Combining Engineering and Marketing Strategy to Increase Product Growth

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What precisely does Marketing for Engineering entail, and how does it contribute to product growth and industry influence? Let’s delve into its significance in driving both aspects.

This article will delve into everything you need to understand about engineering as marketing, encompassing:

  • What does engineering mean when it comes to marketing?
  • Best practices for putting it into action.
  • Real-world visuals that motivate you.

Now let’s get going.


  • Creating helpful, free products for your target audience is part of the organic marketing strategy known as “engineering as marketing.” These are additional tools that are designed to attract potential clients to your goods or services.
  • While creating these free tools might be costly and challenging, the effort pays off in many ways. It aids in lead generation, SEO optimization, customer loyalty, and increasing brand exposure among prospective buyers.
  • When done well, engineering as marketing may be a powerful engagement channel. A crucial point to remember is that the tool needs to be applicable and complimentary to your main offering. It must focus on doing one thing well, offer extra value, and be free to access.
  • Between the top and middle stages of the marketing funnel, engineering, and marketing compete with each other. Most users recognize problems, even if they aren’t aware that they require a solution like yours yet. Your tool will assist them in realizing that.


  • Here at User Pilot, we developed a helpful free tool. Entering your survey responses and determining your NPS score is quick and simple using our NPS calculator. Afterward, you can utilize that score to identify trends in user behavior, enhance the product, and target certain segments with in-app communications.


  • HubSpot’s Website Grader is among the most well-known (and innovative) instances of engineering used for marketing. HubSpot introduced this free tool in 2007 that provides a score to your website depending on elements including security, mobile friendliness, performance, and SEO.


  • The goal of the Website Classifier is to provide consumers with customized guidance on how to enhance their website while incorporating HubSpot’s offerings as a solution.


  • One of the most well-known SEO software companies, Moz, uses engineering as marketing to increase its customer base. They provide free SEO tools that aid in keyword research, link analysis, competitive analysis, and other areas. These resources are beneficial, but they are so restricted that they attract users to purchase one of Moz’s more expensive goods.


  • Photo collections, cards, and invitations are just a few of the personalized photographic products available in Shutterfly’s online store. Weddings are one of their main target markets.


  • Their free wedding hashtag generator, which assists prospective brides and grooms in creating custom hashtags to post on social media on their wedding day, draws a lot of attention to their website. To encourage sales, they also highlight a few of their best-selling wedding-related items on this page.


  • The website-building platform Wix is as much of an advocate of engineering as it is of marketing. They created a free tool for business owners to utilize to generate potential names for their companies. Maybe if your business name isn’t yet registered, you don’t currently have a website and will need to create one. This is a very clever marketing strategy that will probably encourage prospective users to utilize Wix in the future.

How does engineering relate to marketing?

The technique of using your engineering time to create complimentary, no-cost solutions that benefit your target market and provide leads for your primary product is known as engineering as marketing.  In his book Attraction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers, Kevin Mares lists it as one of the marketing attraction channels.

Websites, pricing calculators, available components, assessment tools, and basic apps are a few examples.

What is the significance of engineering in marketing?

Providing highly relevant tools that cater to your audience yields numerous benefits:

  1. Lead generation is amplified, especially when employing email-gating tactics.
  2. SEO efforts receive a significant boost through the attraction of backlinks from authoritative sites, with free tools serving as prime link magnets.
  3. Your brand distinguishes itself from competitors, thereby enhancing brand awareness.
  4. Particularly advantageous for fledgling businesses, this strategy facilitates gaining traction in the market.
  5. Valuable tools foster customer affinity and elevate overall satisfaction levels.

While the development of such tools often entails substantial investment and collaboration between engineering and marketing teams, leveraging engineering as a marketing tool proves advantageous for lead generation, particularly due to reduced competition compared to conventional marketing channels.

What are engineering’s core components in marketing?

Engineering as marketing can be a potent driver of growth, but its success hinges on the right strategy. Failing to nail down crucial elements could jeopardize the return on investment.

Here are pivotal aspects of engineering as marketing:

  1. Align the development with your core product to ensure complementarity.
  2. Prioritize simplicity and effectiveness, focusing on excelling at one task seamlessly.
  3. Offer tangible added value to your target users.
  4. Provide free access to the tool, while also considering options for user engagement, such as requesting contact details in exchange.

