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The challenge of marketing in the engineering industry

Whilst the days of placing adverts in magazines and on television are still very much alive, the online industry has become a huge tool for marketing.

With social media users reaching 3.48 billion in 2019, many businesses are taking this route as a cheap and effective way to market their brand. 

With Universities now offering degrees in social media marketing, and some influencers earning a £10,000 for a single Instagram post, it is a huge market that seemingly just keeps growing.

The value of this tool can be applied to all industries, which can be ignored by those who choose more traditional forms of marketing. The engineering and industrial sector does traditionally have a more passive presence on social media, which can make online marketing even more of a challenge.

In a survey of industrial/engineering professionals, only 31% of the participants said they used social channels, with a large percentage of them preferring more traditional methods such as online catalogs and word of mouth to promote their work.

The value of social media for engineering is huge, with benefits including networking, engaging with customers/prospective customers, increasing brand awareness, increasing web traffic and SEO. With engineering being very much a visual sector, the content possibilities are endless (with the right tools).

The challenge lies in the fact that engineers are increasingly busy, with an estimated 68% of engineers working on three or more projects at one time, it is difficult for them to find time to research alternative suppliers so they need fast, concise and relevant information all at their fingertips. This could be in the form of downloadable content which can be shared among stakeholders or investors, highlighting expertise rather than solely product-based content. Due to the busy nature of their jobs, there is also a tendency to always go back to the same companies for ease, as they don’t have the time to shop around, even though there could be a cheaper, more effective, and more eco solution out there. 

Despite it being a challenge, a lot of businesses within the engineering sector are opening their doors to an online strategy and while ‘Engineer to engineer’ contact is still the preferred way of building relationships, the value of direct messages, tweets, YouTube videos, and LinkedIn discussion groups should not be overlooked.


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