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John Hayes
By
April 16, 2015

A Framework for Deciding What to Say in Technology Marketing to Engineers

Tech marketing campaigns for engineers

Not all technology innovations are created equal.  Sadly, as marketers, our annual budgets often are. That’s why you need to strongly consider the technology you’re promoting when deciding what to say.

In this post, we’ll look at how to decide how much and where to commit your budget based on the level of innovation that your new product features represent.

Let’s say you are a computer hardware vendor and every six months your company comes out with advances on your existing range of laptops, desktops and notebooks.  If you are responsible for marketing to the design engineering or manufacturing segment, you may find it helpful to first decide whether this latest round of products represents:

  1. Another incremental step in the innovation of smaller, faster and cheaper computing
  2. A big step forward for a certain market segment, such as engineers using CFD simulation
  3. A big step forward in productivity across all engineering applications
1. Your New Product Represents and Incremental step in Technology Development

If this product enhancement is incremental, you are likely best off designing campaigns that will reach people when they are in a buying cycle.  It is probably not worthwhile trying to create net new demand. 

So for our computer hardware example, you will want to reach engineers, IT managers and purchasers when they are bringing a new engineer onto a team or doing a large hardware refresh.  To achieve that goal, you would likely use broad awareness campaign initiatives, including banners and sponsored content along with any of your usual tried and true lead generation techniques.

2. You New Product Represents a Big Improvement for Certain Engineers

If your product enhancement can fundamentally change the way a subset of engineers performs in a certain part of their job, then it makes sense to find where that market segment hangs out online and tell them your story in detail through sponsored posts, video and webinars.  This can help them understand that there is a potentially large benefit to changing a process that they currently perform. 

In the computer hardware example, you may want to create marketing materials that speak to the individual engineers who are doing the calculations and show them how much faster that workflow can be. 

3. Your New Product Represents a Significant Improvement for all market Segments

Major product changes don’t come along very often, and when they do, it’s time to pull out all the stops.  Campaigns that focus on thought leadership would fit in this scenario and should be captured through good story telling mediums like video, sponsored posts and webinars.  We've previously demonstrated the impact of roadshows. Roadshows allow engineers to get hands on with the technology, and should be promoted through social media groups, email and banners. 

Getting Your Innovations Heard

It’s too bad most marketers don’t have budgets that float with the importance of their product launches.  A calendar isn’t always the best way to determine the amount of marketing spending. 

Does your company allocate more budget to marketing when there is a major new product launch?  Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

John

 

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Research Report: How Engineers Find Information
Research Report: How Engineers Find Information
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