How Embracing a Niche Can Help You Find Opportunities in the Rough featuring Joe Sullivan of Gorilla 76

Sep 1, 2021

Joe Sullivan is the co-founder of Gorilla 76, an industrial marketing agency based in St. Louis, Missouri that helps mid-sized B2B manufacturers identify, attract, engage and drive sales opportunities with customers. The company uses a combination of positioning, content marketing, search engine optimization, website development, and sales enablement, among others.

He dedicates most of his time crafting thought leadership content in the Industrial Marketing Learning Center, and is also the host of The Manufacturing Executive Podcast, a show focused on conversations with passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles. Outside of work, Joe likes to cook, watch his Green Bay Packers, and chase his three crazy kids – Grace, Jack, and Charlie – with his wife of 10 years, Julie.

In this episode, Joe talks about how Gorilla 76 found its way into the industrial sector and decided to own that niche, the challenges they’ve had to face working with companies who only viewed marketing and sales as an expense, and how tailoring content geared specifically towards mid-sized manufacturing companies helped them grow and scale their business into the success they are today.

This Cast Covers:

  • How Joe and the team at Gorilla 76 navigate through the manufacturing space where marketing is seen as an expense or a necessary evil (02:17)
  • One of the challenges of working with the manufacturing sector as a vertical is the learning curve and education that has to happen (04:22)
  • How to shift the mindset around marketing from being looked at as an expense to marketing being seen as a revenue-generating function of the business (5:00)
  • What does educating the buyer (in this case, the manufacturing sector) look like for Gorilla 76?  (07:36)
  • Why Joe decided to create The Manufacturing Executive which is a growth strategy podcast for manufacturing leaders (10:30) 
  • How having a podcast tailored to the manufacturing sector got him in front of the right audience and clients (11:42)
  • How the podcast serves as the flywheel for most of their content marketing strategy (12:10)
  • What made Joe and his co-founder Jon decide to niche down and dump all of their time, energy, and resources into knowing and serving the industrial sector? (14:47)
  • Joey talks about the law of combinatorics as it applies to niching down whether horizontal or vertical (19:32)
  • Where the future of Gorilla 76 is headed and the hurdles they’re trying to solve now as they grow and scale even bigger  (26:05)  
  • Being intentional about the work they do and don’t do, committing to process documentation, and having the methodology taught and replicated very easily as more people come into their firm (29:02)
  • What does Joe care about as a CEO and co-founder but also outside the agency life? (31:36)

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