Like most kids, my boys, ages 7 and 9, like to run around the house as fast as they can while simultaneously making as much noise as possible. The other day, despite my snugly fit headphones, I heard them belting out the television jingle for insurance company, The General.
“For a great low rate you can get online, go to The General and save some tiimmmeee.”
They suddenly burst into my office, demanding my attention. I tried not to make eye contact, but they persisted.
“Dad, who sings The General song better, me or Cole?” asked my 9-year-old, before enthusiastically sharing his rendition of the tune. His brother followed suit. Unwilling to pass judgment, I did what any self-serving dad would do; I told them to go ask their mom.
As the leader of your engineering firm, your chief responsibility is selling engineering services. That's what keeps food on the table. So, how are you informing clients that you're open for business? Are you effectively captivating customers the way The General has my kids?
Due to engineering’s highly technical structure, creating an effective brand and broadcasting your message in a way that resonates may prove challenging. To be effective, the messaging must be highly focused. To achieve this, consider asking the following questions: Who exactly is the company targeting? What problems is the company most inclined to solve? Which keywords work best to communicate these services?
Once the aforementioned questions have been answered, a new set emerges: What advertising/marketing format is the most effective? Is it consistent branding, content marketing, lead nurturing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), etc.?
Your marketing recipe will most likely include each of these ingredients on a fluid basis. Utilizing the proper amounts of each ingredient at the right time is what separates a good marketing plan from a great one.
Slogans and Jingles
I’m loving it; just do it; melts in your mouth, not in your hand; breakfast of champions; and finger-licking good. Can you name the companies associated with each of these phrases?
Slogans and jingles offer your company an instant identity. Some firms, such as Melbourne, Florida-based Weather Engineers, have had success incorporating singalong jingles into their advertising. In Weather Engineers' television commercials, a female voice can be heard singing: Weather Engineers, we’ve got the skill; Weather Engineers, licensed to chill!
Other companies opt for simple slogans. California Energy Designs Inc. utilizes the words Innovation + Expertise = California Energy Designs, while Baltimore-based Henry Adams LLC boasts “Excellence in Engineering since 1898.” What one-sentence slogan best represents your expertise? Use this to catch phrase to your advantage.
Yet another way to enhance your brand is through thought leadership. According to a 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn study, 89% of decision-makers state that thought leadership can be effective in enhancing their perception of an organization.
How does one become a thought leader? Participating in trade shows, shooting local television segments, writing community newspaper articles, sponsoring a little league baseball team, and becoming active in trade organizations all elevate your company’s popularity, visibility, and standing. These efforts become valuable elements in the sales funnel, as the more familiar you become to your clients and community, the better chance you have of becoming the first choice when your services are needed.
Finally, have you considered writing a technical article for this publication? Engineered Systems is a well-received, national trade publication that is delivered to 25,000-plus inboxes every month. If you’re interested in catapulting your firm’s status through the pages of this magazine, let me know, and we can further discuss how you can become a published author.
Acquiring engineering leads, gaining referrals, and maintaining clients is not an easy job – if it was, everyone would do it. A strong brand will certainly make your job easier. Use your marketing budget carefully to build the brand that best represents the services you offer in an effort to attract new business. Then, spend the time and capital necessary to nurture those budding relationships into long-lasting partnerships.
And, remember, when nothing else seems to be working, you can’t go wrong by invoking emotion and nostalgia through a catchy jingle. The more people singing the theme of your services, the better, regardless of their age.