The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode 110 · 2 months ago

How technical professionals influence purchase decisions

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the manufacturing sector, the person who’s writing the check often isn’t the same person whose attention and trust you need to earn. Instead, the most important buying process influencers tend to be the technical professionals who are trying to solve a problem or achieve an outcome. And in many cases, those technical professionals are engineers. 

Wendy Covey, CEO, and Co-Founder of TREW Marketing, is an expert in reaching those exact people. As host of the Content Marketing, Engineered podcast, author of Content Marketing, Engineered: Build Trust and Convert Buyers with Technical Content, and publisher of an annual study, State of Marketing to Engineers, Wendy is a wealth of knowledge on the subject. 

Join us as we discuss:

  •  The findings of TREW Marketing’s 2022 study 
  •  How marketing to engineers can increase the chances of closing a sale
  •  Where engineers go to collect information to make buying decisions

And then you have mostly millennials taking over a lot of these specifier positions and management positions that don't have necessarily the experience and need to turn to even more education to make an informed decision from vendors they trust. So, if anything, content marketing becomes even more important with that audience. Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving mid size manufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B two B sales and marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive podcast. I'm Joe Sullivan, your host and a CO founder of the Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla seventy six. I frequently find myself reminding my manufacturing audience that the people they need to reach an influence inside of their future customers companies are often not the same people who are physically writing the checks. While the C suite might ultimately hold the buying power, and although procurement might ultimately sign the checks, it's often the technical professionals inside of a given company whose attention, trust and advocacy you need to earn if you're going to have a chance in the sale. And for many of you listening right now, those most important buying process influencers are engineers of some sort. My guest today is an expert in how to reach those exact people. She runs an agency focused on marketing to engineers, has written a book on the subject, hosts a podcast on the subject and has for eight year. Is Now published a study about how engineers collect information and ultimately make buying decisions. So if your audience includes engineers or other technical professionals, you'll want to listen to this one all the way through. Let me introduce her. Wendy Covey is the CEO and Co founder of True Marketing, an Austin based agency that serves companies targeting engineers and highly technical buyers. She's the author and podcast host of content marketing engineered and she holds a Texas fishing record. Wendy, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. Well, Wendy, we can't start this one out without you. Elaborating on your Texas fishing record that you hope. Let's hear it. You like that. I like to always get that in a little cliffhanger. You know, either somebody who have to follow up on their own or we're just gonna have you do it now. So yeah, let's let's hear that story. Yeah, so almost eleven years ago I looked into this giant red fish. So it's a red drum, it's the scientific name, down off the coastline in just south of Corpus Christi, Texas. So it was in the bay. I'm the Big Bay Fisher woman. I have a women's fishing team, so I love to go down there and fish, but this was a very unique experience. So I'm the only woman. Last time I looked, that's up there in those record books. So Pretty Fun Nice. Good for you. I imagine we have plenty of outdoors men who and women who listened to this show. So I had to ask about that. My my business partner, John M, hunts and fishes everything alive, so he'll he'll appreciate that as well. Very cool. Well, UM, Wendy. So every year my team at guerrilla Um looks forward to the survey and report that you and your crew puts out about the state of marketing to engineers and I usually wind up downloading it circulating around the company. Um, I'd love to have you start by kind of telling us what this reports all about and why you've done it annually for what five straight years now? Yeah, yeah, well, the past five with global SPEC, Um, but actually we had different partners before that, so it's actually probably a year eight in total. Um. Yeah. Yeah, so what the report is is we study how engineers seek and consume information to make purchase decisions. And you might imagine, as content marketers, were keenly interested in what type of content that is where they look for information. And the reason we started this report is when, Um, a woman named Rebecca Guyer and I started true marketing about fourteen years ago. We came from a large technology company and we knew that engineers had very specific behavior that was a little different than your average B Two b bear and Um, we started working with engineering companies and we show them B two B data to back up our experience and our recommendations, and they were always really skeptical about that data and they were like yeah, that's B two B you know, we target these really technical buyers and so we thought,...

