Reaching Technical Buyers with Content Marketing
Reaching Technical Buyers with Content Marketing
Are you trying to reach technical buyers with your marketing?
If so, you may want to join us for this MFG eCommerce Success show to hear Wendy Covey, CEO & Co-Founder, TREW Marketing, talk about how you can reach technical buyers with the right content marketing.
Wendy is an energetic CEO, technical marketing leader, author of Content Marketing, Engineered, Forbes contributor, and one of The Wall Street Journal’s 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America. And she holds a Texas fishing record!
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For the past 20+ years, Wendy has been helping hundreds of engineering, and tech companies build trust and fill their pipelines using compelling technical content. Her company, TREW Marketing, is a full-service inbound marketing agency serving engineering companies with complex solutions and a considered buying process.
The conversation opens with Damon and Curt’s exemplary liveliness. Curt is excited to learn more about Wendy’s superpowers. He asks the guest about her childhood inspiration. She discloses that it has always been her father. Her father, Leonard Smith, was a civil engineer. Later, he joined Texas A&M University as a mathematics professor to reunite with his family. Wendy views her parents as her heroes. They taught her to be true to her career and herself. That is why she emulates this approach in her profession.
Although Wendy majored in engineering and technology, she also had an aptitude for journalism, mass communications, and marketing. She joined marketing by chance as she is a strong communicator. “I’m a big extrovert,” she maintains. The convergence of business and communications always attracted her. After school, she moved to Austin. There, she used newspapers to find jobs. She bagged the position of an event manager. She calls it an “invaluable experience.”
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Curt seeks her piece of advice at trade shows that worked back then, yet she still finds it relevant today.
Wendy suggests using a hybrid marketing strategy. She has observed that companies have become very picky about trade shows. Similarly, during the pandemic, they learned about the power of digital marketing and content marketing. So we’re in a new phase now. We go to fewer shows and be as holistic about them as possible. She believes that we must inquire about the content we want to “sell” in such trade shows. We must be clear on our marketing strategy, booth ownership, key messages and demos, and call to action. Likewise, our way of nurturing these leads, convergence, and marketing on LinkedIn demands scrutiny.
She narrates that in the late 90s, in contrast to websites, there were different ways to digitize the physical media. They employed physical and virtual mediums. To their delight, when they compared their spending and ROI, “it was an interesting way to take the physical things we did and try to figure out how to do it in the digital world.”
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Wendy believes that without Rebecca Geier, Co-Founder of TREW Marketing, she wouldn’t have worked at agencies. She thought they would hire someone slick with fancy clothes and “salesy.” She continues, “we didn’t have a good impression.” Quite inversely, they wanted to be a trusted resource, active teammates, and “authentic, down to earth.”
Curt wonders that in 2008, when the world suffered from the Global Financial Crisis, Wendy left a corporate position at National Instruments and started TREW Marketing. She admits that it was tough to leave the company. “It was a great company.” She moved into a product management role for software services by then. She fell in love, a type of long-distance relationship. “So I had a personal catalyst,” she reveals. She considered various work scenarios like work-from-home or “maybe a few days a week.” In a leadership position, she knew, it was impossible.
Then she and Rebecca started observing how all these National Instruments partners had “horrific websites, no understanding of how to do marketing.” So, they thought it would be really rewarding to help them. The duo understood the problem; they had the solution. Resultantly, they started TREW Marketing.
Similarly, Wendy believes that education is around inbound marketing. She makes a very strong case for education. The buyers, she argues, want education. They go to Google. Moreover, they search for long-tail terms. “They want to spend much time independently researching information from credible sources.” So, if the marketing team has no story and technical content, they are not even being considered. As a result, firstly, they need to work on the content and website. “Then you prime those people for sales.” She says Salesforce is using its time in the most productive way possible.
She goes deeper. To start with technical marketing, we must set ourselves up. It assesses brand position, differentiators, the company’s core values, and which verticals to focus on. Our job is to build a business strategy and articulate “that piece of it.” It is our task to find out defining audience personas and this “technical geekspeak.” Moreover, gathering information about the target audience is important to form the basis of a content strategy and an inbound marketing strategy. We can persuade people well if we know their job title, age, profession, job pressures, and challenges.
Curt inquires Wendy about how she engages her audience, who has little marketing knowledge. She says that her company guides them in the marketing planning process. Firstly, building those personas, creating marketing goals, and designing a marketing campaign is an integrated set of activities towards a common goal. Secondly, we must integrate all those activities towards a common goal and theme. “So there’s a lot of education around how to approach marketing planning strategically, rather than this Excel spreadsheet of activities,” she adds.
In Wendy’s view, it’s not a short-term investment. Of course, inbound marketing takes time to build that content. Companies may continue to publish content at a steady pace and steady cadence.
Curt asks the reason for aligning with HubSpot. Wendy tells the viewers that 11 years ago, they were a small business. For their clients, they were generating manual reports. Soon, they realized that automation could fetch them immediate ROI. Thus, they went to the top three clients and won their trust. They pledged to give their clients some money back. That is how they got on HubSpot. “We’ve been impressed with the tool and its focus on small to medium-sized businesses.”
Wendy is the author of Content Marketing, Engineered: Build Trust and Convert Buyers with Technical Content. This book is a sequel to Smart Marketing for Engineers: An Inbound Marketing Guide to Reaching Technical Audiences authored by Rebecca Geier. These books are full of the lessons they learned throughout their career. “We’re all struggling to reach these technical buyers. There’s a lot of new nuances to it,” she argues. Content Marketing, Engineered, is a “step-by-step playbook to putting together a content marketing strategy.” From brand positioning, and messaging, to persona development, the book guides on putting together a plan. There is a dedicated section on writing effective content, sales enablement, and measurement. The technical audience liked the book and “aligned their whole marketing division, based on the book because they all use a different language called ANSYS.”
