The Mind of the Embedded Engineer - Part 1

Stephen MartinJanuary 14, 2020

Before you can successfully market to engineers you need to understand how they think

This is one of a series of posts about what I have learned about marketing to engineers over my 25-year career. I encourage you to add your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

Engineers know what they know. They are hired for their knowledge and experience in doing the task at hand. They are confident in what they have learned and experienced. It has worked for them for many years. It takes a lot to convince an experienced engineer to change his process, approach or tools, if they have served him well throughout his career.

There are exceptions to this, of course. Less experienced engineers are generally looking to grow their knowledge, and even experienced engineers will need to learn how to implement new features or technology. In these cases technical blog posts and white papers with a problem-solution approach can work well.

If it ain't broke; don't fix it. This truism definitely applies to engineers. They know that introducing any new variable into a system, even if it might add value, introduces potential problems. If a design approach or system is working and stable it will not be easy to convince and engineer to introduce your new product, component, tool, etc. Take a step back and think about what it important to engineers and their bosses. 

  • Designing a reliable and stable product
  • Staying on schedule
  • Staying on budget

They don't want to look stupid! Engineers are generally hired for their ability to solve problems and make good judgments about how to design a successful product. As a result you can expect engineers to be suspicious about using a product that defies conventional practices (unless they thought of it). The exception to this rule is senior engineers who have a track record/reputation that can buffer them from criticism. If your product employs a unique approach then it will be important for you to get industry experts to recommend your innovative product. You will also need research results to support why your approach will be successful.

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