...okay, we're going to come up with our own original data to help just again back up our experience what we already know, and so that's how it got started and it's been an interesting journey throughout these years to just see what stayed the same and what's changing. Yeah, I bet, and we're gonna unpack a whole bunch of that shortly here. But what I really love is that you, you, you know you kind of took that thing you were hearing, because we hear the same thing. I mean, listen. I've been CO operating this industrial marketing agency for a decade and a half now and mostly focused on companies who have, you know, complex, highly engineered products, you know, big ticket products or services, long sales cycles, and the thing we talked about all the time is the people you need to reach, those influencers in the buying process aren't really procurement, the people writing the check, or even the you know, the leaders at the company, as much as the people who are either on the shop floor, the machinists and the welders and the plant managers, but the probably the people we need to influence the most are those engineers who are specting things out and looking for a solution, and so getting inside of their heads, understanding what matters to them, what issues they're trying to solve, what objectives they're trying to achieve and earning their trust and attention is is, you know, the thing you need to do to really build advocacy throughout the company. So I think it's really cool that a your company is focused on engineers or companies selling into engineers and technical professionals and and this this study. I mean I'll tell you, I probably showe you a whole bunch of money for all the business we've won over the years by literally linking to this and saying hey, you don't believe me, and look at what this study says. So, so, thank you. You're welcome. Well, we're all in this together figuring it out. It's it's a tough, skeptical audience, as you know. So I just love that that we use technical marketers, are helping each other out and, you know, solving this complex issue. Yeah, it's great. Well, Um, it's near the beginning of your report, which we will make sure we we linked to the place to download that in the show notes. But, um, near the beginning of your report you listed kind of, I think it was sort of an executive summary or so, with, you know, seven key takeaways and I'd love to spend a bunch of our time in this conversation kind of going through those. There are some that, you know, I saw and, being in this industrial marketing world, I'm like yeah, that makes sense to me and others are interesting. I would not have guessed that. So I'd love to just run through them and talk a little bit about each one. If, if that makes sense to you, that sounds great. Um, great. Well, should we just kind of start at the top? Okay, uh. Well, the first one we talk about where engineers go to find information to make a business purchase, and so this is one of our most popular questions we ask. So what information sources do you look to? Basically, what channels right and Um, the number one answer, and it's always been the number one answer since we first started asking this, is supplier vendor websites and a close number two to that is trade publication websites. So there you go. You know that that investment in your website is so critically important. Like we didn't already know that. But this is the data to support that, Um and. And then there's some other findings. You know, as you go to number three and four, Um, industry directory websites became more popular this past year and Um also industry association groups was ranked high. So two other digital sources to find information interesting. Yeah, it's it's not surprising to me, as as you probably expect, that the supplier vendor websites are are going to be number one, Um and. And it makes sense when when somebody's out there actually looking for something. So maybe later we'll get into well, well, what happens when somebody's not looking and how do you build awareness in front of them before they even get to that point? But Um, but yeah, I think that's Um, that one is it's it's nice to it, even though I think we know it's true. UH, probably, I'm guessing early, maybe a decade ago. That even would have taken some convincing among manufacturers. But yeah, yeah, okay. Cool. So, so information sources. Um, that was that one. How about that second bullet? So the second one, uh, is I love to ask this because engineer executives are like we don't want to have any forms on our website. I hate forms. Technical buyers will never fill out a form. And wrong. Eight three percent of engineers are willing to fill out a form in exchange for technical content. So obviously not any content. It needs to be me technical, something of quality, of value. But they will fill out a form. And so in the research report we also ask okay, what types of content are you more likely to fill out a form in order to receive? And you might imagine it's your typical things like Um data sheets, not AATA sheets, sorry, white...

