folks here, Laurie, just to tell you, there’s a lot of great potential guests in our crowd here today. So it’s social capital. And it’s just, she had Harry Moser she, Mike Womack from the New Jersey MEP was just gone. So she has great, great guests. She is an expert in authority on manufacturing, marketing for manufacturers. Laurie, also big question for you. I understand manufacturing runs in your blood, a little bit of all the things would be a marketer for why manufacturing.


Lori Highby  02:45

I was actually going to talk about that in my intro, but happy to start now. So my dad was in manufacturing and worked at a tool dye shop in a Chicago suburb for many years. And I just love the memories of you know, smelling the little chips and seeing the Milky fuel like on the on the drilling machine and then seeing the end product. I mean, I just think there’s so many cool things that happening in manufacturing and from a marketer. I just really am passionate about helping them tell their story. And let people know that there’s a lot of cool stuff happening in our country in the manufacturing space.


Curt Anderson  03:22

That is awesome. So runs your blood dead manufacturer 2008 you decide to go out on your own, started manufacturing and guys, this is one of the great things that you’re gonna love about Laurie is if you go to Lori’s website, Keystone click is amazing. We can around you know daymond I have a lot of there’s a lot of marketers in our in our network. And we kid around about being the cobblers kid with no shoes are so focused on helping our clients that we don’t pay attention to our websites.

Lori doesn’t talk to talk she walks the walk. She has one of the best websites she has her webinars she has white papers. She has all sorts of information on there. So we’re I know we have a ton to cover a ton on pack but by any chance Did you bring the slides with you today?



Wow, actually I did.


Curt Anderson  04:07

What a coincidence so we’re if you don’t mind once you let’s let’s jump right into your presentation. While you’re switching it over. I want to share a couple of things on your on your website you have the tagline on your website is a better agency. There we go better agency experience for you and you talk what you talk about how folks you know are the scammers the DIY guys, and what we’re going to talk about today is a reef research fueled marketing program who even thinks of that Damon so Laurie, go ahead and take it away.


Lori Highby  04:39

All right, I’ve got a lot of slides are going to power through this but feel free to feel free to throw your questions in the chat quick overview on on on who I am you get a great intro Kurt. Thank you so much for doing that. We’re gonna dive into just digital marketing as a whole focusing first on the research and then building that strategy. As you shared I own Keystone click on Post social capital, there’s a little picture of my dad, you know from the 80s. As I talked about Keystone click is a strategic digital marketing agency, we help our clients build brand awareness and generate leads online.

We do that by conducting the research collecting the insights that really allow us to build a plan that’s focused on achieving the goals of our clients. And then we support the full implementation of that. So already shared my love and passion for manufacturing. So let’s get into it. But of course, as a digital marketer, I am going to advocate if you see something that just kind of is a major aha moment, are you like what I’m sharing take a screenshot of it posted on social tagged me in it, and let the world know, you know, don’t just keep that information to yourself, let everyone know.

And let’s elevate the whole industry. So what is digital marketing? I really liked this definition that HubSpot has but I’ve got a couple components that are in it that I’m going to break down. And that’s really going to be the fuel for the whole presentation. First and foremost, it’s about achieving your company goals. And that’s at the end of the day, why build a plan, why do anything, unless you have a very clearly defined goal, the next component is really specific to online marketing channels.

And there’s more and more channels that continue to come out. I mean, clubhouse is just killing it right now. There’s so many amazing opportunities on there. So let’s be strategic about what specific channels we’re maximizing to get in front of our audience. And the last component that I really like, and that stands out in this definition is the paid earned and owned media. And I’m going to kind of tackle that to round up the presentation today. So before we get into the nuts and bolts, I’ve got a little fun story for you. I like to call it my vacuum story.

So a couple years ago, my husband and I, we’ve been married at the time, probably about 1314 years. And we realized that our vacuum was basically just a handy down vacuum. And it was time for us to buy a new one. So what’s the first thing that we do? They go to the internet, we start looking what are the best vacuums are so many options? Oh my gosh, there’s carpet. There’s hardwood, there’s things that wash and clean at the same time, things that do both we have dogs. So that was important. So many options to consider we start watching the videos, because at the end of the day, it’s telling us that can I’m reading that it can do this, but can it actually do that?

