Creating content that both connects to customers and resonates with distributors is exactly what the Marketing team at Microdrones is doing, using stories from their customers to create marketing that not only benefits Microdrones, but their end-users and distributors as well.
They're telling the story of Microdrones customers in the field. How they're using Microdrones systems as tools to plan, fly, process and visualize data. The end result is a powerful marketing resource that can be used in combination for Microdrones, the end users and distributors.
Give this podcast a listen to learn more about Microdrones use of content and how their team has been successful in delivering content that engages and excites their audience.
Meet the Microdrones Marketing Team
This edition of Propelling features the largest panel of contributors, to date, with the marketing team from Microdrones, featuring Mike Dziok, Vice President of Global Marketing, Mirjam Baeumer, Director of Marketing for EMEA & New Territories, Bret Burghdurf, Director of Marketing for the Americas & New Markets, and Justin Palmer, Creative Services Manager. Listen as they share their thoughts on building relationships within their community, especially between Microdrones, distributors and end users so they may work together to fulfill marketing objectives.
Marketing 101 for a Drone
The practice of marketing is employed in some manner by any company that has a product to sell. Marketing 101 teaches us the “4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.” However, sometimes the product has a major impact on the marketing strategy. Such is the case with Microdrones, a company who pairs robust drones with cutting-edge sensors that make it easy for businesses to start using UAVs for surveying, mapping, construction, inspection, precision agriculture, mining, and other commercial applications.
“First of all, its more fun!” says Mike Dziok, Vice President of Global Marketing. “When you work for a drone company, everyone wants to ask questions about your work. As a marketer, that’s a great thing because it means people want to hear about our story. So, when we tell that story, we’re careful to explain that we’re not just a drone company. The drones are a critical part of our system, but what we’re really selling to end users is a complete solution. It’s the drone, the payload, the software, the workflow, the support. So that they can take this system that’s been integrated with a sensor, collect data, and then turn it into meaningful information that helps them make better decisions. “
Microdrones has created a streamlined workflow for their integrated solutions that accommodates their marketing videos nicely: Plan, Fly, Process & Visualize. Not only do these steps define the best method of collecting the data and delivering a solution, they also help structure the storytelling. “You’ll see that we do a lot of video,” explains Mike, “and we always show the steps of Plan, that’s planning your flight and actual mission. Fly, the actual drone flying and taking off and going into the air and doing its laps over the area you need to survey. Process, the post processing of the data that’s been collected. Then Visualization, which usually comes in three forms. It’s either photogrammetry; an orthomozaic, it’s a 3D Point cloud or an area-concern map, for example with methane gas detection.”
The Marketing Octopus
Establishing that Microdrones offers the full solution is important for their branding and overall marketing message. So, it’s important not to get bogged down in the technical aspects of the drone and the payloads they carry. “A lot of what we are explaining can get very detailed and technical.” says Dziok. “It’s challenging to write about, so one of the things I always talk about is the marketing octopus. If you visualize an octopus, it has these eight arms, it’s mouth and head. The brain of the octopus is content- the raw information that we turn into finished marketing products. Those products are pushed out through each arm of the marketing octopus, things like events, podcasts, social media or trade journals. And then those are brought back into the mouth of the marketing octopus to consume and digest and turned into leads and opportunities.”
Telling the Story
The marketing team at Microdrones prefers to tell the story of their product through the eyes of their customers who are out in the field. “Why listen to me, when our customers can do a better job of explaining how they use our products?” asks Mike. “We like to show the end-users who are doing amazing things with our products. Then, it’s our job to push these stories through all of the arms of the Marketing octopus.”
Being a global company means there might be many stories to tell. That’s a challenge the Microdrones team embraces. “There are no boundaries globally,” says Mirjam Baeumer, Marketing Director for EMEA. “Everyone gets excited about it. No matter who you talk to, whether they’re in Chile or South Africa- everyone is super excited, and this helps convey the story we want to tell.”
