Engineering companies are great at creating ground-breaking products. However, many struggle to get their products seen by the right people. This is where using a smaller engineering marketing agency can pay dividends. This is mainly because they understand and are used to dealing with customers who are picky about how they’re marketed to.
This isn’t like B2C. It’s not even like B2B in other sectors.
Engineering prospects need to be attracted to and then progressed through a digital sales funnel, one that informs and advises them. In this respect, smaller technical marketing agencies are great at making that happen. Here are seven reasons why.
A smaller engineering marketing agency offers a more personalised service
A smaller agency will see and treat you as a valued customer, and not just another icon (one of dozens) on their clients’ page.
To a small agency, you’re a VIP, one of a select few they have chosen to work with. They’ll invest a far higher proportion of their resources into supporting you and will certainly be keen to keep your business.
Large agencies on the other hand can afford to be more dismissive or impersonal. They’re in a far safer position to lose your account because your considerable investment in them is a small percentage of their income.
They’re small because they’re niche
A large agency may understand the basics when it comes to generalist B2B in the engineering sector but are unlikely to have any direct industry knowledge or hands-on experiences.
It makes far more sense to opt for a smaller specialist agency with experts in your sector. They will be able to speak your language and understand technical concepts.
An engineering marketing agency run by experienced engineers is best positioned to understand your challenges and be capable of relating with your target audience.
Research which reveals that 75% of engineers say they prefer other engineers to author their content.
Customisation is easier
A large agency will have several account managers, executives and trainees, all working on serving dozens of clients.
They’ll want to avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel’ where possible, because of the headache that causes within a large team. In short, they’ll want to do for you what they do for all their other clients.
Small agencies realise there’s no one size fits all approach, and appreciate they’ll need to modify and customise their offerings to meet your requirements in a fast-changing industry.
Large agencies need to impress and have spacious, lush offices. This means overheads and, even with the dramatic increase in home-working (as a result of COVID-19), they won’t want to downsize.
They also have board members and other stakeholders to impress. And what impresses them most is profit, which is most easily achieved through charging high fees for as little work as possible, rather than any genuine desire to be the best.
Easier access to senior executives
At a large agency you’re just one of many clients. This means you’re unlikely to speak to anyone more senior than your Account Manager; a salaried individual who could leave the company or be poached at any time.
If you have any complaints about the service being provided to help your business grow you’re unlikely to get to speak to the owner (the person whose business your helping grow). At a smaller agency everyone is invested in having you as their client.
More creative freedom
Big agencies may have the money, but their culture predicts they may not be so flexible.
With so many stakeholders involved, politics plays a large part in deciding what goes and what doesn’t.
Creatives at big agencies are fed information from above, slowing down processes and lengthening lead times. All drafts, revisions and feedback have to go through a chain of command.
Smaller engineering marketing agencies are nimbler with fewer layers of bureaucracy.
If you have a PR issue or get a last-minute opportunity to get a feature in a trade mag, a smaller agency will be a better fit.
This is because the larger agency may have other priorities, e.g. one of their many other clients’ emergencies might take priority over yours.
Also, those working your account will be nine-to-fivers. Will they be willing to put in extra hours to help? With a small agency, those working for you might be the owners, or at least shareholders. They know that putting in extra hours is what it’s all about.
The return on investment, both personally and financially, of working with a marketing or communications agency can differ widely based on the type of agency involved.
Small companies operating in the advanced engineering sector will have an intimate organic culture and a passion to grow. For them, working with a marketing agency with a similar culture makes sense. They’re both in the business of speed, efficiency and getting results for their respective customers.
The opportunity: engagement allows both parties to build trust and play around with ideas, without excessive time constrictions or political agendas. Most of all, it comes down to relationships and interpersonal needs.
As for large engineering companies – budget-rich and low-hanging fruit for large marketing agencies – they would do well to consider using small, niche agencies too. Granted, a small agency may not have the physical bandwidth to do everything a large agency can but they can do the specialist tasks, which a large agency probably outsources (and marks-up) anyway.
The opportunity: engagement allows both parties to optimise their processes and work together as a team; to such as extent it will feel (to the engineering company) that they have another work colleague by their side.
The rise of content marketing and branding is testament to the statement ‘people do business with people’.