Manufacturing Excellence in America- the converging of the digital and physical worlds

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I spent the last few days visiting with Honeywell Value-Added Distributors and numerous Honeywell customers using our market leading sensing products. While many of us know that the manufacturing industry in America has been hard hit by the changing global economy, there is a manufacturing evolution occurring that is quite impressive. And after my visits this week, it’s easy to understand the growing excitement and momentum in United States manufacturing.  Momentum that is happening with very little media coverage.

I wanted to see how IndustryWeek, a leading publication covering the $2 Trillion U.S. Manufacturing Industry was providing coverage and was surprised to learn that they are now predicting that the United States will once again take the top spot globally in manufacturing by 2020 (http://www.industryweek.com/competitiveness/top-10-manufacturing-countries-2020#slide-0-field_images-192471) .  Pretty amazing forecast.

IndustryWeek 2020 US Back to number 1 in Manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My meetings helped me believe that this forecast is real and credible. Manufacturing in the United States is being driven by advanced technologies and as IndustryWeek states, “the converging of the digital and physical worlds”.

  • Revenue up 19 percent from prior-year period
  • Segment operating profit up 27 percent
  • Order backlog up 39 percent year over year

Impressive statistics. The numbers I share above are from one of Honeywell’s customers using our market leading sensing products. It’s a customer, who by the way, that anyone who flies these days have seen in action… the deicer below is from John Bean Technologies (www.JBTAerotech.com) and one of the many products from JBT that use Honeywell sensor technology. I must admit, this is one of their products that I hate to see. It means my flight will be delayed.  Ever fly through Chicago in January?

JBT Cargo loader JBT deicer

 

 

 

 

 

It was interesting to learn how JBT uses sensing technology to provide superior performance in the field. I was really impressed on my visit to learn each of the cargo loaders is built to order per customer specifications. I had thought that every cargo loading deck was the same. Boy did I learn.  Amazing technology.

At the other end of manufacturing spectrum and another great example of the converging of the digital and physical manufacturing worlds, is Velocomp (www.ibikesports.com). Velocomp is unique because they have developed for those using bicycles (think about the size of that total global market opportunity) a “power meter” with their PowerPod product that not only measures your power, but helps you learn WHY and HOW you produce it. And with the help of Honeywell sensing technology, a pretty amazing product with a very bright future…PowerPro Image on Bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

The product also provides great analytics. I was fascinated to learn that the blue graphic image below shows the impact on  power usage when “drafting”.  For those of you familiar with NASCAR, you always see the drivers drafting to increase their power usage. Well, Velcomp has technology for the bicyclist.

PowerPod Metrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed myself this week learning more about how manufacturing is really leveraging Honeywell sensing technology and thriving to win.

It’s clear to me that US manufacturing is staging an amazing comeback lead by innovation.

Surprised?   Let me know your thoughts?

I Finally Went to the Masters- Excellent Example of Brand Management

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I was able to live a lifelong dream and be one of the lucky ones to visit Augusta National and attend the Masters tournament last week for the Sunday round.

And to prove it, here’s a picture with my “entry badge”.  By the way, you do not take them home… they are returned to the owner.

Scott Deutsch at 2016 Masters

For those of you wondering about attending the Masters, it is everything you think it will be and then some. As a marketing professional (at least I think I am…), and you wanted to how to best manage a “brand”, this is the place to go and learn. It’s a shining example of how a brand manages every facet of their communications and customer experience.

Let me give you some highlights that I witnessed first-hand.

  • No wires! I have been to many golf tournaments and some have been majors (I have been to 3 U.S. Opens) and many smaller events (such as Doral, Honda, Bridgestone) and none of them can compare on how Augusta National grounds are presented.   At Augusta National you never see any of the wires around the course that is required to support the TV broadcast and there are no camera cranes or blimps (sorry Goodyear or MetLife). All the wiring is buried at August National and beautifully done. The camera stations are all permanent, so all CBS has to do is bring in their cameras and plug it in.
  • No litter! I was amazed at how clean the property was. Thousands of people and a spotless environment.   People were cleaning up everywhere and plenty of trash receptacles around the course.