Upon Curt’s question about the inspiration behind her podcast, Wendy replies that she intended to support the book launch with different perspectives and fresh content. Moreover, the Covid-19 lockdown offered speaking engagements from the book. Likewise, her podcasts have been innovative. Podcasts can be case studies, depending on the subject matter. That is why 73% of engineers listen to work-related podcasts throughout the week.
While talking about tearjerker content on her website, Wendy says it was “founded by a good friend of ours who was a physical therapist.” They provide equine therapy for children and veterans with physical and mental challenges. So it might be autism, mobility limitations, and PTSD. If anyone sees these videos, they move them to tears. There are inspirational videos of special children doing normal things for the first time in their lives. “And it just makes you so thankful for your health,” she comments. Curt suggests that we “absolutely have to go to her website.”
Wendy shares two pieces of advice regarding inbound marketing for manufacturers “stuck in the old ways.” Firstly, a research report helps because “you have specific data to back you up.” Secondly, to start with one area of your business, start with one vertical or one segment. Later build out the personas and the content along the buyers’ journey.
The conversation ends with these parting remarks. Damon and Curt thank Wendy for her time and invaluable insights.
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Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Wendy Covey
Damon Pistulka 00:05
All right, everyone. Welcome once again, I can’t talk this morning. It is Friday and it is time for manufacturing ecommerce success. I am your co host, Damon Pistulka. And when that pretty gentleman over there, that’s going to be Kurt Anderson. Kurt, take it away my friend.
Curt Anderson 00:26
David, how was the concert last night to a little? You’re a little shaky this morning, aren’t you?
Damon Pistulka 00:30
Yeah. Well, I’m not used to staying up past like 930. So meet me get home at one o’clock in the morning. That just throws me off of swords.
Curt Anderson 00:40
It’s like college days all over again. Well, hey, guys, what’s your wife for getting your life taken out with your kids and having a good time?
Damon Pistulka 00:46
Oh, it’s fun time not to hair down. Right.
Curt Anderson 00:48
So we had a good time. So Damon, happy Friday. So we got Damon Pistulka With exit your way that handsome devil over there. So Damon, thank you for just thank you for being here today. You know you after that wild and crazy night. We’re just so proud of you. So
Damon Pistulka 01:02
I wouldn’t go that far. It was wild.
Curt Anderson 01:05
Well, hey, Kurt Anderson here. Honor privilege. Let us know that you’re out there. We’d love to see what you have going on. But this is an honor. This is an absolute privilege to introduce Wendy Covey, the founder, co founder and president of true marketing Wednesday. Happy Friday to you. How are you?
Wendy Covey 01:25
Happy Friday. I’m doing great. I have a bit of a thunderstorm going on situation. So if you hear a few boomers behind me, oh, well, just dark for the rain.
Curt Anderson 01:36
Right? All right. Stay safe, where you’d stay away from water. And we want to keep one to save. So when we want to boy, this is a great intro. Damon. Are you sitting down? Are you sitting down?
Damon Pistulka 01:46
I am Joe. So dude, there’s
Curt Anderson 01:47
like a lot going on here with Jessica. She’s an inbound marketing HubSpot expert, Guru technical marketer, if you will. Not, if you will. She is just an expert. She has a book. She has a podcast we’re going to dig into that today. specializes in b2b industrial marketing. Most of all, she was just sharing with us. She has a state record of fishing.
Damon Pistulka 02:15
We’ll have to talk about that.
Curt Anderson 02:18
Now, here’s one, a couple more credentials. This one is just super impressive. Forbes contributor she Damon, I don’t know if you know that. She’s a Wall Street Journal’s 10 ranked on the 10 most innovative entrepreneurs in America. Wendy, my goodness gracious, you are doing all sorts of amazing work incredible things. Before we dig deep into your expertise, your superpowers. Question for you today. Ready? Are you sitting down for this one? I’m ready. I’m sitting. When you were young gal, you’re growing up in Texas. And just like, you know, you’re just on fire right now. Young Galen touches Who was your hero growing up? Who was your hero growing up?
Wendy Covey 02:55
You know, I think I would say my dad. Nice. And here’s why he was in commercial construction. He was an in civil engineer. And he hadn’t been live crisis and said, You know, I don’t want to be commuting and wave for my family. And this is such a grind. This was in like the late 70s, early 80s. He was, you know, everybody was smoking. And you know, that was you know, that’s right. Even on airplanes, those? Well, I remember he came home one day, and he was like, forget it. Yeah, I went to teach high school math. And then my mom, maybe co hero here was like, Honey, maybe not, maybe, maybe get your master’s in teacher profession.
And so he did this big change who became a professor, I mean, different stations who became a professor at Texas a&m. But that, you know, it takes a lot of strength to say this, this isn’t the way for me. This is not how I’m gonna live my life. And so being true to your career, but being true to yourself personally, is a big thing that I took away and I tried to emulate as I look at my career and how I went to craft and lead my company, so that people have that balance and are happy on both aspects.
Curt Anderson 04:16
Wow, man, what’s dad’s name? Leonard Smith. Leonard. Well, hey, God bless Leonard for you know, and Daymond are a bit more big girl dad. So we’re just absolutely thrilled to hear that answer. And what an inspiration for a total career change. Damon,
Damon Pistulka 04:30
what do you think? Was it’s cool? I got so how was he teaching at the same school that you were at?
Wendy Covey 04:38
He was Yeah, I have to look up.
