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Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Wendy Covey
Damon Pistulka 00:03
It’s not the videos not working today. I don’t know what to do. Hey, look, we’re just gonna take this.
Curt Anderson 00:09
We need a fire. We need a fire our producer Damon. Right?
Damon Pistulka 00:13
Yes, we’re getting a new producer. I’m telling you that right now. But welcome everyone it is Friday. And what’s that mean? It means it is time for manufacturing ecommerce success. I am your co host. And yes, I am the producer that didn’t do that. Right. My friend right over there.
Curt Anderson, Lucy runway. There we go. These days. I don’t know one of these ways. You know, we were talking about that for going on this morning. My friend Curt Anderson. With me today, we’re going to be talking about developing contact that content that attracts your ideal buyers. Oh my goodness. Take it away, Curt.
Curt Anderson 00:48
Dude, hang on. I’ve got to take my pacemaker first make sure that it’s working properly for this guest because man, is she something special? My dear friend Wendy Covey, happy Friday. How are you?
Wendy Covey 01:03
I’m doing wonderful. Happy Friday.
Curt Anderson 01:05
Happy Friday. Now you know what Wendy, I do I have to question you. On one thing, just one thing, one thing only, I have to question your judgment of character, because you are a repeat offender and made any commerce success. So apparently, we didn’t, you know, didn’t do anything to god awful. And the last round, and you’ve come back a number of months later.
So we thank you. We salute you. We applaud you. And what an honor privilege to have you here today, I’m going to kick things off with a couple of things. First off, you and I have met in person. And I know pre COVID You’re like, hey, what’s the big deal, but during COVID That was so special. I tell you are a powerhouse.
You are a presence. I caught you speaking in live at the industrial marketing summit in Cleveland. And just let’s let’s start there first. Okay, let’s start a little bit when you and I met in Cleveland, what a special event? Can you just talk about that event in your engagement with you and Morgan, your colleague, your partner in crime, you guys did a great workshop. Talk about Cleveland for me, please.
Wendy Covey 02:05
Yeah, well, you know, one, Content Marketing World is just a really cool event. It’s very focused for marketers on how to utilize content to build trust and engage your audience and, you know, churn out those qualified leads for sales, right. So already, it was this, you know, great environment for sharing best practices, that sort of thing. But then having this one day event just for industrial marketers was so special, and many of us had connected over the past few years that had never met in person.
So there was just this extra special oomph with that events. So not only were we talking relevant information with, you know, technical marketer to technical marketer, but also sort of this community kumbaya moment where, wow, I finally get to meet you in person and Wow, you’re so tall or You’re so short, or, you know, all those surprise things that you have when you first meet someone that you’ve just had an online relationship with. So
Damon Pistulka 03:06
when I first when I first met Curt, I thought he was like, you know, four inches tall. Yeah. How the heck yeah.
Curt Anderson 03:13
And for the record, when do you are tall so you are I might have you by an inch or two, but not by much. How can I ask How tall are you? Yeah, I’m
Wendy Covey 03:22
five, nine, you’re five, nine.
Curt Anderson 03:23
So you are a presence. And let’s, let’s go here like you did, man. I’d say anybody out there. First off, Happy Friday, everybody is you’re popping in chiming in. drop us a note here. Let us know that you’re out there. We’ve got my dear friend, Val. We’ve got Gary in Rochester. Whitney is here down fellow Texan. We haven’t felt yet. And so we know.
What do I want to go there for a minute you did. If you recall, you did a great workshop. Everybody would love to have been there. You’re a really captivating speaker. If anybody’s out there has a conference. Workshop. You need a great speaker on high level content marketing, which Hey, I’m no dummy. We’re bringing you to Purdue University this week. So we’re going to talk about that today. But just talk a little bit about the workshop of what you and Morgan did that day. It was just so so rewarding. Hearing you guys.
Wendy Covey 04:11
Yeah, yeah. Well, a lot of marketers struggle with, they know that content marketing is an important thing. But the idea of, you know, how do I plan out my content? How do I develop a strategy? And then how do I figure out what to write? And how do I tie that to my brand? And then of course, where do I go with this content? So once I have it written, How do I promote this and you know, package it into the world? So it was a pretty ambitious presentation.
But we touched on all of those things. So from what type of framework and tools people can use to develop their content strategy to what do I do with writer’s block and how do I write in a way that’s going to be compelling to my target personas and Then we presented some of our research on where a technical buyers go to seek information to make purchase decisions and so people have an informed strategy and they’re not guessing you know, on Oh, which social channel might be the best or will they open Google ads or not?
Or should I despair if I’m on page six of the search results on Google? Those are the types of things we touched on.
Curt Anderson 05:27
Awesome. Okay, so let’s dig in here so we’ve got some people dropping hellos again, guys Chapa Hello. So I wanted to wait a minute Damon before we do this now, with Wendy being a repeat offender when he I don’t know if you remember when he ran last I there’s a question I asked when we kick off every program.
So I want to do a quick little intro. Wendy Covey here president, founder of true co founder of true marketing, and you are an absolute Rockstar founded the company in 2008. Right when the great recession started, 15 years later, still going strong you have I want to dig into the true crew, your team. We just had Morgan Norris here two weeks ago.
I want to dig into your team. You were just at a great trade show this week. I’m gonna dig into that. But the first question I asked when you were on stage last time was who was your hero growing up and I have your answer. Do you remember your answer by any chance? Do
Wendy Covey 06:16
you remember my answers are Leonard SMITH Do I have? Yeah, that’s correct. My dad.
Curt Anderson 06:23
Damon, I just want to refresh the story. So this great story. Dad was a civil engineer do I have like a midlife change? And so I asked, Who’s your hero? You said it was my dad, Leonard Smith. So once again, I want to give a shout out to your dad. It was just he became a professor right was a math professor at Texas a&m.
