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2021: Should Engineers Use Digital Marketing?



Updated Sept, 07, 2021



About The Author

Juliann Carter

Juliann Carter oversees all operations at Cydak and is the head of our research team.


Small entrepreneurial engineers need to reconsider digital marketing as part of their outreach to have a competitive advantage with larger companies.

There are tactics of digital marketing that are ethical and honest.

Small engineering firms should utilize digital marketing to gain the exposure necessary to bring the opportunities needed to build brand awareness and have confidence in a sustainable, long-lasting business.

Should Engineers Use Marketing?

In short - yes 100%

When a close-knit community like engineers, meet an industry that favorably holds virtual relationships and communication, it's understandable to see why engineers and marketers correlation to each other is parallel.

But in fact, marketers and engineers have a great intersection in digital marketing, if used properly.

Smaller companies actually have a much better chance of getting the opportunities they need in the digital world to be sustainable. With COVID-19, it only heightened the demand for a sufficient online presence and use of marketing skills. Plenty of businesses went under due to the lack of maintaining their online growth. Because of this advantage, it's particularly important for them to utilize the internet where billions of people seek and consume information.

“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business and not telling anyone"

-KB Marketing Agency

Key Takeaway: Marketers and engineers might not traditionally mix well but, in modern-day they mix perfectly for small businesses especially where larger firms are monopolizing.

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Why Engineers Need Digital Marketing.

Engineer companies already utilize marketing strategies like engineering expos, seminars, word-of-mouth, trade shows, prints on safety nets and work vehicles.

Business-to-client interaction is evolving closer to the digital realm. Online marketing is now more of a necessity then ever before....really.

1) Competition: Especially for small companies- the competition is too overwhelming for small businesses to get away with traditional methods and neglecting the online platform. This contributes to why small engineering businesses are driven out so quickly because they are not getting the exposure, and therefore opportunity, they need to sustain themselves.

2) Technology = Part of Human Interaction: COVID-19 significantly increased the demand for remote work, about 83% of businesses were pushed in 2020 to be exact. So, if more people are spending an increased amount of time online, there will be higher expectations of what a "thoughtful" business platform looks like as the internet becomes more complex and astute.

Online platforms are no longer just a place to find business hours and promotions. It's where meaning and uniqueness is expressed in the presentation of it all.

A couple questions to consider:

Are you using the appropriate platforms to reach your given audience?

Does it encourage interaction between you and the customer?

3) Word-of-Mouth Is Not Enough Anymore: While it’s the most preferred form of marketing and works very well for this industry, it mostly helps the larger companies.

Small engineering firms struggle more to have confidence in long-term stability solely based on a small community of loyalty. The level of competition is too overwhelming and small companies NEED to broaden their horizons.

Key Takeaways: While small engineer firms have always used forms of marketing, they need to broaden their options to modern-day forms of digital marketing because of:

1) Rise in competition with large companies

2) Evolution of the technological experience

3) Word-of-mouth marketing is insufficient

Building brand awareness can be done in an ethical way in the digital world - if executed properly.

Benefits of Marketing for Engineers:

By utilizing digital marketing, small businesses can build their reputation and grow the potential to set themselves apart from competition. Feeling confident in a sustainable business that creates trusting relationships with the client is #1 priority.

1) Equalized Competition: Good news- marketing in 2021 gives small engineering firms a good chance to equalize the competition with medium-larger businesses. This is because digital marketing can be very cost effective and tends to create a more level-playing field between the two.

2) Building Uniqueness: With a more equalized playing-field, small business owners have the space from larger companies to create content and voice the uniqueness of their business. Viewers will be much more likely to see the authenticity between their business and the next medium-large corporation.

Some Advice: Tell Your Story - Build Your Brand

As a small business owner, they have the flexibility of creating originality in their business and keeping their viewers up to date in more plentiful ways. The differences between large engineer companies and small ones all come down to opportunity, experience, reputation, and annual revenue. With digital marketing, it’s an EXCELLENT opportunity to decipher your business from the next large corporation.

3) Increased Brand Awareness: By having the space to tell the world about your business this gives smaller businesses more opportunities and a better likelihood of reaching brand awareness to their given audience. A big part of why small engineering businesses don’t excel is because they don’t have the proper exposure and opportunity to build their reputation as a company.

4) Open Communication: As technology evolves, open communication and interaction will become the difference between a seamless digital experience and a rocky one. Using technology to provide that transparency aspect of your business will certainly set you apart from most since most interactions through the internet is automated.

Key Takeaways: Small engineering businesses can use digital marketing as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors. It’s already very difficult to scale in the engineering industry. Some of the benefits of digital marketing are equalized competition, building uniqueness, increased brand awareness, and open communication with customers. Entrepreneurial engineers have the opportunity to have confidence in a sustainable business while also a sense of reward and fulfillment with the use of digital marketing.

For The Future...

2020 has only accelerated the demand for remote work, digitalization, and automation which will continue to evolve, and eventually weed out the businesses that are not prepared to continue and benefit the large businesses.

Engineers are not excluded from this shift.

Especially young entrepreneurial engineers, there’s an abundance of opportunity and exposure to be discovered in digital marketing. It’s not only a great opportunity to take advantage of this, but also a vital time to utilize digital marketing and create long lasting relationships with customers and some financial sustainability for small engineer business owners.

Key Takeaway: Young engineer entrepreneurs, and other small engineering firms, still have a fighting chance of running their own business with confidence of stability and fulfillment. 

Next Article: Marketing Strategies For Engineers!

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