WBSP013: Grow Your Business by Supercharging Your Sales Team With Digital Twin w/ Greg Mischio

In this episode, we have our guest Greg from Winbond, who talks about why manufacturing organizations need to adopt the approach of Digital Twin to augment their sales teams with content marketing. He also touches on several stories where he has made a significant impact on the organization’s growth with his Digital Twin content marketing approach. If you are looking to learn how to grow with innovative marketing methods while having a good laugh, this episode is a must-listen for you.

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About Greg

Greg Mischio is the Owner and Founder of Winbound, a content marketing agency that provides content marketing for small marketing departments with a focus on manufacturing and industrial verticals.

Winbound provides a content + marketing approach, creating content that’s mapped to the customer journey and marketing for distribution via search, social and niche-based paid advertising. Winbound’s clients have enjoyed double and triple-digit increases in traffic and leads.


Full Transcript

Greg Mischio  0:00 

You know what’s interesting is when people call me up, I used to have to talk to them for about an hour on the phone to get them to come in for an appointment. Now they come in and they’re ready to sign up. They’re ready for business. They’re ready to close.

Intro  0:16 

Growing a business requires a holistic approach that extends beyond sales and marketing. This approach needs alignment among people, processes, and technologies. So if you’re a business owner, operations, or finance leader looking to learn growth strategies from your peers and competitors, you’re tuned into the right podcast. Welcome to the WBS podcast where scalable growth using business systems is our number one priority.

Now, here is your host, Sam Gupta.

Sam Gupta  0:52 

Welcome back to another episode of The WBS podcast. I’m Sam Gupta, your host, and principal consultant at digital transformation consulting firm, ElevatIQ.

Traditional manufacturing organizations are typically sales-focused. Even with complex products and longer sales cycles, where research-based content would be crucial, manufacturing organizations rely on relationship-based sales. With 70% of the buyers fully defining their needs on their own. before engaging with a sales representative, manufacturing finance executives and owners need to understand the value of content marketing.

In today’s episode, we have our guest, Greg from Winbound, who talks about why manufacturing organizations need to adopt the approach of Digital Twin to augment their sales teams. He also touches on several stories, where he has made a significant impact on the organization’s growth with his digital twin approach. If you’re looking to learn how to grow with innovative marketing methods, while having a good laugh, this episode is a must-listen for you.

Let me introduce Greg to you.

Greg Mischio is the owner and founder of Winbond. A marketing agency that provides Content Marketing for Small marketing departments with a focus on manufacturing and industrial verticals. Winbound provides a content marketing approach, creating content that’s mapped to the customer journey and marketing for distribution via search, social, and paid advertising.  Most Winbound clients have enjoyed double and triple-digit increases in traffic and leads.

With that, let’s get to the conversation.

Hey, Greg, welcome to the show.

Greg Mischio  2:40 

Thanks, Sam. Good to be here.

Sam Gupta  2:42 

Okay, to start off, do you want to start off with your personal story?

Greg Mischio  2:47 

Let’s see. I’m going to go all the way back to the date of my birth 1968. Do you want me to go back that far? And start from there? Okay, we have five minutes here. The first couple of years. I mean, second grade is really fascinating stuff. So if you don’t want me to go to it, that’s fine.

Sam Gupta  3:14 

I mean, if you did, balance sheet and cash flow statement, my audience is going to appreciate that a lot. So if you can talk about what cash flow statements you created earlier.

Greg Mischio  3:41 

You should have seen the lemonade stand. We were raking it in the gross margins. They were just amazing. I’m a writer, you know. So right away. The CFOs are probably skipping on to the next podcast. But no, that’s my background. I’m a writer. What is that? Is that right-brain thinking? Right. left brain Right, right. Yeah, left, right. Yeah,

Sam Gupta  3:58 

Left, right. Yeah. I think I have three man.

Greg Mischio  4:04 

I think you do too. That’s true. Um, now. So that’s my background. And I was a copywriter. When I started my career journalism grad. And I was like, kind of the Don Draper thing. That was what I wanted to do. I was a copywriter and I was writing headlines, and one plus one equals three print ads and stuff like that. And that was great fun. And then this internet thing came along. Suddenly, you know, there’s, there’s an old saying, and this, this probably is what CFOs pull their hair out. There’s an old saying, back in advertising. I know 50% of my advertising is working. I just don’t know which 50% of it is.

