Editor’s Note: Welcome back to The Weather Company’s Forecast Multipliers series, where top marketing leaders share career advice, a POV on hot topics in their category, and how to build a successful weather strategy.

Durable. Reliable. Loyal fan base? STIHL Inc. is known for their outdoor power equipment, but also for their ongoing commitment to innovation and quality, making them a preferred choice for both pro landscapers and homeowners alike. But, it’s their approachable, community-driven, and informative social channels that keep the audience engaged — coming back for insights and advice, over and over again.

With over a decade of experience at STIHL Inc., Les Robinson is a seasoned social media and content management leader at the company. We met with Les to explore his career journey and hear his take on the evolving landscape of digital marketing. His narrative provides a compelling look into the world of social media and its transformative impact on marketing strategies and community engagement.

Turning personal passion into professional prowess

Les began his journey into social media years before mass adoption of today’s ubiquitous channels. In fact, he started his career in media, where he leveraged burgeoning online platforms to source stories for TV news. An early adopter of internet technologies, his knack for embracing what’s new paved the way for his transition into content management and ultimately led him to STIHL Inc. in 2011. It’s been fascinating to watch social media evolve from an afterthought to a crucial marketing tool,” he shares. Another thing that connected Les to STIHL Inc.? His personal love for the brand. As a longtime user of their products, he notes that “walking through those doors everyday…it’s still pretty surreal to me.” He adds:


Fail quickly and keep moving forward

Reflecting on his long tenure in social media, Les underlines the importance of adaptability. “Things change, and that’s okay,” he says, noting the fast-paced nature of social media requires marketers to be flexible and open to learning what’s next. He adds, “When you embrace failure as a step towards success, the best ideas often emerge from a series of less successful attempts.” Marketers have to “be okay with that, adjust, adapt, and keep moving forward.” Here’s what he would have told himself thirteen years ago before beginning at STIHL Inc.:


Core values at the forefront of community

At STIHL Inc., Les’ role centers around not only building, but nurturing a community of loyal fans. “For me, it’s really about the community,” he explains. “I come to work every day and try to find ways to best serve them.” This community-centric approach is woven into the fabric of STIHL Inc.’s marketing strategy and identity, reflecting what the brand is known for: reliability, dependability, and power. Hear more on how STIHL Inc. connects their community and captures critical feedback through the power of social:


A match made in nature

One of Les’ key strategies: the use of weather data in marketing.

STIHL Inc., as an outdoor power equipment manufacturer, naturally looks to align marketing efforts with weather patterns. “Our product sales literally revolve around weather,” he notes. By partnering with The Weather Company, STIHL Inc. provides timely and relevant content to its customers, deepening their connection to the brand, by advising on storm preparation or suggesting the best time for DIY projects. Hear more on STIHL Inc.’s weather strategy:


Keeping it simple: Customers at the center

Two cornerstones of STIHL Inc.’s weather strategy are simplicity and customer focus. When it comes to leveraging weather, Les advises marketers to simplify their strategies — clear, easy-to-process content is more effective in achieving desired results. “If viewers have to spend too much time figuring out what the message is, they’ll just move on to something else.” He acknowledges simplicity can be challenging, especially when dealing with robust technology. “Convincing people that a basic idea is worth pursuing is one of the hardest things to do,” he admits. However, he believes simplicity in communication ensures that the message is received and the content serves its purpose, commenting:


Beyond simplicity, Les stresses the importance of keeping the customer at the center of all marketing efforts — weather-driven or not. “Figure out how your marketing strategy can benefit the end user versus just serving your purposes,” he advises. By starting with what the end-user needs from the brand or product, marketers can develop strategies that accomplish their goals while also serving the customers’ interests.

Memorable content is king

Les also reflects on the most impactful projects he’s worked on. He highlights “surprise and delight” initiatives aimed at rewarding loyal fans. “How do we surprise passionate fans in a way that they’ve never seen any brand surprise them?” he muses. This focus on creating memorable experiences underscores STIHL Inc.’s commitment to its community and its innovative approach to marketing.


Finally, Les speaks to what he views as the most valuable content STIHL Inc. creates – impactful content that serves both a business purpose and a community purpose: 


Through all his insights, Les paints a picture of a dynamic and evolving field where adaptability, community focus, and innovative use of technology are strokes to success. Among other things, his journey at STIHL Inc. serves as a testament to the power of social media in creating strong, engaged communities and driving lasting business growth.

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