Augusta National Image of clubhouse

  •  $1.50 sandwiches! That’s not a typo. Wow. What a pleasure to be at a place that had sandwiches for $1.50 to $2.50. And the quality was first rate.   By the way, my first pimento cheese sandwich.
  • The birds really do sing. If you ever watched the Masters on TV, you will always hear birds chirping. Well, I am here to report that the birds really do chirp at Augusta. Those microphones are probably in the woods, but you can hear the birds singing.
  • No cheering for a single player. What is that you say? While clearly everyone has their favorites and “cheers” for them, I have never been to a tournament where you are asked to “please refrain from cheering for a single player”. They literally have people walking around within the crowd to ensure proper “behavior” from the attendees.   By the way, I doubt anyone yelled “baba booey” at Augusta National.   They would have probably been promptly escorted off the grounds. (Howard Stern fans will understand that reference).
  • No porta potties here. The nicest restrooms you will you ever see at an event with this scale. Well managed, well maintained and running water with paper towels.
  • Organized seating. The course had ample seating.   Ranging from well-organized and roped off areas for those with “proper masters chairs”… only Masters chairs allowed… to plenty of well-placed grandstands.
  • Scoreboards everywhere. I love those traditional scoreboards vs. the digital scoreboards you see at every golf tournament. These are part of the Masters tradition. I hope they never change…
  • Easy access to branded merchandise. Ok, the first thing I did when I got to August National at 8:30am was buy my shirts and stuff (I love that Masters’ logo!). Here’s what I was impressed with. Right as you got on the grounds they had a smaller store that had enough of a selection to meet my needs.   I do not think I was in line more than 5 minutes to pay. If you ever have been to a golf tournament, you know this is an amazingly fast. Now here’s the best part: I was able to walk back to my car (about a 10 minute walk) and put the gifts away for safe storage and not worry about carrying them the rest of the day. Nice. Oh, and yes, the main store (it is very large) was on the core Augusta National grounds with longer lines.
  • Beautiful grass and grounds everywhere. My final thought on building a great brand experience was how spectacular the grounds were outside of the fairways. The areas you walked were as manicured as the main golf course. I think the areas you walk around the course are probably better fairways than 90% of public or private courses. It was that well maintained.

Augusta National does not miss much when it comes to brand management. And I suspect the players and their families love the environment almost as much as the audience does.

Now I could not end this without talking about golf at the 2016 Masters.

My day started by walking around to see “August National” before settling on sitting on the grandstands at hole #11 green, which is where you also watch them play #12. This is such a pretty and a scary spot…I think I sat there for almost three hours and watched 33% of the players put a ball in the water…more on that later. Any golfer can picture for themselves almost every hole that they have watched on TV over the years.

Biggest surprises at August National:

  • How hilly the course really is.
  • How small the “landing areas” are on the putting surface to give yourself a chance at making a putt.   After seeing the course myself, I wonder why there are not more 3 putts.   The movement on the putts was even more pronounced than I thought they were from watching on TV.
  • Those greens are fast! What other tournaments to you constantly see pros hit the ball 4-5 feet past the hole with consistency?
  • The roars on the back nine that they always talk about are real! It is amazing to hear from a distance the building of the roar to the final crescendo. The roar from 3 holes-in-one that Sunday was amazing.   It was another really neat part of the Masters atmosphere.

Jordon Speith after birdie on 9th hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After sitting at #12 for two hours, I decided to follow the leader.   I followed Jordan Spieth, the leader and defending champion from #2 through #12…  Here’s a picture of him after making his 4th birdie in a row at #9.  An amazing run. By the way, he really took his time before hitting each and every shot.  On the 9th fairway, he changed clubs 4 times.

It was unfortunate to watch him bogie #10 and miss a 4 footer on #11 for two bogies in a row… but now the rest of the story.

Remember that I said that I had been sitting on the tee box for #12 and watched a third of the shots end up in the water?

Jordon Speith painful second drop image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, Jordon was added to that list. He hit his shot so fast compared to all his other shots that day. And then his second shot also ended up wet.   His 5 shot lead was gone. His hope for victory gone. His march toward history on this day, gone. And my day. Over.
Jordon Speith painful image on 18th with Caddy

Everyone was in a state of shock. I recall watching Jason Day and Dustin Johnson watching the scoreboard as they walked to their balls on the 16th fairway. They both looked and looked again and then at each other. They too were stunned.

This picture is from the 18th green with his caddy trying to console him.

