Engineers are taking over marketing

Art
Original: Jean Tinguely, Alles beweegt! (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I have written about the paradigm shift in sales before. Two-thirds of the sales process happens online now, and customers are already quite knowledgeable when they contact the seller. This provides a great opportunity for subject matter experts, first in supporting online visibility with quality content and, second, in acting as a trusted advisor when the customer engages with the seller. Overall it is a great opportunity for interested engineers to stand out and change the generally reluctant attitude towards sales among subject matter experts.

But if the sales climate is changing, so is marketing. The role of marketing has been pretty stable for a long time; from the engineer’s point of view, it is usually a somewhat disconnected function working with vague, unmeasurable concepts. The disconnectedness can be seen in two organizational areas. First, from the product development perspective, marketing usually takes the product market fit pretty much as given, driving customer focus, but without close collaboration on product requirements. Second, from the sales perspective, marketing usually throws in the towel a bit too early, for example, providing leads but not being accountable for the outcome. As a result of these two factors marketing, as important it is, often ends up in a non-measurable vacuum.

In the digital world, engineering will re-connect marketing with these internal processes. As all products, services, and processes become more and more digital, it is not enough that marketing drives customer focus from the outside: marketing need to get involved in product definition and dimensions like user experience, analytics, and distribution will need to be engineered into the core of the product and the company. Moreover, analytics will penetrate everything, including the measurement of marketing effectiveness. With all the new sensors, tracking, and big data capabilities available, many previously “black box” marketing activities will become predictable, measurable, and consequently accountable for results—a form of engineering science.

The new engineered marketing, also known as growth hacking, already has had plenty of good success stories, including Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber, not to mention Finn’s own Supercell. The challenge is that these success stories always tend to be the same greenfield startups operating in the consumer market. Could Supercell’s success be replicated in B2B market by an established company? I think so. Do you want to discuss?

It happens that the theme of the next Sales Engineering Finland Meetup is Engineers in Marketing. Please join us, grab the opportunity, and lead the way toward changing Finnish engineering culture!

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We had a blast

The first Sales Engineering Finland meetup was held on Tuesday 24th February 2015. It was a great success with 20 nice participants, good discussions and two thought provoking presentations from Jarkko Kurvinen on how to build thought leadership and Severi Hämäri on rhetorical Kurt-Charlotte analysis of customer (you can find Severi’s presentation from his blog). Big thanks goes also to our sponsor Knowit Oy for the venue and refreshments.

Sales Engineering Finland is a network of engineers and subject matter experts in or interested in sales. Let’s grasp the opportunity of the paradigm shift in sales and marketing and lead the way in change of attitude towards selling in Finland. Join now to keep updated on the next steps.

It was an excellent start for Sales Engineering Finland. Let’s keep the ball rolling; please share your thoughts for future activities in our discussion board and let us know if you e.g. would like to give a presentation at our next meetup or if your company could sponsor us a venue. We also have a new website at salesengfi.org and Twitter hashtag #salesengfi.

Happy selling!

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Welcome to the first #SEF meetup

Image by Martin Fisch (Flickr)
Image by Martin Fisch (Flickr)

Welcome to the first Sales Engineering Finland Meetup which will be held 24th February 2015 at Knowit Oy (Tehtaankatu 27-29 D, Helsinki) at 6-8pm.

We have pleasure to have two interesting guests giving us speeches. After and in between the speeches we’ll have good time for discussion and networking.

The Agenda

Janne Korhonen: Opening Words for Sales Engineering Finland

Janne at LinkedIn and Twitter.

1. Jarkko Kurvinen: How to build thought leadership

Jarkko Kurvinen, Chief Marketing Officer and Content Strategist in marketing company Plutoni. Jarkko is a passionate marketing evangelist and advocate for content marketing, social businesses and digital revolution. He is working with varying small and medium-sized companies to meet their business objectives. To keep himself busy, Jarkko is also the author of the books Blogimarkkinointi, a book dealing with blog marketing, and Mielipidejohtaja, his newest piece about thought leadership.

Jarkko at LinkedIn and Twitter.

2. Severi Hämäri: How to find sweet spots in customer’s thinking? Introducing some ancient but useful rhetoric tools

Severi Hämäri is the teacher in charge of School of Rhetoric, rhetoric, mathematics and philosophy teacher and PhD student. He is preparing thesis on the philosophy of language. 

Severi at the blog of Schoolf of Rhetoric andTwitter.

Please register yourself for the Sales Engineering Finland meetup here.

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Sales Engineering Finland

Factory
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0, original from darkday

Selling has changed. Today, it’s less about cold calling and hard closing and more about providing true value. Customers are doing the first two-thirds of their buying process online, and the Internet has equalized the information asymmetry between buyers and sellers.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the demand for selling has come crashing down. Actually, the opposite is true. As Daniel Pink put it: “In today’s world we’re all salespeople, selling is human.” Even if we’re not in a direct sales role, a big share of our work is persuading, influencing, and convincing others.

In this new transparent world, a vendor with genuine interest in helping customers, standing by them, and sharing insights will be successful. This is an excellent opportunity for engineers and subject matter experts to stand out.

Unfortunately, we still see selling as sleazy, cheesy, and slimy. Finland has superior engineers, but without sales and marketing, we will become an economy of subsidiaries. This is a well-understood fact: the last organization to come out with it was the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.

But change doesn’t happen top down. It will start from the grassroots level by individuals who have adopted the new mindset and will lead the way. And as in many phenomena, the forerunners will get the best harvest.

That’s why I founded Sales Engineering Finland. It is a peer-to-peer networking group for engineers and subject matter experts in, or interested in, sharpening sales skills. There is no organization or hidden agenda behind the group, and everyone is welcome to participate.

Check out Sales Engineering Finland at Meetup.com and spread the word!

BTW, if you’re interested in speaking at an event, sponsoring a venue, sharing new ideas, or supporting us in any other way, please contact me.

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