By Dianna Brodine, managing editor, The American Mold Builder
“We’re setting ourselves up as a problem solver. If we can communicate the problem and let prospective customers know that we understand the problem – that we’ve been there, and we understand the emotional state of panic they’re experiencing – then we’ve gotten through one barrier. And, if we say, ‘Here’s how we solved it, and how we could help you solve it, too,’ then we’ve made a connection and built some trust.” – David Kachoui
David Kachoui is the director of business development for Thal Precision Industries, a Natech company, in Clark, New Jersey. Kachoui wears a few hats while performing his role, which includes commercial, operational and sales & marketing responsibilities. “I did a lot of cold calling when I first started,” he said, “but we’re moving away from that as we get deeper into our marketing efforts.” Those marketing initiatives include a purposeful effort to write clear, simple and targeted content that can be shared via multiple avenues and attract prospective customers.
Make it simple
At Thal Precision, the website is the starting point for lead generation. “As I look at our website, I want someone to understand what we do, how it will help them and what they need to do to move to the next step,” said Kachoui. “If the website doesn’t answer those questions very quickly, then we’ve confused the prospects. It all needs to be laid out very smoothly.”
For Kachoui, that means asking other people to review the website and answer those key questions – including people outside of the industry. He said getting that feedback is important to ensure clarity and simplicity, because effective content makes a quick impact. “Each time that we send out content – for example, a few lines on social media – it still follows the same structure, which is, from the clients’ perspective: What is their problem? What is our plan to solve that problem for them? How do they start a conversation with us? We can connect with people quickly based on what they read on our website.”
The simplicity in written communication that Kachoui strives for is based on his reliance on the principles behind lean manufacturing. “A lot of veteran experts will say that the biggest opportunities to apply lean aren’t on the production floor,” he said. “Effective communication is a process just like lean manufacturing – you start with the customer and work backwards.”
At Thal Precision, that means presenting the website information in the order the prospective customer is thinking about it to remove waste and confusion. “We try to remove all of that extra noise to make it easier for them to get to what they need,” Kachoui explained.
Solve the problem
To ensure the Thal Precision website – and its sister Natech Plastics site – contain content that speaks to prospective customers, the writing must be done by those closest to the pain points. In this case, that means the engineers are becoming authors. “The engineers are the ones who are closest to the projects, and it’s the knowledge inside their heads that is useful and interesting for our prospective clients,” Kachoui said.
A few questions get the engineering team started on potential topics. What are the interesting projects? What about the project is new – what’s the new learning that happened? What are the rules of thumb that are used when designing molds that may not be widely known?
“It’s about teaching them to write about what’s keeping them up at night,” he continued. “What are they stressed out about? What was their worst nightmare situation? Then, how did they solve the problem? Because they always solve it, and that’s rich content. That’s valuable content, because if someone on our team has gone through it, then our prospects might be going through it. And, if a prospect reads about it, they can relate to it.”
The critical next step is to repurpose the content, once it’s created. As an example, the company recently hosted a webinar on geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. From that webinar, the marketing intern created a video using content from the quality team member who ran the webinar, and the video was posted to social media. An article also was written, based on the webinar – and then the article was used as the basis of social media postings – all of which pointed back to the company’s website.
“All of our posts are directing the viewer to the website,” Kachoui said. “And, they all follow the pattern: Here’s a problem, here’s what we do to solve it and you can find out more by watching this webinar or reading this article.”
When asked if Thal Precision has numbers to show return on investment, Kachoui said numbers showing ‘likes’ or reach aren’t the goal. “I’m aware of the numbers, but I don’t manage by the numbers,” he explained. “We want email addresses. We want inquiries. Our content directs people to the website, and the website directs them to contact us so we know who they are. Then, we can reach out to them on a regular basis until they are ready for our help.”
Kachoui is passionate about the role effective marketing plays in the sales process, and he acknowledges that many in the mold building industry skip over the supposed ‘fluff’ to go straight to traditional selling techniques. But, at Thal Precision, the creation of clear, targeted communication plays an essential role in attracting new customers. And, there’s pride in knowing that not everyone can provide that clear message to sales prospects.
“The easy part of marketing collateral is writing,” he said. “The hard part is rewriting. How do we make this simpler? How do we clarify? There’s a lot of complexity out there, so we work to create ways to make our solutions very clear to our prospects and customers. That’s a big win.”