The Comparison Of Digital Marketing For E-Commerce V.S. Engineering Companies

Do you own an e-commerce business or an engineering company? If so, then this is the right place to be. With 4 billion internet users online every day, it would be your loss if you don’t start getting your online presence out there. 

Having a sales funnel is key when putting your business online, and e-commerce can be considered an easier funnel than a B2B sales funnel, such as for engineering companies. 

According to sources, there are 4.5 million new businesses online in 2020, which is 22% more than the previous year. On top of that, over 1.6 million of them are making sales online. 

My biggest guess is that they’re mostly e-commerce, as tracing and tracking sales online is usually easier when you have CRMs and website analytics, but moreover, with e-commerce, building trust and relationship with the client is relatively easier than of engineering companies. 

And that’s perfectly normal. Although my main niche is engineering, I’ve been muddling in quite an amount of e-commerce myself, which is why I’ve decided to share this blog with you today. 

Let’s identify the differences between e-commerce and engineering companies on the surface:

When considering the amount of investment cost a person or a company will be putting in for the product or service they acquire, the level of trust and reliability will take a much longer time. 

With e-commerce being fresh and innovative, a business, seller, or creator doesn’t always require a high expertise when running the business. And that’s a great thing as it provides a vast space for expansion, development and innovation in a very short period of time. 

Unlike engineers, when they’re trying to improvise or update a software or hardware… It’s going to take a much longer time to implement and make official. 

With engineering companies, the ownership of ‘knowledge’  is often the unique selling proposition, and products may be considered a cherry on top. 

I know some of you product engineers reading this may disagree to that, but truth be told, if you were a chef, selling Profibus in a kitchen somewhere, no one would notice you or even take you seriously! 

I’ve met some amazing product/service provider without the right knowledge to operate their product, and that is a big loss right there. You can acquire tools, but you can’t acquire brains and hearts. Even with automation being a great role in engineering, people are STILL the biggest asset in businesses.

Specifically for engineering companies, people gain more trust and stays loyal because they trust the person that handles and operates the busines, and if you offer perfect product and services on top of that, you’re smooth sailing for at least another 10 years with a good contract.  

In the engineering industry, we always know two different type of engineers. One that always sticks to the ‘new’ method, always on top of news and upcoming innovations, and another one that is very traditional, old-fashioned, but… VERY knowledgable in their field. It’s as if they know everything about their product and process like the back of their hands. 

Both types of engineers are always required in one company, and that’s what creates a legacy. 

Digital Marketing Channel And Method Difference

Digital marketing isn’t a trend, it’s a requirement, where all niches and industries can interoperate and develop through an online channel. No matter the brand, the niche, the industry, and even the offer, digital marketing makes everything impossible, possible. 

The opportunities are limitless! Don’t take my words for it, see how many people have established lifelong relationships and even collaborations all from the tip of their fingers. 

4 billion internet users, all in one infinite space that we call the World Wide Web.

Pretty fascinating if you ask me.

What’s more fascinating is that all these internet users and visitors, including you and me, has different interests, and depending on their interest, the customer journey varies with different routes to trust and relationship. 

Digital marketing provides various strategies and combinations of tactics that can benefit YOUR company the most. What might be a successful implementation for an e-commerce business can become a failure for engineering companies. 

I wrote a blog recently on the 5 successful digital marketing strategies every engineering companies can implement, with statistics, and it went over proven cohesive steps a company can use to improve their engineering business online. 

I can’t stress this enough, but every digital marketing strategy starts by identifying a brand and how you want it to be seen by your audience:

  • What do you have to offer to your client? Or what problems do you solve? (demand and supply)
  • Who is your client? (target audience)
  • And how can you engage with them? (marketing strategy)

The above sounds simple enough, but the devil usually hides in the details. When your brand’s goals, objectives, and mission are formulated accurately, it instantly gives you better chances to have a successful digital marketing strategy.

In the section above, I shared a quick comparison chart between e-commerce, and engineering companies, now let’s go over the digital marketing comparison.

The use of CRMs are usually similar for both business, as it holds similar functions. However, it’s true that you can’t automate funnels for an engineering companies as well as e-commerce. When selling certain products, you can usually capture leads, and do order bumps, upsells, and downsells. But with engineering companies, you want to make you reach out personally to the lead once it falls into the pipeline. 

Making communication and building trust and relationship since day 1 is key for engineering companies.

Although brand strategy, awareness, and reputation is the main development area, the ultimate goal is to generate sales and achieve higher ROI. 

For e-commerce, quantity is often better than quality. While for engineering companies, quality over quantity.

Engineering companies have specific preferences to the online world, engineers don’t have a broad audience in pinterest or tiktok, but definitely on LinkedIn and Facebook. We’ve conducted some of our own market surveys with over thousands of dollars, trying to analyse engineer’s:

  • Favorite social media
  • Time spent online
  • Preferable content, etc.

On the polar opposite, e-commerce has a broader spectrum of how they can use digital marketing along with its tools when engineering companies are more into deeper research and profound strategic moves. 

There are around 2.14 billion shoppers online but the amount of potential engineers ready to trust you and buy your product/service is not as high. Engineering companies requires more engagement with their target audience.

68% of online shoppers search for a product on Google before actually buying – this statistics shows that e-commerce has a way better heads-up compared to engineering companies. The latter has to build strong relationships of trust and authority with their clients first. To know more, read my recent article on how engineers are using social media. You will find out how engineers use social media and what type of content they prefer most. 

E-commerce and engineering companies can use similar strategies, however, with different content and approach. Both of them are likely to use e-newsletters and get good results, BUT the key is to understand what kind of speech style your target audience will likely be attracted to.

E-commerce might be quite successful in including special offers, promotions, and news in their newsletter and getting leads from there, but engineering companies must be more about giving informative and useful content that will have a huge value for their readers. This will keep them on edge, and persuade them to keep an eye on the industry’s changes and new trends. Find out how you can improve your newsletter game here!

AR & Associates have helped IT, Engineering, Automation, Manufacturing, and Energy companies all across Australia to generate leads, increase brand awareness, maintain reputable PR, as well as increase sales.

We focus on helping you spend less time in marketing, and more time serving your customers. Leave the matter to the respective experts. As engineers ourselves, we understand the core values and importance of marketing through trust and reliability. 

We provide a full tailor-made solution that helps you build your company to the next level through digital and on-site marketing. With expertise in organic omnichannel marketing and on-site event or workshop planning, we offer a full turn-key marketing solution that gives you time, space, and freedom to focus on what you do best, which is to run your business. 

Email us here or call us today at (+61) 02 8416 4442 to get more information or book a complimentary marketing consultation or strategy session.

Article inspired by researchgate, xanthos, roclogic, AR.

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