Wendy Covey 06:44
Yeah, of construction science, actually at Texas a&m. Yeah,
Curt Anderson 06:48
so took like a real life career. And it was hysterical, because you’re like my other. My other hero mom said no, I don’t think so. But dad, you know, so anyway, great story. So you shared with your hero heroes, dad, Leonard. I’m going to Damon I’ve never ads asked this question. I’m going to put a spin on it. Okay, and I’m not sure how it’s gonna go. So we’re gonna see how it goes. Daymond? Let’s
Damon Pistulka 07:08
Curt Anderson 07:10
Wendy, who? Are you a hero to?
Damon Pistulka 07:14
Oh, my goodness. How
Curt Anderson 07:17
to where if I were to say like, who’s your hero? And they said, Oh, well, of course. It’s Wendy Covey, family, friends, colleagues, co workers, employees alike. Who do you envy? You know, we’re speaking here in the middle in humility. It’s not you know, this isn’t about ego.
Wendy Covey 07:31
And to say, I don’t know if I’m comfortable answering this.
Curt Anderson 07:36
Let me spin it. Let me spin it. Who’s that? You I know you, you know, you do a great job with the equestrian? What is it that the community that you worked on? We talked about that deep? But like, Who do you feel that you bring an impact to? How about that? Is that a better safer question? Who do you feel that you bring, like heavy impact?
Wendy Covey 07:54
Put it this way, what, who I hope to influence on right is, um, going back to you know, this, this community of marketers, right, we’re all in a pretty tough industry where, oh, you don’t have an engineering degree, you can’t do this, you can’t possibly understand what I do and help me succeed.
And so there’s a lot of barriers to overcome. As a non technical person in this field, as well, as you know, women in this field right are still catching up in many ways. And so what I hope to be is a positive influence, and help inspire other marketers that feel alone, they don’t feel confident, and to help them understand that you can develop that business acumen.
And you can hang with the engineers when it comes to your marketing expertise and adding value to a company helping them grow. So that’s, that’s who I hope to inspire with what we’re doing it true. And people will say, well, oh, wow, you’re having other agency owners on your show? Don’t you feel like that’s competitive, and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, people, there’s a big world out here that we can serve.
And I just love that. A lot of the other agency owners like me, are very open to having a collaborative approach and sharing what’s working and, you know, just all being one family out here trying to make manufacturing better when it comes to marketing. And there’s that business for all of us for sure. So that collaboration to me is very important. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 09:38
there’s lots of awesome stuff in there. Oh, my goodness.
Curt Anderson 09:41
That was a drop the mic Well, we had lots of drop moments last time you’re on Wednesday and so that was that was dropped the mic number one. So again, like Dave and I are big girl dads and I’ll tell you I’m not just saying this, you know, like one big reason I love your what we do and why we’re so passionate about this show, is like when I collaborate you know, I feel we built a nice friendship since we’ve come together.
And again, we’re talking about the industrial marketing program. I see Andrews here, Andrew hood and Andrew.
He’s the reason why we met in Cleveland. But I tell you are an inspiration, you are a hero. And so like for those of us that have daughters, that can look up to somebody like you started a company in 2008, great during the Great Recession you’ve built into this wonderful company. So again, thank you for being an inspiration. And you are modest, you are humble, but you are a hero to plenty. And I love let’s, let’s go, let’s continue the torch right there.
You’re talking about like, how do you help people reduce that overwhelm that challenge? You know, those manufacturers that you help on a daily regular basis? Let’s keep going there. So we have a bunch of marketers here, Whitney’s here, Val, Diane buyer, happy Friday, you know, like how if there’s a marketer out there, there’s a solo marketer, and everything’s on their plate? How do you, let’s, let’s go there? How do you guys how do you? How does your team come in and help those help those?
Wendy Covey 10:56
Yeah, it’s, it’s very common to have a solo marketer, and that being the situation, and it can feel like a really lonely place. Because, you know, marketing is always changing. There’s so many innovations in our field right now. And it’s difficult to keep up with that. It’s difficult to keep up with your own company.
And it’s shifting, you know, business environment, new products, its technical. And, and if you’re that one, you know, sole marketer that doesn’t have a technical background, sometimes it’s hard to feel appreciated within your company, you don’t have mentorship within your own company when it comes to marketing.
So there’s a lot of headwinds. And so one, what we try to do is just continue to share our knowledge and what we’re learning so that solo marketer can come to my podcast, read our guides, and our ebooks and just feel like you have information and get you a little further faster.
But then for those solo marketers that actually need hands on help will come in and basically supplement their in house expertise. So it might be they’re excellent at a database marketing and social media, but they don’t have the time or the skills to write. So we’ll come in, help them build a content marketing strategy, and then we’ll take on that writing piece.
And, you know, maybe there’s another other parts of marketing that they don’t have the aptitude to do. So basically, that telemarketer can tap into my team as their extended marketing team where they get a fractional marketing automation person and a fractional social person, the fractional strategist. So it looks a little different from company to company, because every skill set of that solo marketer is a little different. That’s right. So let’s
Curt Anderson 12:43
let’s go into let’s talk about the true crew. Okay, you’ve just built what a powerhouse team that you’ve built, guys. And what I did is I dropped your website into the into the chat earlier this morning. Wendy just mentioned, she has this phenomenal podcast, content marketing engineered, she has a great book, I believe, by the same title right? Here. If you go to Wendy’s website, what I love about the true crew is like a lot of marketers, you know, will call themselves like, Hey, we’re the cobblers kid with no shoes.
Wendy and her team, boy, they don’t talk to talk, they walk the walk, there are guides, there are resources, I have a couple that we’re going to talk about in a few minutes here. But if you go to Wendy’s website and get I dropped in the chat earlier, I encourage you invite you I welcome you to do so there’s just so such a wealth of information. But when he let’s talk about this, this this hall of fame team that you’ve put together?
Wendy Covey 13:35
Well, I tell you, it is difficult to find talented, sharp people that also have experience working in our technical space. So we’re always looking for talent. And when it comes to writers, sometimes we use a strategy where we actually have a bunch of writers that we’re trying out, I call it like, you know, you have your minor leagues and your major leagues have enough business we can call up from our bench and hire. And so that’s one way we found success.
