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Digital Marketing for Engineers Blog

Marketing to Engineers is a Funny Business

Posted by Andrew McWhaw

Jun 28, 2018 9:49:12 AM

Hey Reader!

If you’re a fan of Digital Marketing For Engineers, you know it’s the mission of this blog to publish the most data rich and thorough examinations of marketing in the engineering world. 

Lately, we’ve dropped some pretty heavy articles on you:

Data, data, data, serious, serious, serious.  That’s what we’re about…Except this week.  Collectively, we’re all at the end of Q2 and dreaming of that July 4th Vacation, we need something a little lighter….

[**For our non-American readers enjoy your Canada Day, Heroes Day (Hey Zambia), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (best holiday name ever), or whatever mid-year holiday is celebrated in your region.]

We need something funny.  We work in a quirky little corner of the B2B world, marketing products and services to some of the most highly intelligent, analytical, and marketingphobic people on the planet – engineers. 

So lets have a little fun with our target personas.  Here are some of our favorite jokes about engineers and engineering.  Some are funny, some are actually funny, and some are just so bad they become funny.

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Topics: Marketing to engineers

Three Data-Driven Tactics for Technical Product Marketers

Posted by Andrew McWhaw

May 24, 2018 12:01:42 PM

There are countless marketing tactics to choose from, but this blog post will focus on three that are powered by data – those tactics that get better and better the more data you have to work with.

Chances are that as a marketer who targets technical audiences, you’re already using every one of the tactics below.  What you probably weren’t aware of is how the injection of even a little bit of data can transform each tactic from a good contributor to a revenue generating superstar.   

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Topics: Email marketing to engineers, content strategy

Using Machine Learning to Improve Email Marketing Success

Posted by Andrew McWhaw

May 4, 2018 10:58:01 AM

How do you write emails that your prospects and customers want to open, and avoid emails that sour them to your brand? 

Dedicated email marketers and their multi-functional counterparts have grown familiar and adept with A/B testing thanks to user-friendly Martech and the acceptance of A/B testing as best practice.  Still, email remains a battleground—one many marketers feel they’re losing. What if there was a better way?

One potentially powerful solution on the horizon is machine learning.  Marketing futurists will tell you that one day, AIs leveraging deep repositories of user data will be able to write and deliver the perfect personalized email.    

While we’re not there yet, today’s blog will take a first step in the right direction by showing how engineering.com is leveraging machine learning to write better email subject lines and improve campaign success, to the benefit of both its audience and customers.

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Topics: Email marketing to engineers

A 3 Step Method for Creating Marketing Content that Reaches Engineers

Posted by John Hayes

Apr 19, 2018 9:15:08 AM

Engineers are remarkably adept at keeping a high signal to noise ratio in their inbox. Content that isn’t constantly delivering value is aggressively re-routed to unseen folders like Gmail’s Social Updates or Outlook’s Other.

Even worse, they may delete it on sight, or even mark it as spam, thereby blocking you off and dinging your list’s credibility.

This is terrible news for marketers.

If you spend days and weeks getting your editorial calendar just right, identifying the right authors within your organization, pleading with them to finish their posts, and then proudly packaging their stories into a company e-newsletter, this is devastating news.

Although it isn’t really news, is it? You already know from your email open rates and CTRs that engineers are filtering out your messages.

So what’s the answer? Does the path to higher engagement lie with better content or better distribution? It’s both, of course. In this post we’ll explore what better content means when it comes to reaching engineers. We’ll save the distribution topic for another time.

These insights are based on how we make sure that engineers read/watch or listen to content from engineering.com, where our content reaches over 2.3 million engineers every month.

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Marketing to engineers

4 Things (The Data Shows) Top Performing Marketers Do Differently

Posted by Andrew McWhaw

Apr 5, 2018 10:35:32 AM

When I was in my early twenties, I worked in a comic book shop after school and on weekends.  This wasn’t just any comic book shop – at the time we were one of the largest seller of collectibles on the East Coast, slinging comics and trading cards (and way too many Webkinz).  Our mini-Amazon and the mountains of USPS boxes we amassed each week were the vision of my boss Eddy—a powder-keg of a man, explosive in ideas and temperament, incapable of sleep and obsessed with winning in all things.

One day Eddy turned to me and said, “eBay is running an auction to have lunch with Warren Buffett.  I don’t think there is another person alive who I’d rather sit down to lunch with.” Being more interested in cards than business at this point, I shrugged and told him I didn’t really see why it’s worth much of anything at all.  I think Eddy went into shock.  After a moment he looked at me, with a tone in his voice as if he was speaking to an alien completely oblivious to the order of the world, and stated, “He’s the best. Think of what you could learn just by studying what he does and getting to ask him questions.”

Why the long anecdote? Well besides the nostalgia, today I’m going to offer you some insights from the best.  Not Warren Buffett (sadly), but from the marketers who killed it in 2017 and are poised to conquer in 2018.  The data comes from a recent survey that engineering.com issued to fans of this blog and to our customers.

The full study, 2018 Budget Trends in Industrial & Technology Marketing, has a ton of great information any marketer could use, but this post is all about the winners—the Serena Williams, Mike Trouts, and Meryl Streeps of the marketing world—and what they’re doing differently.

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Industry trends and research, Display advertising and banners, Marketing to engineers

Need a Larger Marketing Budget in 2018? These Survey Results Give You the Ammunition

Posted by John Hayes

Feb 8, 2018 11:28:32 AM


At the start of each year, we ask marketers about their planned budget and activities for the near year.  We’ve begun crunching the numbers, and will reveal our findings in our upcoming webinar, Engineering Marketers 2018 Campaign Plans on February 21st, 2018 at 2 pm EST.  Today though, we’re going to share some powerful results on budget trends for industrial marketers. 

