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24 min read

Heard at ERA: Recap of the 2023 Electronics Representatives Association Conference

Hear the latest electronic components industry and marketing trends presented at the 2023 ERA conference.


 

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TREW Marketing Senior Brand and Content Strategist, Morgan Norris joined me for the 2023 Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) conference, held in TREW's hometown of Austin, Texas. In this episode, we share some of the trending topics we heard in keynotes and sessions as well as share highlights from our presentation, Transforming Your Brand Into a Trusted Resource.

Some of our marketing takeaways include:

  • Many of the rep firms are lacking differentiated messaging and their websites don't portray them as a knowledgeable technical resource for design engineers
  • Video is very popular with design engineers; sales reps can use video to share their expertise and build credibility; brands can use video to add interest to (potentially dry) electronic component content topics
  • Don't overthink social sharing; use content created by your marketing department, your partners or your network and add your point of view
  • Generative AI and ChatGPT are great content brainstorming tools, but when it comes to creating highly technical content, they won't do the heavy lifting for you
  • Enewsletters are still quite popular with design engineers; one sales rep firm consistently achieves a 70% open rate through hyper-personalization 
  • Sales rep firms and distributors can leverage and extend a manufacturer's marketing campaign, creating a channel win-win-win amplifier
  • Manufacturers are open to collaborative marketing campaigns and offering co-op funding, but sales reps need to first have a strategic approach to marketing and pitch thoughtful campaign ideas

Some of our industry takeaways from a fascinating closing keynote by Michael Knight, President and CEO of Endries International, include:

  • As more sensors are added to our cars (and other parts of our daily lives), the demand for data storage will be massive
  • Look for more household and work tasks to be automated through robotics and applied AI; examples include robots delivering food to your table at a restaurant, picking strawberries in the field on a farm, and assisting with diagnosis and surgery 
  • Renewable, unlimited energy from solar will be more attainable with battery storage technology advances
  • The commercialization of space will continue, especially to mine precious minerals 
  • The demand for electronics will continue to be strong!
Key Technologies
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Block Chain
  • Free & Limitless Energy
  • Internet of Things
  • Next-Generation Batteries
  • Next-Generation Computing
  • Super Conducting
  • Wireless Charging
 Key Applications
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Commercialization of Space
  • Electrification of Transportation
  • The Future of Food
  • Global Connectivity & 5G
  • Human Machine Interfaces
  • Industry 4.0
  • Advanced Medical Tech
  • Robotics & Automation
  • Smart Buildings & Cities



Resources

Transcript:

 

Welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered, your source for building trust and generating demand with technical content. Here is your host, Wendy Covey. 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. Hey, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Content Marketing Engineered. I'm joined by our regular guest and friend, Morgan Norris, Senior Brand and Content Strategist at TREW Marketing. Hey, Morgan.

 

Hey. Thanks for having me back.

 

It's good to see you. In fact, you were here in person in Austin just a mere few days ago, weren't you?

 

I was, yeah.

 

We had a good time hanging out together at the ERA conference. And for those of you who aren't familiar with ERA, that stands for the Electronics Representatives Association. They have an annual conference, and not only is it for the sales reps, but the manufacturers of the electronic components that they represent as well as the distributors. So a lot of the supply chain was independence at this conference.

 

Yeah.

 

Fun fact, Morgan, I was looking at the ERA website, and did you know that ERA started in 1935 by Radio Part representatives? And the original name, get this, they called themselves the Peddlers.

 

Oh, I'm glad they've evolved the name.

 

Yes. Within two years. I think they found that name to be a bit unprofessional.

 

It's crazy to see the legacy of some of the things in this industry. We were sitting in some of the awards one day, and one of the women who won the award got up and just talked about how her mother started the business that she runs now in, I think, 1981. And just this supportive, collaborative environment of people pursuing kind of the same industry over decades and decades was really neat to see.

 

Yeah, it sure was. So we thought we would come on the podcast today and just share some of the key themes and different sessions that we attended, particularly those that are relevant for marketers. So what I think, Morgan, maybe we walk through the sessions first and then talk about some of the keynotes that we attended towards the end. How does that sound?