...papers, cad drawings, those sorts of things. And then, separately we asked just what's the most useful type of content, and data sheets dominates that. And data sheets are kind of a boring answer but right there necessary. And so it just shows that you can't hold your information hostage like your specs, you know, those sorts of things. You need to give engineers both educational information about how to solve a particular problem or an application, but also just, you know, information about that product. So it seems obvious, but sometimes, you know, the old way was holding some information hostage to force someone to pick up the phone and talk to sales and and that's really a risky game. To play now that so many companies are putting more and more content on their website. Yep, this one's really interesting to me, Um, for for a few reasons that I want to get into. So have you seen, Um when have you seen a change one way or another in turn of that willingness to say, trade contact information for a piece of content over the last few years to kind of consistent? It's pretty consistent. It's always been in the eighties, like one year it might be eight six percent, this year is um but given you know the trend, it seems like it's staying about in place. Yeah, okay, cool. So I'm curious to see how that evolves in the coming years. And I say that because some of them are. You know, there's sort of a trend right now in marketing and you see it more in software and some of the the marketers that I watch out there who are in Um. You know, no offense to the manufacturing sector here, but marketing wise tend to be a little behind say, software and professional services and things, and there's definitely a trend over the last two years of starting to ungape things, meaning is opposed to putting this thing behind a form. Let's just have it available for download. If it's a PDF, just have it there. You can click on it, you can get it. And the argument in favor of that is, Um, you know, there is a sort of weariness that is starting to happen with giving up your contact information, knowing that, well, some salesperson is probably about to call me right and only and I just want this piece of information. I don't want to have a sales call right now. So there's an argument both ways, but seeing that a three percent of engineers are still willing to do that is it's it's interesting. It makes me kind of think twice about well, okay, maybe all the people I'm listening to are in software talking about a gate, all your stuff maybe over here, that we're not there yet. Where that was like, you know, sort of a Um, a weariness of that. So yeah, and you know, a way to heade your bets, of course, is to have the aggregation of information be behind a form, but then all that same information is available in several blog posts or, you know, something like that, so that you can still serve someone the same information. If, if they are really against that form, they just have to work a little harder. Yeah, that's a good point. Or there's a company we've been doing business with for a number of years. They're they're pie yard is actually down near you in in the Houston area, but they're based in St Louis, where I am called American piping products and there's steel pipe distributor and they have they have all these Um spec sheets on an html forum on their website that are visible, but they're not super printer friendly and people like to walk away with something physical. And so, you know, we were looking at analytics on their site. I remember this was like five or six years ago at this point, where but we were we had we had a tool called hot jar running on their site that let us sort of see heat maps on their page and what people are doing. And there was this there was this chart. It was a sort of a subset of a bigger SPEC sheet, one particular chart, and we saw all these red spots in the top left corner and the bottom right corner of that chart and we're like, okay, what's going on here? This is not a clickable thing. Well, what it turns out what it was happening is people were clicking, dragging their mouths across the car chart because they were copying and pasting the information in that probably putting it in a word doc and printing it. So we said, all right, well, what if we just put a little pop up download button on top of that particular chart and said, you know, drop your email address in here and downloaded. They started generating like two, you know, contacts a month just off of that particular chart now in their email database. So, Um, that's another way to make the information accessible in html forum and if somebody really wants it, you know. So I don't know, I can see I can see the argument both ways in a lot of cases. I'm I think things like that are are still it's it's, you know, the the or a cad file, right, and we're we're both we both know Adam back over at codinus part solutions and they're doing awesome stuff with, you know, the generation via cad file, Um, APPs that get installed on your website. Um, and I think there's still a place for that for sure. I think where I'm I'm more a fan of dating things is is the educational content, the stuff and the written content, video content that comes from your experts brains. Um, I'm a fan of just make it visible you want as many people as possible consuming that information and and and then you know maybe they're going and download a tool or a spect sheet or something right, right,...

...or a white papers, the books, something meaty. And with videos, what we're seeing to be a trend to is, you know, there's individual videos are available, but you can put them together into a series that's gated. And so again it's all about presenting that information in different ways and perceived value of that assets. Yeah, yeah, and I think the other thing on this topic that I'd hit on is that I think the mistake a lot of companies make when they do gate content is is they go they somebody download something and immediately they're just hammering them with calls and emails trying to sell something. Right, and I think the approaches. If you're going to collect email addresses, how do you put some kind of value based nurture program in place to stay top of mind, to keep Um immersing them with your brand and your content, to keep building trust and attention? You're not going to change the speed at which they go through their buying process. They're going to buy on their own terms and they want to and I think that the opportunity for you when you say have an email address, is how can you use that to keep providing value, not hammering them with sales messaging? I love that and in fact that kind of Segues to the last bullet, if you wouldn't skip to that. Yeah, let's let's go there and then come back. Yeah, we you know, we asked some questions on how engineers like to engage with sales and one of them we always, always ask is what percent of the buyer's journeys complete before you want to engage with sales, and that some years has been as high as seventy for some age groups, uh, the younger engineers being the least willing to interact with sales. I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that. Um this year it was actually, uh, forty percent of the way through. So we did interesting dynamic and I think maybe part of that was when the survey was given, because it was towards the tail end of Covid and people are lonely and may be willing to interact. So they were willing to interact a little bit um sooner. But all in all the majority of engineers prefer to research online. Knowing there's the salesperson available to them, but they really want to go online and do as much research as they can to shortlist people, um. And then when they do reach out to sales, we asked what are the most annoying sales behaviors? This was a new question this year and it was lack of technical expertise, so no surprise there, and poor responsiveness, and so those, those things were more annoying than, say, misspellings or Um, hitting me too too much, you know, too many emails, Um. So anyway, it's there. Yeah, that's that's really good stuff, Um, and I think you know that that particular staff that you've had in their year after year after years, is the one that I've always come back to and probably have used a lot in Um in sales conversations I've had with manufacturing people. It's I think there's this there's always been this misperception and it's gotten better for sure over the years, but that, well, nothing replaces the in person conversation or the Um, you know, being in a room with somebody. And so therefore I'm not a believer in content marketing and that completely misses the point. It's if if you know that your audience is out there trying to find answers to questions, ways to solve a problem, learned, ways to do something differently. Um, you know, improve our O. I on an investment. Um, it's these. If people are looking for this information, you need to put it out there, because if you don't, if you don't, your competitors are and then they're the ones who are gonna get the attention and they're the one who are going to get the sales called. By no means it's content marketing ever meant to be a replacement for sales. It's meant to help you get discovered, earn attention and trust and set up, not only set up more sales conversations, but better ones. I can promise you that the best sales conversations I have, I had one yesterday right at the end of the day, is somebody who gets on the phone with me and says, Hey, I've been listening to your podcast for the last three months. Um, we we've. I've been following you and and all of your your people at Gorilla on Linkedin and all all the insights you published there. And, uh, I know we need to be doing this kind of stuff for ourselves the process. Yeah, I love when it's like I've been in your email nurture and I know what you're doing and I want to do it too, exactly, exactly, and that is that is, in a nutshell, to me, the power of content marketing before the sale is just earning a trust and attention from the right people and and and your sales team should embrace that, because it's gonna help. It's gonna make their job a heck of a lot easier when they don't have to spend three quarters of the time convincing the person on the other end of the line that this is something they need. And you know, Um, yeah, so, I mean that that's the you. Yeah, yeah, so. So I love that...

