Guru Tips2V11

17 Jul, 2012

Guru Guidance Tips: Balancing Technical Role with Marketing/BD Goals

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Read time: 1 minute, 28 seconds


The Scenario

The mentee has been working for several years in the industry as an engineer. As she has gained experience, her company has asked that she take on more business development and marketing responsibilities. What strategies might the guru recommend to her for balancing her technical role with her marketing/BD goals? In what ways could these tasks overlap? As she grows into this new role, how might she draw upon her technical background to bring value to her firm in new ways?

Strategies to balance technical with marketing/BD roles

  • Clarify with the firm what new responsibilities will be to ensure that all understand expectations
    • If role is not explicitly defined, could let the position grow organically, supporting the evolving needs of the firm.
    • May want to focus on either marketing or business development, if possible – it is difficult to juggle both, particularly with ongoing technical responsibilities
  • Work business development into everyday conversations with existing clients on the technical side. Ask occasionally what opportunities might be coming up.
  • While transitioning, extra time and effort will likely be required to establish new role and to continue servicing existing clients

How do the tasks overlap?

  • Focus on developing long-term relationships with repeat clients
  • Events, conferences, and other existing technical commitments can double as marketing opportunities for the company

How to use expertise to bring value to company?

  • Use your background to help translate technical concepts into lay terms more easily understood by clients and marketing/BD peers
  • Help the company to define and understand industry trends that will shape the market and drive future growth.
  • Humanize proposals by advocating for end-user needs and articulating how architects can work closely to help achieve these goals.

Other considerations

  • Must enjoy the new role, otherwise will not be as successful
  • Adequate training is important
  • To maximize skillsets, it is a big advantage to find good teammates in the firm who can complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Staff with a technical background often fit nicely into this puzzle for the marketing/BD team.
Curious about the Guru Guidance Program? Get more info here. This is the first installment in this Guru Guidance Tips Series. Subsequent posts will appear weekly on Tuesday mornings.