Christian Leborg
Are marketers required to be engineers?

Marketing by engineering

Marketing has evolved into an industry driven by both creativity and technical proficiency.

What is marketing by engineering? In the last decade, digital media has become the primary area for marketing activities. Aside from the creativity involved in the creation of communication, online marketing shows possibilities of measuring and responding to every interaction users have with content. These opportunities require the use of technical skills as well as creative skills. Digital media provides so much data that it may give marketers the chance to make better marketing strategies, better interface designs, and better decisions.

Why would you get traction through digital tools? Quite a substantial amount of tech start-ups have created traction through engineered tools, such as widgets, microsites and software. The releases get traction because they are relevant to a concrete problem or need amongst users and are relevant to what the company provides for its customers. The design studio Pentagram created a lot of buzz by publishing “What type are you?” a small software that provides the user with a typographic typeface based on a small personality-type test.

How do you do marketing by engineering? By getting tools that solve a problem for users, the users are more than willing to give you their info and thereby to give the provider measurable and actionable sales leads. The tool could also give the company a lot of word-of-mouth and even press coverage because it is so valuable to users. Analytics of user data to optimize your digital marketing has become a major area of online commerce and content marketing.

“Marketing is largely becoming about algorithms.” —Julien Smith

When will users interact with your tools? When a device and the service it is providing is relevant to users and provides value, users are willing to spend time to get to know the tool. The speed of the market demands makes new ideas being built quickly and iterated quickly. PrestoBox “Brand Genie” is a tool that gives companies an indication of what types of visual elements fit their culture and automates the briefing process and places the order.

Who has the best talents for marketing? Before, a marketer had to have skills in storytelling, visual design and how to come up with ideas. These skills are still essential, and the way to get a creative message out to an audience is by having technical competence so that you can build the media element. As a marketing executive, you have to be able to communicate with the design department, ad agency, and PR company, but you have also got to be able to communicate with the IT organization. Executives with engineering backgrounds tend to understand product development, line extensions, supply chain and operations.

For what kind of businesses does engineering as marketing work? Software, widgets, and microsites work for companies that have relevant offers. Any digital service may be relevant to market online, but even services that have only physical value may have an advantage in digital marketing. Hipcask is an app that makes you discover the pleasures of wine. The “likeability factor” makes the user find the wines that they like through a survey based on other taste preferences.

Being on the team for the largest content provider on the Internet in Norway, we created an illustration font to be able to illustrate articles on the fly. It became the look of the site.

Have you ever programmed anything to enhance marketing or branding?

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.