And I think another way is just we eat our own dog food is what we like to say. So we try out things. So right now one of the things we’re trying out is LinkedIn newsletters, you know, we have our own newsletter that we always do our own database.
And we thought, maybe we need to move this to LinkedIn. We see other people doing that. Let’s, let’s try both. Let’s measure it. Let’s see if this is something we should recommend to our clients. So we’re always trying to try out things ahead of just, you know, before we say, Oh, this is a trend Hey, client, you should do this. Let’s really dig in and understand all the nuances of it.
Curt Anderson 14:46
Absolutely love it. So you know, eat your own dog food. Eat your own Fang. Eileen, we’ll talk about fishing in a minute. But let’s Alright. So let’s go here. You read a great trade show this week. I know I saw that you posted a few things on LinkedIn and a lot of it citement you know, and again, back to that in person interaction friends, relationships that you’re building, what went on at the show last week?
Wendy Covey 15:08
Yeah. So it was the electronics representatives Association, and they have a conference every year. And that sounds like it’s just a conference of of firms that do sales in electronics, but it was actually much broader than that you have, you know, the the manufacturers, sales representatives and distributors that were all gathered together in Austin, right, my backyard last week, and they’re about 700 attendees.
And it was one just a good reminder of how important it is, as a marketer to get out to technical conferences, and get in the mindset of the the business owners, the sales reps, you know, what are they struggling with? Is they target design engineers in sales engagements?
You know, what did they think about marketing? What are their opinions on social media? So a lot of repeat, repetitive themes kept coming up in each of these sessions that we can get into if you’d like. But the other thing I learned was just what are the big trends for the future in electronics, and that helps me guide my own business. And it gives a lot of helpful information for our clients as well.
Curt Anderson 16:16
So yeah, and go there, like anything that you want to dig in? Yeah. What came up during the show to us? Like, yeah, topics that were going on?
Wendy Covey 16:24
Yeah, yeah. Well, um, well, so macro trends. So they had two presenters, Michael Knight, who’s a long standing electronics executive presented on just where electronics is going. And he talks about this connected world and how, obviously, you know, we’re becoming more and more connected. And he gave the example of the automobile. And, you know, think about how many sensors are in your car now.
And it goes, now think about how much data a day, our cars are pumping out, just just your car. And that data needs to be stored and needs to be processed. And, and he said, man, every time there’s a stock dip, I’m buying data storage. That’s interesting. He talks about robotics and automation, and how, you know, we have we don’t have enough workers to do jobs. And so it’s inevitable that we’re going to see more automation and more robots in places that you don’t expect today.
And so he gave some examples, like, you know, the waiter that would bring you your dish at dinner is a robot in more and more cases, or instead of a worker out in the field, plucking those strawberries, that’s going to be a robot. So we talked about that 3d printing came up, robotics assisted surgery, which is obviously a reality today. It just went on and on, oh, energy storage.
So think, you know, we have solar capabilities, but storing that storing that energy has been a problem. So how can we store that energy better out in the field and then distribute that energy? So it was it was all over the place? But the point is, the future of the electronics industry is is very exciting. There’s a lot of demand, we’re getting over the supply chain issues now and getting to a better place there. So it was just cool. They you know, and he shared numbers of growth numbers, and I don’t remember this point, but um, yeah, yeah.
Damon Pistulka 18:27
Very interesting. Yeah.
Curt Anderson 18:29
That is fast. And so you are so he did at that show mentioned that there are positive signs on supply chain?
Wendy Covey 18:35
Yes. Yes, absolutely. Way, way better. Yep. Look to
Curt Anderson 18:41
date here. That’s March. Yeah, march 9 2023. Maybe, you know, and, you know, we’re starting to see a little I’ve been starting to see some plugs, like, you know, the labor shortage is starting maybe to, you know, get a little bit settled, and maybe supply chain.
So maybe we’re starting to get on the other side of this. So some really positive things. When the any, you know, the funny the fascinating thing is like as a journalist or you know, marketer per se, it could be like, a couple 100 years ago, 100 years ago, we could go back in time where a lot of those practices are still the same is so comes down to consumer behavior, right?
However, what any takeaways that you want to share when you hear automation, 3d printing, you know, robots feeding us our dessert or plucking the strawberries as a marketer, what were I positive your wheels were turning what were some of the things that you were thinking?
Wendy Covey 19:30
Well, you know, in a sorted into, like the underlying technologies, and then how those technologies are applied. And so I’m not really doing his speech justice. But you know, it reminded me of a lot of companies in those listening maybe a part of that where you say you you’re at a semiconductor chip company, and you have a lot of different applications that you can serve, right.
So there’s this need for this horizontal marketing of we have This chip. And here are the specs in here, you know, all the information about that product itself. But then you have, you have to layer on to that this vertical marketing, to inspire and saying, look at all the different things you can do with this chip.
So with this functionality, you know, you can solve X, Y and Z. And so, as a marketer, I’m always looking for okay, we probably need that product, launch that horizontal campaign. But then separately, let’s layer on those verticals, give which verticals are most important to our business? And 2023? Where are we, you know, putting our bets on as far as company growth, and those are the things we need to dig into as we start to develop campaigns for marketing.
Curt Anderson 20:40
Yeah, absolutely. I’m just taking some notes now. Yeah. Before we went live, I don’t feel ready to go here. AI is a huge, huge bar right now. And so again, if you’re just joining us, I want to give a huge shout out. Everybody’s dropped a note in the chatbox. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to join us today. Man. If you are familiar with Wendy. Wendy is an absolute powerhouse. Looks like somebody jumped to note that she was somebody was at your breakout. Yeah. Was that was great. Yeah, it
Damon Pistulka 21:07
was Zach Nelson. Zach, right.