And then well, we go leverage social media and say, Hey, people that I know like and trust already, what do you recommend that I buy? So we got 42 comments in 24 hours, which is mind blowing. And you know, Facebook has a specific tool. Now for recommendations. You see people asking questions all the time on LinkedIn and Twitter, you know, clubhouse has gotten really big on that all the social channels, there’s ways that people are collecting insights and recommendations from their already tough, trusted network. So why do I tell you this story. At the end of the day, granted, it was a business to consumer example.

This is the exact process that happens in the b2b space. So any specific challenge that anyone has, and this is actually a study conducted by Google, they’re going to start first and foremost, with that really low hanging fruit initial challenge. Mine was what’s the best vacuum, I need a new vacuum, super low, but there’s a ton of information that was provided to me. And then they’re gonna weigh those options, you know, in the b2b space, it’s can I solve this problem I own? Do I need to invest in equipment? Do I need to hire a consultant? Do I need someone to fix something for me, they’re looking at what their options are.

They’re always watching video on some level video is just an amazing medium that’s giving us a ton of information. And it’s visually capturing our attention and telling that story a lot differently than just reading it. The next thing that’s happening in especially in the b2b space is we’re looking at what other people are saying, what is the experience that they had from that ratings and reviews standpoint. So as consumers, we’ve trained ourselves over the last, I don’t know, 10 years or so that we make buying decisions, you know, we decide what resort to have a Caribbean vacation at what restaurant to go eat at when we’re traveling based on other people’s reviews.

And then we’re looking at our established trusted network and saying, Who do you recommend for this, before we’re even making any sort of engagement activity, and that’s filling out a form saying I’m interested in some more information from you. So this is really important to understand that all of these activities are happening before someone is even reaching out and filling out your contact form or picking up the phone or maybe even signing up for a webinar with you. So the focus of this, I’m sorry, was there a question but


Damon Pistulka  09:55

yeah, it just is so incredible, because this is exactly what I’m part of what I’m talking about. at Temple University next week is, you know, to see an old guy like me talking about the changing buying habits. I love to educate people on this part. I don’t know the stuff that you’re going to talk about after this. But I certainly know that our buying habits have changed just like you’re showing here, which is so cool.


Lori Highby  10:16

Awesome. Yeah. And this is, this is direct from Google’s mouth, basically, that this is specific to b2b, which is really what’s fascinating to me. So why, why is it important to create a strategy and to conduct research as part of this strategy? And I again, I like this definition that comes right from Wikipedia, really focusing on creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge. And that’s what we’re trying to do is make intelligent business decisions.

At the end of the day, you know, the stock of knowledge to devise new applications. What channels are we using? How are we going to use this channels, what message we’re putting out there? Let’s be in, let’s be smart, especially because it’s so competitive out there.

And there’s so many different channels, pushing our message on, let’s get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time. So how do we do that, as I mentioned already, we need to define your goals, we have to be smart with these goals, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, relevant time timely, we need to know where it is that we’re going in order to build that plan and how to get there no different than, you know, plugging in an address in your GPS device on your phone, it’s going to build a route for you on how to get there because you clearly define what the objective is, and and where you’re trying to get.

Now that you know where you’re going, you need to evaluate where you are today. What is your current state? So you want to look at identify the metrics, you know, where are you now? Is it realistic that you can actually achieve that goal in that specific timeframe?

Based on your current state? You want to evaluate? Where are you distributing your message? You know, looking at website content, your analytics, what are the conversion rates that happening right now, I mean, the more that you understand the data as of today, the better you’re going to see the growth that has happened in the future. The next component you want to really dive into is understanding your competitors. Now, I know we’ve all heard before that, you know, don’t worry about your competitors what they’re doing. But realistically, there’s lots of information opportunity for you if you evaluate your competitors.

So I like to say anywhere between three and five, evaluate what channels they’re out there on, what are they saying? And more specifically, what type of messaging? Are they saying that people are actually engaging with? How are they showing up in the search engines? are they paying for ads? How long haven’t been paying for those ads? So there’s tons of resources out there to be able to collect this type of information. But what you’re really looking for when you evaluate your competition, is you want to identify the weaknesses, where are they not showing up?

