Interview with CEO and Co-Founder of TREW Marketing – Wendy Covey

Search Engine Optimization



“Trust and authenticity are the foundation of marketing that actually impacts sales. ”


1. Tell us about your role at TREW Marketing and how you got here?
The idea for TREW Marketing resulted from many lunchtime workout and evening happy hour conversations with a colleague of mine, Rebecca Geier. We officially started TREW Marketing in 2008 as a full-service marketing agency uniquely serving companies targeting technical audiences. Prior to TREW Marketing, I spent much of my career building and producing successful global marketing and services programs as part of the National Instruments marketing leadership team. As CEO of TREW Marketing, I sit at the helm of business and services strategy, financial management, and new client acquisition, helping companies connect with customers, build trust and drive sustainable results using a smart inbound marketing and sales approach.

2. What’s the most fascinating aspect of working with TREW Marketing? We would love to see some pictures of your smart work culture.
In our first 2 years of TREW, how we came out of the gates as new business owners with diverse opportunities from friends, past co-workers, and our local network of business and community leaders. These opportunities were with a variety of organizations, from the local United Way to our city’s children’s hospital to a scientific non-profit representing the state’s members of the U.S. National Academies. We were flying high in our first 9 months with more work than we could handle. Then came the downturn, and by early 2009, we had no new revenue in our pipeline. It was at that time we realized we could not, nor did we want, to be an agency-for-all, reactive to the winds of word-of-mouth or referrals from friends. We had to stand out and apart from other agencies, to stand for something, and in the process, get control of our destiny.

We took an introspective look at our strengths and experience, and it quickly became clear that our focus should be on what we know best, marketing to engineers, and how we work best, using a collaborative, smart, and measured approach. That decision to SAY YES to B2B technical companies, and SAY NO to nonprofits, hospitals, and others outside this niche, also gave us great focus in where to invest to grow our brand. It was at this time, that we created our tagline, Smart Marketing for Engineers, wrote our first ebook – Smart Marketing for Engineers: Build Your Foundation, and began our annual research of the engineer’s buyer journey. Now, we dive deep into marketing for engineers – from aerospace to IT and automated test to blockchain.

MORE : VIDEO: Focusing on our niche

3. How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
In the early days of our marketing agency a decade ago, we manually pulled reports from up to 10 different sources to see if our marketing programs were on track to meet goals, and there was no affordable means to integrate sales and marketing platforms for the SMB. Now, with all-in-one sales and marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, we can offer consistent data from a single source and track a lead from inception through the buyers’ journey to a purchase. These changes and new platforms bring drastic improvements in accuracy, time and cost savings. This unified view supports sales and marketing working closely as a team rather than siloed organizations.

4. Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and customer insights, where do you see TREW Marketing fitting in the ecosystem?

  • Further Maximizing Inbound Marketing: Now that we have great intelligence about how contacts are seeking information, consuming content, and making decisions, we can customize our outreach and content to give customers what they need to make a decision when they need it. We know what types of content are helpful for specific personas and how those personas like to encounter, receive, interact with, and share content – this insight helps us work smarter and customize very specific marketing plans for each client.
  • Account-Based Marketing: On average, 5.4 people holding diverse business positions are in involved in a purchasing decision. To make matters more difficult, this number grows with the complexity of the sale. For technical companies, account-based strategies are a must, and for top performing SMBs, this account–based approach is no longer done by sales people in isolation.
  • Companies are bringing together sales and marketing leaders for a cohesive strategy to grow key accounts. With today’s modern CRM tools, it is now faster and easier to discover accounts (and influencers) that are most heavily engaged with your company, gain insights to build specific, desirable personas, and use behavioral data to engage in a more personalized way. With this information in-hand, account teams can craft and deliver highly tailored content to specific personas along the buyer’s journey.


5. What are some flourishing content marketing apps which you follow and why?

  • Video platforms like Biteable: Video is an excellent and inexpensive way for sales to personalize their messages in a memorable way, particularly for companies conducting some or all of their sales process by phone or online. Use videos for a pre-meeting backgrounder, quick demo, follow up thank you, and reminder about signing that proposal – just to name a few.
  • Look for video platforms that launch quickly and are super easy to use – this should not be something that is more time-consuming than typing an email. Some platforms have helpful statistics and integrate into popular CRMs for a holistic view of contact interactions.
  • AI Communication Bots like Drift:  Dialing for dollars is on its deathbed, as an outdated, ineffective model, with more than 40% of sales people citing that prospecting is the hardest part of their job. The rate in which prospects will actually pick up your uninvited phone call or return your voicemail is on a sharp decline.
  • Try out a chat bot tailored for B2B companies. Look for a platform that helps your prospects as they navigate through your site by offering richer experience, and one that helps you by qualifying interests and securing that valuable first meeting.


