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5 min read

New Q&A from the 2024 State of Marketing to Engineers Webinar

The 2024 State of Marketing to Engineers research report, jointly produced by GlobalSpec  and TREW Marketing, arrived with a bang. To dive deeper into the findings, we hosted a live webinar, attracting 790 marketing, sales, and engineering professionals eager to learn more about reaching technical buyers.

 

Q&A from 2024 State of Marketing to Engineers Webinar

 

We received a multitude of insightful questions regarding how engineers and technical buyers navigate their information journey for purchasing decisions. While we didn't have the time to address them all during the live webinar, we've compiled all of the unanswered inquiries into a comprehensive resource, categorized for your easy-browsing.

Missed the live webinar? Watch the webinar on-demand.

 

Understanding Respondent Demographics 

 

Do you have any surveys that do address the building civil engineer communities? 

While there’s plenty to glean from this research on technical audiences and their content needs, we do not have data or guidance that specifically focuses on civil engineers.  

What was the main engineering discipline surveyed? 

We focus on primary job functions (e.g., engineering / R&D, product management, etc.) and what industries our participants primarily support (e.g., automotive, aerospace, energy and natural resources, etc.). We do not collect specific engineering disciplines. 

Do you have any insights into job titles of the respondents in this report?  

With so many job title variations, we primarily focus on job function rather than job title. 

Are there any plans to get an ASIA picture of this data? 

17 percent of this year’s participants reported that Asia is the primary region they work in. If specific information would be helpful for you, please reach out to info@trewmarketing.com. 

Can you share with us some of the technical publications that were involved in the survey (online and print)?  

We don’t have specifics on which online and print technical publications participants are routinely consulting. This could be a great follow-up question in future research. 

Which online tool was used to conduct the survey?  

SurveyMonkey was used to conduct this survey. 

  

Artificial Intelligence 

 

Did you have statistical comparisons of AI vs Google, Bing, or other search engine usage? 

This year’s survey did not include questions about how AI-based tools fit into online search habits or how participants perceive the role of AI in the tools they typically search with. This could be a great topic for future research. 

 

Social Media 

 

Is it possible to speak about the differences of social media markets by geography? 

The webinar included differences in social media preferences between the Americas and Europe. 

We also recently partnered with Elektor to provide research that focuses specifically on European audiences. Download Decoding European Engineer Preferences.

Which social media channels in your opinion might be the most fitting to use to target engineers in few years? Which social media channels seem promising? 

Currently, YouTube and LinkedIn tend to be the most used across the board, along with forum sites like GitHub, Stack Overflow, or Reddit. Looking forward, we expect YouTube to remain dominant as video becomes even more impactful (Google has even added video results directly to search, and introduced a new "organic video" source in Google Analytics). Otherwise, we wouldn't be surprised to see the forum sites grow even more, or for industry-specific social platforms to emerge to foster conversations. 

 

Content Preferences 

 

Some content preferences changed a LOT versus your report in 2023 and previous years, e.g. catalogs were at 30% in 2023, while now they don't even show up at your stats. Do you have any idea why? Are they included in the category "ebook/guide" as many engineers probably look at PDFs rather than printed catalogs? 

In the 2024 content preferences findings, 17% of respondents found print catalogs most valuable when researching to make a significant purchase for work, as opposed to 30% in 2023. While we didn't break down this specific finding by age, I suspect that the drop was due to a higher number of younger survey respondents in 2024 and their lack of preference for printed catalogs. 

Ebooks were preferred by 13% in 2024 and 17% in 2023. 

We have thousands of products, is it worth it for us to provide CAD or technical drawings for customers in the buying process? 

Nearly a third of our research respondents said that CAD drawings were among the most valuable types of content when researching to make a significant purchase. In many industries, technical drawings are essential for specifying a product and not having them available may be disqualifying you from the start. I’d suggest talking to several of your customers to evaluate whether they would benefit from having CAD drawings available.

