Where would we be without engineering? Probably stuck back somewhere in stone age technology. Engineering firms, and the services they provide, have been critical to creating the world as we know it. When you provide such an essential service, it is easy to push aside the idea that, just like every other industry, you need to market yourself. Firms of all sizes are competing with each other in technology, innovation and for the next client’s business.
The engineering industry faces some unique challenges when it comes to sales and marketing. Understanding these challenges and how to overcome them will enable you to develop a marketing strategy that helps your business thrive where others are struggling to attract new clients.
Identifying the Challenges
The number one challenge that engineers face in sales and marketing is specialization. Businesses in this industry cater to a very specific, targeted audience. Where in some other industries, appealing to a broader audience is key to optimizing marketing dollars, the same isn’t true for engineering. This means that any outside help that you seek in developing your marketing plan needs to be knowledgeable in appealing to niche markets. Add to it that engineering services are highly technical, and you have entered a space that many marketing agencies lack experience in.
Engineering firms are devoting more of the budget dollars to marketing and sales. This is because engineers are realizing that more potential leads are taking to the internet to find firms to work with, and with that comes a new set of criteria that is being used to evaluate their worth as an industry expert. Engineers build things, but the one thing they aren’t great at building on their own is a constant stream of new leads.
Lack of niche specific marketing and sale professionals + insufficient lead generation = dead in the water.
Don’t despair. There are marketing specialists that can help you master the art of sales for your engineering firm. The key is learning to identify them by knowing what traits to look for and which ones will bring value to your company. Here are the strategies that your marketing and sales teams need to be using to optimize new lead conversions.
Reaching the Audience That Doesn’t Know You Even Exist
Broad based marketing isn’t as valuable to engineering firms as a more targeted approach. The fact is that that the market you need to appeal to already exists, in a known quantity. There isn’t a need to appeal to a mass audience because the general population doesn’t, and never will, have a need for your services.
But, of the market that does need your services, how many of them know your name?
The challenges of lead generation and creating brand awareness in a limited market are interconnected with one another. Your marketing specialist should not only know this, but come to you with ideas on how to highlight your name in the industry.
- Where are your potential leads found? A significant portion of engineer marketing budgets is devoted to trade shows. How does your marketing specialist plan to optimize this avenue?
- What publications is your target audience reading, both hardcopy and digital. When they are reading these publications, their minds are already on business. This is the perfect time to introduce yourself and highlight your expertise and innovations.
- Before a potential client reaches you, they already have a need or problem that needs to be addressed. You don’t need to convince them that they need an engineering firm because they already know. What they need from you is expertise. Is your marketing specialist working to create content that addresses their problem by offering solutions and highlighting your brand value?
Build Up Your Current Client Base
The untapped resource for generating leads that every engineering firm has is their current client base. You need a marketing strategist that understands that growth isn’t centered only around generating new conversions, but building and learning from the clients that you already have working relationships with.
This involves a degree of collaboration between you and your marketing agency. You need to identify your top clients, and the one with the most potential for growth. Note that these two won’t necessarily be the same. Your top clients will be able to offer you the most in understanding how to add more value to your services, which will benefit your company in two ways.
First, you will be able to identify how you can continue to build revenue, not just maintain it, with your top clients. A client that you have built trust with isn’t going to stick around because you offer them a great deal. They stay because they have come to value the quality of your service. Discovering how you can add even more quality value to their experience will enable you to build your current relationships and your bottom line.
Secondly, discovering what your top clients value about you will help your marketing team tailor their strategies based upon what your market is looking for. This provides opportunities to appeal to both clients with room to grow and attract new leads to your business.
The Bottom Line
As engineers, you are accustomed to being the ones that have the answer. But, when it comes to sales and marketing, the only answer you need is what to look for in a marketing agency or consultant that will propel your image forward at the same speed of your advancing technology. With the right team by your side, it is absolutely possible to master the art of sales and marketing in engineering.