TMC Speaker Interview Featuring Martin Weinberg

Triangle Marketing Club will be hosting another fun networking event on Tuesday, October 24th at 6pm! This event will include a presentation from the talented Martin Weinberg, former Director of Marketing at SEMrush.

This digital marketing strategist will present the topic of “Creative Ways to Find New Online Prospects”. Looking for opportunities to expand your audience? Need a more creative way of doing so? Then you will not want to miss this event! Learn more and RSVP here.

The Interview

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

“I’ve been involved in the web since there was a web…”

“My background spans everything from being a professional musician to sales and marketing to web development, project management and digital strategy.”

I see from your LinkedIn that you are a University of the Arts graduate. What did you study there?

“I was a piano major with jazz emphasis. After college I was a full time working musician for a number of years and had a really great time with it. I’ve always had two loves growing up: technology and music. Growing up in the advent of synthesizers, samplers and digital recordings… it was just a great combination of it all and such an exciting time.”

“More and more, businesses need creativity and
effective communication.”

What inspired you to work in digital marketing?

“Well, I was a full time professional musician…”

“A friend of mine said hey, there’s an opening at this company called Ensoniq, which makes digital music products. I thought well, it’d be nice to have health insurance and a steady paycheck!”


“It was such a cool job. I sat there at my desk with a computer and a phone, in a typical cube, but also a rack of the latest keyboards. I was encouraged to take them home and really get to know the technology because people would call with all types of questions. I really became present to this informational need that we all have related to the products and services we use.”

“Then in ‘96 the web was invented…”

“I’ll never forget the first moment we were all standing around this computer looking at AltaVista, which is a predecessor to Google. When the web came about, it hit me instantly… this is access to all of the world’s information right there at your own computer.”

“So, the head of the department said we need to have one of these websites. I raised my hand and said I would do it. I knew nothing about it, but I knew I waited my whole life for the opportunity to do something like this, so I figured it out. I got on the train then and stayed on all this time. It’s been a good ride.”

You have held many different positions in many different companies. What has been your favorite position?

“I have to say it’s what I’m currently doing right now. It’s very similar to what I did when I was working at the digital marketing agency, eCity Interactive, except I’m working with my own clients now. I help companies reach their audiences online and inspire them into action. I love the whole process: brainstorming with founders and leadership teams, understanding what their value proposition is, who they are in the world, and understanding the needs of their target audiences.”

“What attracts me in digital marketing is the combination of creativity to gain the attention and inspire people, the technology, which now enables even the smallest of companies to have powerful strategies at their disposal, and the psychology of human interaction. To me, I think the most fascinating technology in the world is how we as humans work – what’s going on in our brains.”

Could you tell me more about the Broadcast Email initiative that you started at Reed Business Information

“I was hired initially by this B2B publishing company to help 30 of their controlled circulation vertical-market print publications start their very first website. Publishers were very resistant at first, due to concerns about “cannibalizing” their print content. Eventually though, they all finally got their websites. Once they did, they really liked having one. But then they all wanted to know how to drive traffic to the website and start to monetize it.”

“It turned out that each publication had 20,000-30,000 email addresses that they weren’t really doing anything with. So since they were already creating content, and had a permission-based list, it just made sense to start an email newsletter to promote content. It was text-only at the time, before HTML was even a thing. We sent out a headline, a little blurb, a link to the article, and it drove traffic to the website. It just kept growing because every month they’d get new subscribers and people would also share it.”

“This growing targeted, segmented database became very interesting to advertisers, so I partnered with the direct mail division. We would send out a special email asking for permission and then advertisers paid a premium to send a dedicated email campaign to a targeted list of B2B recipients. It wasn’t spam because it was co-branded with the publication and very relevant to their business.”

“By doing this, we were able to take that newsletter initiative and turn it into $9 million dollars a year of incremental revenue.”

“This experience taught me a valuable marketing lesson. Businesses can succeed by leveraging technology to accelerate the process of helping people find the information and resources that are meaningful to them.”

What is a key takeaway you hope the TMC audience leaves with after your presentation?

“While the marketing tools available to us now are amazing, continue to keep the focus on your audience.”

“If you can connect the dots between their problems, opportunities, questions, thoughts, and your company’s products or services, then they will be genuinely glad to find you and they’ll really want to learn more.”

Thanks so much for reading about our awesome interview with the talented Martin Weinberg! We’re really looking forward to have him speak at our event this month. We hope to see you at KnowledgeTree for another exciting #TMCtonight meetup on Tuesday, October 24th at 6pm!