 

If you have a large selection of products, look to CAD experts such as Cadenas PARTsolutions who can create a library for use on your website. You can also start small. Select one or two of your fastest-growing product lines to build out first or make it a standard practice to create CAD drawings for new products you release moving forward. 

 

Does datasheet mean like the actual technical specs or like a "fact sheet" more like a mini brochure? 

Datasheets are typically a one-page document that outlines key information about a product in an easily digestible format. These are meant to be a quick reference guide for potential buyers, so they need to contain the information buyers need most to make a purchasing decision. In most cases this includes the technical specifications of the product (so much so that they are often referred to as Spec Sheets), features and functions, and any known limitations or specific conditions for use. They are different than brochures, which tend to be heavily focused on product benefits.

 

Podcasts and Video 

 

How can we learn what are the most popular podcasts for engineers are? 

In our 2023 State of Marketing to engineers report, we asked respondents for specific podcasts they found useful. You can view that data here

Most engineering podcasts are produced by technical publishers, large manufacturers, industry associations, and a smattering of independent technical pundits/influencers. You can find these through online publication websites, technical communities, and by searching platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher by particular keywords of interest. 

Do you feel advertising/sponsorship of the podcasts engineers are listening to is a value? 

It certainly can be! For technical companies, we would consider podcast advertising to be a fit for brand awareness campaigns. It can be a great way to reach a highly relevant, engaged audience, similarly to advertising with a niche publication. When evaluating brand awareness channels, we recommend looking into the audience- are they the right job level, roles, verticals, etc? Then pay attention to the reach metrics you can expect, and how the cost for that reach lines up with other channels. Ideally, the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) would be in line with other industry advertising options. 

Is there any way to generate contacts/leads through podcasts? What is a metric? 

While podcasts are usually most valuable for thought leadership and brand awareness, you can impact contact or lead generation by linking out to gated content in the show notes, using podcast episodes to promote new gated content, and featuring a podcast subscription option on your site, similar to a blog subscription. Key metrics would be the number of form submissions and new contacts attributed to a specific podcast episode, and overall subscriber numbers for the subscription. 

What type of content are they watching on YouTube? Is it specifically technical or how to's or would they watch longer form video about industry problem and solutions? 

This year’s survey did not include questions about what kinds of content participants are watching on YouTube specifically, but we did ask about video preferences. With 42 percent of participants preferring longer format videos (over 10 minutes), take the time you need to get the technical concepts across effectively. 

In the content preferences section of the research, you'll see that product demo videos and instructional/how-to videos were both considered valuable when researching to make a significant purchase for work. 

 

Other 

 

What resource are you using to find engineers email and phone numbers? 

The safest method is gated content on your own site that engineers submit, providing you with explicit permission to contact them. When this isn't possible, we have seen some success using website visitor identification software, such as Lead Forensics or Pearl Diver, to identify people coming to your site and find their contact info. Some technical companies also turn to ZoomInfo, but we would caution against using it to buy a list of contacts and instead use it to enhance the info of contacts already in your system. 

With any of these tools, be extra wary of privacy laws like GDPR and not sending cold marketing emails to a purchased list, as that can damage your email sender reputation, and even prevent you from using email in the future.

 


  

To follow along as Wendy Covey and CJ Haight dive into this year's research findings, download the full report.  

If you'd like to see how this year's results compare to previous research findings, access our research archives. 

 


 

TREW is a marketing agency dedicated to reaching engineering and technical audiences through a range of marketing initiatives. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.  

 

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Wendy Covey

Wendy Covey is a CEO, a technical marketing leader, author of Content Marketing, Engineered, one of The Wall Street Journal’s 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America, and she holds a Texas fishing record. She resides in a small Hill Country town southwest of Austin, Texas, where she enjoys outdoor adventures with her family.



About TREW Marketing

TREW Marketing is a strategy-first content marketing agency serving B2B companies that target highly technical buyers. With deep experience in the design, embedded, measurement and automation, and software industries, TREW Marketing provides branding, marketing strategy, content development, and digital marketing services to help customers efficiently and effectively achieve business goals.