8 min read

Trends at TREW Marketing

Learn which major projects and areas of investments are leading to the best results for TREW Marketing clients.


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Most of us are deep into marketing planning for 2023, and to help, we’ve been running a trend series to provide you with helpful information as you decide where to invest and make those important budgetary tradeoffs. (If you missed the previous trend blogs and podcast epiosde, you can find those through the links below).

On this episode I share five major areas of investment for TREW Marketing’s clients. You’ll hear specific tactics being used and, most importantly, what is producing the best results. These areas include:

  • Persona-based content marketing campaigns
  • Corporate brand refresh
  • Shifting from owned community to external industry communities
  • Return of "big splash" product launches
  • Helping sales overcome objections with a strong value proposition

Resources

Transcript:

Wendy: Well, most of us are deep into marketing planning for 2023 right now. And to help, TREW Marketing has been running a bit of a mini series over marketing trends. So if you heard my last podcast, you listen to key topics that we heard at recent fall conferences. We've also talked about trends in Martech and AI. Well, to round out this trending series, I wanted to share some of the major projects and areas of investment that our clients at TREW Marketing are making. You'll hear what projects are getting the most love, and more importantly, what's producing the best results. Let's do this.

Narrator: Welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered. Your source for building trust and generating demand with technical content. Here is your host, Wendy Covey.

Wendy: Hi, and welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered. On each episode, I'll break down an industry trend, challenge, or best practice in reaching technical audiences. You'll meet colleagues, friends, and clients of mine who will stop by to share their stories. And I hope that you leave each episode feeling inspired and ready to take action. Before we jump in, I'd like to give a brief shout out to my agency, TREW Marketing. TREW is a full service agency located in beautiful Austin, Texas, serving highly technical companies. For more information, visit trewmarketing.com. And now on with our podcast.

Wendy: Hey everyone, and welcome to another episode of Content Marketing, Engineered. Today I'll be sharing five trending areas of investment for TREW Marketing clients. So where are they putting their dollars? Where are they putting their time in? What's producing the best results? Let's just jump right in with number one, which is content marketing campaigns held over about a six to nine month period, usually six months. And so why this timeframe and what are they doing? So they're taking key themes. So think of this as an application area, a solution that you offer, but that addresses a persona's pain points. And speaking of personas, they're definitely persona based maybe one persona to it most that they're focused on. And then what is a key theme? What are all the topics that you can write about that theme? And then how do we address this very long buyers journey that's often the case, particularly those that are targeting design engineers. So how do we stay top of mind? How do we influence a buyer's group as that technical person that's the specifierwho pulls in others? And, you know, what does that look like along that sales journey? There's a lot of sales enablement components to these campaigns, and they're all usually tied together in a pillar.

Wendy: So longscrolling landing page that everyone goes to for this campaign. So kind of like one repository for information. So these six to nine month content marketing campaigns are killing it in SEO and bringing in qualified leads because they all have elements such as white papers and webinars that are held behind forms so that you have some of that lead generation happening. And these are just doing great. They also perform well in SEO because you're holistically addressing a topic, but you're also demonstrating to Google that you're an expert in that topic, right, by having everything tied together, linked together on that pillar page. So the second area of investment is a corporate brand refresh. A lot of companies were finding themselves with a business that has evolved, or perhaps their value proposition doesn't match their buyers needs. And some of this was a realization coming out of COVID times, getting back out to personal visits with prospects, getting back out to trade shows. So we're seeing a lot of people just dust off their corporate brand positioning and messaging, bringing it up to speed, making sure that their tone and voice matches the downstream content that they're producing.

Wendy: And in some cases, companies are finding that they have very dated visual elements. And so it's time for a refresh in colors and logo design and just look like you're more up with the times. So it's a pretty big undertaking to do this across the company, but it can pay big dividends in terms of looking and speaking in a way that matches who you are as a company and making sure that you have everyone aligned in the company over how you talk about what you do and what that downstream content looks like.

Wendy: Another area of investment is moving from a focus just on your own community, so meaning your own content, your own website, and getting back in front of other people's communities to gain greater awareness with new people. And we're seeing a lot of this focus because of trade shows coming back. So now that the dire COVID times are hopefully behind us, we saw resurgence of trade shows, and people definitely were not leaning into trade shows like they did in the past. So you saw them cautiously adding these, just adding a few shows. But the energy and the results they got from those events were palatable.

