Many industrial companies find it challenging to market to engineers. The biggest complaint that I hear is that engineers just don’t respond to marketing like others do. These companies are at a loss and need to figure out a better way to market since their target audience is primarily engineers from various disciplines.
You’ve probably read that you should market to people and not to a business or a company. Yes that is true and of course, engineers are people too. However, marketing to engineers is different.
Here’s how I see it:
- Even though the line between our personal and professional lives has blurred, engineers make work related decisions very differently from their personal lives. Risk aversion is the primary emotion that drives engineers to make a buying decision which is then justified with logic
- Big ticket industrial purchases are rarely ever made by an individual engineer. There is usually a committee of stakeholders. Your marketing may never reach/touch some of these internal decision makers
- The traditional BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) approach to score a lead who is an engineer may not work very well. A design, manufacturing or applications engineer may be the specifier who must “design in” the industrial component before a functional buyer can make a buy decision
- The commonly held belief that engineers hate marketing is only semi true
Full disclosure: I’m a Mechanical Engineer and have been an industrial marketing consultant for the past 25+ years. I can understand if you think my opinions are biased and are skeptical about what I have said here. So like a good engineer, let me validate my observations with evidence from independent, third-party research findings.