Curt Anderson 21:09
Hey, happy Friday. If you haven’t caught Wendy live, she is just a dynamos. Matter of fact, I have the honor of being on stage with her this coming Thursday at the Purdue University MEP Manufacturing Extension Partnership. I dropped that link in the chat.
We’ll talk about that further. But let’s let’s dig into the AI conversation. I think Morgan, you’re your partner in crime, your partner, your employee, right? She was on our show a couple weeks ago, Nicole Donnelly was replacing me that day. And they had a really fun conversation about AI and chat. GBT. What’s were the true crew? Where are you guys at with this whole transformation going on?
Wendy Covey 21:48
Yeah, we’re getting a ton of questions about it. And I would say that chat chi PT came up in about 40% of the sessions we have. Yeah, so everyone’s curious. Everyone is, you know, having it create a song or poem or, you know, experimenting, right? typing their own names in to see what happens. So we think all that curiosity is great. But But where we stand on it is that it’s an excellent brainstorming tool. It’s an excellent way to overcome that blank page syndrome, right? A great way to use it.
So it can get you further faster, it can get you unlocked. So for sure that stuff is great. Where we’re seeing some companies struggle, and I’ll just hit a couple of high points is, is one for deeply technical subjects. There may not be a lot of information published. And you may and I heard this the other day on my podcast, this hasn’t published yet, but it really stuck with me, I was speaking with someone from Edmunds optics.
And he said, you know, what we found is our competitors, information kept coming up when we search this technical topic, because there’s so little information on there. And and, or it was inaccurate, you know, so there’s, that’s one of the traps. Another one that Morgan likes to talk about, because she’s our brand Guru is that it’s it’s purposely trying to not bring your brand messaging and the words you use to describe your company into those answers, because it’s trying to not plagiarize. But you need your brand voice, right?
You need it to sound like you and you need to repeat those important words and phrases. So there’s just a lot of hands on work that needs to happen with generative AI. I think it’ll get better. And I think these tools like Jasper and writer are much better than check GPT if you’re looking to you know, have a have a writing buddy, to assist you. And so, so we see a bright future for it.
But I think for now, you know, use it with caution. Use it with your thinking cap on and which I think marketers are doing. What I didn’t like that I heard in that conference last week is oh, we can write your whole website, you know, your LinkedIn for you. Okay? Do you trust a robot to Kirk Anderson’s LinkedIn is gonna, like robots gonna? Yeah.
Curt Anderson 24:08
It might be in that case might be better. But David, one and
Damon Pistulka 24:13
the thing that can’t do, it can’t sound like you write it because I’ve played with a lot, right? I’ve gotten in there and tell me read the articles. And I was really trying to do it. And what I find is, you have to take if you really want to use his great writing, buddy, like you said, just to kind of get your head going in the right direction.
But you’re gonna put in several versions of the same sentence topic we because because we all we think the way we do right and we don’t have enough description around it to really give it what it means. So you have to go in multiple layers to really get kind of what you want. And then you’re gonna have to do a lot of work from there.
Wendy Covey 24:52
Exactly. Yeah, a lot of work and that work adds up so so and I don’t know if Morgan discusses but we ran a pilot and was several different types of content. And we found that the work was so great. And it was it just, you know, it didn’t save time, unfortunately.
So, yeah, you know what I hope my, we’re very hopeful that the next iteration will be good for derivative content. Like, here’s my white paper. Now, would you spit out three blog posts and some social copy and some headlines that are written in this tone using this link? But start with my source material?
Curt Anderson 25:33
Right that that would be awesome. That would be that’d be really efficient. And I don’t know. All right. So crystal ball, Damon, and Wendy, I’m putting on the spot five, we have our little five year anniversary. We come back in time are you know, is like what is AI? Like?
Is it is it crushing it? Is this a fad? Like what? I’m a history buff. And like, you know, you can find names of people who like this horseless carriage is never gonna work. You know? You know, there’s a name escapes me gentlemen came out, like when Apple came out, you know, nobody will ever use a computer in a home that is just ridiculous. You know, like, Google. What’s this Google thing that Google thing is never
Wendy Covey 26:15
a fad. Right. Like Larry, David and Larry. Or whatever.
Curt Anderson 26:23
Yeah, exactly. Like, is this demon member like clubhouse? You know, like, you know, ya know, well, house was like a big fad. Or like, I don’t know where that’s anymore. But you know, when the what do you what do you think we come back five years now throwing, you know, like, below daring? Where do you see this going?
Wendy Covey 26:41
Yeah, I think it is here to stay. I think it truly will save time, that that example I just gave you, you know, I and we can think of of many more examples, where we think it’d be helpful, but I do believe it’s going to usher in this new era of authenticity in video. Like how do I know it’s you and not a robot? And so I think video is going to become huge.
Because right we know that isn’t a windy the robot sitting here it’s windy the person speaking you live, right? Whether it’s live or recorded. So yeah, and then attribution is this messy thing that I think will have to be sorted out and then finally, Google I think is going to punish you know, I’m just my guess. There’s there’s a reckoning coming with AI generated content. So it’s going to be more this background thing. Not this. Let’s just hand it all over to the robots. Yeah, I’m gonna be an assist.
Damon Pistulka 27:43
You make a great point on video. I never thought of that. Because you know, there’s the AI tools now that you can put text in and it’ll take somebody and make it look like they’re doing the video for you, right?
Wendy Covey 27:52
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Damon Pistulka 27:55
You can’t do How hard would it be to be as goofy as someone like me on on video and talking with AI text me? I don’t even know.
Wendy Covey 28:03
I mean, right. Maybe it’ll have your shirt but
Curt Anderson 28:09
you know what, so let’s go there. But I couldn’t agree with you more. So like the folks at YouTube or I don’t know Tik Tok, like other video providers are like just loving this because I wrote on authenticity. You know, Damon, you have your faces a business that you do twice a week, when do you have a great podcast? We do this show here. So like that authenticity cannot be replaced. Okay. So like, you know, again, like, I’m not going to predict as I don’t know where this I don’t know if it’s going to blow up or if it’s gonna blow up. And you know, this way or this way, right? Yeah.
