The full title of this book by Rebecca Geier is
Smart Marketing for Engineers: An Inbound Marketing Guide to Reaching Technical Audiences
In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of 4 Stars. It is good and well worth reading.
Well worth reading if you work in a large electronics company
There are few marketing books which look at B2B marketing issues and those that focus on selling technical products or services to engineers are rare and precious.
This one looks at the post Internet development of inbound marketing, sometimes called content marketing. It’s about establishing credibility so customers come to you when they want to buy. This contrasts with traditional marketing where businesses blast out marketing messages to anyone and everyone who might buy some time.
It starts with a helicopter view of your marketing so you can get clear on why your business is different and special and what you want to achieve in your marketing. Unlike many people, engineers are likely to search well beyond the first page as they look for specific information.
It then looks at getting into the minds if your prospective customers by developing personal to help turn your marketing messages from general fluff to precise, targeted content designed to move people through the buying process. This is good but I’d have liked to have seen some ficus on his personal pain points. Even though someone may try hard to make logical decisions, emotions will come into it and influence the choice of rational arguments.
The book then explains how the phrases people type into search engines vary and how you can target the long tail. Unfortunately, the way search engines work is a fast changing environment which makes it impossible for a book which isn’t updated at least annually, to keep up with the latest activities.
The fifth chapter discusses your website and what it needs to do as the centrepiece of all your marketing activities. This includes some interesting ideas on thinking through the design of your website.
Chapter 6 introduces your content marketing strategy. Another good chapter although you might be daunted by how much writing is required.
The next chapter looks at how to repurpose your original content. It’s hard to create high quality content so you want it found and consumed. You need to match your content to the preferences of your target customers and some prefer to read, others watch whilst others like to listen when they are out and about. I have concerns about optimising around keywords after the content is created. It should be upfront so you deliver on your effective promise in the content titles and descriptions .
Blogging is highly recommended as the author argues there is a strong correlation between the number of articles published and the number of enquiries. It’s certainly true you can target many more keyword phrases in Google but I think it helps if you’ve got interesting things to say and you target a concentrated audience. These articles can then be promoted through social media.
Chapter 8 looks at the types of technical content preferred by engineers. The book provides practical tips on how to create these content types.
Chapter 9 looks at how to turn attention into demand and focuses on lead conversion. At this stage, it focuses on what information should be freely available on your website and which could require the reader to give their email address as a condition of access.
Chapter 10 is about building trust. Engineers are wary of marketing. This means you must keep providing information they want to do their jobs more effectively. It recommends segmenting your email list based on the actions the readers take. This makes sense but more lists mean more unique emails and more time and effort required.
Chapter 11 is about automation while the last chapter is about organisation and measurement.
The book is packed with practical tips but I do have concerns.
Content marketing takes a lot of time and effort. Consequently it suits a first mover if competition aren’t following this marketing strategy or relatively large businesses who will find it easier to afford the overhead.
Second, I feel the entire book is written to be read by employees and management of quite large organisations. It doesn’t flow as easily as books targeted at small owner managed businesses and I thought it was quite dull. If I didn’t have a client in this market, I think I’d have put it to one side unfinished.
Third, I didn’t get the insights into marketing to engineers that I’d expected when I bought the book. This is often the case with marketing books targeted at a niche although this comes from a genuine specialist.
Part of my problem comes from thinking of engineers a one group. I get the feeling that the concentration in the survey was from the electronics and computer engineering sectors. There was no discussion about how different types of engineers might respond differently to marketing.
I’m giving the book a rating of four stars.Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).
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