What are they not saying, because that’s really the opportunity for you to stand up, especially once you get into and understand your customer, which is what I’m going to talk about next. So an exercise that we always like to do with our clients is really say, okay, identify who is it a customer that you have right now that you love working with, it’s a great relationship, extremely profitable. And at the end of the day, you if you would say, I want 10 of these types of clients, this is the customer that you want to think about.

So this is an exercise, like I said, we that we do, but with this specific person in mind, and I’m just say their name, you know, so for this example, we’ll use the name Tony, you know, what are Tony’s fears? You know, who is Tony trying to impress? You know, what is Tony want from me, and you want to start answering those questions as though you’re talking to one specific person, and really get inside his head. And the next thing you want to do is identify from a get a third party involved and get this third party to actually have that conversation with Tony, and ask them, why are they working with you?

How did they find you? You know, what, what social media channels are they engaging on? Who are they listening to on podcast? Where do they who’s influencing their buying decisions, the better that you can get inside your customer, that ideal customer that you really enjoy working with and want more of, the better that you can speak and communicate to them so that you can attract more of that type of customer to you. So what I like to do again, with the Tony example, is I call this customer persona placemat. And basically, you’re just answering all those questions and really getting inside their head and figuring out who is this person?

What do I have to say to them and you, you keep this in front of you. So that whenever you’re creating content, you’re writing a blog post, you’re putting something out on social media, creating a video, you’re actually speaking to Tony, you’re not speaking to the masses, you’re speaking to Tony because you know, this is what he wants to hear. These are the pains that you’re solving for him the message is going to connect and resonate with him.

And then you’re gonna it’s gonna last To attract more of the Tonys in the world. The last thing I want to say about knowing your customer is actually something you should do is evaluate the experience that you are providing to them. So when was the last time you filled out all the contact forms on your website, you actually called the phone number that you’re promoting everywhere. Sign up for the newsletters and just ask yourself, were you satisfied with that experience? Did you get what you were expecting to get? If not, this is a great time to clean that up.

Because, you know, if you’re putting the message out there and trying to attract more of the Tonys to the world, you want to make sure that they’re getting that a plus experience. The next component, extremely important is keyword research. And I’ve heard people say this is Seo dead? Absolutely not. I mean, search engine, how many people how many times we at Google, just this week alone, I’m constantly typing things into Google. And if I looked at my queries, it’s all over the map, it is literally for anything as the first thing I do is go to Google and type it in.

But that’s what everyone does. And it’s not just Google, it’s all the social channels that are out there, all the platforms, forums, you know, everyone has a pain that they’re looking to solve. So you just have to understand what is the word of the phrase that people are actually using to start that search to narrow down that search. And so the approach that we like to take from a keyword perspective, once you start doing this search, is figuring out for two very specific components, the level of difficulty and the frequency that words are being searched.

And so level of difficulty, this is something you can easily do you just go into Google type in your phrase. And if there’s 2 million or more results that show up, it’s a little bit more challenging. But if it’s less than 2 million results that show up, then we say, Hmm, that one’s a little bit easier to tackle. So that bigger chance of you showing up at the top of the search engines. But doing that keyword research isn’t just for search engine optimization, this is the words and the messaging that you’re going to use in your in your social posts and the content that you’re producing.

And all of your overall messaging strategy, because you know that these are the words that people are actually using in when they’re describing, you know, the pain that you ultimately have, that they have, that you’re the solution for. Alright, we’re almost there, halfway through this, now that we’ve collected all this data, what do we do with it? Well, when you’re building out your strategy, there’s three different types of content that ultimately can be creating this owned, earned and paid. And sometimes people say, no shared or socials, kind of a separate wing.

But these are the three major buckets here. And it’s really important to really understand the value and the significance because each one of these has a different weight when it comes to evaluating your strategy. So on is probably one of my favorites, because that’s where we really focus on specifically. But at the end of the day, you own this content, you own your website, you own the content you’re putting out on your your blog, and your email lists, your white papers, the stuff that you own is ultimately the stuff that you can control who sees it, the frequency, it seemed you can push it out there as much as possible.