 

That sounds great.

 

Yeah. Cool. Let's start with women in electronics. That was a fun breakfast.

 

Yes. 07:00 a.m on day one. Room of bright eyed, ready to go people on conference day one. What stood out to me here was Jackie Maddox leads women in electronics. And I think I was really impressed by just seeing their passion for mentoring in the industry. So they're open to connecting mentors and mentees and really furthering women in electronics. They were saying that in 2013, there were 9% of the ERA attendees were women, and then ten years later, it's up to 15%. But just wanting to see that grow. And there's a lot of opportunity for that because of just natural turnover, people retiring in the industry. It seemed across sessions like it was an understood fact that in five or ten years, the audience of a conference like this is going to look very different with new faces and so wanting to bring women into that and that Via is open to women and men. But really this just focus of how do we get more voices in the room? And I love that.

 

Yeah. And there were probably almost as many men in that session as there were women, which may surprise people, but that's the beauty about how they're approaching this organization. It's very inclusive and they're trying to bring people together and not divide them and help them understand how the benefit that there is from recruiting more women into this industry and having a more diverse workforce.

 

Yeah, for sure. I thought that was great.

 

So then, fresh from there, one of the first sessions that you and I attended together was on social selling and really focused in on LinkedIn.

 

Yes. And Jordan Yates and then a woman named Sienna from two different organizations were there and being kind of interviewed panel style by Mary Ellen from Sager, just about what it looks like to engage in the social conversation as far as selling goes. So Jordan is an engineer by trade, but man just talked about creating video, engaging in conversations on LinkedIn and posting really regularly. And she really talked from a personal standpoint more than Sienna talked about kind of posting on LinkedIn and engaging from a company from a corporate standpoint. And they balanced each other out really well. But I loved Jordan, really represented this idea of being able to represent your company and kind of thought leadership at different levels. So she's really young, a few years out of college, and so doesn't necessarily have a ton of authority in her company as far as an.org chart goes, but knows she has a voice. And so even at her prior job, started posting on LinkedIn on a regular basis, talking about what she's doing in engineering and what she's doing in life, some of her, like, tangential hobby, she talks a lot about soldering, she's making videos about soldering.

 

She's an engineer and she wants to kind of mess with things and create something new and figure out how things work. And so it's not what she does for her job, but it is engaging actually to the same audience that she appeals to in her job. And so just talked about creating really low barrier videos and engaging, and she felt sometimes we don't know what the ROI looks like you've got to start posting, kind of start posting consistently. And she said when she switched jobs, she stopped for a couple of weeks or a month or so, and people started kind of pinging her, saying, where'd you go, we miss your content. And that was such a kind of soft ROI metric, I think, for her, of people are listening, people are engaging, and she's building a following there. So I thought that was just a really great example.

 

It sure was. And another thing that I took away from that example was she took her following with her. And so you could think about there's a void she left behind at the company that she's no longer with. And so if we turn the tables a little bit and think about your corporate strategy for Social, no one wants to engage with the company on Social. They want to engage with people. And it's great to have people like Jordan be a spokesperson, but it's also important to have some of these long term, these tenured, senior level people be engaged that are going to be around. And so it's really a mixture of both. There's not, like, do one and not the other. It all helps to have a voice for your brand and with your customers, but just keep in mind that you will have some turnover, and some of that will have to be replaced or found elsewhere.

 

Yeah, having multiple voices helps so much because you're not banking at all on one person or your audience interacting with that corporate page.

 

Yeah. You know, it did not come up in that session. Again, this session was called Social Selling, I believe, or that was part of the title, was selling, utilizing LinkedIn, like doing that sales pitch via private messages. No one asked about it. No one presented on it. And I thought that was a very good sign that people are seeing that. That's not really appropriate. It doesn't work very well. Someone did ask about, can I send a piece of content? Like, when I connect with someone, would it be appropriate to then just send them a piece of content? And do you remember what the advice was on that?

 

I don't remember.

 

Yeah, it was basically, well, I mean, that's great, and you're being helpful, but you may not want to do it right away. Let them choose to take your content. Better to share it to your network and let them grab it. Or if you're going to share it like that, do it for a reason. I thought you'd be interested in this because of these reasons. Make it hyper personalized. Don't make it generic, like, Hi, nice to meet you. Here's a research report.

