Marketing for engineers

Think Again: 7 tips can improve how engineers market products, services, companies, and themselves. Link to Control Engineering videos with more advice.

04/03/2013


Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, was one of the speakers offering advice at the 2013 Marketing to Engineers conference, by CFE Media.

Others want to learn from engineers’ knowledge and experiences. Seven tips can improve how your engineering messages are formed, delivered, and measured to achieve your goals. Engineers (who may believe that if they build it, customers should come) may think differently from others about marketing, so it’s especially important to:

  1. Identify your goals and ensure they align with business (or personal) strategy. Know what it is you want to achieve with engineering marketing. Getting each engineering department in the company to explain key achievements for the year differs from introducing your company’s brand or your capabilities to new clients and new markets.
  2. Make a plan and choose tactics to execute the marketing plan. This includes identifying the tools you plan to use. Be realistic.
  3. Communicate the marketing plan to others (generally beyond what you think, then a little more) and refine as needed.
  4. Choose criteria for measurement and measure marketing results. Sometimes just getting something done is enough. Or marketing may need to increase sales by a specific percentage, or reach into three new markets. Repeat step 3 to gain buy-in.
  5. Execute the plan.
  6. Using chosen measurements, observe results and refine the plan (or goals) as needed. Don’t just set it and forget it.
  7. Ask for help from trusted partners along the way, from a mentor, another department (even marketing), peers in other divisions or in other companies, and from others.

CFE Media, the publishing company for Control Engineering, hosted the second annual “Marketing to Engineers” conference on March 18, prior to the annual awards evening for Engineers’ Choice Awards and Leaders Under 40 recognition, among others. Useful advice targeted company and department-level engineering marketing, but some of the same strategies could help improve marketing yourself professionally.

Engineering marketing advice

“I am an engineer.... We’re not like normal people,” admitted Alicia DuBay, product group manager for safety, ABB’s Process Automation Division, as she began to explain the importance of developing a marketing strategy for engineers.

Communications professionals often don’t get it when addressing engineers, DuBay said, suggesting that getting rid of marketing speak is a good way to help engineers, who are very busy and like to rely on trusted sources and quality information.

Spend money on marketing to “promote product, generate sales leads, create thought leadership, and awareness. All are valid reasons; each has challenges,” DuBay said.

Steve Krull, founder and CEO of Be Found Online, explained how valuable information posted often bolsters the value of websites. Any redesign should be analyzed, indexed, and optimized behind a firewall using Google webmaster tools prior to relaunch, Krull noted.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE MediaJoe Pulizzi, leading author, speaker, and strategist for content marketing and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, explained how giving away your secret sauce (quality content) can help you achieve your goals. Think again about reworking the norm, work with experts to get information you need, and cover new ground, he suggested.

“Get uncomfortable,” Pulizzi said. “If you don't feel like you're going to run off the road, you are not driving fast enough.”

- Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com

ONLINE

See the videos and presentations for Marketing to Engineers 2013.

www.abb.com 

www.befoundonline.com 

www.contentmarketinginstitute.com 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.