Of course, you know that engineers use content in making work-related decisions, i.e. buying decisions. Datasheets, case studies and how-to videos have always been popular with this target audience. However, have you ever asked yourself the question, “how do engineers use content?” The answer to that question is fundamental in developing an effective industrial content marketing strategy.
Recently, I read a research study published by ENGINEERING.COM. This report goes well beyond the general assumptions about how engineers use content and provides researched proof. You can download the “How Engineers Find Information” study from that link.
The old ways of cold calling and e-mail blasts are proving to be ineffective. This has nothing to do with the popularity of content marketing. This behavior is driven by how engineers want to interact with their suppliers. They are very much in self-select and self-serve mode.
The chart below shows that 75% of engineers prefer to engage with a vendor representative somewhere in the middle of their buying journey to just before making a final decision.
I’ve spent many hours explaining this difference to several clients. The contact name in your CRM may be someone from the Purchasing Department who sent the RFQ inquiry and/or issued the PO, but that person is a functional buyer. An engineer must “design in” or specify your industrial products before the Purchasing Department can contact your sales team.
Often, the Purchasing Department can only contact vendors from their Approved Vendor Lists (AVLs). Engineers are strong influencers throughout the buying process even if some of them may not have the final buying authority. 69% of engineers provide their input in the buying decision.
It is important to understand the age difference. Your content must win the mindshare of these younger engineers who are often tasked with the initial research which is often done online. They are the ones who will carry your message to senior stakeholders, many of them may not visit your website but that doesn’t mean they don’t consume content.
Over half (54%) of the engineers surveyed were 45 years or younger. Look at these two charts from the study to see how younger engineers get their information and consume content.
You’ve heard this before, but it is worth repeating – one size fits all won’t cut it. The chart below shows the weekly consumption habits of engineers for various types of content.
I hope my post and the research findings help you understand better how engineers use content and plan your industrial marketing strategy accordingly.
A one-hour live (online) consulting session with Achinta Mitra to discuss your industrial marketing challenges. I’ll try to provide general guidance that you can apply right away.
Marketing Matters is our monthly e-newsletter which is usually emailed during the last week of the month. Get the latest articles and tips on industrial marketing delivered to your inbox.
Let’s start with a free 30-minute consultation to determine if this will be a good fit for both of us. Our conversation will be a friendly chat to get to know each other better, not a high-pressure sales pitch.
Industrial Marketing Today is an integral part of Tiecas, Inc., a Houston-based industrial marketing agency. We’ve been in business since 1987, serving the marketing needs of manufacturers, distributors, and engineering companies from various industries.