CNC Machining Engineering Marketing

Marketing In The World of Engineering

Let’s be honest, engineering marketing is a headache. The kind that doesn’t go away after you’ve taken pain killers. But, while challenging, it’s also necessary. Having previously worked on the front line as a Technical Sales Manager, and a Technical Marketing Manager too, I feel like I know a thing or two about this subject. Let’s dig into it:

Marketing for engineers is quite often at the bottom of the list in an Engineering Manager’s day, but nevertheless it needs to be done, so why not do it well and reap the rewards? I’ve worked for companies at both ends of the engineering marketing spectrum; one who invested heavily into their website and digital marketing for their sales team; another who simply gave their sales team samples and a catalogue, told them to hit the road and thought nothing more about it.

I can tell you with absolute confidence that, both then and now, the company that takes their engineering marketing seriously is the company that will come out on top every time.

Imagine sending your sales team out to warm leads, where most of the selling has already been done by your website and marketing material. Instead of turning up to a cold lead, they’ll basically be there to guide the buyer with the purchase – it’s really that powerful.

Engineering Sales Team

Marketing in the engineering sector isn’t like other sectors; it’s not like selling trendy clothing or tools to the DIY trade, where the end user knows what they’re looking for. Engineering is far less tangible than that, which can make the marketing hard. But, equally, the rewards are far higher than other industries, with much greater profit margins when you get it right.

Engineering, in general, has always had a strong word-of-mouth approach to selling, where your customers and/or suppliers refer you to one of their contacts. Back in the day, we all had our own specialism which made it easy for people to refer and recommend us. But, with modern versatile tooling it’s a lot easier nowadays to adapt your skills to another market and skill altogether, so you have far more competition than you ever dreamed possible in the past.

CNC Machining

Basically, now more than ever we need to be promoting our own company and specialisms with engineering marketing, rather than hoping someone else will do it for us.

“But we’re engineers, we’re not into that new digital marketing technology, so why should we bother?”

I can hear it being said now from certain companies I know of!

There are lots of reasons to bother with marketing and, if for no other reason, your competitors are getting into it right now and getting ahead of you. And I’m not just talking about the competitors in the same town as you, I’m talking about competitors across the country, across Europe and across the world. Competitors you probably don’t even know of yet, but they are there and they are marketing into your sector and customers as we speak.

Let’s talk about trade exhibitions for a minute. A popular choice in the engineering industry, we often see engineering companies, tying up their marketing spend in one or two trade shows every year, which is not a good idea! What happens every other day of the year? If attending trade fairs is part of your complete marketing strategy then I applaud you, but if it is their only engineering marketing strategy then I fear for them.

Trade Exhibition

Engineering companies are typically located on industrial estates, the doors are usually locked and there’s no way of looking through the windows. Even if there were windows, what passing traffic do we have to peer in through them? We, more than most other industries, need to create ourselves a virtual window – to show what goes on behind our closed doors and attract new customers in. But equally, we need to make sure our current customers are fully aware of what our capabilities are. How often do we hear that our favourite customer goes down the road for one of the services we too could be providing?

So, where do you start with engineering marketing?

I’m going to break this up into two posts – the first part where we’re gearing up for marketing is here, then the second part where we actually get on with the marketing will follow on. 

Step 1

The first place to start with engineering marketing is to understand what we are trying to achieve, and the advantages it may bring to us if we get it right. Because unless there’s a significant advantage to you, then why would you spend time and money doing it? Have a think about what you want to achieve from your marketing, here’s some inspiration:

  • To keep your position within the market
  • To expand and grow within your current market
  • To increase profit and turnover
  • To cross over into a new market
  • To win more profitable work
  • To gain higher calibre projects and clients
  • To gar your business up ready to sell
  • To increase the productive working hours of your machine tools

Now, this list could go on forever, but make sure you know where your end target is and what it will bring to you and your company.

Step 2

Okay, so once you’ve identified what you want to achieve with your marketing, it’s time to move onto the next stage. Start identifying who you’re going to target with your adverts. There’s absolutely no point in marketing to everybody, as most people won’t have a need for what you produce, but you can start by asking yourself the following questions and building up a profile or avatar of the company, and person within the company, you want to market to:

  • What type of companies would be interested in your capabilities or products?
  • What type of companies do you want to work with? (with digital marketing you can be choosy!)
  • Who within those companies would make the decisions?
  • What job title would they have?
  • What are their day to day challenges that you could fix?
  • Where would they be most likely to go online? Maybe they use LinkedIn or Google, maybe Facebook, maybe exhibition websites… The list is endless.
  • Who are your current favourite customers and why? (you might be able to find others just like them)
  • Are there any crossover markets you’d be interested in working in?
Build Your Customer Profile
Check out our post on creating a client avatar here!

Step 3

 By now, you’re nearly at the point where you can start building up a plan, or strategy, of how you’re going to target these people. But, you need to realise that any engineering marketing activity will almost always drive new visitors to your website, so how’s yours looking right now? What does it say about you as a company? If your answer to that is “It looks okay”, then you need to improve it until it looks great.