Wendy: They had quite great results looking at the quality of people that attended. So people aren't necessarily doubling down as we look into 2023, but they're looking to approach industry events in a holistic manner. And instead of spreading ourselves too thin, how do we take the few industry events that we are doing and capitalizing on those as many ways as possible? And one of those ways is by speaking at technical conferences. And so we're also seeing TREW clients want to develop a voice and a spokesperson behind their brand. So choosing who that spokesperson is, helping train them on how to be an effective spokesperson, and then working on their digital brand. So what does their LinkedIn page look like? How do they pitch themselves to podcasts and in conference presentations? How do we get them that polished look, but is also very technical and credible? And then also in the vein of getting in front of other people's communities, we're seeing greater focus on article placement and technical publications. So getting back out there, developing relationships or strengthening relationships with a few key publications that most align with your solutions, and then learning about their editorial calendars, what's important to those editors of those publications and of course, their respective online communities, and then pitching articles. So back to just blocking and tackling PR tactics.

Wendy: OK, rounding out at number four, we have the return of the big splash product launches. So really being very strategic about planning for these product launches, starting way early. And by early, I mean nine months before that product launches, maybe even a year before that product launches. So giving yourself enough runway to be very holistic in coverage, you're seeing a lot of co-marketing being woven into these product launches. Video content is a big element to these. And of course, the long scrolling pillar page that I mentioned earlier is a big deal for these product launches too. So how can we have one page that has all of the major elements you would need to learn about that product or that product family, from case studies to demo, videos to value proposition to specs. So having everything at least being able to be found from this one long scrolling page. Visual elements are another important one. So think about product launch, product campaign, what are the visual elements that we need to support that? So one is maybe is their thematic colors and design for the launch itself that take the company brand, but take it into something that's visually appealing, that ties all the different pieces of content together.

Wendy: And then also, what are particular visual things that we can create that help tell the story? So is that teaching diagrams that show the inner workings of the system? Are those interactive graphics that someone can click on and click through too online? So how do we, you know, infographics or another one to tell stories and give data in an appealing way? We also saw the return of calendars as a visual element or posters. So think creatively when it comes to visual and how that could support your next big product launch or campaign. And then finally, as we look towards 2023 and people are heading into the last portion of 2022, there's a lot of focus on the economy, obviously, where we have some headwind going into 2023. US manufacturing is struggling. We saw that the purchasing managers index or the PMI fell below 50 and that shows that there's contraction happening. So if you're in manufacturing, you should be worried about this. And what this means is you need to help your salesforce overcome objections and help them sell in this difficult environment. So your value proposition for your solutions needs to be solid and you need to have the right materials to help sales.

Wendy: So what does that look like? Is that a series of emails? Is that PowerPoint presentation? All of those things? It might be ROI calculators. It might be case studies that not only are technical, but some that show business benefits. But before all of that, focusing on getting your value proposition right for your target personas. And that's really that has to come before everything else. Everything else is downstream.

Wendy: So those are my top five. To recap, we have content marketing campaigns that are strategic and holistic in nature. We have the corporate brand refresh. If yours is feeling stale, this is a great time to address that. Moving from just focusing on your own community to getting in front of other people's communities, the return of big splash product launches, and finally working on your value proposition for your solutions and helping sales overcome objections. It's going to be an interesting ride in 2023, but we are here to be a partner for you. So keep listening to this podcast and look for our newest research report. We'll be launching in early 2023, so late January. Be looking for that. And by the way, this was my 100th episode of Content Marketing Engineered the podcast.

Wendy: So thank you all for listening, being a part of the show. If you have any suggestions for what you'd like to hear or if you would like to be considered as a guest, please reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit trewmarketing.com and let me know what you think.

Wendy: Thanks for joining me today on Content Marketing Engineers. For show notes, including links to resources, visit trewmarketing.com/podcast. While there, you can subscribe to our blog and our newsletter and order a copy of my book, Content Marketing Engineered. Also, I would love your reviews on this podcast. So please, when you get a chance, subscribe and leave me a review on your favorite podcast subscription platform. Thanks.