In Britain, an intense debate on the impacts of EU-internal migration on state economy and social security funding has been going on lately.

Aiming to curb the advocates of restricting the mobility of labour, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Nick Clegg recently stated that if the bridge was to be lifted now, denying access from German lawyers, Finnish engineers and Dutch accountants, this would have disastrous consequences on the national economy.

While the Finnish engineer was used simply as one example in this statement, it nevertheless places a strong emphasis on the need for expertise and experts. Even in Britain, the Finnish engineer is a going metaphor for a desirable, skilled employee.

The Finnish engineer is a well-selling item. However, it would significantly enhance our wealth and happiness if the outcomes of Finnish engineers’ work were sold in greater volumes globally. We have a lot of work to do in the field of marketing our accomplishments and adopting genuinely customer-oriented practices.

Sometimes all this requires is simply seeing things from a certain perspective. Customer orientation means being interested in the recipients and their motives, and trusting our ability to make a promise that appeals to them.

The rise of Nokia was based on skilled marketing – and its fall can be attributed to the lack thereof. In the 1990s, Nokia understood changing customer needs and saw the potential for creating new needs. However, in the heat of success, this understanding was lost and competitors surpassed Nokia’s products thanks to better insight into customer needs.

Finland needs growth companies and success stories. We should interpret global trends wisely and figure out what kinds of customer needs could be created from them. Back in the day, no one knew how useful text messages would be for them, but smart Finnish engineers saw the huge potential of this communication method.

MTL, with its partners, is arranging the ”Finland’s Most Marketing-oriented Engineer” competition for the third time this year. The competition aims to recognise engineers who have combined their expertise with customer understanding and used this combination to create new products or drive new business. The competition will be launched in conjunction with the Subcontracting Fair.

Finnish engineering is highly valued abroad. Digitalisation offers unique opportunities to create new products and services that enjoy high demand in the global markets. Now is the time to demonstrate this expertise. It is the key that can turn the Finnish economy up again and return Finnish companies to the path of success.

Tarja Virmala
Managing Director
Finnish Association of Marketing Communication Agencies (MTL)


The Finnish Association of Marketing  Communication Agencies (MTL) represents the interests of professional marketing and communication companies. MTL unites companies that increase their customers’ competitiveness through marketing and communications and create growth and business results. MTL is a member of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and Service Sector Employers PALTA. MTL has over one hundred member companies.