And that was, you know, people could never the CFOs could never prove out and the advertisers were hard for them to prove out where they were making the money. Then the internet came along and Google Analytics And we really start to be able to track what the results are. And so for a writer, I’m like, you know, it’s not just enough to write the catchy headline, now you got to be able to sell the products. So I started to really get into, you know, I, I’m not a CFO, so I still have to apply my creativity.

Greg Mischio  5:20 

And so started to get into content writing, and really started to learn how it works within the, you know, the realm of the internet and the web page. Then we started to start to do it for a couple of clients, and they were getting traffic to their sites, and their business was going up. And I’m like, this is cool. This is fun to do. And, you know, I started to build in some of the analytics pros behind me and really started to learn some of the mechanics of it, the SEO component of it, and then we started to build with Winbound. So what we’ve done with Winbound, which is a content marketing firm. So we help and we specifically work with manufacturers, we help them develop content that brings people to their website, and helps build referrals for their salespeople, and ultimately helps you increase your sales.

Sam Gupta  6:20 

So, since the purpose of the podcast is growth, and we are looking at 2,000% growth, and we are not selling lemonade, here, we are selling extremely serious stuff. In fact, this is a COO and CFO community. So I want to, you know, caution a bit there that you are not supposed to laugh.

Greg Mischio  6:40 

I’ll stop that.

Sam Gupta  6:45 

Okay, only I’m supposed to be laughing, not you.

Greg Mischio  6:48 

You make me laugh, Sam. So I’m sorry about that. I was laughing at you.

Sam Gupta  6:54 

OK. Tell me about growth, man. What is your perspective on growth?

Greg Mischio  6:56 

That is such a tricky question. You threw me, I gave you an answer. You posted that on LinkedIn. And I said, A wise man once said to me, and this was a CFO-minded guy he said, great companies or companies cannot standstill. You’re either losing ground, or you’re growing? And I think that’s a very simple answer. You are either going backward, or you’re moving forward. And so what is growth? How does that happen? How do you move forward? And I guess my approach to that is kind of a Ying Yang thing. It’s you know, when you’re setting a marketing plan, you’re using qualitative and quantitative or qualitative and quantitative goals.

So I always, I always kind of shook my hair, scratch my head when I was working for companies, and they’re like, the sales team is projected to do what we need is projected to do 23% growth this next year. And I was always like, what, where do they get their number? And how are they even going to do that? So that qualitative and strategy has to be a big part of it. And to me, that’s growth is easy. If you can have a good qualitative and quantitative pair of those two things, that’s when the growth occurs. How’s that?

Sam Gupta  8:21 

Yeah, that’s pretty good. So let’s talk about you know, manufacturing a bit. You said that you know, you are doing the content marketing for the manufacturing. So why do we require the focus as far as the content marketing goes, if you ask me if you’re simply writing some of the English sentences? Can you describe what content marketing is?

Greg Mischio  8:44 

We’ve come up with a way to describe what content marketing is in the context of manufacturing so this is a reason why we really have focused on manufacturing because we feel that there’s a number of eternal challenges that manufacturers face.

1) they have long sales cycles, too They have complex products and this is a reason why they’re always sales-driven. So manufacturing Yeah, let me back up. Manufacturers are typically sales-driven organizations. And the reason why they’ve always been sales-driven is they have complex products, as I mentioned, long sales cycle, a lot of parties that they’re trying to reach out to address you know, purchasing technicians, engineers, and CFOs.

Greg Mischio  9:48 

They also have you know, people are looking for different aspects of it. And then the third the newest challenge for manufacturers is the digital channel. And that means is suddenly the sales-driven organizations, and this has always happened because they’re sales driven, because their products are so technical, and they are dealing with so many different people.

So it’s been easier just to have a technician and engineer, train him a little bit on sales and just get them out to the golf course, or get them to the trade show and get the relationships there. along comes, the digital environment, which you know, changed my life. And it’s changing manufacturers. And suddenly, the customers are looking for things online, you know, they’re not always going to the tradeshow. In fact, they say, upwards of 70% of the prospecting occurs online, out of the hands of the salesperson. So what we’ve come up with is based on a term that’s used in manufacturing is called the digital twin.

Greg Mischio  10:51 

And the digital twin in manufacturing is a digital recreation of a machine or a process. So you can recreate this thing digitally. And then you can test the machine, you can prototype it, you can try different raw materials or alter your process with it. So it’s used in manufacturing, well, we said, well, let’s apply that to marketing. And let’s create a digital twin of a salesperson. So when people are searching and your salesperson isn’t there, your content is, and to take it one step further, just to make this very easy for CFOs, who are usually kind of, you know, hear a lot of marketing terms that get thrown around like SEO and etc, we kind of boil it down to three simple things in sales, it’s all about getting people to know you, to like you. And trust you, if those three things don’t happen, you’re not going to get the sale.