 

Right.

 

It seems too salesy.

 

There definitely seemed to be a fatigue over people trying to connect only for the purpose of a sale on LinkedIn. For sure.

 

Yeah. Okay, well, let's move on. Another panel that you attended that was so enlightening was one that it was panel with a manufacturer, a representative and a distributor talking about how they can collaborate and communicate. They talked about co op programs, I believe. So tell me a bit about that one because I missed out on this one.

 

This was really cool. So I went into this conference having a little bit of a mushy understanding of the relationship between manufacturers, representatives and distributors. And I was waiting for these clear black lines to be drawn in between complete division of labor. And while there is some, your reps are working for manufacturers, getting paid commission by manufacturers when something sells, but the sale actually happened through the distributor. So distributors buy from manufacturers, they can negotiate discounts and rates that way. And then distributors are the ones actually selling the product. And one thing that really, really stood out to me was each distributor has its own set of differentiators and I'll pick on Sager because they were hosting a panel, but they were talking about how they doubled down on power electronics. And so not only do they sell the kind of equipment needed for power electronics, but they also staff engineers to help package some of the products together for that end customer. So, for example, they've got expertise in house on designing maybe switches and relays so that customers have a seamless integration when they go to drop those parts into their solutions. And so they were really encouraging reps to understand the differentiators of different distributors so that they can kind of clue in and go different directions based on a customer need.

 

And so I thought that was really interesting. And the second piece was that reps, I think in a lot of organizations, when you've got internal sales teams, there's a lot of other people to leverage even in your own building, right? You can go grab marketing or you can pull a resource from a wiki or something like that, but there's a lot of pressure and expectation even that these sales reps know a ton about the technical nuances of the products and different lines from different organizations. And so they're the ones that kind of have this opportunity to take content. We were talking about this concept of taking manufacturers content and putting their own point of view on it and being able to share that to their audiences because their end customers are really looking to them for expertise. The end customers can go straight to the distributors and buy something if they want to, but that salesperson provides that personal level of expertise and guides them through that purchase and product selection. And so it was impactful to me how much onus is on that sales rep to really know and understand the products.

 

Yeah, so the manufacturers have a vested interest in the sales reps getting up to speed and staying current with their products. Then the manufacturers sometimes offer co op dollars to help with marketing, with training, things like that. And we met separately. One of the manufacturing companies in attendance is also a client of TREW Marketing. And so we had the opportunity to sort of debrief from this session with them. And we said, how often do you offer these co op things or work with your sales reps? And they said they just need to ask us if they have a good marketing idea, we will fund them, but they don't ask necessarily. So we uncovered, I feel like a big opportunity for these sales rep companies to think about how they can extend the manufacturer's campaign or create their own with the manufacturer's support because they're all for it.

 

I think there's a big opportunity for kind of innovation in the industry as a whole and new ways of doing practices. If you're getting maybe new people as a rep kind of industry turns over retires and you're getting new people in with creative ideas for marketing that they're willing to go ask for those dollars, that was really impactful, right?

 

Sure.

 

If they'd ask us, we'd find that, which was great to hear.

 

Yeah, that's great. I could just see it now, this young new rep, and they go to visit the manufacturer at their facility and create a ton of videos. And while they're there showing that relationship, how tighten it it is, man, there's so many ideas, right? So many great things. Well, let's talk about our sessions. So we actually presented the same session twice, one on each day, and we presented turning Your Brand into a Trusted Resource utilizing Content marketing. And our presentation had three parts to it. So what did you present?

 

Morgan yeah, I talked through creating your brand messaging and then creating content. So we walked through what it looks like to create messaging of the two factors of really understanding your customer pain points. We talked about doing that through the lens of doing stakeholder interviews and going out to your audience's, customers, vendors, partners, and talking about hearing what their exact pain points are. And we've talked a lot about this on this podcast, customer interviews. And then from there, developing and messaging differentiators. And for reps, that's kind of twofold, right? They've got their own differentiators as a rep firm. So that's the type of expertise that they have, the tight relationships that they have with manufacturers, those are more kind of felt needs and then they've got the tangible differentiators and benefits of the products that they rep. So they need to know both of those sides. And then from there, we talked about creating content and starting to create content by identifying a single topic that you want to build some thought leadership around and then defining six to ten subtopics around that, that you can create content for. That content might look like blog posts, it might look like a gated white paper, it might look like a video.

