Engineering as Marketing Theory and Practice

March 11, 2023 •

I use engineering as a form of marketing to promote my business. It utilizes free tools to help bring in leads and or clients. Let’s learn what it entails and how you can implement it.

What is engineering as marketing?

This involves a company creating tools for its customers. These free tools show your company's ability, giving customers a satisfying interaction. Your brand grows in popularity, setting you up as a market leader in your field.

What are the examples of engineering as marketing?

Companies offer clients free tools like pricing calculators, widgets, apps, and much more. Take these cases as examples.


Microsoft introduced a free What Dog tool to market Bing's Visual Search. It helped them showcase their image search feature and drive users to their search engine.


DuckDuckGo launched It’s an illustrated guide that shows how Google tracks its users. It garnered press attention, driving the unknown search engine's brand awareness.


Wix used a free business name generator to attract potential clients. This raised their brand awareness to many upstart business people.


Shutterfly built a free wedding hashtag generator. This tool was suited for betrothed couples likely to buy Shutterfly's other products for their wedding.


Hubspot released a free website grader. Businesses can see how effectively their websites perform and what aspects need improving. Hubspot markets its services by offering a free trial to anyone looking to improve their website.


Our team launched ElegantDoc, a free document generator that rivals all others with a payment subscription. The simplicity and customizability of this tool showcase the true prowess in building software solutions for real-world problems.

We also built a free online tools website,, providing IT specialists with easy-to-use solutions for small and big tasks.

Why is engineering as marketing important?

People of all generations turn to the Internet to find solutions to their problems. The internet is heavily populated with companies vying for customers. Engineering as marketing is no easy feat and it expects you to develop a useful product out of thin air, akin to pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Taking on this challenge has several advantages, such as:

Generates leads:

Businesses can email-gate the free tools they provide to their prospective customers. The addresses collected constitute leads that can be followed up through email marketing to generate sales.

Improves SEO:

Free tools can help improve a company's search engine optimization efforts. This is because blogs, articles, and other high-authority sites contain links to these products. These backlinks ultimately drive traffic to the company's site, effectively increasing its visibility.

Sets developer's teams apart from the competition:

Businesses' free tools can help showcase their creativity as solutions providers. By showing the quality of their products, such businesses can create a reputation for themselves as being better than their competitors.

Helps new businesses gain traction:

A free product can be a great way to create a presence. Such a product can help them attract potential customers and foster a positive relationship. These customers become paying clientele, growing the company's market base.

Improves customer retention:

Businesses provide free tools to raise customer satisfaction. This can help improve their client relationships, inspiring customer loyalty.

What are the vital elements of engineering as marketing?

Engineering as marketing is a highly delicate art. It is not enough to do it. You have to do it right. You risk getting a negative return on your investment of time and money.

Here are some principles of marketing engineering to keep in mind as you undertake this approach:

Your tool should be valuable:

Provide a product that has a tangible benefit to your potential customers.

Identify your customer:

It is hard to provide a solution that caters to multiple demographics. Different people have different needs. Focus on one persona you understand best. That should be your target customer.

Your product should generate leads:

The tool can ask for something in return from the customer who utilizes it. This could be contact details or asking them to sign up for a free trial. People are more likely to offer their email addresses than their credit card information. This can help you follow up for future sales.

The tool should complement your core product:

Your tool should point back to your company, the creator. It should also align with your top offering so clients can purchase your product if they desire increased functionality.


Engineering-as-marketing is a powerful strategy that can help raise brand visibility, generate sales leads, and encourage customer retention. It entails providing your target clientele with a free but valuable product that showcases your technical expertise. This strategy can help your company differentiate itself from the competition and hit your marketing objectives.

Speaking of marketing, we have embarked on a path of public marketing. It's a new experience, and things are going nicely. If you're interested in what we're doing to get marketing in public work, check out this blog post: Crazy Marketing Strategy