So we create content for those three different things to get people to know you kind of that type of what we call the top of sales funnel or just content where you’re introducing yourself to them and talking about their problems and their issues, content to get them to like you where you’re giving away like you know, typically think of white papers and things like that. And then content to get you to trust you case studies, the bottom of the funnel, sales pages, things on your website, so that in an essence, that digital twin, that think of the content as the digital twin of your salesperson, and that’s what we’re shooting new to help manufacturers with.

Sam Gupta  12:30 

Okay, so you mentioned a couple of things with respect to the long sales cycle and complex products. But then you also mentioned that it is sales-driven, that does not make any sense, to be honest, because typically, sales-driven organizations are going to be the ones that are not long in nature, because longer sales cycles are going to require a lot more content, a lot more research-based information, because that has to be supported in the sales cycle.

So why do you believe that they are a sales-driven organization?

Greg Mischio  13:18 

You just answered the question. I mean, that’s what they need to help fill in the blank blanks there. I think the typical kind of comes back to the complexity sometimes of the products and just the commitment to generating the content and even the means of communicating a lot of those things, you know, with video now, just you know, websites page, you know, web pages like that you have the means to do that.

So I think the long sales cycle might just be they get the information upfront, the salesperson has been back in touch. You tell me, Sam, you know, you’ve been involved in a lot of long-term sales and things like that. Why do you think it takes so long?

Sam Gupta  14:05 

Well, we are in the ERP space, and nobody is going to buy from me if I did the sweet talk over the phone, I can tell you that. Okay, what they care for is very insightful content. And that’s what we like to do in the case of the ERP sales cycle. The ERP sales cycle could be anywhere from six to nine months. If you close before six months, I think you are going to be a hero in our community.

Greg Mischio  14:31 

You’ve had some really good experiences with your sales cycle is speeding up because of content. And I’ve noticed that too with our clients. We had a customer who once said that this is not in the manufacturing realm but one of our B2C clients, she said, You know what’s interesting is when people call me up, I used to have to talk to them for about an hour on the phone to get them to come in for an appointment.

Now they come in and they’re ready to sign up, and They’re ready for business. They’re ready to close. And I think maybe, you know, maybe that sales cycle is occurring and is shortening because they are doing the research at their pace and getting the information they want as you said, you’re producing in-depth copy, they’re calling you up, you’ve gone through the pre-qualification process right there, they’re further down the sales funnel, and they’re ready to closer to the sale.

Sam Gupta  15:22 

So let’s say if we talk about the sales organization, and obviously, as a marketer, you talk a lot about copy. So what exactly is a copy for a manufacturing organization?

In your definition, let’s say they are sales driven, they don’t do any marketing, for some reason they are getting the business. I don’t know from where. Maybe from trade shows, and maybe you are defining that as sales-driven. So what is copy for a manufacturer or a CFO who does not understand what copywriting is?

Greg Mischio  15:49 

Right? So really, it’s an answer to somebody’s problem, you’re answering questions that people have about a product, even just about bigger strategic issues. You know, how do I become more efficient? How do I get quicker changeover on my converting equipment? You know, am I so you’re just addressing questions within the depth, quality answers. And so that’s, that’s what we’re writing about.

Now, when you get down and that’s more kind of like, top of the funnel, I mean, just think about, again, go back to the digital twin, when you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not selling them your solution right away, you’re trying to find out what they need, you’re trying to find out what the problem is. That’s what we’re doing with the content, we’re answering their questions, we’re trying to provide them with some in-depth background, particularly, specifically research-based content.

Greg Mischio  16:48 

And then, you know, once you get down to the sales, then you know, the content or the copy, you’re talking about benefits, how’s this helping them, you’re talking about social proof, or testimonials or case studies, in, you know, the case studies, you want to show how you move the dial, you want to show, again, the qualitative and the quantitative.

So we were just writing up a case study, we improve client sales by 32%, for a particular product, and we could have said, we’ve helped them improve sales, which we have. We have helped them improve their brand, which we have. But then, you know, you also have to include the quantitative part as well. So that’s what I mean by copy, I guess, to the bottom of the funnel, then as well. So you know, it’s really answering questions with your content.

