The Shaughnessy Report: Sales and Marketing in PCB Design


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Sales in the electronics industry used to be so simple: You started cold-calling and you called until you made a sale. Ditto for marketing: Your company attended and exhibited at trade shows, presented papers at conferences, and (hopefully) you advertised in the trade publications of your choice. And if you were selling EDA tools, you flew around the globe doing presentations.

Sometimes you salespeople even acquired some “hot leads” à la David Mamet’s fine movie “Glengarry Glen Ross.” (That movie should be required viewing for anyone in sales.) But still, it all came down to cold-calling.

All of those methods are still being used today. But in just the last decade, sales and marketing pros have gained an abundance of constantly evolving social media tools to help them ply their trades. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook seem to be the most popular in the PCB landscape, especially among the more “techie” users.

But many of you are, ahem, veterans of this industry. When you turned 18 you voted for Nixon or Carter. Are you really going to learn every new social media tool? If you’re in sales, you may have to.

Yes, your toolbox has a lot more tools in it. But selling and marketing hasn’t gotten any easier, especially with millennials coming into the workplace. I’ve heard horror stories about young people blowing off appointments and refusing to answer emails from sales types. And they are the future of this industry, whether we like it or not.

The old saying, “Sales is like fishing out of a boat, but marketing is like convincing the fish to jump into the boat with you,” still applies. You still have to reach out to potential customers any way you can. You still have to tell your company’s story, and sell that story, any way you can.

So, this month we shine a light on sales and marketing in this industry. Naturally, we began with a survey. The survey results were surprising, especially when some respondents admitted that their company had no sales or marketing plan at all. They just winged it. I wonder how that’s working? The results can be found in the article “Much Ado about Sales and Marketing.”

To read this entire article, which appeared in the December 2016 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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