Simply put, 2018 is a breakthrough year for industrial marketing budgets. Budgets are soaring upwards, so read on to see how your budget compares. If your executive hasn’t allocated enough budget to your team, these survey results should give you the ammunition you need to argue your case.

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Topics: Digital media and online marketing, Industry trends and research, Marketing to engineers

Lead Gen is Doomed and other Fearless Predictions for Engineering Marketers in 2018

Posted by John Hayes

Jan 18, 2018 9:04:43 AM


As many of you know, every year around this time we run a survey about marketing budgets in 2018.  The survey is live at this link. Please take a moment to share your insights with your fellow marketers. Sharing your knowledge makes us all smarter.

Take the Survey

We’ve added an incentive this year. If you are one of the first 100 respondents, your name will be entered in a draw to win one of three gift cards from Amazon worth $100 each.

While we are waiting for the survey results, here are my fearless predictions of what will impact engineering marketers in 2018.

First, I predict that budgets for technology marketers will continue to grow. We’ve seen this trend over the past several years, and with the economy around the world running strong, and as marketing continues to displace sales as the primary way to engage customers, there is every reason to predict that this will continue. You might even challenge whether this prediction is in fact, “fearless” as it may appear to be too easy a call, like the Starbucks barista misspelling your name in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.

In this post I’ll go out a little further on a limb regarding my predictions about:

  • Why lead generation is doomed in 2018
  • What the year will hold for mobile advertising for technical audiences
  • What will happen to marketers who decide to build their own audiences
  • Why Google and Facebook will predict purchase intent in 2018
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Topics: Marketing to engineers, content strategy

Technology Brand Launches a Digital Publication – A Real Numbers, Unreal Company Case Study

Posted by Andrew McWhaw

Dec 19, 2017 10:39:36 AM

It was late summer and Dave Publeesh, the CMO of Engtronica, was enjoying the last few days of his summer holiday.  Despite his best efforts, his mind was already drifting to his next major marketing project. 

The last twelve months had been good to Engtronica.  The company was growing, as a resurgent economy and new growth in American manufacturing was driving demand for linear actuators. Dave’s marketing team had done their part, too.  In addition to trade shows, banner ads and email campaigns, the team really knocked it out of the park with their weekly blog and monthly video series, a few of which had gone viral – as much as you can go viral in the world of linear actuators. 

It was time to double-down.  Dave had been reading and hearing about how the next major shift in content marketing would be for B2B companies to become their own publishers.  Dave could already see the proof; Autodesk was gearing up to launch RedShift, while ARROW went about it by purchasing a handful of publications that summer. 

Dave wanted Engtronica to be first into the breach for linear actuators. 

Actuator World was born.

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Topics: Marketing to engineers, content strategy

Engineers on social media: Data dump for marketers

Posted by Andrew McWhaw

Nov 30, 2017 8:47:23 AM

A few months ago, we surveyed just shy of 1200 engineering and design professionals to learn about how they find and consume engineering information (the full research report it now available here).  One area I was extremely curious about was social media. 

My curiosity stemmed from 2 seemingly counter-intuitive facts: 1) Social Media is the most commonly used engineering marketing tactic over the last 4 years & 2) It’s reported to be one of the least effective at generating revenue. This is evidenced by the following two charts:

(If you’d like to learn what the most effective tactics were as reported in January of 2017 you can find all that and more information in this research report)

Today, we’re going to answer some fundamental questions about engineers and social media using data from our recent survey of 1,187 engineers as well as web analytics data from ENGINEERING.com. The answers to the following questions should help us understand why marketers seem to have such difficulty in generating revenue from social media:

  • Do engineers use social media for gathering work related material?
  • Of those who do, what channels do they rely on?
  • What types of content is best suited to reaching them?
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Topics: Social Media for Engineers, Industry trends and research, Marketing to engineers, content strategy

How Marketers Can Reach Automotive Engineers

Posted by John Hayes

Nov 9, 2017 10:32:42 AM

We recently surveyed 1,187 engineers about their information consumption habits. We’ll have the full research report out in the next week or so. Starting today, and extending through the next few weeks, we’ll investigate specific segments of engineers to surface unique insights into those populations.  Our goal is to inform your tactical decisions as marketers when you seek to target a specific engineering niche. 

We’ll be starting with the automotive industry. The survey had a healthy turnout with almost 100 respondents in the automotive industry. They demonstrated that they are not like other engineers in many important ways. For example, the following chart shows you the answer to the question “At what stage of your investigations into a new product or service do you prefer to engage with a vendor representative as opposed to conducting independent research?”

Most Engineers in other industries want to wait until later in their buying process to be contacted by a sales rep from your company, whereas automotive engineers prefer to be contacted earlier. If you are building a campaign that targets automotive engineers, you need to give them the option to be contacted by sales sooner than when you are targeting other engineers. 

I have some theories on why this may be true, but no facts. All I can tell you for sure is that the difference between automotive engineers and other engineers was statistically significant – meaning the difference we are seeing is real, and automotive engineers are unique.   

We also found that automotive engineers:

  • Spend more time each week consuming engineering content than other engineers
  • Consume a lot of short written articles and video
  • Say that new product designs represent the biggest challenges in their industry

In this blog post we’ll share the research about the information consumption habits of automotive engineers, along with a number of charts to help us all make sense of the data.

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Topics: Industry trends and research, Marketing to engineers, content strategy