Sam Gupta  17:42 

So let me ask you this. I mean, you know, let’s say if I’m a manufacturer, and I have my salesperson, obviously, the salesperson is going to be an expert of their game. And that’s why they are here. Right? And they are right there standing in front of the customer, they are able to answer any questions as the customer wants because they are trained in that.

So you are saying you are answering the question. So how is your answer going to be different from the salesperson’s answer?

Greg Mischio  18:11 

It’s not, it’s a digital twin. I mean, I want to pull from that salesperson, his expertise, his insight, or hers, and I want to put it online. So if that salesperson isn’t there, the answer is,

Sam Gupta  18:26 

Okay. So you mentioned that you know, the digital changed your life, how did it change your life? Can you describe an example?

Greg Mischio  18:32 

I think kind of going back to my personal story, a lot of the advertising back in the day, again, that 50% of my ad budget is working. I just don’t know what 50% it is. So I was just working in just, you know, some big ad agency or his ad agencies and doing copywriting strictly a writer and there wasn’t as much focus, I think, on really making the content work. And the performance of it was a lot more brand-based.

And it wasn’t as tied to the bottom line, I guess I would say, with the website, when you’re writing on the web, there are so many more metrics you can use to measure the success of your content and your copy. So I do think it just helps streamline a lot of things. And then today’s marketer is much more metrics-driven and focused on their metrics than ever before.

And so you know, it, it just for me personally, those are skills I had really develop and focus on, you know, so I can go in and talk to a CFO and just say, look, you know, we’re starting with our goals, lower your cost per acquisition, give you clear ROI.

Sam Gupta  19:55 

Yeah. So do you have any stories that you might want to share? Where you have made some difference in the organization? Maybe they were sales-driven, based on the definition that you mentioned. And then you made the marketing-driven. So can you walk me through the entire process? Where they were and what you did? And what was the impact of what you did?

Greg Mischio  20:18 

I’ll talk a little bit about Delta ModTek, which is one of our clients. And let me just be very clear about this in terms of the Digital Twin, we are not replacing salespeople. We do not believe that that that is going to happen. And we are complements to the sales team. We want to bring marketing closer to the sales team, you know, there’s always been those silos and a lot of finger-pointing between sales and marketing. Why isn’t marketing generating more leads, why aren’t sales closing more leads, we need to bring those two parties together.

And I think through the kind of the digital twin mindset, we can do that. So we were contacted by Delta Montek. They wanted to, and this happens a lot. They wanted a new website and they wanted to improve their, their digital presence or their presence on the internet. And they weren’t really too sure how to do it. I mean, they knew a little bit about SEO, they knew a little bit about social media. They just didn’t quite have the strategy behind it. And they were looking for someone to help them execute it.

So you know, we started out with the website. They definitely needed a redesign. But we built their sales pages. And then we employed a content strategy to get them in framework out there. Then we just started to generate content and reach out. And a big thing. And I think you’re really good at this. Sam. Kudos to you on your marketing outreach.

Greg Mischio  22:37 

So we’re working with Delta ModTek. And this was a big gamble for them. Most manufacturers are very conservative. And they don’t get the whole, marketing. They’re skeptical of it. And so we just started to do what we do. And we started to get an increase in traffic. Now, our traffic generated a 273% increase in traffic.

Now, this was over four years. So you might say, well, that’s not that much. But it was an increase in quality traffic. And that’s, that’s the key is to be very focused there pretty narrow niche. And we did it, we started to really get some good rank for some of their bottom of the funnel, product pages.

So that’s, you know, where you’re getting the sales leads, and generating more sales. So when we started with them, they had like 140 conversions off their website. By the time we were done, they add up to 487.

In the year 2019, this is a case study on our website. So 245% increase from their product pages, kind of turning this website brochure into the digital twin that we’ve been talking about.

Sam Gupta  24:16 

Okay, do you have any marketing material that you build that you felt maybe was really impactful?

Greg Mischio  24:23 

One of the things and I think this is more, it’s not a specific piece. Sam, it’s more of this philosophy.

Greg Mischio  24:48 

What we like to do with our top-of-funnel content, and that’s the content that gets people to kind of know you and like you as we do what’s called collaborative content. Okay, we reach out. And we work with partners, you know, suppliers, other experts in the industry, and we try and integrate them into your content.

