Defining target personas is crucial to a successful marketing campaign. These profiles allow you to personalize your approach to focus directly on your target client without washing out your marketing approach to appeal to a broad audience. It is worth interviewing subject matter experts that are familiar with your defined persona to get a deep understanding of what motivates, excites, and irritates them.

While engineering target personas are significantly discipline-specific (a biochemical engineer would present a much different set of goals and pain points than a civil or mechanical engineer), engineering-trained technical experts do exhibit similar motivations when learning about new technology.

To ensure sufficient personalization, giving the persona an actual name such as Ellen the Engineer (alliterative names help to remind your of the persona’s role when devising a marketing plan and strategy for them) is beneficial. Several guiding areas to define and questions to ask are:

  • Demographics – what are Ellen’s experience and training level (advanced degree, professional license)?
  • Motivations – how is her performance measured?
    • Process-focused
    • Constrained by regulatory compliance
    • Results-based
  • Challenges – what obstacles is she asked to overcome?
    • Cost
    • Performance/durability
    • Quality
    • Speed to launch
    • Resource and budget constraints
  • Benefits – what would most help her overcome her challenges and achieve her goals?
    • New technology
    • Technical and on-site support
    • Non-critical task outsourcing capability

Given those principles, you are now ready to market to your engineer. As a company technical expert who is responsible for sophisticated equipment, processes, and tasks, Ellen relies on external information to learn about a new facet of her business. Like many engineers, she prefers to learn about new technology and processes through content marketing, in long-form pieces like white papers, case studies, product descriptions, and e-books. Ellen’s company depends on her for advice on technical strategy and equipment; she needs to be confident in what she recommends, prioritizing data and others’ experience to instill confidence in her recommendations.

Additionally, Ellen wants to learn from someone who thinks the way she does. Not content to accept a “trust me” approach, she wants to see validated [preferably independent 3rd-party] data and graphical trends to bolster the case for a given product or process solution. This behavior is because, she reasons, that a salesperson can contrive a singular data point to tell the story he wants her to hear; she trusts her diagnosis the most when looking at data, so the more robust the information is, the more she will trust it.

Research articles published in respected, well-rated publications provide another avenue for technical confidence in Ellen’s mind when learning about a new solution. This content form is a highly effective way to marry the practical and commercial viability of a technical solution with the validity of academic research. Once she understands and believes the solution will perform the way she expects, Ellen will be excited to hear additional features and options. If the technical viability is vetted through the rigor of academic journal publication, you will be able to check the Technical Credibility box confidently.

While all marketing methods are intended to be persuasive, content marketing aimed at developed target personas is the most effective way to reach and win your engineering client.

Need help identifying and developing engineering target personas? Reach out to the team at ASK Consulting! Our specialty is understanding what motivates engineers, and providing expert content marketing to educate our clients about what they need to know – because we are engineers.


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