...one. I've always loved that. That particular stat Um pulled it many times. So awesome. Okay, let's take a quick break here. I want to let a couple of our strategists at guerrilla Sei tell you about something pretty cool that we're doing right now for marketing folks in the manufacturing sector. Peyton and Mary, take it away. Yes, so, I'm Peyton Warrant and I'm Mary Kio. Twice a month we host a live event called industrial marketing live. Right now we have a group of fifty plus industrial marketers from a variety of manufacturing organizations. We meet up digitally to learn, ask questions, network and get smarter. Every session has a designated topic and one of our team members at guerrilla seventy six opens up by teaching for the first half hour or so. Topics have included how to get better at a manufacturing Webinar, getting started with paid social on Linkedin, how to optimize your website for conversions, creating amazing video content and so much more. After we break it down, we open it up to q and a so we can help you apply all of this in your own businesses. This is pure value, no cost, no strings attached, no product or service pitches, just unadulterated learning experience. Oh and on top of these live sessions, we've also opened up a slack channel where our attendees bounce ideas off each other and learned together all week long between sessions. We're building a true community of manufacturing marketing professionals here. So if you or someone at your company has the Word Marketing in his or her job title, please consider telling them about it. They can visit industrial marketing live dot com to register. We love to see you there. Cool, you want to jump back to where we're here? Numbers? Yeah, let's talk about social this one is always so controversial with people and also we it was debate if youtube belongs on the list or not. Is it a social channel or is it just a surge channel, or it's kind of a little bit of both? Right, Um. So, when asked how engineers interact with social media channels, Youtube and Linkedin are absolutely the dominant use uh, and so that's where they're going. That's where marketers should invest their money if they're targeting these technical buyers. And then get hub was a new one that we threw in this year and that that ranked pretty well. It was a distant third. So it's still all about Youtube and Linkedin. Um. But the the most surprising thing, I think two people as twitter is really unpopular amongst engineers. They're not really going there. You know, maybe for events they're doing that, and certainly the trade publications, like the editors, are utilizing, you know, trending stories on twitter. So I'm not saying drop twitter completely, but if you know, I were in the driver's seat of someone's marketing plan, I would certainly put most of my effort into linkedin and Youtube. And then, just for fun, we we threw in clubhouse this year and and we had a place where people because they like I don't know when this is or not applicable, and a lot of the respondents answered like that. That's that's not surprising. And maybe the clubhouse is an interesting one where I feel like it was surging a year ago and then all of a sudden it kind of fell off the map in industrial so yeah, I hear you there. Yeah, the other thing we did so each year we add some new questions where we go a little deeper into a particular channel or two, and we did this with Linkedin in this year's report and we found that, well, eighty one percent of engineers spend some time reading or sharing information on Linkedin. They're not spending very much time. I think it was under one hour or under thirty minutes even. I have to go back and look. And so the point is you need to get your attention really quickly. Right. So what what we're seeing that's working well? Or short video snippets with captions, imagery, you know, something to try to grab someone's attention right away. Where did facebook fall on this list? Out of curiosity. FACEBOOK was pretty unpopular too, let me tell you. I have this lines right here. Let's see. So two percent said extremely valuable. In six percent said valuable, and that supposed to twenty seven percent said not valuable at all. Intent shows to percent didn't even write it like non applicable. They don't have accounts. It's a very few liked facebook out of curiosity. What was this question posed, or what was the actual question posed, and how like? Was this about using social media channels for business purposes? Business? Yes, so it's valuable or each of the following social media platforms when seeking information on the latest engineering technologies, trends and products. Yep, okay, cool, now that makes sense. So I'll to throw this one at...