So when he let’s talk about, let’s go into video, how important video is what you’re doing for your clients what you’re doing that true, you have a great podcast, Zach, our friend here today, he dropped a note in the chat earlier about, hey, I believe Zach, and I hadn’t cracked like you’re a new marketer at a new or a marketer, a new company for him. And he’s want he wants to double down on video. So what advice suggestions? Were you taking people on video?
Wendy Covey 29:06
Yeah, yeah, there’s so many layers to this, right. So and so and you give a little context. So when Zach and I were at era last week, there was a lot of talk on, you know, how to use video on social and one of the sessions and Jordan gates from those precision devices.
So I swear, I’m going to come back on this is on top of it. But she She’s an engineer, that’s a marketer, and she wanted to build credibility for herself and gain a following. And so she was tinkering around on the weekends with soldering. And she started creating all these videos about soldering.
And her her previous company was related to that, I believe, somehow and anyway, and, and all these people were really interested in seeing her struggle, and they were, you know, cheering her on or making fun of her soldering or a little bit. And then she went over to Knowles and it was it was not aren’t really as core to what she doesn’t know.
So she stopped doing the videos a couple months. And everybody was like, Hey, Jordan, where’d you go? Like, you know what happened? And so it was a good, I guess maybe soft but a good ROI on what, you know, is this doing anything or people watching this. And so people enjoyed that they got to know her. And now she’s mixing that in with things she does for notes. And so it was a great example of utilizing video as a, as a spokesperson, kind of at a grassroots level.
And I think we can all wrap our heads around that pretty easily. And think about maybe ways we could do that. But then, where companies are struggling on on, let’s say, the professional side is, when do I do a slick video? When do I do this sort of engineer in front of the camera, you know, holding a product? Yeah, or presenting or doing a two minute demo on software? I think that that seems pretty clear, like the how tos that can be like rough and easy to do.
But when do you step it up? When do you have an executive involved? When do you bring in that camera crew? And so I think that that was Zach, in his comment was struggling with? How do I know what level? How often? And what level to to, you know, tackle this? How? Yeah, yeah. And so my answer to that, Zach, is I would start with, okay, what is what are your goals? What is your strategy?
What campaign is this attached to? So it always comes back to your strategy? Okay, is thought leadership, a big marketing goal for you? You know, and you want to put your executive out there as a thought leader in the community? Or maybe your company is the thought leader on, you know, topic X on? I don’t know, I don’t reconfigurable iOS or something? Yeah. Okay, so, so then with that context, if you’re trying to influence masses with this big topic, it might make sense to make a slick video, right?
Or it might make sense to do an explainer that has words flying in, and it’s a little more slick. But instead, if you are launching a product, and you’re trying to do how tos and help people understand how it works, and how to interact with it, that’s a very different video. And I would argue, maybe a different production value that would be required. So there’s video at every level, right video at
Curt Anderson 32:31
every level. Now, you have, I’m gonna, I’m sorry, Damon, go ahead,
Damon Pistulka 32:35
go well, and I think too, that a lot of companies jump to think that they need that high quality video to get started. And I really, I really think that, from my own experience, this kind of video that’s just kind of, you know, you get you learn as you go a little bit right, doing some of that before you move into the you know, bringing in the camera crew, and everything is a lot because there’s so much about just how do you what do you do when you’re on camera? How do you speak?
There’s all these things that you can work on? How do we want it to sound? What is our voice is a huge thing. And does it come through in the videos too, to do that before you move into that. And I’ve seen a couple clients in the past that have done that too early. And they really don’t understand their brand and their voice long enough. But they got this video that turns out like they’re trying to sell something right.
And rather than really connect with the people that they’re helping, yeah, and that’s the only reason why I’ve always thought and could be wrong. 100% wrong, is that you start out simple. And kind of figure things out in your mind with the it’s got to be the whole marketing has got to be figured out before you go into the high production value thing.
Wendy Covey 33:52
Yeah, yeah, I like that. And we’ve asked before, you know, we do this annual research called stata marketing to engineers. And last year, I believe it was we did ask, what types of video? Do you technical buyer? Do you enjoy watching? And the least favorite is that slick corporate overview. And I bet you’re not surprised, right? Yeah, so the top ones were how to.
And then the second one, I think was product or service overviews. So just helped me learn, you know, so definitely more emphasis on that. And I think, Damon, what a great point that you could practice your voice and understand who’s gonna be a good speaker, even you know, just because you’re an executive doesn’t mean they’re the best person to put in front of that camera either.
Curt Anderson 34:41
You know, all right. So guys, so we’re past the top of the hour if you just joined us again, I see in Gore joined the chatbox is going great. Whitney said that she knows Jordan Yates and, of course she met her at a woman in manufacturing or get together. And so when he says slick video Those that a least favorite, that’s fire, you know, another mic shot there.
So when we’ve got so much to cover and what I want to, I want to I’m going to go off script of what I was planning, but let’s I want to take it a little further with a video strategy. Okay. Now, again, you guys again, guys, if you just joined us, we’re here with Wendy Covey, true marketing founder, just Rockstar extraordinaire, she has a podcast, she has a book, we’re gonna be at Purdue this week doing what we like, if you’re not getting enough money right now come back to Purdue.
Wendy Covey 35:30
Curt Anderson 35:33
in the chat earlier, and they have you had the marketing resource center. And what I love about you practicing what you preach, you know, Damien, we talk a lot about with manufacturers, like instead of outspending the competition, how do you teach the competition? And I’ve like that vols rate in your alley. Let’s talk about consistency. Okay. I just put out a video today or I put out a podcast and I do it twice. And I throw it out. And yeah, blog once. Talk to the crowd. How critical is consistency? Please go there.
Wendy Covey 36:08
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, so many things I can say right now.
Curt Anderson 36:15
My pens ready, say it off?