Damon Pistulka 04:42
Well, I was like, I was like, yeah, that that whole thing and you know, you gotta be good then I mean, even on a big school, you know, if you really
Wendy Covey 04:50
slow but the greatest thing he did for me was he would ride his bike to class because he lived close to campus and I had his parking pass. And that was bad. And Anna can register for classes. a smidge early. Yeah. To perks.
Curt Anderson 05:08
Man, that is awesome. Unpack there, Damon. So were your old dudes. Do you remember being on a plane? Do I remember they had a smoking section? And a non smoking section? I mean, like that. I mean for young people today that’s like so pretty. Right? Think about that the smoke. So alright, so Texas a&m, you know, we’re big 12 Man, how about that dad goes off makes a big transition becomes a history professor.
What was the subject? Instructions? Lions instructions. Science. Thank you. Okay, constructions is a professor, you are a Texas a&m Grad. So this I’m gonna this is perfect segue. And you’re kind of answering the question already. I want to slide in. Okay. You graduated from Texas a&m, what led you to bring your superpowers your expertise? Wide marketing? When do you like what, what? What brought you in that direction of marketing? And then I’d love to get into why manufacturing Why b2b Industrial What led you that path?
Wendy Covey 06:05
Yeah, yeah. So I it was happenstance that I wound up in engineering and technology. And it’s a funny story. So first, why marketing, I definitely see myself as a strong communicator. I’m a big extrovert. So I always knew I wanted to do something in journalism or communications and studied marketing as well. I liked the business aspect. So you know that convergence of business and communications always attracted me.
But when I got out of school moved to Austin, and I saw this wait for it, newspaper ad, because that’s what we use to find jobs. See, I’m gonna tell ya. And it was for an Events Coordinator at this tech high tech company that had never heard of called National Instruments, not Texas Instruments, and not National Semiconductor National Instruments, right at the time, you know, now they’re, they’re pretty big people know what? Anyway, I thought, Wait, someone would pay me to like plan parties.
I mean, that’s where my head is, you know? Yeah, yeah. Little did I know, 12 years later, I would he and has learned so much about marketing and technology, and how to find and attract these technical buyers, to your tradeshow booth to your conferences with your copy. So I learned just a ton. I was on the product management side as well as events management and invaluable experience there. Right. Oh,
Curt Anderson 07:36
that is so good. You know, I think I saw like I think your recruiter at your sorority or just I’ve just you just seemed like just
Wendy Covey 07:42
the rest chair. Yeah, the party’s
Curt Anderson 07:46
perfect transition into that position, you know, being the event planner, what do you know what, I’m going to go off script for a minute? Sure. Like, what are some tips, any strategy, you know, as a world’s opening back up, and now people are hitting trade shows, we’re gonna get into a couple of shows that you’re gonna be speaking at? What any tips or advice that you picked up back then that you still find relevant today?
Wendy Covey 08:04
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s interesting, people are really hungry, to get back face to face. So there’s a lot of excitement. You do see companies being very picky about where they’re going. They’ve, during the pandemic, they learned about the power of digital marketing, and content marketing, and even those laggards in manufacturing had to figure it out. Right? So we’re in this new phase now, where there’s excitement about face to face, but yet, we don’t want to let go of our content budgets. So let’s go to fewer shows, and really be as holistic about them as possible. So that means what is my marketing strategy and my presenting at the conference?
Do I have a booth? Do I have key messages? What have my demos look like? What is my call to action for afterwards? You know, what is my way to nurture these leads that I’ve met? How do I get sales appointments during that meeting, and help marketing facilitate that on LinkedIn? So a lot of just holistic strategies bringing the digital and face to face together as people start to plan for these events?
Damon Pistulka 09:11
Yeah, that’s what I think is cool about now I mean, because you know, you didn’t don’t need to go 100% Digital right? It works for you great but this whole hybrid kind of thing where you’re really leading up to these events with information getting people excited, and then in establishing that that creating that demand for you your brand your products before the show and then like you said, the in person meetings at the show and then following up after with the appropriate things in contacts, it’s just, it is so much more holistic. Yeah.
Wendy Covey 09:50
And it should have always been that way. And I will say you know what, and I once upon a time I plan 66 Zero trade shows Here in North America, your Yeah, well, I have the formula down of this, you know, pre show during and post show. But LinkedIn and in particular webinars, those are tools that are just such nice companions to, you know, your in person events. So sandwiching, using those tools is a big recommendation I have,
Curt Anderson 10:21
you know, and I absolutely love that I kind of view you as a pioneer, you know, think of the transition of trade shows sliding into the digital world and in using these assets, so like your hitting trade shows, you know, before social media, and like, you probably saw the progression of like, hey, maybe we should try this YouTube thing? Or maybe this Twitter thing or LinkedIn or? I mean, it was
Wendy Covey 10:43
it was I have the coolest story about that. So it’s late 90s and everything, you know, everything web that we are having websites, there’s different ways to digitize the physical media, if you will. So each department and I adopted their virtual counterpart. So the print advertising people started doing search advertising and online advertising, and me and events, we started doing webinars, and then comparing and contrasting the ROI, and the cost per lead and all of that stuff for both mediums. It was an interesting way to take that physical things we did and try to figure out how to do it in the digital world.
Curt Anderson 11:25
Right. Oh, man. All right. Now we’re, this is getting juicy now. Yeah. I let it slide right in. So I have to love what we’re going to guys, if you’re just joining us, we’re here with Wendy Covey, President, marketing, just a true pioneer fan. And I guess that name fits, doesn’t it? Where did the name true come from? When did you get that from?
Wendy Covey 11:44
You know, when my co founder, Rebecca Gaia, and I started the agency we would we’d never worked at an agency we’d never worked with agencies, but our impression was, you know, slick, you know, fancy clothes, kind of, you know, salesy, we didn’t have a good impression. In other words, right. Yeah. And so we were like, We want to be a trusted resource. We want to be one of your team. We want to be authentic down to earth. And so the word Trust in crew came together to become true marketing.
