What is the engineering industry?
Engineering is the process behind everything, from the car you drive to the speakers on your stereo. Engineering typically combines a mixture of research, science, design, technology and production, and is most commonly associated with the creation of structures, engines and machinery.
The engineering industry is divided into a number of disciplines including:
Civil Engineering is the development and improvement of structures such as buildings, houses, roads, bridges and drain systems.
Electrical Engineering is concerned with harnessing the power of electricity to create sources and products of electrical power that are safe and suitable for individual and business purposes.
Mechanical Engineering is the creation, improvement and modification of machine parts
Chemical Engineering transforms raw materials into products that can be used by individuals and businesses
What kind of marketing is required in the engineering industry?
Marketing for the engineering industry is made up of a range of marketing specialisms. Here’s a little insight into the types of marketing carried out among engineering businesses currently:
While engineering is an extremely broad industry, most engineering businesses tend to sell to other businesses (B2B) so this requires a different style of marketing than if they were selling directly to consumers. See our page about the difference between B2C and B2B.
There has been something of a shift in recent years with many engineering firms starting to take their image seriously and adopt a brand that communicates the personality of the business and reflects their position in the market.
While there is less demand for the mind-blowing web visuals you may find in industries like fashion and consumer products, engineering firms require websites that demonstrate what they offer in terms of products and services, simple navigation for effective lead generation and also, in some cases a back story about the history of the company to add value to the brand.
SEO is an important factor in online engineering marketing, where the slick web functions may not be needed, quality in content is, so that the business can be positioned in Google to attract visitors and enquiries. This can be achieved through blogging and news-feeds on the website, plus lots of quality information about the products and services.
Many engineering firms fulfill extremely niche requirements and like many businesses they require marketing materials such as brochures and presentations that demonstrate how they operate in this environment and how they can provide the correct business solution.
Engineering marketing often requires some technical written work such as whitepapers and case studies to provide an overview of how the products can impact other businesses. These resources can be used as online content and for direct selling.
This also branches into vertical marketing where firms demonstrate the sectors they work with and give examples of how they have worked with them successfully in the past.
The Environmental impact of engineering works has become an important factor in marketing and PR campaigns for engineering businesses. Efforts to reduce carbon footprint, source materials sustainably and reduce emissions can be used as marketing messages that add value to the brand and improve reputation.
What skills and knowledge is useful for marketing in the engineering industry?
Some existing experience in the area of engineering you are interested in working in is beneficial and for some businesses may be compulsory especially if they operate in a very specialised industry. Many marketers within the engineering industry have crossed over from engineering roles due to their ability to understand the processes and write technically.
Marketing for engineering has a strong requirement to develop the specific marketing channels relevant to the industry. It is still a fairly traditional market so don’t expect a big focus on high end websites and social media. While some engineering business are active on social media, a bigger emphasis is on quality content about the products and services that will drive lead generation up through the search engine optimisation.
Some knowledge of SEO is useful for ensuring the content can be fine-tuned for search engines, along with the ability to write to professional standards for business purposes.
Knowledge of the offline and digital marketing platforms is essential and most importantly understanding which of the techniques are applicable to engineering. Do your research into engineering companies to get a feel for the type of marketing they are carrying out and look at current job descriptions to find out what employers are looking for.
Marketing is dependent on the size of the engineering business, if its a relatively small operation you could find you would be managing everything in house from the website to development of sales materials, larger operations will often outsource many different elements. Either way you would be tasked with managing these elements effectively.
Are there any qualifications available in engineering marketing?
This is just a few we came across, please ensure you do your own research as there may be more out there.
Harper Adams University – BSc Hons Agricultural Engineering with Marketing and Management
Sheffield University – MSc Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management (core modules include marketing management)
I’m interested, what now?
Depending on your level of experience you could transfer your existing skills into a marketing role in the engineering industry, however if you don’t have enough experience then visit our guide to building experience through volunteering and work placements.
Websites that may be useful to find out more information about careers in engineering:
Just Engineers – Engineering recruitment company, check out the marketing roles
Tomorrow’s Engineers – Careers website dedicated to Engineering careers