...you. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this. Wendy Um, you know we always talk about at guerrilla there's there's sort of two joint strategies we always try to put together for clients. It's let's capture demand that exists and let's create demand where it doesn't yet. So if you think about your entire total addressable market as a manufacturer, Um and everybody you could who could potentially be a customer. Usually only a very small percentage of those people are in buying mode at any moment in time, maybe maybe three percent. It's been the bigger and bigger your product or the bigger ticket it is, the less often a sales cycle comes around. You know, the smaller percentage the number of people who are buying right now or this week is people will be in a in a month or a year or three years. So I think the one thing I like. It's not an Asterisk, but one thing I've knowed about this particular bullet point or this particular stat is that I think this is applicable to the percentage of people who are looking for information right like they're they're trying to solve a specific problem and they're going to a channel Um. The other thing I like to think about is, well, engineers may not go to, say, facebook or even linked in that often to look for something or spend a ton of time there, but if they're still using those channels, even if it's for personal purposes, and you as a marketer can reach people there with Um, with a message that is relevant to them because of who they are, what their job title is, what industry groups. They are a part of who they follow, what their geography is. It's a great place to both of those channels, Linkedin facebook, are really great places to create demand, meaning distribute content that Um speaks to the things those people care about, addresses common questions, Um and and what it does is it helps you earn their attention and trust before they're ever in a buying process and then when they do go looking for a solution, there's already awareness and trust in your brand. So I love this staff from the standpoint of where do people go to seek information? But when they're not yet seeking information, I think some of the other channels can be great prices to reach them and build attention and trust. Yeah, there you go. Well, we're seeing facebook dropping off, you know, in popularity, so there's an interesting trend there. And of course, instagram. So there's this I've noticed as a gen X or, you know, there's this interesting demarcation line Um, almost your two below me, between people on one versus the other. Uh. So I find that interesting. But also, you know, do people want to hear from their B two B folks on what they use for personal and you know, I think you can make a case for culture and some of those types of posts, but we're even seeing those just perform much better on linkedin. So you know, none of these are absolutes. It's kind of just percentages of time investment. And I think you make a good point of just having a diverse set of content so that you can appeal to people when they just want to see, you know, culture posts or what's happening at the company that's a little bit not trend focused or solution focused. Yeah, and I think that's that's a really good point and I agree with you. The I think when I think about using these channels organically versus with the paid budget, I think that the purpose sort of changes or the execution changes. Like I would never encourage any of my manufacturing clients two organically post things on facebook because it's going to get no reach. You're right, people aren't going there to like look for solutions. I would not post bottom of funnel. You know product focus by now stuff. But we can reach Um when you put a paid budget behind it and you can reach the exact people you're trying to reach. Um. And and you know, the way I always describe it is like if you're sitting on the couch at at night watching the NBA finals or the real housewives or whatever you watch and be because you are a UH whatever, a design engineer or a plant manager or a machinist or whatever, and you're flipping through facebook while watching TV and something, that video of somebody talking about the exact problem that you were having that day, happens to cross your feed. Um, you stop and look, and that's what happens. And then a week later you see another video related to a similar topic, and a week later you see one that is, uh, you know, a success story of Um, you know how somebody just like them solved solved a specific problem. Um, we're seeing companies win big time on that brand recall, if that's what it is. It's not. It's not a place to sell, it's not a place to push the bottom of funnel message. It's a place to build awareness before people are ever in a bicycle. You know what this reminds me of? Last year we asked about retargeting and how and and of course, for our survey we thought engineers don't know what retarget...