Curt Anderson 12:17
Wow, I absolutely love it. And you want to first off connect with Wendy here on LinkedIn. Exactly. Absolutely. Want to check out her website, we’re gonna dig in you guys. Not only talk, you walk the walk, you have tons of resources you guys use. You guys do workshops, webinars, programs, you have your book, your podcast, you call your team. That’s the true crew, which I absolutely love to check out her crew. So let’s say that I’m going to so we’re kind of progressing. We’re still back in time. So 2008 The world is completely collapsing. What do you decide to do with your career, Wendy and to start a business? Yeah, there
Damon Pistulka 12:52
Curt Anderson 12:53
So for anybody out there, that’s maybe, you know, we’re maybe they’re sitting right now, where you were that okay, job, career, whatever is going on in their life. Boy, you know, times are still shaky, you know, are we COVID, post COVID TinyMe. Where are we at right now? So take us back to 2008. What’s going what’s the process of taking that plunge? You know, sounds like you’re doing great with the events, you’re, you know, you’re booming says, you know, you’re very social, it was a good fit for you. Yeah, why make that plunge?
Wendy Covey 13:22
Yeah, it was tough to leave. It was a great company. And I had moved into a product management role for software services by then. So I was on that side. However, I, I fell in love. And I wanted to get married to someone who live very far from where the company was. So I had a personal catalyst. And, and I and I tried to get the company to experiment with Hey, why don’t I can I work from home? Maybe a few days a week? And it was like, okay, um, no, not really. But I mean, you could, but not in your leadership position.
So you can go here, or you can, you know, live here. So that was one thing going on. And then my co founder, Rebecca had kind of reached her ceiling of career growth at the company. And so she never workout partners and happy hour partners. And we just started observing how all these Nii partners, these engineering, system integration companies had horrific websites, no understanding of how to do marketing.
And we thought, you know, it would be really rewarding to help them we understand we see the problem, we see the solution. Why don’t we make a go of this? Why don’t we leave start our own agency start with that ecosystem? But of course, say yes to whoever will pay us because that was the mode we were in. Yeah. And give it a go.
Curt Anderson 14:52
That, you know, there’s always a guy that story, isn’t there like that literally is always about a guy just teasing. So while Hey, it all worked out tremendously and the Again, what a leap of faith how courageous to you know, leave the company and start your own firm. And here 14 years later just thriving your leader industry, you know, leader of that industry, doing amazing work a couple of things.
Get it through marketing, I believe like you, you do a lot of work with global spec, I think we’re going to dig into that. Right, your some little research project that we’re going to talk about, you have elite distinction as a HubSpot, Platinum Partner, b2b Magazine’s Top b2b marketing agency, I mean, you’re just absolutely crushing it hidden out of the park. Let’s talk let’s I think this is a good point. If you feel it, let’s dig into that research project that we were talking about earlier. Yeah,
Wendy Covey 15:38
yeah. So when we first started the agency, and we were off, you know, convincing these engineering executives that they needed better marketing. And we’d say, they said, well, we’ll show me the data. And so we’d show him b2b data. And they’d say, but that’s not us. We were engineers. And, we reflected on that. And we’re like, Okay, this is frustrating, right? We’re experienced marketers, we know our stuff. But engineers, behaviors, they are different than your average b2b buyer. So let’s go study this. And that was the catalyst to begin an annual research study, and how engineers seek and consume information to make purchase decisions.
And so we’ve, we’ve done this report for nine years now, five, of which we’ve the past five with global spec, and we ask engineers, everything from do you use social media? What type of content? Are you willing to fill out a form for? You know, when do you want to engage with sales? How far along are you in the buyers journey? And so with this data marketers that are targeting technical companies can one you know, get their marketing mix dialed in, but also help their engineering leaders and other leaders within the company really understand why content marketing is so important?
Damon Pistulka 16:55
Yeah, this is,
Curt Anderson 16:57
alright, let’s Alright, let’s go. Let’s take a deeper dive here. When a company reaches out to so again, you target manufacturers, engineers, tech specs, you know, you really like that down and dirty geekspeak, if you will,
Wendy Covey 17:11
really complex, we went to like the hard complex.
Curt Anderson 17:15
The bigger the challenge, like you’re gonna dive right in. So I’m a manufacturer, I’m an industrial, I’m a tech, you know, geeks, I’m a geek guy, somebody, whoever I am out there, and boy, you’re singing my song, speaking my language, you’ve had me at hello, walk us through that process. So let’s just say I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. Let’s see, I’m a really bright engineer that’s out there. And they, they’re they know nothing about marketing, zero, it’s not in their wheelhouse whatsoever. Walk us through your steps on how the true crew tackles that project.
Wendy Covey 17:50
Yeah, so what you know, it’s, it’s part of education, and then part let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. Right? So the education is around inbound marketing. And it’s, you know, it’s not just let’s hire more and more sales, guys, which are really hard to find salespeople, you know, because they need to have technical acumen to reach out to this buyer. It’s not, let’s give them a list and have them cold call, right? Well, beyond that, we all know that.
It’s not have a website that’s really shallow. And it just looks like a brochure. No, you know, the data shows that these buyers want education, they want to they go to Google, they search longtail terms, and they want to spend a lot of time independently researching information from credible sources.
And so if you don’t have that story out there and you don’t have technical content, you’re not even being considered. So you know, you need to first work on that content and work on that website. And then you prime those people for sales. So now you have this expensive, wonderful technical, Salesforce that’s actually using their time in the most productive way possible. So we kind of paint that vision of what it could like show some case studies of companies who are succeeding in that and that’s usually enough to get somebody that want to learn further.