6. How do you build an actionable customer interaction and communication model?
One way to build actionable customer interaction and meaningful communication is through content clusters.

As trends continue to move towards mobile, search engines have changed to accommodate search terms we now use. People no longer type “system integrator Georgia” or “automation supplier in Atlanta” into Google. Instead people are posing questions to search engines, such as “find a system integrator near me” or “where can I buy automation equipment near me?”.

Instead of picking and choosing keywords, Google is rewarding companies who demonstrate expertise in a particular subject. For instance, if you provide cybersecurity services, make cybersecurity a topic. To boost your SEO, brainstorm subtopics for cybersecurity and create a pillar page around your topic that extensively covers the topic. From your pillar page, link to all of your sub-topic pages that address the topic of the pillar page. For example, with cybersecurity as your pillar page, you can link to a page on securing SCADA systems against cyber threats. To complete a cluster, you’ll link all subtopic pages to your pillar page. This practice shows search engines there is a semantic relationship between the content.

If one of your subtopic pages performs well on search, search engines will boost pages linked to and from that successful page.

7. What tools would recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?

  • HubSpot is a key platform to companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Successful B2B inbound marketing programs include website strategy, marketing automation, content creation, landing pages, social media, lead nurturing, SEO, CRM, and marketing analytics. With HubSpot, all of your inbound marketing and sales programs are housed on one platform. Not only does this make your job easier, it also gives you powerful analytics in one place.
  • Using a calendar app, such as HubSpot’s calendar or Calendly, is a quick sales hack that can save HOURS of time in what otherwise is that annoying meeting scheduling dance. Salespeople’s calendar links can also be used as a call-to-action for marketing to include in lower-funnel communications.


8. How do you think your approach as a market intelligence catalyst different in helping a marketer’s outreach to the client?
At TREW Marketing, we focus on research to drive informed marketing plans and outreach to customers. Engineers are unique in how they search for and consume information, so we stay current with annual research to understand how our clients’ audiences behave so we can help them best reach their prospects.

For example, the 2017 Smart Marketing for Engineers Report outlines critical marketing-related data from technical professionals such as:

  • Where and when they seek information for products, services, and technologies
  • The type of content they prefer
  • If vendors’ “generosity” with content correlates to their consideration of the vendor in a purchase process.
  • How many pages deep they will go in an online search to find what they need
  • If their perception of vendors’ websites correlates to their consideration of them in a purchase process
  • What portion of their buying process happens online
  • Their willingness to complete lead forms online, and which fields they’re most likely to complete


MORE : See the latest research here, and, look for research with TREW Marketing partner IEEE GlobalSpec coming Fall 2018.

9. Which startups in the martech and adtech industries are you keenly following?
In addition to the companies in question 5 and 7, Highspot is a great platform to watch. Around 60% of marketing content is never used by sales – either they can’t find it or it’s dated. Highspot is a sales enablement platform, helping organizations close the loop across marketing, sales, and the customer by connecting sales to the most relevant content for each situation, providing flexible ways to present content to customers, and giving real-time visibility into whether customers find the content engaging.

10. As a content marketing evangelist how do you measure the performance and growing traction for a particular product among your audience?
With tools like HubSpot, we’re able to tie sales to inbound marketing efforts by understanding visits, strategically qualifying leads, making strong handoffs to sales, and tracking the buyer journey. For example, TREW Marketing client Wineman Technology has doubled lead growth since shifting from primarily outbound to primarily inbound marketing. In addition, the company has experienced a 62% increase in web visits, grown the company over 50 percent, and attributes $2M in sales to its website.

11. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
Trust and authenticity are the foundation of marketing that actually impacts sales. Our successful clients are the ones willing to spend the time defining their brand and niche, offer the content that matters most to prospects, and build relationships with customers. To communicate that trust and authenticity, companies must invest in cohesive, integrated marketing – differentiated messaging, a seamless website, a strong marketing plan, consistent content development, marketing automation, and pipeline management.

MORE: Read the book, Smart Marketing for Engineers.

Drawing upon her 25 years of experience in business leadership within the engineering space, Wendy helps companies connect with customers, build trust and drive sustainable results using a smart inbound marketing and sales approach. As Co-Founder of TREW Marketing, the leading agency in marketing to engineers, Wendy was named by The Wall Street Journal editors among the Ten Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America for bringing a unique, informed perspective to guide business leaders in technical industries.

TREW is a full-service marketing agency uniquely serving engineering and scientific companies that target technical audiences. We are marketers who get engineers. In fact, we wrote the book on it and are constantly researching how to be even smarter about it. We start with your business, your products and services, your application areas, and your competition. We seek to understand your unique situation, and then take the big concepts of inbound and content marketing and create a long-term, actionable plan that strengthens your brand and drives demand for your business.

For more information please visit our Website.

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