And blogs, I’m just probably one of the largest advocators for blogs ever. And I wish more people were taking advantage of this. We’ve got a blog post that was written on our website in 2014. And to this day, it is still one of the most visited pages on our website. So the time investment it took to write that super meaty piece of content has returned so much exposure and opportunity for us, as opposed to and I’ll talk about this a little bit, the paid channel where it’s kind of a, you know, you get what you pay for that specific, you know, piece of exposure that someone clicked on, you paid for that, and now it’s done.

So the investment you make from creating content has a way longer shelf life, as long as you’re identifying content that connects and resonates with your audience speaks to their specific pain that they have and really showcases trust and value at the end of the day. The next component is earned lots of opportunity here. So we talked about the significance of reviews and testimonials and and how that is part of our buying decision. process is what is the experience that somebody else had whether or not I knew them. So it is important to make that part of your strategy to try to obtain as many positive reviews as possible.

Some industries have, you know, specific review channels that people trust and look to for insights. I know. It’s not gonna come to me right now. But food I think Yelp was a great one for a while to get some insights for for restaurants. But another component from earned is, is getting exposure in front of someone else’s channel. So that’s where guest posts or guest interviews, you know, someone else getting us on someone else’s podcast. You know, Kurt mentioned a number of you would be great guests on my podcast. Absolutely. I know a handful of you have been guests already.

I love interviewing people. Especially that love the manufacturing space. So, so hit me up if you’d like to be interviewed, and then I can share your message to my audience, which is that’s what it’s all about is getting that earned exposure and getting in front of someone else’s channel. And then obviously, media exposure extremely, extremely important should be part of your branding as well, your your marketing strategy, it’s really getting someone else that already has established trust, you know, a news channel, a major blog, you know, someone to say, oh, wow, this company is amazing. And here’s a story about them.

And that last one is paid, which, you know, I said, not necessarily my favorite, because one, these channels are constantly changing, you can be very strategic and maximizing them by really segmenting, who is able to see your ad, the price continues to increase. But what’s really interesting is the rules are changing significantly. And actually, there was something that came out fairly recently relate, I actually have a component on that slide, but the rules are changing and paid. And how you can target individuals from a privacy standpoint, is changing too. And it’s changing so fast. I’m not totally up to speed on what’s happening right now with that.

But this is why I’m a huge advocate for really focusing more on that owned and earned content, as opposed to the paid because it’s got a shorter window, it can be extremely effective, if it’s done, right. So those are some tactics, let’s put it all together, leveraging the inbound methodology. So inbound, I’m gonna run through this really quickly, focusing on attracting the right audience, you want to connect with them, capture their information, close the deal, and then just retain them delight them, keep them happy at the end of the day, as I mentioned, blogs super impactful.

A recent study I read related to just search engine optimization is the majority of of content that shows up on page one of Google actually has now 2000 words, I think a couple years ago, I was saying 800 words. So your strategy with the depth of the content that you’re publishing, it might be changing a little bit. But again, this is where you use those keywords in that research that you conducted to really put strong messaging and speak to the pain that your audience has.

The other component that I think is, there’s a lot of missed opportunities is people are just jumping on all the social media channels. Instead of strategically identifying what I refer to as the watering holes, go hang out where your ideal customer is hanging out, where they’re all hanging out, you know, fish where the fish are biting basically, instead of spreading yourself too thin, go put, you know, drop that fishing line in the pond where where your customers are, are swimming, and absolutely be consistent in the in that social publishing space.

Connecting standpoint, there’s so much this is definitely what you want to do is leverage and drive people that using the social media channels to your website and get them to do something, you want to capture their information because you own your email list. You don’t own the social media channels that you’re publishing on, who knows the next time they’re going to change, you know, it’s going to be stronger pay pay to play kind of platforms, we’ve already seen that happen on a couple channels.

But when you maximize capturing the email, the best way to increase those conversions is to minimize the number of fields that you have. And but leverage a tool ask a simple question to help qualify or disqualify that candidate and give you some direction on is this a good target for me to pursue establishing a nurturing relationship with or is this someone that I can kind of push down segment being that just let them keep creating my area digesting my information and the way they want.

I do want to point out on landing pages extremely important to make sure whatever message that you drove that drove them to actually click on that landing page, make sure it’s consistent message is a huge disconnect and a drop off and convergence. If that message changes from that post you made the ad you made and that landing page you took them to. Alright, almost done here getting to the end, inbound, the last component is the second the last component is close the deal.

