At TREW Marketing, we place a lot of importance and focus on marketing research. Every content marketing strategy we implement is based on our research and findings. We mobilize you with this research so you can better understand how engineers search for and buy industrial solutions.
This year, TREW partnered with IEEE GlobalSpec to learn trends in how technical customers search for information, use content and make buying decisions. TREW Marketing and IEE GlobalSpec probed engineers and scientists in the manufacturing, consumer electronics, aerospace/defense and automotive industries to help compile this research.
The 2017 Smart Marketing for Engineers Report is now available for you. We narrowed down all of our researched data into ten key findings. I wanted to touch on four important findings from this report that will be helpful as your prepare your 2018 marketing strategy and budget.
1. The most preferred content types of engineers globally is case studies, longer-length e-books, books, and white papers.
When asked what kind of content they prefer, scientists and engineers overwhelming responded that they want case studies from potential vendors. This means that case studies on your website are extremely important to your potential clients. When you develop new content for your website, you should focus on creating case studies and longer, high-quality content, such as e-books, books and whitepapers.
Technical audiences prefer case studies over any other form of content.
Take a look at what case studies you currently have. Do you have a good variety of case studies? Do your webpages link to appropriate case studies? Do you need to re-vamp some of your case studies to make them more interesting to your audience? As you plan your future content, be sure to place focus on developing high-quality case studies to give users what they’re looking for.
2. Most engineers have 3-4 interactions with a vendor before communicating with them directly.
It can be frustrating when you look at your marketing analytics and see that a ton of users are coming to your website, but you aren’t seeing leads coming in. It’s important to remember that the online buyer’s journey begins with users interacting with your website and content.
Buying decisions are being made over time as user's interact with your content.
You may not see people filling out forms or contacting you, but you should know that buyers need to interact with your brand over time as they learn more about their problem and work to find a solution from a trusted vendor.
Make sure you have interesting content that is updated frequently to capture users that routinely visit your site. Add call-to-actions and landing pages to capture contact information from these visitors. You can use email marketing to gain more interactions with your prospects before they are ready to contact you directly.
3. For the majority of engineers, a company’s website has considerable impact on their brand perceptions.
At TREW, we like to refer to websites as 24/7 sales employees. Your website is readily available to users across the world to learn more about your solutions and why you stand out from the competition. If you’re currently unhappy with your company’s current website, then you should pay attention to this research.
Potential clients are judging your company by your current website. Because we know that buying decisions are happening online more than ever, you should allocate a majority of your marketing spend on developing your website.
Look at your marketing analytics to see what pages are performing well and what pages need work. If you aren’t seeing many users coming to your site or you aren’t getting online leads, then you should think about redesigning your website.
4. Over 40% of engineers expect to be contacted within 24 hours after completing a form on a vendor’s website. Younger engineers have even higher expectations, with 50% expecting to be contacted within 24 hours.
When a user completes a contact form on your website asking a question or requesting a meeting, your company needs to act fast to respond to their needs. This isn’t just good sales etiquette, the data actually shows that quick sales responses lead to more sales. Users are looking for companies who are prepared and ready to answer sales questions within 24 hours.
Obviously, you cannot send over a quote or answer a highly-advanced question at a moment’s notice. But you can, send a response email within a few hours to let them know you will get back with them or set up a phone call.
Be sure that someone in your organization (preferable a sales or marketing person) personally gets contact form information delivered to their personal email. Engineers and scientists want to do business with organizations that aren’t too busy to respond to them. Following up with potential clients is an easy way to stand out from your competitors.
Top 10 Findings:
1.The most preferred content types of engineers globally is case studies, longer-length e-books and books, and white papers.
2.Engineers value online content sources most, primarily vendor websites and search engines. However, engineers in Latin America value trade publications more than other content source while engineers in the UK/Ireland value online sources more than in any other region.
3.Nearly 50% of engineers subscribe to 4+ e-newsletters. Engineers in the UK/Ireland subscribe to more e-newsletters than any other region.
4.Over 90% of engineers surveyed are more likely to do business with companies that regularly produce new and current content.
5.For the majority of engineers, a company’s website has considerable impact on their brand perceptions.
6.The four fields engineers are most likely to complete on a web form: Work email address, Company, First name, Last name.
7.Over 40% of engineers expect to be contacted within 24 hours after completing a form on a vendor’s website. Younger engineers have even higher expectations, with 50% expecting to be contacted within 24 hours.
8.Nearly 60% of the buying process happens online for the majority of engineers.
9.Engineers prefer to search online and read available content before talking to sales.
10.Most engineers have 3-4 interactions with a vendor before communicating with them directly.
These research findings wouldn’t be possible without the engagement of engineers and technical professionals across the world who completed this survey.
I hope you take the time to download the full report to understand more about your customers and how they want to be marketed to. You can access more information on our respondents and dive even deeper into these research findings.