 

It might look like every monday you post on LinkedIn about this topic. So I think particularly for these reps, those content types can take a lot of different forms. And so that's kind of what we talked about, really building kind of authority and expertise around a specific area we transition to.

 

Well, before we talk about the rest of the presentation, I kind of want to pause here and talk about content development because generative AI and Chat GPT in particular kept coming up, not only in our session, lots of questions about it, but it came up in many of the other sessions. So a lot of curiosity, a lot of maybe I won't say misinformation, but some confusion over how it could be leveraged well and how it maybe doesn't work so well. So tell me, let's just sidebar on that real fast. What kind of questions did you get and what is your thoughts?

 

I think there's a little bit of awe over the novelty of Chat GPT creating content, but I want to step back a little bit and just we got to remind ourselves that this concept of AI is not brand new, right? It's the ping you get from Amazon that you normally order. You know, I normally order a twelve pack box of macaroni and cheese every three months and I have it placed my order right? Or it's the auto generated captions that come up on videos. These are forms of AI. And so now we're continuing to advance. Chat Gbt is there. You can insert a question, you can give it a few parameters, and you can have it spit out some content for you. And in other sessions there was talk of, we love this, we hate it, use it to write your whole LinkedIn profile. Don't do that. But I think the main takeaway for us is we're still recommending that it's a brainstorm tool. And the biggest thing that I go back to is, from our research, we know that engineers will search up to page five, even page ten of Google search results to find exactly what they want.

 

And so to type in a question and give them an answer, publish the answer that it gives us, is really doing a huge disservice, I think, to the nuanced aspects of these technical questions. And so I don't think it's going to take long for audiences to really crave these individual opinions. I want the knowledge, Windy, that's in your head. I don't want this genericized answer that's been spit out as far as kind of technical expertise, if I'm looking how to boil an egg, then I want the most genericized, proven, whatever answer. But if I'm figuring out how to test something that's never been tested before, I want the ideas and expertise that are captured within people's own experiences.

 

Yeah, I feel like that was a theme throughout our presentation, is having a point of view on a subject, sharing that point of view, and how important and special that is. I had two sections that I presented after yours on content. And so the first one was where to share your message. And so we walked through a lot of the research from the state of marketing to engineers research report on where engineers and other buyers are seeking information. And one of the big discussions we had was on video. And we have lots of questions about, okay, you're saying it doesn't have to be a polished video. It could be something as simple as turning on your webcam, but how do I show this little capacitor and this other tiny little electronic component and have it be what near my face? Or what exactly does that look like and what types of video are engineers seeking out? So I thought you had some good advice here.

 

Yeah, so I had recommended we're talking to a room of reps. They own these personal relationships. They are the ones representing brands. And so just this thought of get your face in front of the camera and really don't be afraid to get your face in front of the camera. Don't be afraid of video. So our research shows that 95%, 96% of engineers watch video weekly for work. And so there's a demand for it, but being able to just kind of flip on your zoom camera like this and have a discussion about a topic that's relevant and kind of having your voice out there. Now, if you're showing a product, you don't have to keep your face in that video, but just a variety of video content and lowering the barrier. I think 1015 years ago when video started to become more prevalent, YouTube crazy. YouTube started in 2005, which it feels like video is both new and has been here forever as a marketing tool. But realistically, it's been kind of 15 years or so since people were actually using it in a marketing context. But 15 years ago, we were looking at these huge 20 $30,000 branded corporate videos.

 

And that's still a thing. But you can't wait until you save up $30,000 to get your voice in the game on video. And so just encouraging people to start small and lighting is important. Have some good lighting. Just be by natural light, be by a window that'll help a lot. And then sound quality. Have a decent microphone. And anymore, that doesn't even mean you probably have something at your desk that has a decent microphone. If it's not your computer, it's your headphone that you use or whatever. You don't need really any fancy kind of equipment. And so encouraging people to just get started that way.