I will never forget my day at the Masters. Nor will I ever forget the stunned silence after Jordan hit his second ball in the water. 20,000 people and total silence. You could feel the anguish. People were in tears… in disbelief. Shock.

Augusta National is magical in many many ways.

I am so glad I had the privilege to attend.

 

New Loyalty Program Announced by Sheraton… I Only Wish

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Deutsch_Scott_07aI had an online exchange the other day with Sheraton Hotels that made me mad and will have an impact to Sheraton and Starwood revenue for years. It made me think about how you treat “loyal” customers. Most importantly, how do you treat new customers to make them more loyal to you and minimize the opportunities for your competitors? Apparently, Sheraton has so much business that they do not want   me as a new loyal customer. Right now, I am a loyal Marriott traveler and Starwood has done nothing to make me want to be one of their loyal customers. I have spent exactly one night in a Sheraton hotel in 2013. I guess they think people have no choice but to stay at their outdated properties. That was my one and only experience with Sheraton this year. Well, I have a choice and my choice is to NOT stay at a Sheraton unless I really have to.

So what makes us “loyal”?  I think loyalty starts with being respected, having a positive experience and convenience. Think about the various products and services you purchase.  These three attributes are paramount to your decision making to spend your money for various products. The other attribute is the timeliness to participate in the advantages of being loyal. The grocery industry understood this early in the loyally business. Sheraton marketing does not understand this. My friends at United do understand this. They provide immediate benefits to members of their loyalty program and offer greater benefits to those that fly with them more than everyone else

My Sheraton experience got me to think about the “loyalty factor” from buyers of enterprise and business solutions.  Now, I know some of you can tell me about the metrics you use to measure customer satisfaction and how the more satisfied you are the more that these “more satisfied” customers will buy over time.

Paying it forward and the ripple effect

Our organization makes the improvement of our overall customer satisfaction a level-one organizational initiative. Improving the experience and loyalty for our customers and our partners around the world is what has helped make our business continue to lead the market forward. Customers who have moved from competitive voice offerings have specifically stated that the reasons were not just product deficiencies. Mostly, they told us it was the inability of these other companies to properly support their products. The scale of a business really has its advantages in building out a world-class customer support team.

One of the key differences between customer satisfaction and loyalty in my mind is the customer’s ability to make changes quickly. As an example, if you are “unhappy” about your enterprise product implementation, it’s not possible to decide to replace it quickly… not when the solution has just cost you lots of money and 18 months to implement. You may not be satisfied, but you still will use the product and try to make it better. But, for products that are easy to replace, then that’s a completely different story. Which brings me back to my friends at Sheraton hotels.

While all hotels have a “loyalty” program, I want to propose a new product to their marketing teams. And you airlines, listen up, this applies to you as well. I propose that hotels give me an opportunity to show my loyalty by staying with them, but do not make me “earn my loyalty”, starting with from zero nights. Have I not proven as a Marriott Platinum member my ability to spend evening in a hotel?  I have no problem with having to “prove” my competitive loyalty standing to Sheraton. They would get more nights from me if I was able to participate in the perks of a loyalty program from day one that is “equivalent” to the competitive program I already participate in. Now, to protect the hotels, so others do not abuse the “access loyalty”, I must earn my status with them throughout the year. If I do not meet the night’s stay plateau for my desired loyalty level, they place me at the earned tier. Oh, and Sheraton, I’d call it the “Pay Ahead” Loyalty Program. Market the program around the concept that “I know you are loyal and so are we. Give us a chance to earn your loyalty”.

Customer Loyaty

Customer loyalty is what helps every company succeed. In a world of so many choices, it’s important that loyalty is earned each and every day. Now I wonder how I get Sheraton to listen to other loyal Marriott customers.

By the way, what made me mad is that when I stayed at the Sheraton, my room was old, my tv was a 19” from 2005 (at least it was color) and the bathroom looked like it was from 1995. All for the same price as a nearby Marriott… now, why was I staying there?… that story is for another day.

The Death of Amar Bose. The Loss of a Sound Visionary.

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Amar Bose Picture

The death of Amar Bose, the founder and chief executive of the audio company Bose is a sad day for consumers and lovers of Bose products.

Bose was an amazing leader and visionary who created an entire new category of speakers for the common man and audiophile as well. He was a believer in producing high-quality products, while making them approachable. It’s amazing that Bose has been able to turn the $25 clock radio into a $400 purchase. It’s amazing that Bose got us to want $299 headphones for our flights.