Curt Anderson 19:11
I love that Okay, so again, I’m the engineer out there boy All right, I’m your you know, speaking some of my language what long tail what on earth is longtail? I thought was that was like an animal or fish just right? Fishing in a minute, but what Yes, well, this time, like Alright, so again, that meant that manufacturer that a technical person out there, like okay, I’m starting to get it. So what you’re telling me Wendy is like, I can’t just put up this ninth 2005 website, I need to go a little bit deeper. Walk us through like longtail that process. How to be found that take us there.
Wendy Covey 19:43
Yeah, well, here’s an interesting research set. An engineer is more likely to go past page 10 In Google results, then stop at page one.
Damon Pistulka 19:55
Yeah, well, it is because it is a And from searching for technical stuff myself in the years past, it is because the first few pages are more flashy kind of stuff, right? And to get into the technical stuff where because engineers will download PDFs, right, you’re gonna download a PDF to look at the specifications on this whatever bus controller that connects into my automation or whatever. And, and because that’s what they’re trying to, they’re trying to solve a very specific problem, right?
Wendy Covey 20:31
Exactly. In my experience, I would go deep. Yep. So. So the process, then, to setting yourself up well, is to start with one. Do you know who you are as a company? What is your brand position?
What are your differentiators? How do you defend them? How do you message about your company? Because too many times I have technical companies come to me and they say, just tell me which verticals I should focus on? Like, no, no, no, that’s your job is to build your business strategy and be able to articulate that and we’ll help you with that piece of it. But once you have that defining audience personas, and this technical folks kind of sounds like hooey. But it really is important, you know, who was going to find you first? And what is their job title? How old are they?
Where do they work? What are their job pressures? You know, what are their challenges? And how do you speak to them? And then who are they going to? Who is that bind team that you need to you know, then persuade to put you on the shortlist. And so now you have the basis of something you can use to build a content strategy and an inbound marketing strategy for that matter. Yeah,
Curt Anderson 21:47
I absolutely love that. So again, you know, manufacturers out there your targeting, you know, I know, I guess simplistic, it’s cliche that you know, you’re targeting the engineer, you’re targeting the purchaser. But you know, we I was working with a manufacturer this week, and one of their buyer personas is Scott, the FBI field agent, you know, because Scott’s out in the field, and he needs, you know, he needs something on the spot, right? Or, you know, this person, that person so again, like fully understanding that customer, now, I love what you’re talking about the engineering side.
And so Hey, guys, again, I want to give a hello to everybody. We got Gail here today, Vale put that comment from Vail there, Damon, Wendy and her crew, the true crew hosts amazing webinars. So let’s go there right now, one of the again, if you go to marketing website, she does an amazing job you have your services that you provide you do webinars, workshops, all sorts of fun things. And you have a book and a podcast, I want to talk about that next. But when somebody engages with you, let’s walk through that process of like, how do you help educate that engineering, that technical company that’s had no marketing background? From a workshop or webinar standpoint?
Wendy Covey 22:51
Yeah. So, so often we’ll walk through the marketing planning process. So you know, building those personas, creating marketing goals, what is a marketing campaign? Well, it’s an integrated set of activities towards a common goal, what should be campaigns for your company? And so a lot of times what happens is someone wants to jump straight to activity, and they say, Should I do Facebook? You know, like, that’s your, that’s the wrong question.
You know, let’s start with who we’re targeting, why we’re targeting them what success looks like, then let’s talk about content and messaging, and then we’ll, we’ll get to those channels, I promise. But at the end of the day, all those activities that we do need to be integrated together towards a common goal, common theme. And so there’s a lot of education around how to approach marketing planning strategically, rather than this Excel spreadsheet of activities.
Curt Anderson 23:46
Right? Do so when you’re in this you have a lot of like those aha moments with these, you know, these technical folks, these clients that don’t have that marketing background, do you see the light bulbs go off when you’re engaged?
Wendy Covey 23:57
You bet you bet. There’s, there are two parts light bulbs in one part, like whoa, you know, with lash a little bit because if you haven’t been doing monitor marketing, let’s say there’s a lot to it. And it’s not a short term investment. You know, inbound marketing takes time to build that content and, and continue to publish content at a steady pace, you know, steady cadence. And if your websites one of those 9095 ones, we’ve got a lot of work to do. So if someone wants Instant Leads, well, it’s probably not gonna happen for six months, nine months while we’re building this foundation.
Curt Anderson 24:36
Right? Why wouldn’t next question at what point in time why HubSpot? When did as you started your firm? Why did you align yourself what resonated with you and your partner on HubSpot, and Why marry that direction?
Wendy Covey 24:49
Great question. So they approached us I think it’s, it’s been 11 years now. And said, Look, just try it for Have your own agency and just see if you get benefit from this. And we were a small business, right? And we tried it. And within the first three weeks, we said, oh my gosh, we’re pulling all these reports manually. For our clients. We’re in so many different individual marketing, software’s, you know, pieces like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Hootsuite, the list goes on, we said, we could, if we had our clients adopt this, we can actually reduce the spend with true and have more intelligence and do things faster. And so we saw this immediate ROI. And so that’s exactly what we did.
We went to our top three clients and said, Look, trust us, we’re gonna give you some money back from your retainer, get on HubSpot. And let’s all work more intelligently. And that’s exactly what happened. And we’ve just been so impressed with the tool, and how it they focus on small to medium sized businesses. So it’s not the right tool for, you know, a $2 billion company say, for most of our clients, they serve in the middle market, and it’s ideally suited for them and then startups as well. So that’s when we recommend it.