Wendy Covey 36:17
Why you no one taking a step back? What Why are we publishing content to begin with? What’s the purpose, right? We’re trying to build trust, we’re trying to give our credibility to our brand. We’re trying to hopefully be generous with our knowledge so that people trust us, they prefer us, they come back and learn from us. Because as we know, in this industry, there’s a long sales cycle, and people may not be ready to buy, they may not be at that place. Or even if they are, you know, boy design wins and production wins.
If you’re in that electronic space, for example, it’s just really long. So staying in front of them with fresh content will help you stay top of mind. And, boy, there’s just probably unlimited things you can talk about when you really dig into each application that you serve and the industry that you serve.
And the more the more specific you can be, you know, the closer you can come to speaking to that pain point or showing an example that’s close to what that engineers doing, the more you’ll resonate, right, and the greater chance of being shortlisted. But there’s this other benefit, which is for SEO. I mean, you know, I have to say we want to do things for SEO. But Kurt, right, as he was kind of important, right?
Curt Anderson 37:42
You gotta stop being the best kept secret, right? Yeah, consistency,
Wendy Covey 37:46
you’re dead in the water when it comes to search engines.
Curt Anderson 37:50
So yeah, absolutely. And so you know, I’m a, I’m a fan of John Maxwell. If you ever read, you know, Guy has 100 and 1000 books, whatever he’s written New York Times bestseller, he asked these three things.
And so it’s when when somebody engages with you for the first time and think about, like, you know, your website, your social media, your LinkedIn profile, whatever it is, wherever your folks are hanging out at those ideal personas, you know, you have one chance to make a great first impression, one chain, and if your website, your presence, your blog is something that you threw on on AI, or your website looks like, you know, your nephew niece threw it up, you know, from 10 years ago, you know, I’m being cliche, but hopefully, like we’re getting past that.
But you really like you’re seeing when do you have one chance? And so John Maxwell says this, basically, they did this big research thing, they base a decision on three things. They’re asked your ideal customer is asking this number one, do you care? Do I really, sincerely, sincerely feel like you care about me? Number one, number two, can you really help me?
Can you honestly do have the experience of wherewithal, the machinery, the equipment, technical experience, and one use case? Like she’s pretty, you know, she’s helping engineers. That’s not being the best kept secret? You know, can you help me? And number three, you just said it repeatedly? Do I trust you? Yeah, you know, so like you really have. And so let’s go back to your website, you have a blog post. And you didn’t know I was gonna ask you this.
But this, I think you just put it out recently, six reasons to outsource your marketing to a b2b marketing agency. So I know like that, you know, that title. It’s like, you know, hey, why should I align with and if you guys missed it earlier, please go back and hit replay. But we talked about your crew, your expertise in the value that you bring in helping your clients. But why should a small manufacturer align with a b2b marketing firm? Let’s let’s go there for a little bit.
Wendy Covey 39:39
Yeah, well, a lot of times people will call because they’re very frustrated. They’ve worked with maybe a local agency, that Oh, it’s so nice around the corner, they can pop into the office, but they don’t understand what we do. And we’ve tried to have them write content. And it’s not just the local people that maybe these days Good content houses that just write really cheap content no matter what. And it really this, this audience acts differently, right and in this industry is unique. I truly believe that.
And so working with an agency, whether it’s us or my other colleagues in, in this industry that understand these buyers understand how important it is to get the vernacular, right, and, you know, all the acronyms and be accurate. I mean, you’re not accurate with this audience, we’re talking about losing trust, and you lose trust very fast. So we’ve just seen a lot of people be frustrated on the content side.
And then separately, are you being strategic about your marketing? And I think there’s too many marketers out there, not marketers, but I’ll say agencies that are really we’re a web firm, but we’re going to pretend to also be a content firm or marketing strategy or branding. But under the hood, you see that? Yeah, they’re really good at building websites, but they they don’t know the first thing about marketing. So.
So that’s important. And then I think the final thing is for those low marketers to just feel like you’re advancing your own skill set, and that you’re not alone, and oftentimes will come in and validate what that internet marketer has been saying to leadership all along. But it takes that third party partner to be like, yeah, what he said, or what she said, I mean, yeah, now let’s do this. And we’ve had a lot of success collaborating in that manner. Well,
Curt Anderson 41:37
I love that. And as I mentioned earlier, about, like, how do you out teach the competition guys go to true marketing, you’re gonna see courses, you’re gonna see all sorts of guides, Wendy has tons of podcasts where she’s interviewing other high level, subject matter experts, and like even said, like, you’re interviewing competitors, you know, like, there’s, you know, plenty to go around.
But just like, you’re just just relentlessly delivering value for that manufacturer, who is like, you know, what, they, you know, we kind of like to, say, manufacturers that are a little bit resistant. But so for the manufacturers like, Hey, buddy, I’m all like, I’d we’d like to do webinars, we’d like to create these guides, we’re just not sure where to start. Could you kind of help us get off the how do we get off the runway? Let’s go there, like, how do you help those folks be those educators?
Wendy Covey 42:21
Yeah. So it starts with creating a marketing plan. I mean, you know, you need a marketing plan is not an Excel spreadsheet with a list of activities. And I know, every marketer on this call knows that, but we’re all kind of laughing, because we’ve seen it so many times. So there’s two key pieces, right? It’s creating that marketing plan, where you have goals that tied to the business and campaigns that are defined as integrated set of activities towards a common goal with KPIs.
And then you get into your persona development. And then you get into activities, you know, later on down the line. And so that’s the key piece. And then the other one is, is brand positioning and messaging. So to what Damon said earlier, if you don’t know who your target personas are, if you don’t know who you are as a brand and what your differentiator is and what your value proposition is, you shouldn’t do anything else, you shouldn’t touch content, do anything else, until you define that.
Because that messaging should be pulled downstream into every piece of content that you write in every page that you develop on your website. So that’s really where it starts is those two things depending on what the company needs, and then from there, we get into execution. And that usually looks first like a lot of content development, and maybe a website redesign. And then we launch campaigns and you get into inbound and outbound activities.