Bose and Vocollect have many things in common. Both organizations have created new categories of products based upon meeting a unique need, while focusing on engineering excellence. Both organizations continued to change the perceptions and uses of their growing product lines. Both organizations believed that a vertically integrated approach to product design would allow them to create the premier user experience. And finally, both organizations made products that people wanted and that the users were proud to tell others that they were using their products. Yes, the products had “status”.

Bose and Vocollect both have taken many similar approaches to achieving market excellence.

It is rare to find people such as Amar Bose. Thank you.

Present Like You are Giving a Show

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I read a great post today from Chris Brogan (www.chrisbrogan.com) about presentation skills… I know, I know…. but, after you get hit over the head with another one of those 1,000 word PPT slides… you just want to say something.

Legendary advertiser David Ogilvy said, “The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.” He wanted us to treat the recipients of advertisements as important people, and I implore you to do the same to your audience. Here’s what I mean when I say that:

  • Your audience knows more than you’re giving them credit for. Every time.
  • They have come to learn something from you that they can use themselves. Give takeaways.
  • They have sacrificed time. Value their every minute as best you can. Trim your presentation.
  • Your audience wants something new. Stay fresh. They might have seen you last month or on the web.
  • Give them something to DO. Give actionable next steps, such that your presentation leaves them wanting to rush out of the room and do what you recommended. If you can, make it as specific to the audience as possible.
  • Never ever ever ever feel like you have to read your slides to me.
You ARE an Entertainer

If you’re going to command the stage (or a room, or whatever format your presentation takes), own the stage. Be as polished, as precise, as eloquent, as helpful as you can be. Here are some tips that I’ve tried to boil down tightly:

  • Think visually. Slides are not Word documents.
  • Make sure your slides aren’t more interesting than you.
  • Speak louder and slower than you think you should.
  • Dress for attention. If you’re going to own that stage, be vibrant (but tasteful).
  • Speak WITH not TO your audience. Get them “in on it.”
  • More than 7 key points is wasted.
  • Be as passionate as you can be about the topic. If you’re not, why will they care?

I take great pride and care in trying to entertain when I present. How about you?

The Future of the Social Web: In Five Eras

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Jeremiah Owyang’s recent report “The Future of the Social Web: In Five Eras” is getting a lot of traction . It should – and marketers must take notice of his findings. Jeremiah is spot on in his interview with CRM Magazine regarding the power shift from the brand to the consumer:

“The community will take charge, and that’s going to happen whether or not marketers or brands participate.”

Jeremiah goes on to outline the 5 eras of the social web – overlapping across the past, present, and future. His insight is predicated on substantial qualitative research with 24 of the top technology brands, enablers, and publishers that are leading in the social space. The overlapping eras are as follows:

1. The era of social relationships

2. The era of social functionality

3. The era of social colonization

4. The era of social context

5. The era of social commerce

I can appreciate this statement specifically:

“…focus is on community and the advocates within each community. Doing so will be the only way a brand can scale.”

Those companies that understand the power these communities represent in terms of advocacy for their brand, will be light years ahead of those that don’t.

Integrating social media into a traditional business is challenging

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Integrating social media into a traditional business is challenging. More than you’d think. I’ve been a part of helping sheppard forward a new online community at a conservative market leading company and it’s been fun and tricky to advance the ball forward. Some of the issues we’ve been confronted with should come as no surprise of any of you in marketing… we’re busy and we’d already got a day job. The interesting thing is that everyone in their hearts knows that getting to a two-way online world is paramount in a strategy to grow closer to your partners and customers. This is what is driving each and every marketer to the table… customer intimacy.

The term “customer intimacy” may be an overused term, but it’s a key attribute that has gained wider support in a slower economy. Companies today need to pick their partners wisely. They need to focus their limited resources on the partners that they trust and that they know can drive revenue. At a minimum, your partners of today have to have a value to help differentiate your value proposition and drive the business forward.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty high class partners over the years and appreciate their value in helping drive customer intimacy for your brand and with your brand. Social media is playing an ever increasing role in supporting the timely communication with partners and between partners.

It’s time we as marketers challenge the traditions of control and engage our partners and end-user customers with social media.

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