Good Busi­ness

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS - By David Frank

Be­ing great at solv­ing prob­lems and mak­ing things doesn’t get the busi­ness… with­out ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion. En­gi­neer­ing peo­ple are known the world over to be clever at ex­plor­ing needs and work­ing alone to cre­ate so­lu­tions – but not so good at con­vey­ing their ideas and prod­ucts to oth­ers, es­pe­cially non-tech­ni­cal peo­ple.

This com­mu­ni­ca­tion gap of­ten means missed busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties from po­ten­tial clients.

Ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing is be­com­ing more vi­tal in our ‘mo­bile in­for­ma­tion age’ where so many peo­ple look to the in­ter­net for prod­ucts and ser­vices.

And with ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion be­com­ing less of an is­sue, cre­at­ing your own niche in the mar­ket gets more vi­tal to suc­ceed.

Pass­ing it off and miss­ing the ben­e­fits

En­gi­neer­ing peo­ple can dread mar­ket­ing or dis­miss it as hype, ex­ag­ger­a­tion of ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ‘f luff’ that doesn’t add any value, or a nec­es­sary evil they don’t un­der­stand.

They may have had bad ex­pe­ri­ences with sales and mar­ket­ing peo­ple who didn’t ‘get’ the tech­ni­cal­i­ties of their busi­ness or see eye-to-eye with their tech­ni­cal peo­ple.

‘DIY’ mar­ket­ing that misses the tar­get

En­gi­neer­ing firms of­ten strug­gle to scrape to­gether ‘DIY’ text con­tent – which usu­ally turns out quite in­ward-look­ing and not very client-friendly or en­gag­ing. Most web­sites and brochures say the same sort of stuff as com­peti­tors – “we are… we do… tech­ni­cal fea­tures xyz”.

Their tar­get au­di­ence can get bored or bam­boo­zled, es­pe­cially non-tech­ni­cal peo­ple who can’t see the ben­e­fits in their own lan­guage. Th­ese peo­ple are in a dif­fer­ent world, with mo­ti­va­tions and in­ter­ests be­yond the tech­ni­cal is­sues.

En­gi­neer­ing busi­nesses are usu­ally so deeply im­mersed in their ex­per­tise and prod­ucts that it’s hard to see their tar­get mar­ket’s view­point like an ob­jec­tive out­sider can.

One of my clients, a ‘smart build­ings’ de­signer/in­staller, showed me his web­site de­sign – elec­tronic boxes and cables which re­ally ap­pealed to him. I sug­gested that his po­ten­tial clients didn’t want to see any of that, but would be look­ing for a good time en­ter­tain­ing their friends with their home theatre. So we pitched the text and im­ages ac­cord­ingly and his web­site took off.

Mak­ing the vi­tal con­nec­tion to ad­vance your busi­ness

Your po­ten­tial clients may see a num­ber of firms out there tech­ni­cally ca­pa­ble of do­ing the job, so how can you stand out? How about carv­ing out your own niche mar­ket of ‘ideal’ clients?

Com­ing up…

• How to find the raw ma­te­ri­als for your ‘mar­ket­ing ma­chine’ – to re­alise your full busi­ness po­ten­tial (min­ing the trea­sure you’re sit­ting on – to draw your ideal tar­get clients). • How to get your ‘mar­ket­ing ma­chine’ per­form­ing – pre­sent­ing your hid­den trea­sure through your mar­ket­ing chan­nels (brochure, web­site, ads, white pa­pers, pro­pos­als, and so­cial me­dia, etc.). • How to get bet­ter busi­ness re­sults from your web­site (get the

crit­i­cal fac­tors right for higher sales con­ver­sion).

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