Your website will help form the first impression of you, it’s likely it’ll be the only impression in the viewers mind so it’s imperative that you get it right.

One way of tackling this, is to get an independent review of your website from three different marketing companies. Make it clear from the start that you want to pay for the review, and no matter what they say it will not result in them gaining work from you. This way you’ll get more of an honest review of your site, and everyone knows where they stand from the start.

Never ask colleagues, friends and/or family to do this for you, as they’ll just tell you what you want to hear, trust me.

If your website is clean, modern and truly reflects your company, then proceed to step 4. But don’t be tempted to go to step 4 without taking step 3 seriously, otherwise you’ll be back here in no time at all having wasted good money on pointless marketing.

Okay, so by now you know why you’re entering into engineering marketing, you know the type of customers you want to attract, and who within them would most likely be the person to place the first order with you. You’ve also had your website independently checked and you’ve carried out the recommendations suggested.

You’re good to go!

Step 4

 This step is to look at the marketing tools available to engineers and how to select the right ones for your company, as well as how to set them up and measure their performance.

I think this is a good place to stop for now, we’ll be covering all of the above and more in our next insight, so be sure to come back and take a look.

If you would like to ask any questions or need any help with engineering marketing then be sure to get in touch.

Digital Marketing For Your Business

What are the best marketing tools for engineers

Believe it or not, there’s no simple answer to “what digital marketing tools are best for engineers” (sorry).

It’s impossible for me to tell you what you should be using for digital marketing for your business, because the amount of options and strategies that you have at your disposal are absolutely endless.

“So what’s the point of this blog post then, Richard?!”

I hear you say.

Well, I wanted to write this post to help you avoid a very common marketing mistake we see all too often, a practice that costs you money and delivers very little in return.

One of the biggest mistakes that engineers make with their digital marketing, is they look at what other people are doing and follow suit. They look at the tools that others are using, such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads etc and they think to themselves:

“I should use that too! It works for Joe Bloggs down the road, it should work for me too”.

And off they go and try the new marketing tool, without really thinking too much about it. We understand the attraction to this in saving time and money, but do you think Joe Bloggs carried out any research on this tool or strategy himself and whether it really was the best option for his business, let alone yours?

Digital Marketing Mistakes

Don’t get me wrong, that strategy is better than nothing. It’s much better to market yourself that way than not at all, but a much better place to start is with a question that goes something like:

“What’s the best way to market to my target audience?”

Just because a certain tool or strategy may work for Joe Bloggs it does not necessarily mean it will work for you, even if you’re in the same industry.

Here is the way we would suggest you approach using new marketing tools.

Ask yourself “who am I trying to attract?”

Draw up an image of your ideal customer / avatar? (even give them a name if you want to!):

  • Who are they?
  • What do they do?
  • What is their gender?
  • Age?
  • Job title?
  • Who do they work for?
  • What pressures are on them?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What challenges do they regularly face?

The more you can think about that person and the more you understand them, the better you’ll be with your marketing. Trust me it works!

Build Your Customer Profile
Check out our post on creating a client avatar here!

Understanding what they do; the challenges and pressures they come up against on a daily basis; will give you a much better understanding of how to market to them, especially in the engineering sector.

Once you have this image of your ideal customer, and once you have an understanding of their issues and/or desires, you can work on the message that you want to get across to them.

You know your capabilities and services inside out, but you need to be able to showcase it in a way that will attract your ideal customer. You need to have quality copy and images on your website to portray the look and feel of a professional business. This is SO important!

Great copy and imagery sells!

Now, if you’ve managed to do this with advertising materials; you need to back it up with a great landing page for the product/service on your website. Because this is where your customer will most likely go next.

Let’s just rewind a little bit…

You’ve got that profile of your ideal customer.

You’ve crafted your marketing media.

Then, and only then, will you be able to choose which are the best marketing tools for your business.

For some businesses the answer could be SEO, some may need Google Ads, or Facebook marketing. I have a long list of digital marketing strategies that I could go through with you today – some are ideal for you and your business, but some aren’t as they’re not where your ideal customer is ‘hanging out’ online, so to speak.

social media icons

But, once you understand your ideal customers, you should start to understand which marketing tools would suit them best as you will know where they go to learn and where they go to  communicate.

An important piece of advice that I feel I should add here, is not to limit yourself to one marketing tool.

Having said that, don’t use too many at once! Our recommendation is to use two or three at the same time, as you might become swamped and overwhelmed. Why do we say this? A vital part of your digital marketing is analysing and tracking your strategies to see what’s working, and what’s not. By doing this, you can alter your ad text, your audience, your targeting etc to suit the data you’re analysing, making your marketing more effective. By only using a few different tools, you can keep on top of this side of your marketing.

Check out our post on combining marketing tools to get results here!

And there you have it; the first steps to successful digital marketing!