Microdrones has found the best way to capture that excitement and tell the story, is by using video. “Not only does video allow people to see the coolness of the drone,” says Bret Burghdurf, Marketing Director for the Americas, “they can see it working in the field, and processing data at the office or sometimes right on site, right until the final visualization is created. Then, once the video is assembled into a nice marketing piece, we can turn that video into a blog or a news article and push that content through the arms of our marketing octopus.”
Using video to tell the story, is also an excellent means to concentrate on the entire workflow of “Plan, Fly, Process and Visualize,” so that the drone itself, doesn’t dominate the content. No one understands this better, than Creative Services Manager, Justin Palmer. “I think it’s easy to focus on how cool the drones are,” explains Justin, “but then you can lose sight of what the purpose of this whole thing is, which is to provide very clean and highly accurate data sets to geomatics professional. That’s why all of our marketing initiatives also focus on data and deliverables along with the drone. The drone is really the tool to get to the end solution.”
Sharing Content and Working with Distributors
The marketing team at Microdrones understands that creating good content is just the tip of the iceberg. Once the content is created, then the marketing cycle can begin to churn, combining the needs of Microdrones with their customers and distributors. “We really want to support all of our distributors and we’ve developed a nice system and platform to do that,” says Dziok. “It’s good for a distributor when they can see the success of one of their customers, who invested in the system, and trusted them to do so, being publicized. It’s good for the end user, because they can point to their customer and show them they are at the forefront of technology. It’s a cycle of getting new customers, sharing their success with other customers or distributors and letting it take on a life of its own.”
The Microdrones marketing team is encouraged by the feedback they receive from their marketing partners. Most times, each use case is unique, which lends itself to such a diverse array of content. The more stories Microdrones has to tell, the more content they can share with their distributors. “For example,” says Baeumer. “Sometimes the distributors are the first ones who really talk to the client. By working with us, they know the value we bring to the table and can translate it to the end user through the eyes of the partners we’ve all been working with. That gives them a good idea of what’s going on in the market, what the customer needs and also give us more information on what we can deliver through a video, blog, webinars and so on.”
By creating customer driven testimonials, the Microdrones marketing team makes it easy for both the customer and distributors to take ownership of the story and distribute the content. This process also helps strengthen the relationship between all parties. “I hope through our marketing we’re instilling a level of trust amongst our future customers,” says Palmer. “Our customers are using our products to get real work done, effectively, efficiently and faster. This is a field proven, robust, platform, that’s designed to work with you, increase your efficiency and improve your workflow.”
“When we have our customers telling our story, it’s the ultimate testimonial,” adds Mike. “Especially when you’re dealing with something that’s such a new technology. People are rightfully skeptical, and they want to see with their own eyes and ears and hands and learn about this thing.
A Symbiotic Relationship
Creating content that feeds the distributors needs is a key function of the Microdrones marketing team. They’ve developed a marketing system and built connections with distributors to empower them and prove that Microdrones is invested in their operations. The process fosters a symbiotic relationship. “The nice thing is our content library gets fed into our sales and marketing automation system,” explains Dziok. “That means as we whittle leads down into opportunities, we are providing our distributors with a high-quality prospect, who’s ready to engage.”
Justin is quick to remind Mike that, “we also provide all sorts of great content and services to help our distributors with their marketing needs. We have thousands of photos and videos available to help them with their campaigns and marketing initiatives.”
“It makes their life easier too,” says Mirjam, “because we are getting lots of requests for help. I can’t keep track of how many times I get an email from a distributor asking us for help and support, which we are glad to provide. Especially when it comes to event planning. The relationship between the distributor, our sales expert and the end-user can come full circle at an event or trade show. Sometimes this is where the initial meeting takes place, or the final sale occurs. So, we try to strategically choose where we can have the best opportunities to continue the marketing process. Take a look at our events calendar online, and you’ll see that our sales team has been busy with over 200 events since the beginning of the year.”
Challenge the Microdrones Marketing Team Today
The marketing team at Microdrones is always working on new content and ways to deliver it. “We want to make sure our distributors are aware of the services that we can provide,” says Dziok. “That we can make them the star and backbone of everything we are working on in marketing. We really want to invite them to bring us their marketing challenges, no matter how big or small they may be. We want to help, and we are eager to do, and we’ll put together some great things.”
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