...is, so let's explain you know. So we have this little explanation of when you visit a site and then you see whatever you saw, you know, come up in other channels. What do you think about this? And a third of them found it creepy. A third of them found it helpful because for brand recall, and a third were sort of like neutral on it, like I don't care to really notice whatever. So I found that to be an interesting maybe non conclusive, but just maybe be cautious, but there's a place for it right. A full third said, yeah, it helped increase my awareness. So yeah, that's interesting. The way we usually use retargeting, which, just for people who aren't that familiar, this is when, you know, you visit a website and maybe you're on a product page or a service page or a special page or something, and then you know, all of a sudden you're on whether you're in facebook or linkedin three days later, or you're on weather dot com or ESPN DOT com or whatever, and all of a sudden you see an ad related to that. You know companies, that retail companies, do this like crazy, but B two B companies, if they can do it in a way that's, you know, doesn't feel overly intrusive or Um, you know you can do it with some grace. It can be a really effective way to bring people back. Like we'll use it for our clients. will use retargeting Um in on what we would call high intent pages on a website. So you know, if you think about somebody who visited the request to quote page on your site or a specific product page where there's clearly some buying intent there, I wouldn't do I wouldn't retarget people from my home page or a blog post, but I would retarget them on a page where there's probably some buying intent in that person's mind when they visited it, and then you can maybe, you know, you say, let's use the facebook or Linkedin pixels so that when they're in those platforms we can then show something related to that and try to bring them back. Um. So yeah, I think there are there's a time and place for it, for sure, but I think you gotta think hugically about how you do it. And Yeah, I do it in a way that doesn't feel creepy. Right, right exactly, because Nordstrom keeps following me around and I did it, but I'm not buying those shoes. I hear you. Hear it's amazing how it happens on Instagram for me all, all the time, and every once in a while it gets me all of it. Um. Okay, cool. So anything else to say about social you want to jump? No, I think let's move on to some fun stats on podcasts and so, okay, here's here's something strange, and I'm looking over my other screen here. When we asked just you know, where do you seek information? They know back to that first question on channels podcasts. Only four percent rain said they go to podcasts. Okay, but then later we asked, okay, so podcast isn't your favorite place to go, but do you listen to work related podcasts at all? Seventy of engineers said yes, they listen to a work podcast every single week, and that grew by thirty three percent points from last year. That is a huge jump. Yeah, so my explanation for this? UH, well, well, when I think more people are just hearing about podcasts and you know, her friends or whatever, but I think it has more to do with there's more podcast shows out there now right there's more choices and things that are very particular that what that person is working on. So as you have more choices, maybe more people are going to adopt this medium. Yeah, that this one is probably the staff that surprised me the most, which it shouldn't, because I've been, you know, running a podcast for a couple of years now and that's exactly what we're doing at this moment. To see the jump by from last year, that's a I mean that just shows how much this medium is exploding and what an opportunity it is for Um companies who are marketing to engineers to say, okay, this is the way that my audience is now consuming information. Like, what can we do to get out ahead of this? Right, right, and it doesn't mean you need to spin up your own podcast, which you and I both know is a heck of a lot of work. Just have your spokesperson be on other people's PODCASTS and start there and learn from those experiences and then decide if that you have the time in bandwidth and strategy to create your own. So that's that's how we've been focused on it and, Um, if you were to go download the report, you'll see that we ask specific podcasts that engineers like and we have a list of about eight or nine of those that were that responded. So I'll save that for people that need to go download the report. There's there's your there's your teaser. We're giving you the three stuff now. Now you gotta go download the report. So, yeah, I love it. Yeah, that's Um, I think you brought up a good point. is to get into podcasting, which may sound really intimidating. Um, you know, yeah, there's a there's a commitment there. It's it's not rocket science. It's not the hardest thing you'll ever do. The hardest thing, I think, is, is building the...

...knowledge and expertise over all these years of, you know, running your company and having amazing people working for you. Like that's the hard part. Um, there's there's. Yeah, there's a lift to getting a podcast off the ground, but that the low hanging fruit, is what you said, Wendy, and that's can we get some of our pros, who are deep experts in this topic, onto shows that our audience is already listening to. I think it's it's brilliant and and the thing is that even that may sound intimidating to you, but a podcast host, what they want to do is they want to they want to figure out how to make you sound really smart, and so they're gonna do their best to conduct an interview with you that pulls your knowledge out and Um, reaches their audience. And now you're you know you're reaching a new audience. It's you know, you have a way to humanize your brand and put a face and voice behind Um. You know what's otherwise just words on your website. So I'm a major fan of both hosting a podcast but also being a guest, and being a guest is how I start it. We were talking about this before we hit record today. I hired a company called interview connections, who did a great job getting me booked on fifteen podcasts before I launched my own, just to get me comfortable in the medium, and it was one of the one of the best spends I've I've ever done for a variety of reasons. But, Um, I think this is a really huge opportunity for companies trying to reach engineers right now. Spend your your stats here support that in a major way. Absolutely, and and in one more comment I'll make, uh, some of our clients that are dabbling into podcasts will say, you know, experimenting with it, are finding a lot of the same issues as we have with case studies where the people they want to bring on are not able to talk about their application in any substantial way to where, you know, or maybe legal blocks entirely. So, depending on the industry you're in who you're serving, that's another roadblock and something just to work through. And it's, of course, a short sided thing, because the more you can get your fois advocating for your brand and your company, the better. But when it comes to sensitive I P and technical information, you can appreciate that. So just another nuance for our industry specifically. That can be a hurdle and that's a good build. Yeah, so we also asked about video, and wow, I mean video is now almost it's at so ninety percent of engineers consume videos for work related purposes every single week and of those people are watching videos for one hour or more every week. So this it was already in the nine, I think, last year, so we're pretty much at full saturation. So those of you listing that are holding back starting a video strategy really, really you're behind. Get on the stick here. Yeah, what Um, Wendy, what kind of video do you see? There are a lot of ways to do video, but is there anything in particular that you're Anok for yes, the how to. I mean that's like think about and think about even around your house, like fixing something right. Yeah, your dryer brakes. You know how to troubleshoot this or how to install this, and engineers same way, how to solve problem X. and, Um, you know you can do that. Um, that's an easy one to do. It can be low production, as long as the lighting and the sound is good. It doesn't have to be some slick thing. And then another one is it demos. So if you're a product company and you have a product that you're able to demo, do really short demos of a of a specific feature. We had one client, a software company that that designs helps design engineers creating your infotainment system within your vehicle, and their goal is to create one video every single day, like for a whole year, and it was just different. You know features of that software, how to do X. and there was an interesting, Um, I guess, way in which customers, support and marketing sort of intersected on those, because it helped existing people, but it also help prospects understand how to do something and feel good that there's a lot of information and support content out there. Yeah, I love that, and I think something that holds companies back from doing videos. It just sounds intimidating. Um, and I think we're just we're at a point now where you kind of said it a minute ago. As long as as long as the audio is good and the lighting is decent, like this does not have to be Hollywood production stuff. In fact, it shouldn't, because that's just gonna, you know, slow you down from actually doing it. That what matters is this, from my perspective, you you understand who your audience is for a potential video and you know, think about who you're trying to reach. What do those people care about? This is the same, same principle. That applies to any type of content marketing, whether it's written, video, audio, live event, Um, I don't care what it is. Understand your audience, understand what challenges they have, what questions they're trying to get answered,...