So leveraging automation, and this is where I want to really focus that because of what’s happening with the privacy laws. Automation is something where a lot more investment should be placed so that you’re constantly staying in front of and nurturing the right audiences. And there’s better opportunity to close those deals there as opposed to trying to get ads in front of everyone. There’s there’s still a lot of information that’s coming in with regards to the changes that are happening with targeting in the paid ad space.

The last component here is you have to give your clients some love if you’re publishing amazing thought leadership content, you know all around the world and your clients are saying well I’m paying you money and you’re just giving everything for free. So hold some of that information back and give them the really meaty pieces and let them know that this is VIP client only content and make them feel loved and appreciated and really getting some insights from them is going to go a long way and help you to retain that relationship with them. All right, that is all I got. I powered through that.


Damon Pistulka  25:22

Wow. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.


Curt Anderson  25:31

Wow, guys. No words. There are no word for word for that. So Alright, let’s unpack a few things right there. Okay, first off, thank you. You are absolutely amazing. I knew this was gonna be amazing. crushed it far exceeded our expectations. Aaron gives an applause our friend in Chicago, he commented. SEO is definitely not dead. Our friend now Lord, get this. Did you know you’re gonna be spanning the states here today.

So my dear friend, her backup is out at Stony Brook and Long Island one end of the of our country. Don is up and he he liked your fishing connection. He’s up in Alaska. So we’re covering the entire country. Hey, AJ, over in a in India today. So we’re covering a lot of wisconsinites are? Are you wisconsinite?



Sure cheese.


Curt Anderson  26:26

Greg, Miss You taught me this got to get your W right. So we’ve been doing workshops, and we’ve been looking at, let’s unpack what Laurie just covered. So Laura, you talked about, you know, digging deep into that persona. Our running joke is like we like to call them our soulmates. Right? So she covered how do you dig into that soulmate? How do you focus on those great landing pages?

How do you get on the offensive and get on inbound marketing? Just amazing, amazing strategy. So a couple questions that I have for you. Can you come into a manufacturer in his manufacturer? Sometimes they’re a little bit resistant to change just a little bit? Right? How do you how when you when you just the Aaron says just just a smidgen, right. When you come into that manufacturer, it’s a little bit resistant to change, hey, this, how we’ve done it and how we’ve always done it. How do you what are those conversations like? Or how do you kind of break those barriers to prevent Allison to Ford? Because of the chief hesitation officer? How do you break?


Lori Highby  27:26

I mean, my approach is to educate and really try to find something that connects and resonates with them. So you know, you shared the fishing story was something that connected. So then, you know, I like to use the analogies to help illustrate and demonstrate what’s happening. And I think that’s the easiest way to find some way to really get them to understand what’s happening in a way that is easy for them to digest that information. Because I most manufacturers that I talked to you don’t even sit at a desk, you know, they’re not on their computers, they know how to use a smartphone, because their kids taught them how to use it.

And it’s only so that they’re texting, they’re not doing anything else, you know, they’re not scrolling through social media. So I have to educate and let them know. And oftentimes we’ll do when we’re doing that competitive research, I’ll give them a sampling of the information and say, This is what your competitors are doing. And you’re wondering why your phone’s not ringing? It’s because these guys are up over here where you can be up here, but you’re down here right now.


Curt Anderson  28:27

Right? Oh, I absolutely love that great motivator is what’s the competition doing? You covered that in your program on your website. And again, guys, I dropped, please connect with Laurie on LinkedIn, you have to check out Keystone click, she has a great, great story for one and we’re gonna that name come from Lori, we’re not going to tell them they have to go to your website. Right? Or your website, you talk about research, and again, with this program is just about research, strategy, implementation and measurement.

So how do you any you know, you just covered it with your program? When you walk into the on the measurement side? How do you help clients because like, we had a program here in New York, and Rebecca was on the New York MEP, lot of frustration that I’m hearing is like, how do I measure success? Or I’m spending a lot of money on Facebook ads and Google ads, and we’re just not closing, like how do you help your clients with that, that measurement? And how do you set those benchmarks terms?