 

Yes, just get started. I love that. Some other things that came up when we were talking about where to share information were e newsletters and a gentleman in the audience is all over it. They do their enewsletters. He said they have what he called kind of the general purpose newsletter, like the generic one, but then they hyper personalize the newsletter down to, in some cases, personas, and in other cases down to the actual person. So they think about each group and how they can slice up their database and how to be as relevant as possible. And he said they get 70% open rates. And I nearly fell off the stage when I heard that. That is so fantastic. And sir, you are taking action. And I think everybody got a kick out of that.

 

It's such a good example of doubling down on something specific to do it really well. And I'm sure that involved a lot of tweaks along the process and then figuring out how much time is too much time that we're spending on this. But they found this spot where they're drastically exceeding industry open rates right. And how great that is for them if they found a tool to use.

 

Yeah. Another thing I shared was our friends at Noel's Precision Devices were doing some pretty cool content marketing campaigns. And so I showed them an example. It was a capacitor campaign where they wrote 20 blog posts and they trickled them out like once every week, every two weeks. And once those 20 were published, repurposed that content into a lead generating ebook, and then took that ebook and of course, promoted it in their eNEWSLETTER in LinkedIn ads all over the place. And so one, this was a very successful campaign for Knowles, and other people can utilize the same sort of process, but we were encouraging the sales reps to run their own capacitor campaigns. So if they rep for Knowles, for instance, wow. Why not take that content, add your point of view and share it on LinkedIn or share it on your website, drive people to that form? Because guess what? If people are going to download that ebook, they're becoming leads for your region. And it all comes back around, what an efficient and cost effective way to leverage your manufacturer's content for your own marketing.

 

I love that.

 

Yeah. What else do you remember that came up in the audience during our presentation?

 

Yeah, Canva came up as a tool. Canva something, I'm sure we've talked about it on here before, but if you're trying to create content and I think some of these reps, there's not a ton of resources at hand. They're working for firms that are 510, 15 people. They don't have a bunch of in house marketing or anything like that, but with Canva, it's an online web based design tool, but it has lowered the barrier to design work like a hundred fold. I mean, the days are gone where you need to figure out how to use Adobe Indesign or Illustrator and go from blank page to completely design document. Canva is full of thousands and thousands of templates that you can go in and select and customize. You can start from scratch in there, but you also don't have to you can go from you know, you see graphics on LinkedIn when people share kind of nicely designed graphics and they might have a data point in there and a product image or something, you can go from nothing to creating that in 20 minutes. It's just a really potentially low barrier to help you get started.

 

And so encouraging people to jump in there as well. Technical audience, super technical stuff is still hard, but there's a lot of stock photography in Canva if you have a pro membership. And so stock photography is often something that's really it's just difficult. All of a sudden, it's a barrier, like, do I spend $100 on this image? Or what size do I need? Or what does that look like? And it's all available for use within the context of your kind of Canvas subscription. So that came up. And I always love sharing that as a tool because it's so helpful to people.

 

Nice. And I think, too, Canva came up in the context of making your videos look a little more professional. Yeah, because you could create a frame just like if you guys are watching this podcast right now on YouTube, or if you go look it up, you'll see that we use Canva to create, put the show logo on and have a nice space where the captions go. And that is super easy to do. And template in Canva.

 

Yeah.

 

Cool. At the very end of our second presentation, we're like meeting greeting. And this is one of the only in this industry. In general, everybody still uses business cards. So business cards are flying. At least they have QR codes now. And that was funny, right? Because some QR codes went to LinkedIn, some went to the company website, like their profile page, and some created a contact in your phone when you scanned it. And I started asking people, where do you expect this QR code to take you?

 

And where do you?

 

And I got as many opinions back as we saw variations.

 

We'd have to see what the data says. So when it open, like, creates a contact in my phone feels a little aggressive. And also I think I need to put more notes in there. I would need to stop and say, oh, yeah, this is the person I met on ERA versus if I have your LinkedIn, then all of a sudden I associate you with your company and what you do and how I met you right then. But if you're sitting next to my kids school phone number and my next door neighbor, then the context gets lost.

