Well-known Wacker Neuson Corp. marketing communications manager Jim Layton will retire from the company after 28 years at the end of 2010. During his tenure, Layton expanded the department from a one-man operation supporting a dozen products to leadership of a team of communications professionals with a multi-million dollar budget supporting nearly 400 products. Layton led western hemisphere communications efforts while the company transitioned from a privately held manufacturer to the global, publicly traded Wacker Neuson.
Over his career, Jim has led many marketing communications campaigns, which have driven equipment sales growth. He started the Wackerman Club, today known as the Wacker Neuson Rewards Program, which has registered more than 20,000 contractors, who receive promotional gift rewards for equipment purchases. A unique promotional campaign to support the introduction of a new, single-direction plate compactor helped to achieve product sales goals and gave away nearly 1,000 pairs of running shoes. On an annual basis, his marketing team generates more than $1 million dollars worth of editorial value in trade magazines and electronic media, helping to broaden market awareness for Wacker Neuson equipment.
His most recent marketing innovation, the Wacker Neuson Trowel Challenge, exhibited all the characteristics of an integrated marketing program. It combined efforts from sales, manufacturing, sales channel partners, trade magazine publicity and electronic social media to generate awareness for Wacker Neuson ride-on trowels. The program was directly responsible for nearly $100,000 in related equipment sales at dealer events with indirect sales tallying in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Looking back, we’ve seen many changes in how we market our product to the customer, and it has been a privilege to be a part of the company’s communications success,” Layton said.
His mentoring efforts have reached beyond Wacker Neuson to include industry and community programs. Jim has served on the American Rental Association’s board and trade show committees for the ARA, Associated Equipment Distributors and World of Concrete. Layton also served on RER’s Innovative Product judge’s panel for several years. He has also served on the board of directors for the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce and YMCA.
Layton leaves Wacker Neuson to spend more time with family and friends and to pursue other interests within the industry. “The time is right for me to depart Wacker Neuson and close this chapter of my career,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter within the industry.”