This week we were joined by Charlie Riley, director of marketing for Curbell Plastics. He understands the unique challenge of trying to find effective content for what many might assume is a “drab” subject.

Always enamored by the psychology of storytelling, he majored in journalism– which, as it turns out, is a great background for marketers. He then hopped through several different industries before landing in plastics distribution, but once again: all those varying experiences definitely influenced his marketing tactics for the better.


As we addressed in last week’s episode, stories are powerful key assets to form connections with your prospects in a far more engaging way than mere product facts or statistics.

Charlie has found that both he and potential clients both learn well from stories about how high-performance plastics have benefitted past clients of Curbell.

“Not everyone has time to digest a whitepaper. But they might want to read a smaller article. They might want to read a case study or an application success story.

“So that might be the lead in for them to maybe share that whitepaper with someone more technical in their team… So we’re trying to take that core piece of content and deliver that in the medium that someone wants and that someone is willing to spend their time to look at.”

Anyone trying to find effective content for industrial marketing can discover easy, interesting material by hunting down stories about their company.

Charlie shared with us that he thinks Curbell has a healthy balance within their marketing department. A good number of their marketers are tenured and highly-knowledgable about the products and engineering features of Corbel’s plastics. However, they also have many team-members who are centered in the art of storytelling and digital marketing.

Both sides advise and temper each other. Together they produce useful, engaging, easy-to-understand marketing materials.


But how exactly can Curbell know for certain just how effective their collateral is? One word: measurability.

Charlie and his team always set up and release their marketing content with its data trail in mind. You can’t exactly find effective content if you have no way to determine effectivity.

“Sometimes a really niche kind of type of piece of content, might be specific to an industry, but that’s a small subset of the market. So we really try to A/B test, and we try to try some different things when it comes to, are we going broad? Are we going narrow? How deep are we going with that? What’s the length of that?

“So you should always be iterating and we’re always trying to figure that out. So, we spend a lot of time looking at that, and like I said, trying new things.”

They look at clicks, video views, page visits, and a host of other factors– then they compare its results with their defined goals for its performance.

When Curbell finds that certain pieces of content are performing well, they look for ways to repackage it in new formats or adapt it for audiences of a slightly different niche. They also just finished implementing Hubspot. It’s a great tool for measuring marketing data, and it’s extremely helpful because it can link marketing materials and data to the sales CRM.


A marketing department that doesn’t communicate with their sales team – or vice versa – is inevitably going to hit a wall. Telling compelling stories and finding effective content that you’ve measured throughout its implementation will all be for naught of your salespeople don’t use those assets.

Smarter marketing involves measurability and using a CRM tool like Hubspot to unite your data and improving your lead-scoring. However, you also need to keep communication open and unite sales and marketing in to one big “smarketing” team.

“You as a marketer need to understand that if there’s no sales, you probably don’t have a job. And as a salesperson, marketing isn’t just creating a flyer: there’s other things that go into it.”

Believe it or not, salespeople and marketers in many ways share the same job. They want to attract new clients and convince them to buy.

However, the marketers have a larger generalized audience and have to make materials that are helpful to as many people as possible. Salespeople, on the other hand, receive more specific questions and spend more time working one-on-one with potential customers. But either department would be pretty hamstringed without the other.

Marketers trying to find effective content should make sure to turn to their sales teams for support and ideas.

What does marketing look like in your company? Where do you get your ideas?




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