Lori Highby  29:22

Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, at the end of the day, we have to get clear on the front end and say, What is the goal that we’re trying to achieve? And the internet gives you a ridiculous amount of data. And you can easily get paralyzed analyzing the data. But if you get clear and say on the front end, this is the goal. We know what the tactics are, let’s measure these specific tactics and have some benchmarks to say, Are we on track or off track? If we’re off track, then we can start diving into some of this other data and see if there’s a story being told, but if we’re on track, let’s keep pushing forward.


Curt Anderson  29:58

Right? Perfect, and I I love that. And again, I’m sorry to keep pushing this, but go to Lori’s website, because you’ve talked about smart goals, on your on on on your website and you have some information a supporting that, how do you help, you know, find a manufacturer in marketing is brand new to me. And you know, I need I need to I need to dumb down a little bit how, you know, how do I how do I know what a SMART goal is for me if I’m just starting out?


Lori Highby  30:22

Sure. And I mean, it’s just peeling the onion questions when usually when I ask that question, the first answer, I guess, I want more sales, you know, well, that’s easy, right? So what one of the questions I like to ask is, okay, so Kurt, you hired us, and it’s a year in the future, you say, Well, are you guys knocked it out of the park? I want you to answer and tell me right now, what is it that we did?

So helping to set the stage a little bit? And, you know, do we double your business? Okay, well, sure, we can do that. But you’re going to pay a huge amount of money. This is a major time investment. But let’s be realistic here, you know, if you want to increase by 10%, well, what does that mean to you? Is it profit margin? Is it sales? Is it number of leads, you know, let’s get really clear and break this down. And that’s where that peeling the onion comes in to say, what does success look like for you?


Curt Anderson  31:13

Right, right. In a great thing, you were talking, you know, you’re sitting around drinking from the firehose, and again, we were at a workshop the other day, and my friend Rebecca and a bunch of us were at a virtual table, we run remote, and we’re at a table, and it does become daunting, it becomes overwhelming. There’s like, you know, as a manufacturer, being new to this world. It’s like, you know, man, I’ve got, you know, I need to do Facebook, I need to do email automation. I like there’s so many moving parts, how do you help them just kind of like instead of eating the elephant, how do you reduce the overwhelm? And like, how do you take those steps with your manufacturers?


Lori Highby  31:46

Yeah, more comfortable? I love that question. It’s a great question. Again, I’m gonna go back to the goals because there’s so many times and I specifically put the goals at the top of the meeting agenda, because oftentimes, the clients will come in and like, Oh, well, let’s do this thing, because I read about it. Wait a minute, let’s go back to the goal that we discussed and agreed upon. And let’s see, does this help? Is this gonna help us achieve this goal or not? It’s let’s minimize the shiny objects and then really stay focused and on track here.


Curt Anderson  32:14

Right. That’s, that’s perfect. I’m here on your hacking hotel. Sorry, buddy. I’m you’re you’re you’re very passionate hockey. You’re very active. I just I need to before we close out, need to hear what you’ve got going on in hockey.


Lori Highby  32:27

I had a game last night we lost. It was not pretty, but it’s okay. I play it in two coed leagues and I seven a woman’s traveling.


Curt Anderson  32:38

Well, awesome. So we we have a very active with I know you’re active with a lot of tournaments. But I just want to, we want to close out in a couple of things. I have a question for you. Before I get into that question, guys. Again, if you go to her website, the big thing about Lori and a big takeaway today is you’re also an adjunct professor, Professor, if I didn’t mention that. I don’t know if I did mention that yet. But as your professor correct,


Lori Highby  33:03

UW Milwaukee,


Curt Anderson  33:05

so And again, the thing is like when you hear Lori’s presentation, and we were talking about this, I think this is important as marketers, you know, Greg, Misha was big on this, Aaron Gale, we’re always talking about like, how can we be the educators, you know, but for a manufacturer, they’re you know, they’re thinking sales sales, they’re not necessarily thinking about, oh,

we’re educators to, we’re trying to educate them on a particular part a widget, a circuit board, my friend, Rebecca sells a skin great skincare product, or, you know, whatever, you know, my friend, Val unifrax. So as manufacturers, how, you know, talk about in more detail, we can close on this, you know, blogging, a lot of content, how do you help your manufacturers be those educators?


