MarTech for the Manufacturing World
Smarter GTM 04.06.2023

MarTech for the Manufacturing World

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, host Rory Costello interviews Mishaal Murawala, VP of Marketing at MacroFab. Mishaal discusses how marketing can enhance business growth and customer relationships in the manufacturing industry. He highlights the importance of quality products and manufacturing, and how marketing starts before clicking on an ad. B2B manufacturing marketers face unique challenges due to a lack of marketing and measurement products. Mishaal stresses the need for agile marketers who can handle chaos and have expertise across different marketing functions. They also discuss how technology has changed manufacturing processes, providing valuable insights into marketing challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

About the Guest

Mishaal Murawala is a seasoned marketing leader, currently serving as the VP, Marketing at MacroFab, a leading electronics manufacturing platform. With over a decade of experience in the tech industry, Mishaal has successfully led global marketing initiatives for several prominent brands, including Tektronics and TCP Software.

Connect with Mishaal Murawala

Key Takeaways

  • Manufacturing is where “rubber hits the road” and the quality of the product ultimately determines the user’s experience.
  • Manufacturing is a gritty industry that requires a certain mindset to enjoy
  • It is a critical component of any economy and has driven industrialization in many nations
  • Supply chain issues are a major challenge for the industry, but also present opportunities for innovation and growth
  • Marketing to the manufacturing industry requires addressing the challenge of change and overcoming status quo thinking.
  • Marketing plays a crucial role in guiding customers through the entire process of solving their problems and making big career changes.
  • Companies that are forward-looking and adaptable to the changing world are the ones that will succeed.
  • Macro’s marketing approach has shifted from simply promoting its platform to helping customers identify their specific issues and how Macro can partner with them to solve them.
  • As manufacturing continues to grow, Macro is adapting its people, processes, and technology to keep up with the demand.
  • Marketing and manufacturing are experiencing a similar explosion and a lack of resources
  • B2B manufacturing marketers have to stitch together different sources to build their systems and KPI dashboards
  • Hiring the right talent with the right mindset is crucial for success in this industry


“When you go through pain and suffering is when you kind of figure out the loopholes and the gaps that you had in your processes. If you focus on improving on them, you’re going to grow.” – Mishaal Murawala

Highlights from the Episode

Could you give our listeners a quick background into your experience marketing within the manufacturing sector? 

Mishaal began his career at Keithley Instruments, an OEM company based in Cleveland, Ohio after graduating from Case Western in 2011. He worked in marketing for Keithley, which was a well-known brand among engineers, and focused on new product launches and promoting the company’s innovation. In 2014, Mishaal moved to Portland to work for Tectonics, another well-known brand in the manufacturing industry, where they led marketing efforts and oversaw a brand redesign. After a brief stint in SaaS, Mishaal wanted to return to its roots in manufacturing and joined Macro. Mishaal has been with the company for 18 months and enjoys working in the unique and challenging world of manufacturing marketing.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in manufacturing after college and what drew you to the perception aspect of it?

Mishaal explained that his decision to pursue a career in manufacturing after college was both planned and unplanned. He attended Case Western in Cleveland, Ohio, where he noted that entrepreneurship was challenging, and the medical devices industry was thriving. Manufacturing companies were prevalent on campus, with approximately 80% of past students working in manufacturing. He noted that manufacturing was a de facto industry at that time, and it seemed like the natural choice. Mishaal also mentioned that his family had been involved in electronic manufacturing, with his father owning a small factory that built voltage stabilizers. As a result, manufacturing was a natural fit for him. Mishaal was particularly drawn to the perception aspect of manufacturing.

What is your unique perspective on manufacturing and how do you think the rest of the world perceives it?

Mishaal believes that manufacturing industry challenges, including supply chain issues, can be viewed as opportunities for growth and innovation. He sees the ongoing supply chain crisis as a chance for companies to reinvent themselves and their business models, leading to investment in supply chain-related software companies and a trend toward digitization. Mishaal believes that identifying gaps in processes and improving upon them is crucial for growth and success in the industry.

What are some of the challenges you face as a marketer when marketing to the manufacturing industry, and how have you utilized those challenges to your advantage?

Mishaal faces challenges as a marketer when marketing to the manufacturing industry, with the most significant challenge being resistance to change. People often prefer the status quo rather than making a change, especially when moving their manufacturing from one location to another. Marketing plays a crucial role in helping people understand the problems they need to solve and how the company can help them solve those problems. It’s a long process that starts before someone even clicks on an ad, and marketing is involved every step of the way.

How can you, as a marketer, disrupt the status quo and help organizations realize they have a problem before entering the funnel, given the difficulty in obtaining tangible results like clicks in today’s B2B marketing and selling landscape?

Mishaal believes that to disrupt the status quo and help organizations realize they have a problem before entering the funnel, companies need to be forward-looking and forward-facing. He notes that some companies still think the current landscape is just a passing storm, but those who understand that it’s a new world are the ones who will thrive. Mishaal emphasizes that the status quo is not an option and that companies need to adjust to the new world to achieve growth.

As a marketer, Mishaal and his team focus on creating guides instead of white papers to help people understand the entire process and have something tangible they can do. They avoid using buzzwords and write content in basic terms so that customers can identify the problem they need to solve. They take customers through the journey of solving their specific issue and show them how Macro can fit in as a partner. Mishaal notes that the lens through which they market to customers is changing.

How do you measure your impact differently from typical B2B SaaS and what metrics do you use, given the challenges of navigating the talent pool and technology situation?

Mishaal explains how their B2B SaaS company measures impact differently compared to typical companies. The company has two business models, one being product-led and the other being sales-led. For the product-led model, the company measures metrics such as sign-ups, conversion rates to paying customers, and the number of repeat customers. On the other hand, for the sales-led model, the company measures lead generation, qualified leads, SQL, and the sales closing process. The company also follows strict ICP criteria to determine the quality of the leads generated. Despite having two different business models, the KPIs are relatively similar, with differences only in terms of margins and the type of customers and industries the company is serving.

Regarding the talent topic, are you interviewing the candidate’s mind and searching for someone who can handle the chaos that was previously discussed?

When it comes to the talent topic, Mishaal looks for a candidate who has an agile mindset and can handle the chaos of working in a B2B manufacturing or electronics company, especially the newer ones. These companies require a SaaS-like approach to generate leads and run campaigns, but the conversion rate is more aligned with the manufacturing industry. Mishaal emphasizes the importance of having a T-shaped marketer, who has deep expertise in something but has also worked across different marketing functions. The ideal candidate should be able to manage different pieces of the marketing puzzle, be fast and gritty, and have good time management skills. Startups like theirs require a special type of person who can handle all of these different responsibilities. Mishaal has seen people struggle in this environment, so he is looking for someone who can handle the challenge.

In terms of growth and development, where do you predict the manufacturing industry will be headed in the next few years?

The manufacturing industry is changing and moving away from the old way of doing things. There used to be a lot of back and forth with factories across the globe, but now platforms like theirs allow for real-time communication and orders. They have a factory network of over 80 factories and can find the best factory suited to build a particular product. Industry 4 is no longer just a concept, it’s a reality, and those who are still manufacturing the old way are not exploring their options.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


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