Hello all. Rob DeRobertis checking in for the Technology Marketing Center.
I recently attended a presentation on the “Mind of the Engineer”. United Business Media (UBM) runs this study annually to provide insight to people who market to engineers. There is as always great information in these presentations about their thought processes. Engineers are a curious group. They’ve invented everything around us and yet are the unsung heroes in our society. The 40th anniversary issue of EE Times (owned by UBM), celebrates by praising the Rise of the Geeks.
I am an engineer. Although I make believe I am a marketing person, I’ve known since I was 14 that I would be an engineer and now know 36 years later that I will always be an engineer. But for me I think only engineers can market successfully to engineers. Why? Well here are five things about engineers:
1) We are a cynical, arrogant lot. We are realists who challenge anything that is not based in concrete data. In the UBM study, when asked if they are arrogant, engineers took pride in saying YES.
2) We are analytical. We look for measurements. We try to understand the meaning of results. We love data but can get lost in the data. We also know that marketers have an uncanny knack for manipulating data so we watch out for them most of all.
3) We are inquisitive. We always ask “why”. We want to understand what makes something work. (I have the habit of taking apart things like a new car, new computer and all my new consumer products).
4) We are thorough. We read contracts from top to bottom when buying a car, mortgaging the house. We are the worse customers. We will grill the sales person on all our large purchases (especially electronics). Sometimes we like to play “stump the chump” to see how well the sales person has done their homework. I was once told by a lawyer friend that when she refers an engineer to a colleague she first whispers “He’s an engineer.”
5) We are laggers. We do not follow the social trends and take all trends with skepticism. (Just look at our clothing). I always find this surprising since we invent all these cool new technologies but in many cases it takes us forever to purchase our first smart phone, first HD TV or use any means of “social media”. It shouldn’t surprise me because of what I noted above but it always does.
And a bonus
6) We love Dilbert. He is our hero.