Curt Anderson 43:51
Now, did Professor Leonard Smith have anything to do with you being such a dedicated educator for your clients? Like, like, was that influenced there? Or how did you become such a raving fan of like educating your clients,
Wendy Covey 44:04
you know, I want to credit, Rebecca Guyer, who is my co founder of true marketing. And very early on, she felt strongly about education and said, and I’ll never forget we’re barely making any money as a business right? barely turn private, barely paying ourselves. And she goes, I’m gonna write a book. I was like, Yeah, you know, and I’m in sales and she’s you know, doing service deliveries. Just a handful other people were like, a book it I thought she was crazy.
But she felt so strongly in the idea of educate, show the playbook, show everything and people could go do it themselves, but they quickly understand that oh, these these people really know what they’re doing. They have a methodology, better to have higher than to do it. But now we understand in depth every step that they’ll be taking, you know, the jury Ernie that they’ll be taking on. And that was so wonderful. So I just tried to emulate that ever since. Yeah, 15 years later.
Curt Anderson 45:10
Well, 15 years later. So guys, we’re gonna I want to be mindful one of these time we’re gonna start winding down. We’ve got great comments in the chat box. Hey, Nicole Donnelly is here. She says, you know, when the rock star, we’ve got Whitney’s dropping comments, and you know, I want to I want to hit Ronald Hicks has a comment. I love the message. But it sounds really expensive for a startup. I’ll tell you firsthand, you know, like, you know, I’m a solopreneur. And when COVID hit, you know, Damon unite connected relate to do it, what do we do?
And so like, we put together a little fun webinar, it didn’t cost me a penny, I threw it on slides. And we just, you know, we really built a, you know, I think, a decent business based on a webinar. But when the what do you say to like, say, the startups or, you know, five person 10 person manufacturing shop, they don’t have the internal marketer, any advice or suggestions on like, you know, we’re not trying to eat the whale, maybe we’ll talk about fishing before we let you go. But are you talking to that individual marketer? There is?
Wendy Covey 46:06
No, it is an investment. And it is not a short term thing to do. Marketing, right. I mean, there’s ways about it. So one, I like to always get company executives first in the mindset of think of this as a another salesperson, if your website could serve and your content on your website can serve as another salesperson, what is that worth to you? How much is this that next sales hire going to cost? And consider that next sales hire is really your website, the content on it?
The second piece of advice is, if it feels overwhelming, and you need to start small, I would pick one campaign. So pick one persona, or one vertical area, and just do that one, really well. Create your content, launch it, you know, follow that playbook. You know, grab my book, Content Marketing Engineer walks you through how to do it, use that do a DIY approach, start to see results, measure things, and and then maybe you’ll be ready for that next level of investment.
Curt Anderson 47:12
Absolutely. How about hey, Damon, how about this? Yeah, our dear friend, Val has a signed copy of Rebecca’s book. And so all sorts of great comments. That is just what phenomenal advice, guys and as we start winding down, i How’s my I gotta check my pacemaker. Again, make sure it’s not okay for you. But I Hey, just a little preview, what can we expect on Thursday at Purdue University, when you’re just gonna be rocking it out? helping folks? What? What little preview for everybody?
Wendy Covey 47:42
Yeah, so we’ll be utilizing the state and marketing to engineers report. So I’ll be walking through that research. And my take on it. I’m bringing in research from a few other reports. And we’ll be having a lot of freeform discussion like this. So, you know, for instance, podcasts is something that engineers are now listening to weekly for their jobs. Does that mean she goes start a podcast?
Maybe? Maybe not. So, you know, here’s the data, what are the implications? And then if you’re new to marketing, or behind, where can you go to get started? So we’re gonna go into more depth about what that marketing foundation looks like, and just how to how to get going.
Curt Anderson 48:25
Awesome. All right, I have two last questions. One’s gonna be around phishing. Another one might be around your question therapy that I just I just, I just am head over heels for any parting words of wisdom from an engineering marketing standpoint for folks before we wind down any parting words of wisdom? We’ve mentioned your book, we’ve mentioned your podcast, your resource center, on your website, any other words of wisdom that we want to depart with before we get into your fishing?
Wendy Covey 48:51
Yeah, yeah, just trust and authenticity. Just think about how, with your marketing, you’re building trust, and you’re being authentic to your brand in everything that you do. And it’s really easy to get caught up in activities and metrics and all that stuff’s important. It’s all important.
But But becoming, you know, that trusted brand is so important in this industry. And so, if your website looks like this dated, you go overseas, but yet, you’re saying you’re a technology company, that doesn’t build trust. Yeah, maybe as a marketer, find those places where you have this this conflict there, you know, and use those as a jumping off point to to get executive support for investments.
Curt Anderson 49:45
Absolutely love it. How about this trust and authenticity? You’ve got Diane buyer dropped, you know, have a great weekend. Make it as fab as all you are. Ronald says good response. And so, Wendy, we’ve got let’s see where Gary go. How about Gary’s this avid avid fisherman up in Rochester New York so windy. You have a fishing state record of a fishing record in the state of Texas Do you not do I have that correct?
Wendy Covey 50:10
I do. I do. And you didn’t know it was going to do this but I do have a mound of it on my wall. Right? It’s not going to live in my office for much longer because I’m relocating it but okay, it’s not even going to look as as big as a state record redfish and I can’t kind of fit it in the frame.
I can’t Oh my God, that’s basically five feet long. Long. So to put it in perspective, it Yeah, it was 60 and a half inches and I’d be nine inches so these don’t get that big. It was a freakish thing. And it was wonderful. My husband’s super jealous to this day, which your husband? I mean, that’s really cool.
Damon Pistulka 50:59
Yeah. That’s a lot of mileage right there. Because it could be giving you a bad time to save. Who’s the state record holder?
