Marketing by Sharing Your Expertise, with Joe Sullivan EP 137

By Noah Graff

Our guest on today’s podcast is Joe Sullivan, founder of Gorilla 76, a successful industrial marketing agency specializing in the manufacturing arena. My goal in this interview is to uncover the secrets behind effective B2B marketing. Today, anyone who owns a smartphone has the tools to tell the world about their company. But how do we use those tools to stand out from the competition and get new customers? 

Most of clients of Gorilla 76 are medium-sized manufacturers such as OEMS, capital equipment manufacturers, and software companies specializing in the manufacturing field. Generally these companies have marketing budgets ranging from $125,000 to $200,000 per year, but Joe says that smaller companies don’t need to hire an expensive marketing firm if they approach marketing in the right way. He breaks down a B2B marketing strategy into three principles.

Scroll down to read more and listen to the podcast. Or listen on your phone with Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite app.


Create Focus

No matter what size your company is, you need to narrow your marketing focus to a few specific areas. If your shop makes products for 10 different sectors, you should focus your marketing on one of them or a select few. 

After you decide which customers you are marketing to, you need to identify which individuals at the companies most influence the buying process. Often this group of people consists of engineers or people in a shop operating equipment. After identifying your target audience, you need to research what they are trying to accomplish and what problems they are trying to solve. Frequently, Joe’s company gathers information by interviewing people at targeted companies, often on video.

Joe Sullivan, Owner of Gorilla 76

Create Valuable Content Assets

Once you know what your buyers are trying accomplish, then you are ready to create content that appeals to them, often in the form of blogs, videos, and podcasts. Content creators can consult experts at a company about various topics and then communicate their knowledge via a targeted medium. The main purpose of the content should be to help customers solve problems.

Video or audio content can be very powerful because the expert’s knowledge comes straight from the mouth of the source, which gives it clarity and authenticity. Video demonstrations have the ability show processes, which makes them an effective teaching tool.

Joe says marketers need to remember to show, rather than tell. Don’t tell your audience you’re the best, of which most businesses’ websites are guilty. Instead, tell visitors the things you provide for your niche and demonstrate you’re the expert.

Proactively Distribute Valuable Content to the Right People

After you produce great content, you have to find a way to reach enough of the right people. You have to proactively push your content in strategic ways so your target audience will find you. To do that, you have to first research where your customers often consume information online.

Joe says it’s important to remember that usually less than 5 percent of your customers are in a buy cycle at a specific moment in time. If your prospective customers are not in an active buy cycle and you are constantly shouting at them to buy your product, they will tune you out. Instead, focus on being helpful. Stop worrying about giving away your secret sauce to your competitors or being judged. Just help.

Question: Which blogs, videos or podcasts about the machining industry are your favorites? (Besides this one!)

You can find Joe Sullivan’s marketing firm at and listen to his podcast, The Manufacturing Executive, on all the podcast platforms. 

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3 thoughts on “Marketing by Sharing Your Expertise, with Joe Sullivan EP 137

  1. Andy B


    None, except for this one. The reason I read this one is its about more than just machining. I do get a couple of the leading trade magazines in the industry but don’t read them in detail all that much anymore. To be honest, after working 10+ hours a day doing machining and managing a small shop, I don’t really care to go home and read about it at night unless I have to.


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