The Importance of Campaigns that Market to Engineers (and How to Do It)
Marketing is all about your message. How you say something is equally as important, if not more, than what you’re saying. That’s why you need to adapt your language and your tone to fit your audience.
If you’re dealing with highly technical customers – like engineers – then your communications should be up to the technical level that they’re used to. Otherwise, it just might feel like you’re speaking two different languages. You need to come across like someone within their industries who knows what they’re talking about. Since engineers can often be the decision makers at their company on what products to use, you must convince them more than anyone else that you offer a quality product or service.
Some marketers talk instead about simplifying engineering content, about making it understandable to the layman. Actually, at GGC we do the opposite: we take engineering content and keep it at an engineer-to-engineer level. While layman’s language may be the right strategy if you’re communicating in a B2C environment, in the B2B world, the technical buyer understands complexity and needs that complexity in order to make the right buying or spec decision. So we must be able to communicate at their level.
This isn’t really anything new. Everyone appreciates communicating with someone who is knowledgeable about their work. Even if you can’t design an engine or interpret a CAD drawing, you should still be fluent in engineering-speak. Here are some tips to help get you communicating like an engineer:
- Focus on solutions
- Don’t overexplain problems
- Don’t make empty claims or promises
- Keep the promotional content out of what you create
Let’s go into these in a little more detail.
Engineering, at its core, is all about problem solving. The problem/solution way of thinking that’s echoed in every Marketing 101 class rings especially true for engineers. The quicker you can get to a solution, the better. Remember, you’re speaking to a hard-wired problem solver who doesn’t need his or her hands held as you help them find their way to a solution. Stick to short and direct language without too many distracting adjectives, unneeded filler, or qualitative statements.
It’s also rare that you should focus heavily on the problem end of your marketing communications. If there truly is a problem in an engineer’s life, then they know about it and don’t need convincing of it. Spend too much time focusing on a problem and you could quickly lose their attention. You should only talk about a problem just enough to remind your engineering audience of it and evoke an emotion from them – you don’t need to prove to them that the problem exists.
Once you properly understand and present the problem, you need to make sure that you can deliver a real solution with quantitative results. Your product is better that the competition? Show exactly how it is better, with hard numbers to back it up. We follow the template of always writing to answer: “don’t tell me what you do; tell me what you do BETTER!”
You offer a service that can solve a difficult problem? Provide evidence and stats on how you add value. The more that you can relate your solution to an engineer’s specific application, the more they’ll trust what you have to offer.
Now, all of this isn’t to say that you should lose any personalized or empathetic feel to your communications. You’re still trying to talk to another person after all. The only difference between campaigns that market to engineers and typical B2B marketing is that you have to be more specific and technical in what you bring to the table. That, and it couldn’t hurt to know a few engineering puns as well.
Last, marketing “fluff” doesn’t belong in engineering-level communications. It triggers a quick reaction by engineers that makes them wary of everything else you’ve written and calls into question the very thought leadership you’re trying to build! Present your company’s solution at the appropriate time – in middle-of-the-funnel or bottom-of-the-funnel content, when you’re talking to someone who’s farther along in the buying process. And when you do, share the information in a factual, technical manner that engineers will respect and rely upon.
At GGC, we specialize in talking to engineers. Talk to us about how you should be talking to them! Read our white paper on how to Market to Engineers, for a list of ideas and suggestions on strategies that work.