While pursuing my MBA in Marketing Management from Loyola University Chicago's Graduate School of Business, I began my career in the industrial B2B space in an inside sales capacity. After graduation, I continued in other sales roles including teleselling, business development, account and territory management as well as product management before spending 15+ years in progressive marketing management roles. During this time, I led corporate marketing for US divisions of leading global billion dollar industrial manufacturers, two of which are listed in Industry Week's IW 1000 - the 1000 largest publicly traded manufacturing companies in the world by revenue. 

As history showed, this span also experienced economic volatility in the industrial markets which caused organizations and their staffs to PIVOT and change strategies to weather the storms and survive. My career was not immune to these market forces as I returned to a direct sales role as a regional sales manager with an industrial manufacturer covering 10 Midwestern states and developed new business, deepened relationships with customers and technically supported the region's installed base of variable thread gage inspection equipment. This experience was important as I was able to witness first-hand how manufacturing companies were in dire need of assistance from their suppliers/partners to implement solutions to their problems as their manufacturing talent was retiring or leaving their floors for better opportunities. Meanwhile, the trade schools, junior colleges and high schools were not preparing the next generation of new industrial/manufacturing personnel. Unfortunately, this skills gap is widening even more today.

I witnessed this even more as I transitioned to head marketing at an industry leading, global manufacturer of threading, milling and drilling cutting tools to more effectively execute integrated marketing programs, coach and develop the team and demonstrate ROI on the marketing spend. Our success in growing sales was being won at the spindle of our customers' machine tools by having our sales team run and test new cutting tool solutions to help improve manufacturers' production and part yields with tools made from better substrates, with unique cutting geometries and advanced coatings for better tool wear. Most recently, as the Vice President Sales & Marketing for a large Midwest CNC machining contract manufacturer where I grew sales over 10% by establishing projects with new customers and winning new business from Fortune 500 manufacturers, the company's ability to grow was limited more by staffing and the ability to hire and train new machine operators to cover our 3 shifts than the economy. There was new business to be awarded, but a limited capacity prevented us to make parts due to personnel shortages.

How does this all relate to your marketing effectiveness? This skills gap on the manufacturing floor is a golden opportunity for marketing savvy industrial suppliers to become the valued partner that manufacturers and channel/distributors need to sell problem-solving solutions in a consultative approach. You need to be able to articulate your capabilities and industry know-how to the companies in need of your products and services.  

Over my career, I have established a proven history and reputation for being a straight-forward, ethical and dedicated self-starter with the ability to effectively sell, develop and implement effective marketing strategies, create and manage the tactics and plans to achieve results, manage and prioritize multiple projects to meet deadlines under established budgets and effectively lead marketing staffs to meet and exceed departmental Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and company goals.

I combine the unique experience of having both successfully sold business services, financial products, capital equipment,  industrial products and contract manufacturing with having created and executed highly effective demand generating integrated marketing programs with proven ROI in various sized organizations that served diverse industries including aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, semiconductor, machine tool, fastener, food and beverage packaging, medical device and lab automation.

If you are employing unsuccessful or non-strategic sales and marketing plans to establish or grow your sales and brand in the market, you are only realizing how expensive this can be with little ROI to justify doing more. The easy alternative is to stop the losses and pull back on your initiatives. However, recognizing the need to change your course of action (PIVOT) to move the needle positively and to see ROI for your marketing spend is the first step to your success.

Let me show you that by gaining True Marketing insight (demand generation) for leading and growing sales and a Sales perspective achieved through the Voice of Customer (VOC) is far more effective marketing - it's Marketing/Sales 360. 

Contact me at michael-cotton@sbcglobal.net to learn how I can apply this model to your organization.