So, you know, I’m going to do a blog post on, you know, great marketing for manufacturers. And I’m gonna reach out to Sam and say, Sam, give me a quote here because I know Sam likes to talk, and he’s got a great speaking voice, but here, I’m gonna get him actually in our blog post. If you only covered one point, I am gonna get him in our blog post, and I’m gonna get him, he’s gonna participate. And so we do this with manufacturers, you know, again, their suppliers, partners, experts in the field, and we get them integrated into the content.

Greg Mischio  25:59 

And it’s a really cool thing because suddenly you’re sharing your expertise, you’re talking about yourself, and, sharing what, you know, that’s critical. But you’re part of the larger picture that customers need help with. You’re solving the bigger picture.

So like your product might serve and help you with one specific part of what they’re looking for. But you know, customers have a whole range of issues that they need help with. And if you integrate more people who can help those customers in different ways, that’s a great thing. That typically translates into what we think of as referral sources.

And that’s traditionally how salespeople have done that made a lot of referral sources, you know, people uncomplimentary, you know, professions and things like that. We’re doing it with our content. And we’re getting those people that you’ll work closely with featured in your content. And then they share it. They share it on their social network.

Greg Mischio  27:20 

On LinkedIn, he’s sharing the content people like it, he likes, he connects with them. They set up a meeting. And really at the end of the day, you know, the stuff we’ve got a lot of, you know, technical terms are thrown out here in terms of SEO and landing pages, you know, a lot of the marketing terms were really is coming down to a systematic way for your sales to me team to make referrals and connections and those connections result in sales.

Sam Gupta  28:06 

Okay, good stuff. What else did we not cover that you plan to cover as part of this interview, Greg?

Greg Mischio  28:20 

You know what I one thing I do want to say. And this is really something that we’ve noticed over the last year or so. The case studies that are on your website, and what your customers say about you. A lot of people kind of take those for granted. But those are gold. Those are really gold, especially in manufacturing. So think about it this way. When you go out and you are looking for a good place to eat, or you’re looking to buy a lawnmower, you’re looking at the reviews.

Well, case studies are in those reviews. Let me back up. Second, those reviews are where they call social proof, right. So social, it’s a way for people to see you know, put their vote in its social proof everybody’s voting on what’s a good product. these case studies are great are the social proof for manufacturers.

So when you get your customers to talk about you and give the quantitative results, those are huge. And we’ve used those a lot. And they’re very convincing. We’ve seen them use as content and in articles. And people love to read about that.

Sam Gupta  29:39 

Greg, do you have any last-minute closing thoughts?

Greg Mischio  30:14 

Whether you’re working with us, whether you’re working with somebody else, this whole idea about getting the Digital Twin of your sales team online and engaging in content and making yourself part of the picture.

And especially, I’m going to put out the call to CFOs. Here, we marketing people tend to be creative types, and, and we can really use your help. And I’ll give you a perfect example of this. I was talking to a salesperson, and they’re like, yeah, part of this is the lifetime part of what’s great about us is the lifetime return on investment.

And I’m like, Well, how can we quantify that, you know, how can we the lifetime value of a product? How can we do that? And I’m thinking we just need to talk to the CFO, we need your financial minds involved with proving out the marketing and the value of your product.

So I think it’s a great opportunity for CFOs to really get in and help prove out the quantitative aspects of what you’re trying to do. And that will yield those, you know, qualitative results.

Sam Gupta  32:12 

Alright, amazing. Thank you so much for your time, Greg. This has been fun on Friday.

Sam Gupta  32:38 

I cannot thank our guests enough for coming on to the show and sharing their knowledge and journey. I always pick up stuff from our guests, and hopefully, you learned something new today. If you want to learn more about Greg or Winbound, please visit winbound.com. links including the one for the digital twin marketing guide, and more information will also be available in the show notes.

If anything in this podcast resonated with you and your business. You might want to check other related episodes, including the interview with Chris Luecke from the manufacturing happy hour podcast, who touches on how manufacturers can augment their offerings by adding value-added and industry 4.0 solutions. Also the interview with Joe Sullivan, from gorilla 76, who touches on different aspects of social media and marketing and why manufacturing organizations need to rethink their marketing strategy with COVID-19.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe and spread the word among folks with similar backgrounds. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please review and rate us on your favorite podcasting platform. Or DM me on any social channels. I’ll try my best to respond personally and make sure you get help.

Thank you, and I hope to get you on the next episode.

Outro  34:10 

Thank you for listening to another episode of The WBS podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform so you never miss an episode. For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, check out our community at wbs.rocks. We’ll see you next time.

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