Wendy Covey 51:08
I’m just saying so
Damon Pistulka 51:13
you should get Do you have a shirt that says that because it would be funny if you had a shirt on and once in a while and you just just had a sweatshirt on? Just pull it up said
Wendy Covey 51:20
yeah, they gave me a lapel pin of all I should get a vote so so in in Texas and Florida and a couple other states they have this this tournament is called the Star tournament. And if you catch like a tagged redfish with a special tag, you get a boat and a trailer and like maybe a gun I don’t know. And and I got a lapel pin for the for getting this thing record and then once that so yeah, I’m gonna have that shirt made good suggestions.
Curt Anderson 51:48
So I guys, I and when you have one last question for you round. So first off, if you guys are sneaking off for your next call. First off, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for joining us today. And Wendy, before we let it guys get to hang out for this one. This is the question therapy that you’re a part of. There’s a movie that coming out today. It’s a Woody Harrelson movie, it’s called champions.
And so a buddy of mine is affiliated with a nonprofit. And he’s working with like some Buffalo Bills football players, and they did like this big showing last night and they brought in just a ton of kids with with adults with special needs enabled zooming in that these Buffalo Bills players that are in there called the The playmakers and so these Buffalo Bills are zooming in talking to these young folks with challenges and like telling them how they’re rooting the mind and how important they are.
And then they did a special screening of this Woody Harrelson movie and it’s about Woody Harrelson these these Special Olympics is a great movie for basketball. And I was as I was preparing for today I was thinking of you would that movie the movie? It was like a little inappropriate with the movie I was kind of I was kind of
Wendy Covey 52:56
but anyway but it’s a funny Harrelson after all
Curt Anderson 53:00
like a Farley brothers I think they I think they did like Something About Mary. But anyway, it was a fun movie. It was about special needs. And just it was it was just wonderful, heartfelt and it just listen these Buffalo Bills football players like rooting on these these young people. It was just such a great experience. Now you do something? I can’t watch a video without getting choked. Yeah. Can you talk about the Equestrian Therapy Group that you’re a part of and what’s going on in Austin? And I just hats off to you that you’re part of this?
Wendy Covey 53:28
Sure. Well, I feel like I’m such a minor part of it because I’m not hands on like the the experts are but it’s an equine therapy for kids with autism, physical disabilities, you know, just and and they get out there and they interact with the horses.
And these wonderful physical therapists have different things that they do on the horse that speaks to their needs, right? So if someone has emotional issues, it might be just brushing that horse or if they have mobility issues, it might be sitting on the horse and doing a ring toss, you know, where you’re moving your torso and working on core strength. So there’s just a million ways they use these horses in therapy and who knew.
And so it just so happens that a close friend of mine is the director of this organization and we were so moved when we got involved. So we just volunteered like we’re like in the mission stand and we’re helping you raise money. We’re getting donations for their silent auctions, I mean, really things like that. But we’re just in awe of what they do. So if you guys want to check it out, it’s our Edie. So read arena.org Is the organization and truly special I think they serve 180 children and veterans this year. So
Curt Anderson 54:50
Wow. That is such a powerful like I can’t really talk about it. I do like talking about how like it’s totally the soil. Yeah, you know, And these young people that are just really born with just special challenges that you know, many of us, you know, things that we take for granted on a daily basis in this horse therapy is changing these children’s lives.
And when he God bless you I’m just I’m grateful that you’ve been interested I came into your world even knew know that something like that exists because I was familiar with it. So, okay, we’re gonna wind down guys. How about if you’ve been sitting down listening to Wendy’s brilliance for the past? 50 Whatever minutes it’s been, you want to stand up and stretch? How about give one Yeah, big bean for sharing her brilliance, her passion, her expertise.
Wendy, I just I cherish you your friendship. I look up to you. I admire you. Oh girl, and just I am so thrilled again, guys. Wendy is at the Purdue University MEP Manufacturing Extension Partnership. This Thursday. I chucked the link in the chatbox I’ve been emailing it out. Purdue’s been promoting it so boy if you didn’t get enough of it today take a deep dive because we’re really going to get underneath the hood when he parting thoughts.
Wendy Covey 56:05
Now this has been great I enjoyed being a second timer so thanks for having me. On.
Curt Anderson 56:13
vendor and hey even gal den gal join us today Gail thank you so guys, I’m gonna say this thank you thank you for joining us we appreciate all you do. Many of you are in manufacturing guys, you are the heroes of our economy. We appreciate you We salute you in man just like Wendy today. Go out and just be someone’s inspiration man just do some good be inspiring make great products hug your manufacturer Daymond take it away brother.
Damon Pistulka 56:44
All right, Kurt. Thanks so much. I don’t even know what to do after when he’s talking about the equine therapy that is an awesome thing and it what is it again Wendy’s so people can go out and
Wendy Covey 56:54
read arena.org are either red or
Damon Pistulka 56:57
red arena.org So go check that out. But thanks everyone for being here. Thanks Wendy for for sharing your information and get on to their website the true marketing website take a look at it because if their content is half as good as I think it is, you need to be there and taking a look at it and and reaching out for help if you need to. But I also want to think not but but and and I’m getting better at that. And I want to thank everyone for being here today. I mean, look at this chat, chat on fire.
It’s on fire. We got Whitney and Val and Inger and Sadiq and Zach and I was trying to get over here and look at so. So if you don’t show up in our chatting, see I’m looking over here trying to get it on LinkedIn too. But I just we appreciate you stopping by every week and sharing your thoughts with us and how things are going and really appreciate you. We’ll be back again next week. We got a special guest on Monday.
Curt Anderson 57:53
Oh my goodness, we have V she just retired. She’s the director of the entire MEP network. Carol Thomas is going to be our guest on Monday, Damon So Carol Thomas is here on Monday. We have a great guests coming up on St. Patrick’s day next week. So guys, have a great weekend. God bless Wendy hang out with us for one second, and just keep crushing it everybody. Thank you so much. Have a
Damon Pistulka 58:17
great day. We’ll be back again