In the marketing path, where does engineering as marketing fit in?

In the broader context of the marketing funnel, engineering as marketing occupies the space between the Top of the Funnel (TOFU) and the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) stages.

During the TOFU stage, users typically seek information to address a specific issue or identify the problem itself—a phase characterized by discovery.

As users progress to the MOFU stage, they begin evaluating potential solutions to their identified problem.

This makes the TOFU and MOFU stages ideal for implementing engineering as marketing strategies, as they enable you to introduce your brand to potential customers and establish a connection. This, in turn, facilitates easier attraction when users reach the Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) stage, signaling their readiness to make a purchase.

Examples of engineering used in marketing in real life

Let’s take a look at real-world examples of engineering as marketing at play.

Example #1 of engineering as marketing: Userpilot’s NPS calculator

At Userpilot, we’re enthusiastic advocates of engineering as a marketing strategy, exemplified by our free NPS (Net Promoter Score) calculator.

Curious about NPS and effective methods for measurement and action? Schedule a demo with Userpilot.

Let’s delve into what a Net Promoter Score entails. NPS serves as a metric indicating customer satisfaction and loyalty. It involves asking users, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to your network?”

To calculate the NPS score, determine the percentage of promoters (those who rate 9-10) and subtract the percentage of detractors (those who rate 5 and below) from the total number of responses.

NPS scores range from -100 to 100. A negative score indicates more detractors than promoters, while a positive score signifies the opposite. For SaaS, the average NPS score stands at 30.

With Userpilot’s NPS calculator, simply input your customers’ NPS scores, and it automatically computes the result for you. Additionally, you can access insights on conducting in-app NPS surveys and analyzing responses effectively.

Example #2 of engineering as marketing: HubSpot’s Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader stands as a prime example of engineering as marketing, with its inception dating back to 2007 and its enduring effectiveness as a lead generation tool.

Website Grader functions as a complementary tool, providing users with a comprehensive assessment of their website’s performance across various metrics such as speed, SEO, mobile-friendliness, and security. It then furnishes actionable insights on enhancing website performance, seamlessly integrating calls-to-action that align with HubSpot’s core offerings.

For instance, HubSpot entices users to explore their free CMS for effortless creation of fast landing pages. Moreover, they promote their educational content to further engage leads and guide them through the sales funnel.

HubSpot’s Website Grader exemplifies exemplary execution of engineering as marketing, fulfilling all essential criteria:

  1. It provides tangible value to potential customers, offering insights to enhance website performance.
  2. While free to use, it employs email gating to enroll users in HubSpot’s email marketing campaigns.
  3. The tool directly aligns with HubSpot’s core business focus, centered around marketing automation and landing page design.
  4. With a clear focus on delivering actionable insights for website improvement, it effectively showcases how HubSpot can facilitate these upgrades.
  5. The success of HubSpot’s Website Grader has set a benchmark for future engineering as marketing endeavors follow suit.

Example #3 of engineering as marketing: Moz’s Free SEO Tools

Moz boasts a suite of free tools catering to various needs, including competitive link analysis, keyword research, domain analysis, and more. Among these, the MozBar, a free Chrome extension, stands out. These tools are strategically crafted to deliver substantial value at no cost while also serving as avenues to promote Moz’s paid products like Moz Pro or Moz Local.

Two standout tools, Followerwonk and Open Site Explorer, have proven highly effective in lead generation for Moz. Each addresses a specific pain point encountered by Moz’s target audience. Followerwonk enables users to analyze their Twitter followers and receive guidance on expanding their audience, while Open Site Explorer facilitates insight into link sources, aiding in SEO campaign analysis.

The user-friendly nature of these tools enhances their appeal. Prospective customers simply input their domain name or Twitter handle to access valuable insights.

Moz leverages these free tools as traction channels to attract new paying customers. Upon tool usage, companies can initiate engagement through additional traction channels such as sales outreach and email marketing.


Engineering as a Marketing Agency is becoming a powerful tactic that provides significant returns on several fronts.

From this article, you’ve gleaned:

  1. Essential insights into crafting free tools that offer significant value to your audience.
  2. Inspiring real-world examples to fuel your own tool development endeavors.

Ready to embark on creating product experiences without code? Schedule a demo call with our team today and kickstart your journey!

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