UP engineering graduates turn marketing gurus

Posted on October 12, 2021

Two University of Pretoria (UP) engineering graduates have made an unlikely – but innovative and hugely successful – leap from engineering to marketing, using their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to create higher sales rates and improved customer service for the business who use their services.  

Jaco Krüger, who has a BEng in Mechanical Engineering (2015), and Eduan Snyman, who holds a BEng Pr Eng in Mechanical Engineering (2013), were part of a team that launched marketing company BaseCloud, which runs Google Ads marketing campaigns for businesses.

Marketing enables the pair to work with an array of clients from different industries and backgrounds. This results in unique problems ­– and they love solving problems, they say. 

According to Krüger, BaseCloud’s Director of Technology, it all started with 3D printers. “As students at UP, we built 3D printers because it was an interesting hobby. We then started running Google Ads marketing campaigns to generate client enquiries for 3D-printing services, and found that our campaigns had outperformed most of our competitors’. As a result, our 3D-printing clients started asking about our marketing efforts and eventually began approaching us to manage the Google Ads marketing campaigns for their businesses.”  

Snyman, Basecloud’s Managing Director, explains that the pair realised that their skills in engineering could be applied to marketing. “With our approach to mathematical problems and our critical-thinking abilities, we offered a unique solution that provided better results,” he says. These results can be seen in click-through and conversion rates. “This resulted in higher sales rates for our clients.”

It comes down to a numbers game, Snyman adds. “By truly understanding and thinking critically about a specific campaign, we could outperform most marketing companies who have been doing this for decades. Our lead/sales management software was developed from a common marketing problem: receiving accurate feedback on leads and their quality.” This means there is no way of measuring the full effectiveness or return on investment of the Google Ads marketing campaigns – simply put, whether a prospective client has paid or not.

“We solved this by designing lead/sales management software that has taken over our business, due to the high demand for such software,” Snyman explains. “Many companies around the world do not have a way of managing new prospective clients or leads effectively. We can automatically measure phone calls, emails, forms and more, generated from various advertising mediums such as billboards, vehicle branding and social media. Measuring everything automatically and processing the data in a new, innovative way provides our clients with meaningful results at the click of a button.”

Krüger says BaseCloud’s core role is to help businesses grow. “We have found that SMMEs are full of inefficiencies in the sales department, especially amid the fourth industrial revolution. Businesses take too long to respond to new prospective clients, fail to ask the right questions or do not follow up, and ultimately lose potential clients. We solve this not only through advanced tracking, but also through software that puts businesses in contact with a prospective client seconds after they make an enquiry.”

“We are not just a marketing company,” Snyman adds. “We go on a long-term journey with the client from lead generation to client nurturing and continuously assisting with business process automation.”

As a UP graduate, he believes that alumni have a role to play in providing accurate feedback to the public and to the respective university, so that there is a consistent feedback loop between theory that is taught and practice in the field.

“The UP culture has quite an effect,” Krüger adds. “I believe we have a higher tolerance for openness and are more willing to work with people from different backgrounds.”

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- Author Xolani Mathibela

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