Curt Anderson 26:08
I mean, it just been a total homerun, no looking back to a time you’re loving your relationship. You guys have distinction of LEED status as a Platinum Partner. Yep. Just sounds like you’re just crushing it with that alignment with HubSpot.
Wendy Covey 26:23
Yeah. Yeah. And we’re not you know, it’s not about hey, let’s make everybody get on HubSpot. But it’s about how can we serve our clients in the best way and give them a robust tool that, you know, does all the things they need to do?
Curt Anderson 26:36
Right? Well, I mean, in the same spirit, you know, if we own a product driven store, you want to have the best product on the shelf, you know, so you’re offering the best product on the shelf. Alright, let’s slide into you have a podcast, you have a book. Let’s start with your book. So congratulations on your book, we encourage we invite everybody go out and get her book. What’s the name of your book? I have it
Wendy Covey 26:57
here somewhere. Content marketing, engineered. Marketing,
Curt Anderson 27:01
engineered? Yeah. So what does content marketing engineered? Let’s like the title, the book, let’s give everybody like a little taste of the book. So they need to go out and buy it. But talk about the process of, of the book and why launch a book? You’re busy gal. Yeah. You love fishing? How what was the process behind writing that book?
Wendy Covey 27:20
Yeah, yeah. And this, this is actually the second book published by a true marketing authors. So co founder, Rebecca Geiger published the first one called smart marketing for engineers. And with both the ideas, we can’t serve everybody in this market, right. And there’s only certain clients that are good fit for us certain people that have the budget to work with us all of that. And so how do we take all the lessons we’ve learned and just help everyone you know, in the community, right, we’re all struggling to reach these technical buyers, there’s a lot of new nuances to it. And so that’s it. So let’s, let’s share our knowledge and, and put it out there.
And so with content marketing engineered, it really is a step by step playbook, to putting together a content marketing strategy, you know, from brand positioning and messaging to persona development, that we talked about how to put together that plan, how to write effective content, there’s a whole section of the book on that we’re talking about sales enablement and measurement.
So there’s a lot in there. And, yeah, it’s been, I’ve had really good reception from people that one company that aligned their whole marketing division, based on the book because they all use different language called ANSYS. They do. engineering software company and during simulation, and I was thrilled to have them use it in that manner as the group so it’s been cool.
Curt Anderson 28:49
Gosh, what an inspiration. Congratulations is a huge compliment accomplishment, putting out the bar, and then have that reception. And that’s awesome. Now your podcast is the same name. And I saw I went through you have amazing guests. Great topics. I think you’ve had over 90 episodes. I think Eddie Saunders is coming up in a few weeks on our show. And I think you’ve had a couple other Chris Lukey. And it looks like we’ve had a couple mutual guests, since we’re kind of targeting the same folks here. But talk about what inspired you to get the podcast launch and how has that been for you, your personally, your business? What’s that
Wendy Covey 29:24
look like? Yeah, well, it was intended to support the book launch and to have just fresh new content, different perspectives. So same goal to just provide education and, you know, networking amongst the industry. And then it just so happened this thing called COVID hit. And, you know, all these speaking engagements from the book that I expected to happen instead became my broadcast.
So but you know, it’s been such a rewarding, just personally enriching exercise to just meet all these people in the Indus stree that are, you know, doing the same thing we’re doing just trying to reach these buyers in new ways, innovative ways, you know, what’s working, what’s not. So just having a lot of fun with it.
Curt Anderson 30:12
Have you found? How has it strengthened? So for manufacturers out there in your marketing space, and they could easily say, you know, what, Wendy, you’re in marketing, of course of podcasts makes sense for you. If there’s, you know, some of the folks that you’re targeting, and maybe you’re helping your clients with that, those marketing service like, Hey, guys, why don’t you offer a webinar? Why don’t you do a podcast? Our does? Are you going that direction with your clients?
Wendy Covey 30:36
We are when it makes sense. And so you know, sometimes people come to us and say, I want to start a podcast, I’m gonna look science. And we say, okay, it takes some time. You know, let’s start with maybe you being on other people’s podcasts. So you feel for what it’s about, that’s the lightest lift. And then let’s talk about what would your podcast be about, you know, how often would you have it, who would be your guests, and just making sure that there’s a solid strategy behind it.
And as some of our clients are running into a bit of a snag, that’s similar to case studies. So when you want to write a case study with your favorite client, and the client says, I’d love to, but legal says no, no. Podcasts can be the same way depending on the subject matter. And so it’s just an important consideration, particularly for manufacturing companies that are thinking about doing this is making sure the topic is going to lend itself well and be approved.
Curt Anderson 31:34
Right. Nice. Okay. Excellent tip. going off script for a second. Any surprises? Or any you know, since you from the day you started to like today, 90 episodes in anything, any positive surprises? And it’s like, wow, man, this podcast thing is like far exceeding my expectations. I know, Damon, you and I just absolutely love this. We get to spend time. Yeah, just sitting here, just absorbing your energy, your positivity, your experience, your expertise, any, anything that’s exceeded your expectations becoming a podcaster.
Wendy Covey 32:05
I mean, it’s all of the things that you just brought up just, it’s such a instead of reaching out to someone and saying, hey, you know, I read your bio, and it sounds like we’re doing a lot of the same stuff we should connect. Instead, it’s an excuse, if you well, it’s a catalyst to have a conversation that other people can listen to and benefit from. But we, the two people in the conversation get so much out of it. So I just love that.
And if my team hits something that they haven’t seen before, like we had when like Google changed their algorithm, right, pretty significantly. And I said, let’s bring on an expert in that algorithm. And let’s tell me all your questions. Let me just ask him. So we use it selfishly, as sometimes to when we want to dig a little deeper, I can.
