Copyright © 2011-17 Helical Pile World, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
By Gina Beim, P.E.
Founder and President of MCDA Consulting, LLC
Every manufacturer of products for the helical pile market wants to succeed in selling. So does every provider of services to this market. The challenge is that those making decisions about buying or specifying helical pile products, installation equipment and services are engineers and contractors: in other words - technical people.
You can’t really fool technical people. It’s definitely not the same as marketing toothpaste… Fancy graphics and catch phrases alone won’t help sell your product. To make your pitch to engineers like me, you need to speak our language, gain our respect, and prove that you can solve our problem. Content is king!
On the other hand, you can’t just rely on knowing how to ‘’speak engineering.” You need to bridge the gap between the technical and non-technical backgrounds. After all, the people you are trying to reach are, well, people! We are very educated and information hungry, but we do respond to certain stimuli just like any other human being. For example, when we look at the ad for your company, we retain at the most three concepts, just like anyone else.
Here’s another wrinkle: if you are a small manufacturer of products for the engineering and construction markets, your firm may be the brainchild of engineers and run by engineers. What firms like yours do best is engineering. Marketing and selling is generally not your forte and not what you want to spend your time doing. In fact, if you are the founder-president-engineer, you are in love with your product, know how good it is at solving the problem it’s supposed to solve, and may believe it will sell itself just by word-of-mouth. That may actually work for a while…until it’s time to focus on growing the business. At that point, a marketing executive needs to join your team. If you cannot afford a full time marketing executive, then retain one on a contractual basis.
The ideal profile of such an executive is someone with both technical and marketing backgrounds. You want an individual who understands how your product is designed and made, and the engineering problem it will solve. That same executive must be able to communicate with graphic designers and other marketing professionals, and translate the value proposition of your product into plain English. This can really make a difference in your firm’s success.
Gina Beim, a registered professional engineer in the State of Ohio, holds masters degrees in engineering and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. For more than a decade she directed the marketing department of a manufacturer of testing instruments for the engineering and construction industry. In 2007 she founded MCDA Consulting LLC, a strategy consultancy firm with expertise in marketing and decision analysis, a focus in engineering and manufacturing, and a penchant for international work (Gina is originally from Brazil and speaks multiple languages).
MCDA Consulting, LLC
Marketing to Engineers and Other Technical Folks