Lori Highby  33:45

Yeah, at the end of the day, I just say what are the questions people are asking you? And there’s, they’re surprised they say, okay, for the next week, just write down literally every single question that you’re asked, you might identify some trends, or even just going your inbox, how many replies do you have that actually can be just converted into a blog post right away or expanded on in a blog post for


Curt Anderson  34:09

me, that is just so so great, you know, so many manufature like, man, we don’t have anything to talk about. There is just so much to talk about. In the e commerce business. 100 years ago, we literally like you know, our customer service team were like, every question that comes in on email, every question that comes in on phone, how can we get that information on our website, we had a running joke of like, you know, we’re being facetious but like, how can we get the phone to not ring? Because the goal was in all seriousness, like how, you know, as a manufacturer, how can you that ideal buyer, there are soulmates?

How can we help them make a buying decision on a Friday night at midnight without having to wait for us open up our door and on Monday morning, you know, and so that’s the goal without the information. Here’s man I know Laurie we could we could talk all day. I want to get everybody a chance to to pick your your brilliance at the tables afterwards. Allison afford our dear friend who would be a great guest on your podcast. She’s very close friend of ours, great marketer for manufacturers, she preaches, how do we help our clients be a hero of their story? So I know you’ve covered a ton in the past 3040 minutes or so, how do you help your clients be a hero of your story?


Lori Highby  35:19

I just love helping them create the wins at the end of the day and helping them tell the story of the problems that they’ve solved. I’ve just heard so many amazing stories when I’m talking one on one with my manufacturing clients. I’m like, why aren’t you telling this to the world? This is amazing. It’s so many I want to tell but I want to be conscious of time.


Curt Anderson  35:44

That there’s so you know, like, I’m working with a team like you know, they did that big thing for Earth Day. I’m like, hey, that’s a blog post get put, you know people want Yes, yeah, we could go on and on, guys. So let’s let’s do this. So it’s it’s we’re hitting time. I want to give everybody a chance to chat with Laurie. I’ve dropped Lori’s email or I’m sorry, LinkedIn profile. Please connect with Laurie. Check out her website. I’m telling you it is a top notch website. Lori kudos to you. You’ve really set the bar high for anybody else in marketing. have that great website.

Guys this Tuesday. Demon it man. If you can’t get enough, a demon Temple University is doing a workshop at Temple University Small Business Development Center. My dear friend Jean Lavie Jean. She’s with us today from the Small Business Development Center here in New York. Paul Kisha Tish Shea, is our speaker next Friday, he just dropped a thanks, Lori Brock. So definitely connect with with Paul. He’s talking next week. Lori covered the persona. We have a little link for a persona exercise for you guys on our website. Feel free to check that out. So Lori, should we nobody wants to hear me sing? Can you sing? Can you sing the game if


Lori Highby  36:51

you do not? I play for


Curt Anderson  36:56

bigger Come on, dude. Happy Birthday for daymond write a 123 Happy birthday.



Happy birthday. Myself.



Happy birthday to you.






Here’s the T shirt man. Thanks, dad.


Damon Pistulka  37:19

I apologize. Yes, I apologize. audio video quality I tried to get you know connected in hardwired to the internet couldn’t get it figured out but but the audio is bad on LinkedIn live. It’s gonna be bad. It’s gonna be good when it hits our website because Remo does a good job of that. And that’ll be next week. Thanks so much. Yeah, killed it today. I just got you know, from crushed my perspective.

You were talking about so many things that got me going and stuff that I’m actually gonna cover at the in the spirit of what I’m talking about on Monday part of it, which is really cool. And so I have mad respect for you that you play in hockey too. And I think that I start to go Oh, that would hurt. You know. That’s so cool. That was so cool.


Curt Anderson  38:14

But anyway, I’m gonna drop. Damon real quick. Real quick. tell everybody where you are where you’re your wife took you away for a little weekend. Where are you?


Damon Pistulka  38:24

I’m down in seaside Oregon. We got


Curt Anderson  38:30

this morning. He were facetiming he showed me the Lewis and Clark statue of where they ended their journey. Yeah, so even on our trip. Have an awesome weekend. My friend Laurie. God bless you. Thank you for just dropping immense, amazing value for all of us. You’re a blessing. Thank you guys. Thank you everybody. Go back to the tables and connectors.



Thank you.



Here we go.


Curt Anderson  39:03


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