Curt Anderson 32:55
contagious enthusiasm. Do me a favor, Tom Leonard, call Leonard after or just say, hey, Kurt Damon just said, Dad, thank you for such a great job. Because the guy was saying that I’m just above and of energy, and you have a contagious enthusiasm. When he was. Let’s go here. Next, let’s talk about
Wendy Covey 33:12
before you go crazy. I can’t believe I forgot to bring this up. We asked a question or research about podcasts. And whether or not engineers, I’m looking for the data right now, because this is such a good one. Okay, okay. Get ready for this. So we asked last year. Hey, engineers, do you listen to podcast for work? And hang on?
Oh, let me find it. It Oh, it’s through the roof. Year over year? It was really Yeah, yeah. And oh, here we go. Here we go. So 73% of engineers listen to work related podcast throughout the week. And this was up quite a bit from last year, like 3032 percentage points or something like that. And I think that there’s two reasons. I think there’s just more adoption. But also, there’s more shows out there that are Michie and related to what they’re doing. So, you know, there’s definitely some momentum behind doing this.
Curt Anderson 34:08
Absolutely. And I agree with you 100%. It’s not for everybody. And sometimes, you know, like, yeah, you know, I’m always guilty, you know, hey, shiny object, hey, let’s jump on Tumblr. Let’s jump on, you know, whatever, right? Whatever the latest flavor of the month is, yeah, write it out. So it is common for folks. Let’s just do a podcast but boy, for folks, you know, especially you probably cross folks where you feel it’s a phenomenal fit in they might be putting up some resistance.
So you know, definitely be you know, if you’re a manufacturer, boy, be open minded to this opportunity. Let’s I didn’t you have some you have an exciting speaking gig coming up at a wonderful industrial conference in September, coming at us live in Cleveland. Can you talk a little bit about that summit that’s coming up?
Wendy Covey 34:49
Yeah. So it’s part of Content Marketing World and it’s a one day summit called the industrial marketing Summit. So it’s kind of like a subset of the bigger conference. And I love this because As you know, I’m pretty passionate about content marketing and how well that fits for technical environments. So to get all of us industrial folks in one room that are like, you know, doing things like convincing technical leadership that content marketing is important. This is just it’s gonna be like a big you don’t know,
Curt Anderson 35:20
like a mini Woodstock would lose the
Damon Pistulka 35:26
need to be like that, but the opposite.
Curt Anderson 35:28
Yeah. Definitely both. And, boy, let’s talk about the lineup. I know. So our Damon our mutual friend, Joe Sullivan. Eddie Saunders is coming up on our program when he talks about some of the other I know you’re one of the keynotes. Yeah, some of the other.
Wendy Covey 35:45
Peters will be there some folks from Sam tech, so Toshiba, so you got a lot of big brands as well as smaller companies. So there’s going to be some breadth of topics and it’s going to be a great day, it’s
Curt Anderson 36:02
gonna be a great time to I believe it’s September 15. Thrive that
Wendy Covey 36:05
right, number 15. Then it’s sponsored by cadenas. partsolutions. So they’re the ones that made it possible. And we’re grateful to them. And we
Curt Anderson 36:12
have we have Andrew hood from Kadena is coming up on our program in November Daymond. Just like no there. So these are dear friends of ours. So great lineup. So if you’re out there, if you’re catching us on a replay if you’re interested, definitely connect with Wendy, you want to check out that conference, you want to check out her book. I want to sign into now. Wendy, I have another question for you here. So okay, you are part of a nonprofit if I’m not mistaken, right. It’s called Red arena. Do I have that? Is that do
Wendy Covey 36:41
I have that right? Yes, you do.
Curt Anderson 36:43
So i before, before you tell everybody about it. Damon, I I challenge you to go to their website, watch their videos and not shed a tear. Oh, it’s impossible. For anybody out there to go to it’s red arena.com I believe right? It might be.org.org. Okay, so red arena. It’s a it a loser ready? You
Damon Pistulka 37:09
know? I cry the national anthem. Doesn’t take much for me.
Wendy Covey 37:15
Yeah. Parades, for sure. So
Curt Anderson 37:18
tell us what goes on at Red arena and you’re in my hat is off to you. Because you your family, it sounds like that you are a contributor participate share what’s going on at this? Or do we
Wendy Covey 37:29
do we do so it was founded by a good friend of ours who was a physical therapist, and Mason, what they do is equine therapy for children and veterans who have physical and mental challenges. So it might be autism, it might be you know, mobility limitations, it might be PTSD.
And so for whatever reason they’ve seen in these are pretty significant challenges in most cases. And so what you see in this video that moves everyone to tears is different examples of how in one case, one child’s first word at age 10 happened when they came off of a writing session. And then they have another child that can’t be touched, because her skin will fall off, where she’s touched.
And so her whole body has to be advantages. But she goes in takes care of these horses and interacts with them. And anyway, it’s just what they’re doing is amazing. And it just makes you so thankful for your health. And, you know, I think about my children and how healthy they are and how easy we had it compared to these families, you know, and having to as parents manage through all of this. And so it’s just a bright spot in their week. And of course, helps these children further develop their skills. So really neat organization, go check them out. Yeah, and you will cry. Sorry. Sorry.
Curt Anderson 38:58
Pretend that you’re not going to because you will. So it’s just I challenge anybody out there not but So, hey, to the founder of that organization, I can’t tell you how amazing it is, is when he just described you know, a child’s first word, these children that are incapable, you know, it’s a combination of things when it’s, you know, you know, being a deep gratitude for what we have.
And also it just, you know, we hear all these negative things and this and politics and people pointing each other you watch something like that, and it just feel so inspired for humanity. It’s just like, I wish we had a news channel that was just dedicated to you know, situations of what’s going on right arena, you know, it’s just so tiring.