...what things are trying to achieve in their jobs and at their company, Um, and focus your content around that. And if you can do that and it creates value for people, you know it's you're gonna win. And the other thing is, Um, you know, spitting out a video day, for example, right. It sounds really intimidating. Well, batch creates stuff. That's one of my favorite things to do is like, you know, can we think about a topic where there are maybe ten sub topics of this and we could film for, you know, forty five minutes and get literally ten short videos out of it, and now you've got your content for the next couple of weeks. So I think that's that's another the thing that holds people back is being able to do it with consistency. So you just need to need to think a little bit ahead of time about what you need to create and how can we do it in an efficient way so we can have a bank of things ready to spit out so you're not, you know, setting up and filming every day. Yeah, yeah, great advice. And and if and if there is a company that's looking for a more polished video for, say, a product or a corporate overview, one thing that tends to be overlooked is the strategy and the script. So so a lot of companies jump straight to okay, I need to hire a videographer and you know someone who worry about the technical aspects of filming this. But really the most important thing is getting that storyboard right. You know what? What is the goal of this? WHO's the target audience? What's the story arc on this, and how are we going to be marketing in and engaging people? So utilizing a content marketing firm like yours in mind in addition to a video house is really the the right combination for that. Yeah, I like that. Um what one more thing I'd add here is what you and I are doing right now. Probably most of you listening are listening to just the audio version, but we're recording a video of this and there will probably be five plus clips of, you know, two to four minutes each, that we will use side by side talking head videos, and we'll put a headlight on them and put captions on them and we will use them on Linkedin and probably we'll get as much engagement, if not more, there, then we will in just the audio file that you're consuming is in podcast forms. So you know, another opportunity for you is too. Can we create a list of those topics or common questions and can we just get on? Whether it's a zoom or in a room or whatever. Sometimes it's easier via zoom, honestly, to just get interview each other have your entergy, your engineers you know, or your technical professionals answer questions and debate a topic this way. Just hit the record button and you could probably clip out a whole bunch of stuff to repurpose there. That's something we'd like to do a gorillas. We just interview each other about topics in our specific areas of expertise and we we publish those in all kinds of places and it's really easy to do because you're just having conversations about things you talk about all the time. Yeah, that's definitely how this feels. Yeah, for sure, exactly, exactly awesome. So we got what one more bullet point on this list. I think when more and this this is on e newsletters, and I think we had an interesting dynamic happen when sales people couldn't visit anyone, when trade shows are canceled, everyone turned to email and overwhelm their databases, and so e newsletter. E newsletter subscriptions have dipts. So of engineer subscribed to at least one e newsletter, but for two years now we've seen them subscribe to fewer and fewer e newsletters in totality. Yeah, that one does not surprise me. I think. Um, I've seen the same thing. There's sort of just a burnout with I mean, Gosh, how many somewnytimes I hit unsubscribed to something in my daily probably like ten, honestly. So I think I will say this. I do still think that email is a viable way to reach people, but I think that percent, if not more, of companies are just doing it the wrong way. And if it's a lot of me, me, me, uh, talking about ourselves. We're gonna be at this trade show, here's this new product where we're releasing, here's this new deal we want or whatever, and the reality is most of your audience just doesn't really care. They just don't. And so if you're going to use email the way, I just look at email as another distribution vehicle for you for the insights that you're publishing. I mean, if you're if you're we just talked about video, we just talked about podcasting. Like, if you're producing this stuff for a very specific audience, well, and you've got a good email database of those people. Um, some people will find it on their own through search or youtube or, you know, in in platform and Linkedin. But email is another way to distribute that content, UM, and create value for people, as opposed to pushing product or talking about yourself. And if you just focus purely on how can I be helpful to my audience? Um, you can really win with email. Honestly, for us at Gorilla it's been working for years and it's still it's still works wonders for me. Hey, I've...