 

Yeah, it's so funny. I went home and shared with my husband and quizzed him on which one he liked the best. And he liked the phone one best technology. He's in sales and his phone is chock full of these people. And he goes, that's so brilliant. And he goes, and then if it auto loaded, the context or their LinkedIn profile or whatever. Like if it auto loaded the notes, in other words, that said who this person is and had links to the other things, he goes, that to me is like nirvana. That's TREW.

 

And then, you know, what if I gave you my card and it automatically loaded, it went into my contact and you just saved my contact, and then when I call you, it's not an unknown number, it comes up.

 

Oh, that's a good point. Yeah. Anyway, so I had to bring that up because I just found that we're just now getting back to in person stuff. So I think everybody is like, brushing off the cobwebs on their business cards, and that's actually a thing right now. And so if those listening fall under into that category, definitely add a QR code. Think through this, morgan and I tried adding pictures that didn't I didn't I wasn't a big fan of that. I think save that for the real estate professionals, maybe. So, okay, so business cards are flying. We're about to exit. Our presentation is over. And then the gentleman comes over and he has his website on his phone and he's like, hey, Morgan, Wendy, can you just give me like a 62nd web audit? Just tell me what you think.

 

Yeah, that was fun. I love that. I would love one day to have listeners call in or message in, and then we do give you like a two minute audit based on what we can see on the screen.

 

Okay. All right, we'll put it on the ed cow. Sounds good. Well, let's wrap up by touching on a few of our favorite keynotes. And these perhaps are a little less marketing oriented and a little more trends oriented. So one was an economist, and these are so interesting. So every year they have an economist come and talk about the state of the economy as it relates specifically to electronics, macroeconomic conditions, economic conditions within the industry as well. And what were some big takeaways that you had from listening to that?

 

Yeah, so a few things. He definitely felt like we weren't in dire fear of recession at the moment. So even maybe some dips getting pushed off to Q one of 2024. And then another thing that stood out to me was just jobs. So the thing with even with the tech layoffs and stuff right now happening, kind of big tech tech layoffs, what's happening is for every person that gets laid off, there's two jobs available. And companies that are not crazy technical are looking to hire these people who have this technical expertise because they have just kind of upped the Annie in understanding technology and moving it forward. And so I thought that was really interesting.

 

Yeah. And along those same lines, they also talked about how the sector that's benefited the most from this current job market are those that have no high school degree or. High school degree, but no college experience because the job market is so tight. Companies are willing to train, and as long as someone is professional and shows growth potential, they'll come in and train them. And so that was exciting to me, that there's a path for everyone. You don't have to necessarily go get a four year degree to find a great job. Really like that, too.

 

Yeah, definitely. It feels like if you're willing, there is work to be found.

 

Yeah. So bullish. I don't know if I should read these were bullish, but he made us feel better about the economy, for sure, in terms of not likely to have a recession, or if we do, it would be one quarter long in 2024. But there were a couple of caveats to that. And he said, it's my job to make sure that everybody leaves here feeling uncomfortable. And then he talked about conflict with Russia and with China, and how if things escalated, of course, all bets are off and things may look way different. So let's all pray for peace, and hopefully things will look good in our economy moving forward.

 

Yeah, for sure.

 

Yeah. And then the very, very last keynote of the conference is a gentleman by the name of Michael Knight, and he basically does the future looking trends. So what are the 20 trends in our industry that everybody should be looking out for? And, oh, gosh, such a fascinating presentation, and I don't think we absolutely cannot do justice to it. But what were some big things that stuck with you from his presentation? Morgan?

 

Yeah, so I loved he divided the trends up into ten of them were technology. So think like, the core of what makes something function or differentiates it. And the other ten were applications. So what's the opportunity? And what's this enabling on the other end? And a few really cool ones, I thought were one, battery storage. I think I have stayed on this a little bit, just kind of intermittently, depending on what our clients look like. We have a few that work in power storage and things like that over time. But the massive advancements that are being made in battery storage, so that in power storage, so that we can potentially have this kind of renewable, unlimited energy, because we've got the devices out there, the windmills are out there, they can capture the energy. We're just having trouble storing it effectively for long term use, the solar panels, things like that. But it seems like once we can really unlock this mass battery storage, grid level power storage, we unlock a crazy amount of renewable, almost unlimited feeling energy. So that was one, and then another one was just the AI technology and the machine learning and processing that's happening right now.

