Marketing to engineers – not the same as consumer marketing?

Today’s engineers are a highly educated elite, often in software, electronics, aerospace and similar industries. Marketing people are generally trained in the techniques to promote fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), using creative ideas, branding and bold propositions. Engineers can view this marketing with scepticism.  So, what makes good technical marketing?

If you have a marketing background, you should remember that your engineering customers had a very different education to your own. They are likely to have studied very different disciplines at University, likely to be more logical and will probably pay much greater attention to detail. While marketing’s task is to sell a “concept”, the engineer’s task is to deliver a working product. It’s a very different challenge with many real-world constraints.

Better technical marketing

The classic consumer marketing approach of branding, propositions and messages is still valid, but technical customers need a much greater level of data and detail. They may need to carry out formal evaluations and product trials.

Most people research their purchases extensively online before they contact a salesperson. This can be time consuming, and it is frustrating if key facts are missing, so good technical marketing should make the fact-finding as easy as possible for the customer.

  • Videos, case studies, charts, calculators and free tools are useful – they all help technical buyers with their evaluations.
  • Written English must be 100% correct. Your prospective technical customer will notice errors and sloppy grammar.
  • Bullet points can be better than long copy – if they convey all the details, they save the customer time.
  • Graphic designers often make technical data and tables very small and difficult to read. Don’t allow this to happen!

Vendors often deliberately omit leave one key fact out, so that prospective customers will get in touch and start a conversation!

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