...been reading your newsletter for the last five years and now we're ready to have a conversation like I had. One of those happened this week, literally and common. So yeah, that's a great nurturing tool and to your point of adding value to that person and what they care about. You know, having a segment, any news letter strategy that subscription based, you know, those are the best practices. And so, uh, I know recently we went to three different segments in our true marketing newsletter and found that two segments really engaged, the other segment non engaged. So we need to figure out, okay, is that a lesser focus for us, or is it the content that we served up that we thought was appropriate and wasn't? So it really helps you hone your messaging and provide something that's, you know, just more valuable to that individual. Yeah, well, that's a great point. That's just know your audience right, because I I mean I've I've been the guilty of this to kind of just sending the same content to everybody. But uh, and sometimes it's just hard to have the resources to segment right exactly. But I think you're right on the money is in just thinking and being able to looking at that. And can you segment your after sending an email out say all right, my you know, engineering technical audience versus my CEO CFL audience or something who responded well to this? Maybe the messaging needs to be different here versus here. Maybe one of these segments just doesn't really respond to email as a vehicle for consuming content. So, yeah, I think that's really smart. Yeah, well, it was. That was an awesome report, as it always is, and I encourage everybody to go downloaded. I've got a few more questions for you before we wrap. You know, one of them just from from your perspective, as you look back on all this data, like what do you you've been doing this, you said, eight years now. What has sort of where some of the biggest things that you just think have changed about the buying behavior among engineers. What stands out most, you know, the most remarkable is what hasn't changed to me. You know, that content marketing is so ideal for this audience. They just need lots of content. They want to search on their own and do their own research before reaching out, and so it's just it just shows. It's very validating to see that and, Um, to have all this data behind it. And then, of course, the way in which people consume content is certainly changing, with videos and podcasts, with, you know, linked in and Youtube. These are channels that really weren't around or weren't as popular back and we first started. So Uh. And then I think you're seeing an interesting dynamic with baby boomers retiring, who have this wealth of knowledge, right, and then you have mostly millennials taking over a lot of these specifier positions and management positions that don't have necessarily the experience and need to turn to even more education to make an informed decision from vendors they trust. So, if anything, content marketing becomes even more important with that audience. We still see a lot of self service, in fact even more so with the younger, younger crowd because they're so digital savvy, right. So, Um, we're on the right track here. You know, digital first, content first works. Yep, I love it and I agree. Um, so when do this fall? The September? You are going to be speaking at the Industrial Marketing Summit, which is at content marketing world, one of big marketing industry event, and there's a specific track just for industrial marketers, which I'm super excited about. I'm actually moderating the event. I'M NOT gonna be the one teaching there, but I'm gonna be sort of facilitating conversations and introducing guests, and you're one of the speakers. I'm excited to meet you, among many of the others there in person. Finally, finally, yeah, yeah, tell us a little bit about about your session. What you're gonna talking about? Yeah, well, the official title is inside the mind of the technical buyer. Create the content your prospects actually want, and so we'll start out with a little bit of our research data, because everyone always likes us to do that. Um, and then I'm bringing my brand strategist, Morgan Norris, who will talk about the arc of a story and how to write engaging content that's technical but also engaging and memorable. So we'll have a little bit of macro looking at content marketing and a little bit of hands on tactical advice. Oh, I love that. I love the dynamic there, because those are that's those are too hard things to bring together, you know, making something that is very technical also very engaging and man, if you can nail both of those things speaking to this engineering audience, that's that's the recipe for success. I think absolutely very cool. I'm really excited about that. Um. Yeah, Wendy, this is a great conversation. I appreciate you doing this today. You Bet so much fun. Yeah, we'll tell tell our audience how they can get in touch with you, where they can learn more...

...about true marketing, and we'll make sure to link to the Um the survey and report that we went through today in the show notes, but if you want to direct people to that to feel free. Okay. So you can find us at true marketing and that's T R E W marketing dot com. And then I also have a podcast and Joe is going to be on our podcast soon, in August, and it's called content marketing engineered, and I have a book by the same name as well. So you can find that on Amazon or find everything under the Senate true marketing. So that's it. Love it awesome and of course I'm on Linkedin, so if anybody would like to message me there, feel free. And you know, that's how Joe and I first met. It was awesome. You find each good people find each other. Yeah, I know, I agree. It's and we've been following you and your company for a number of years and love what you guys are doing. So I'm glad we got to do this today. Same here. Thank you for the opportunity. Alright, Wendy, well, thank you, and as for the rest of you, I hope you catch you on the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast to ensure that you never missed an episode. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles, videos, guides and tools specifically for B two B manufacturers at guerrilla seventy SI DOT com slash learn. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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