The material handling industry waits for no one. It’s a fast-paced industry that requires companies and their employees to constantly adapt and evolve. That concept has certainly become evident throughout the course of my career. As the industry and marketing strategies have evolved, I’ve grown right along with them at Wisconsin Lift Truck (WLT), from my first position as assistant marketing manager to the market research manager position I hold today.
More than Marketing
I began working with WLT in 2002, when I was 22 years old. I had just graduated with a marketing degree from The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee when WLT approached me about an assistant marketing manager position. I had focused my college marketing courses on industrial/business-to-business marketing and really enjoyed them, so I knew WLT would be a good fit. I spent more than a year in that position before being promoted to market research analyst. Then, in 2006, I was promoted to my current position.
As market research manager, I research buying patterns of our customer base, identify the SIC/NAICS codes of our customers and segment customers by the type of product or service that they purchase. This allows us not only to understand our customers better, but to clearly identify target markets we’d like to convert to customers. I create the company’s annual marketing media plan covering direct mail, e-mail marketing, Internet marketing and tele-sales. I also perform ITA analysis to provide monthly market share reports. I also work with the sales staff to create targeted lists for field visits on specific products and work with them on ideas for new product promotions. While that may sound like enough to keep someone busy, I have several other responsibilities that ensure that there’s never a dull day.
Learning on the Fly
I directly supervise the company’s in-house telemarketer. I help her create scripts for her calls and develop strategies for qualifying leads over the phone. I also serve as the company’s graphic designer. I personally create WLT’s marketing materials. I didn’t have any graphic design experience when I first joined the company, but I quickly adapted when the need presented itself. I took a five-day class on graphic design that taught me Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and then I learned the rest as I went. I also learned the ins and outs of e-mail marketing and began the process of using this new media at WLT, as this is something our company had never done before. I’m currently working on the full Web site redesign for one of our divisions (Wolter Power Systems). Gaining more behind-the-scenes knowledge about the Web has been an exciting new experience for me.
My job ensures that there’s never a dull, unchallenging day, and I like it that way. I truly do enjoy every bit of my job. WLT is known for having people who work here for 25-plus years, and there’s a reason for that. It’s an incredibly positive work environment and you know that what you’re doing is making a difference. It’s comforting to know that once you’re here, you’re going to like it and stick around. That’s why I plan to keep adapting and evolving as the material handling industry and marketing concepts do—so that I can help the company reach even higher.