Don’t follow what the other engineering companies are doing for their marketing, look at your market place first, then craft your message to them. Then and only then select the marketing tool or platform on which they will best respond to you.

I hope this helps, and I hope you have a better understanding of how to start to use digital marketing for engineering businesses. It takes longer than copying the guy down the road, but boy can it deliver better results!

This is just the beginning of the road though; as you begin your marketing, give each platform a fair chance before swapping it for the next one. Try some AB testing (where you test one advert against another), set up conversion tracking so you can see which ads convert into sales/downloads/filled in contact forms. Then analyse the data, work out which tools and ads work the best, not just in sales, but in return on ad spend and the highest returns on profit margins. The chances of you picking the right marketing tool for engineering, and getting it to convert immediately are remote, but all to often engineers give up on a selected digital marketing tool when they weren’t actually using it right!

AB Testing

Feel free to get in touch with us at Brookstone Innovation if you have any questions about engineering marketing, or if you’d like some help with getting started.

Marketing Strategy

Combining Engineering Marketing Tools To Get Results

In engineering marketing, one thing many marketers seem to underestimate is the power of combining two or more marketing tools into the same campaign, it seems to be a common misunderstanding that one campaign means one marketing tool.

Google Ads, LinkedIn, Facebook Ads and Instagram are popular choices for online marketing in engineering, and while they all have their strengths and weaknesses, sticking to one or two basic methods is not going to get you very far in the end.

Why not combine marketing tools, using their individual strengths, therefore strengthening your advertising? Boom. Lightbulb moment.

social media icons

Google Ads – Google Ads is a ‘pay per click’ online advertising platform developed by Google, where advertisers bid to display advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users

Facebook Pixel – Facebook Pixel is a tool that allows you to measure, optimise and build personalised audiences for very targeted advertising campaigns.

Facebook Ads – Facebook ads are the next step on from organic Facebook posts. Facebook ads are targeted to users based on their online history, location, demographic, profile information etc., and can be combined with the Facebook Pixel for extremely targeted advertising.

LinkedIn – Both organic posting and paid ads on LinkedIn can work very well for engineers, but it’s a pool that is heavily fished by engineers, so don’t fall into the same trap as many engineers and purely use this on it’s own, as the competition is huge. Use it as an engineering marketing tool, but don’t rely on it alone.

Here’s an example of when you may combine marketing tools… You have a product/service that isn’t getting enough traffic on your website. You’ve made a landing page that you think is pretty good, but it’s still not getting the number of visitors you want it to.

First thing to do: Check the product/service page on your website

  • Is the information clear?
  • Does the page look good?
  • Does it have lots of information that’s easy to find and read?
  • Is there a good call to action (see our ‘Call to Action Ideas’ post for some inspiration) on the page for visitors to ask for more information, buy your product, get in touch with you etc.?

Once the page is good to go and you’re happy with it (very happy with it), the next step is SEO. SEO is one of the best ways to get traffic to your page/website, by optimising the website for the search engines. The beautiful thing about SEO is that it doesn’t cost money each time someone clicks on it, and quite often they are the first results people go to when searching. But it can take time to build up SEO and get right. Not so good when you want an instant impact, but definitely needed rolling in the background.


So, what can you combine with SEO to speed up visits and sales?’

There are many tools including LinkedIn to bring awareness to the right people and you could use Twitter maybe? Another option here which is often overlooked is Google Ads, which can be combined quite nicely with SEO. Think about your target audience; the people who need what you’re offering. What search terms and keywords would they use on Google? These are the keywords you need to use in your Google Ads and your SEO. Now, this on its own is enough to produce sales conversions, but to really get the till ringing you need to think outside the box here, and that’s where the beauty of combining more marketing tools really comes into its own.

You can also bring in Facebook Pixel marketing to build an audience from the visitors you brought in via Google ads and SEO, from there you can then start to re-target them with Facebook Ads. Now you have yourself a completely targeted, specific marketing strategy that brings results!

You see, if you drive enough traffic to your landing page with Google Ads, SEO and other tools, you can then have a Facebook Pixel on your page. This will allow you to advertise on Facebook to only the people who have already visited your page/website through your Google ads.

You suddenly have a very targeted audience.

Woman Shopping On Her Phone

Bear in mind that engineers and buyers don’t always buy things the first time they see them, so no immediate sales or contact from your visitors doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to buy anything from you. How often do you browse products and services online, with the intention of going back to it later, but forget about it or get distracted by something else? By using Facebook Pixel marketing and Google Remarketing, you can show up as a graphical ad on other websites or as a Facebook Ad on the newsfeeds of people who have already searched for and looked at what you’re selling. Just watch your sales conversion rate sky rocket.

So to summarise this example; check your website, set up your Google Ads and SEO, apply a Facebook Pixel to your page/website, remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website, then watch your sales increase. Simple, right?

For more information or help with engineering marketing, get in touch with our clever team of people at Brookstone Innovation.