Wendy Covey 39:39
I’m Thank you. Thank you for bringing it up. Yeah, absolutely.
Curt Anderson 39:42
So guys, check that out. So when I know you’re super busy, I want to be mindful of your time. As you know, we’re talking about inspiration. Question for you. You are just crushing it on HubSpot. You are a technical guru, family, husband and kids. This just sounds like you have a wonderful life. Who is you who you’re here. Eero was course Leonard and mom’s co hero who inspires you today as you like, look forward to the future with your business your kids just marching forward. Sure, a little bit like Who inspires you today?
Wendy Covey 40:13
Ah, oh, wow, I’m gonna have to think about this. I’d love to say it’s a world leader, but I don’t have
Curt Anderson 40:24
any input do you look in your life, your co workers, your true crew, your children, like who’s really like, who lights a fire for you on a regular basis,
Wendy Covey 40:32
you know, I have a neighbor, who is just no matter how busy they are, and what they’re struggling with, and what life throws at them, they have this positive light, and they’ll just drop everything and be there for you. And, you know, we all get so caught up in our day to day lives and career and family and just, you know, our own stuff. And I’m always been impressed with how I just know I can call this person and she’s always there. And you know, I just want to be mindful of that, you know, that balance and take a step back and realign priorities. So you know, it’s not a big figure out famous figure out in the world but to me, you know, Emily, boy,
Curt Anderson 41:20
isn’t that just You just never in you know, she’s in I think you said she probably has no idea and just look at the impact that you can have on others. Just being of just a smile of just being polite of just like you said, I’m going to jump my groceries and help you and do whatever I need to so man, what an inspiration. Last question for you today. Wendy. You are a Texas State Champion Fisher woman can you please share with the folks here about this fish that you caught?
Wendy Covey 41:48
I am a record holder that the official title is I caught the largest catcher of a leaf catch and release redfish in the state of Texas and it happened 11 years ago on Monday actually was the anniversary I celebrate that see
what was the date what was the record
Wendy Covey 42:14
kid I don’t know it’s on my calendar whatever Monday Yeah, so now I have a women’s fishing team are called the troublemakers and tournament that troublemakers Oh God I have a little bit of a this tiny little fishing obsession so
Curt Anderson 42:30
yeah let’s just get right nothing wrong with don’t see Dion fishing that’s absolutely perfect. So when he’s we close out any parting words of wisdom any bombs that you want to drop Damon one
Damon Pistulka 42:43
quick question though. Do you have one of those fishing boats with the big 200 and some horsepower motor on the back that can go super fast. Guilty. Oh my god. I love it. The first time I wrote on one of those on the Tennessee River. I can’t tell you what a rush that is rolling down the water to your favorite fishing spot. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it. That’s awesome.
Curt Anderson 43:14
You got to get that on either get that in the website? Or maybe you know come when you come back to this chat box here just a picture of that of that boat. But what is so great, that is awesome. So as we close out September 15 You can catch one he live in Cleveland, you absolutely have to go to her website. All sorts of great information check out her podcast Do yourself a favor buy herself a book it’s right on Amazon I think was like 899 you can’t afford not to buy it. Wendy any parting thoughts any words of wisdom that you want to leave us with for today?
Wendy Covey 43:45
You know, if you’re one of these manufacturing companies that’s still stuck in the old ways and you’re trying to you know, pull people along towards inbound marketing in two pieces of advice. One that research report really does help because you have specific data to back you up and to just start with one area of your business right start with one vertical or one segment and build out the personas build out the content along the buyers journey just start there and prove out the model and then before you know it you’ll be able to pull the rest of the company along
Curt Anderson 44:22
good stuff moment a moment of silence let’s it’s lunchtime here in East Coast let’s moment of silence. Wendy you are an absolute blessing just your you are just infectious. It’s just such an honor and privilege to connect with you. But if there’s anything Daymond I could do for you, you reach out anytime guys, please connect with Monday here on LinkedIn. Do yourself a favor and if you’re looking for like you know just a little motional you know, whatever we’ll call it, go to read arena.org You’ll thank me for that one.
So when he God bless you thank you have a great time where you’re at keep knocking down those fish for everybody out there, boy, if you, boy, just feel the inspiration go out and just spread that to anybody and just keep going out and crushing it. Damon, what, uh, what, uh, I have no words today. This is great. So, out of applause. Let’s get a round of applause for everybody out there. Stand up. Get a round of applause. All right.
Wendy Covey 45:19
Thank you for having me.
Curt Anderson 45:21
Take it away, man.
Damon Pistulka 45:22
Oh, thanks so much, Wendy. Awesome conversation, de learning. Listening to your insights about marketing and getting the engineers with your content marketing is incredible. And yeah, go out and get her book content marketing engineered. I want to thank everyone for showing up today. Gail, Val, Manuel ingericht. Here. Anger. Yeah, anger in the end coming in with the hot comments at the end. Awesome. And Gore. Well, just thanks, everyone for being here this week. And we’re gonna be back again. Monday. Are we here? Monday.
Curt Anderson 45:52
We’re taking Monday off dude, we’re taking Monday, but next Friday. It’s busy, busy. Next Friday, family vacation next week. But next Friday go. You’ve got Gail and you’ve got Polly rose, and we’re going to take a deep dive into LinkedIn strategies for manufacturers Damon, I think you know something about LinkedIn. Right? How many What do you got? I have 800,000 followers
Damon Pistulka 46:11
on LinkedIn a little bit. Yeah. Comment once or twice, you’ll figure but thanks so much, everyone for being here. Man. We’d love to see you every Friday. Come back and see us again. We have awesome guests like Wendy sharing great information to help manufacturers ecommerce, b2b people that want to grow their businesses and do it right. See y’all next week.
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