 

And how yes, it's generative content, but it's also enabling EVs.

 

Right?

 

It's enabling kind of everything that goes along with autonomy, just having things done for you that we've in the past had to do manually. And with that, as far as EVs go, there's a massive opportunity for sensors. So we were talking about a lot of these manufacturers. Sensors is a large component of what some of these manufacturers do and the sheer billions of sensors that will be needed if the technology is there to process the data, that's great. But the sensors needed to capture the data and then the cloud storage to be able to process and store that data, is that just that mark is massive. And so it was interesting he would have numbers that, like, start in the millions and then they go to the billions and low trillions. And so seeing that huge, vast increase was really impressive and I think just speaks to a lot of opportunity in that area.

 

Yeah, I remember him saying every time the stock market dips, I buy in data storage every single time because and I forget what the statistic was on how much data a car pumps out every single day. It's quite impressive. And so all of this data has to be stored somewhere, like you said before, it could be processed. And so what does that look like in the future? Robotics. A lot of talk on robotics and showed example of the robot delivering your food to you at your table. And there's a joke if you already have a robot in your home, if you have roomba. Who doesn't have roomba these days?

 

Right.

 

It's just a continuation of where to apply robotics, especially when you have a tight labor market, a lot of people are forced to think about things differently because you can't hire.

 

Pushing that. He talked about the commercialization of space and what that's driving as far as technology goes, and then as well, kind of the smart city concept. And we're starting to get little glimpses of this. If you've got a nest thermostat in your home, we have these kind of smart home devices and then what that will look like to expand out. And I think what's so crazy is when we were talking early late 90s, early 2000s, you would talk about technology advancements and you would talk about like, in 2000, you're talking about like, in the year 2030. This will be crazy. And he's talking about we're in 2023. And a lot of his projections that would be like ten or 20 or 50 x were in 2027. And so that's four years from now. And just the speed of acceleration is massive.

 

Wow. Yeah, I just got goosebumps with you repeating it. I remember in the smart city, one thing that stuck out with me, and I'll tell the story to make my point. So after this presentation, we had a team dinner because you were in Austin. So all the Austin nights got together and we were circling for parking and circling and ended up paying way too much, this parking place. And it was this big ordeal to get the app and pay and all this stuff. Well, I thought back to his keynote, and he said part of the future of smart cities would be you're not taking your car into the city. You're being transported by however that works from the outskirts all the way to that restaurant. So what does that look like? You don't even bring your vehicle in. So for Texas, like, we all have our vehicles and we're all driving whatever. That's pretty novel to us. We don't have trains and subways from many places to tickets in the city center. So for everyone to have accessibility to that without it being this massive infrastructure, subway or whatever it is, project, that's a new way of doing things, huh?

 

Yeah. Won't Jen be happy if she doesn't have to have fine parking in town? She will.

 

Good. Well, any other takeaways that you feel we should share before we hop off and call it?

 

I think that's about it. I'm so glad we were there. It was a great conference to learn and just get to kind of share ideas and see what's happening in the industry and always fun to be in Austin. I love that they hosted there.

 

Yes. Well, it was wonderful to see you, and thank you for coming on today. And I'm sure we'll see you again on the show very soon.

 

Great. Thanks.

 

Wendy, thanks for joining me today on Content Marketing, Engineered. For show notes, including links to resources, visit trewmarketing.com/podcasts. While there, you can subscribe to our blog 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 your review on your favorite podcast subscription platform. Thanks and have a great day.

 

 

Wendy Covey

Wendy Covey is a CEO, a technical marketing leader, author of Content Marketing, Engineered, one of The Wall Street Journal’s 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America, and she holds a Texas fishing record. She resides in a small Hill Country town southwest of Austin, Texas, where she enjoys outdoor adventures with her family.



About TREW Marketing

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