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5 Tips for Marketing to Engineers

December 02, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Many manufacturing companies sell to engineers who either make or influence the buying decision. has just released research designed to give marketers a better idea about how to market to engineers as a target audience. You can download the research report here.

The research results are derived from engineers who responded to the survey from many industries:

  1. Engineering design
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Government/Education
  4. Consumer products/electronics
  5. Natural resources
  6. Construction
  7. Aerospace and defense
  8. Machine tools
  9. Medical devices

The respondent engineers covered a broad range of ages from 25 to 66.

For those manufacturers who want to engage with engineers, here are a few ways to capitalize on the results of the research. It is important to remember that this survey is based on engineers who chose to respond and not a random selection. As with any research that relies on respondents to self-select, there is always some inherent bias in the results.

Here are five ways you can improve engagement with engineers:

1. Engineers are voracious consumers of content. According to the survey, engineers spend 8.3 hours per week consuming "engineering content." 86% of those hours are spent on consuming digital content. The weak point of this statement is that we don't know what the respondent believes "engineering content" is in their minds. It may or may not be related to choosing a vendor. Of the total content consumption time, 2.7 hours (33%) is spent on mobile devices.

Engineers content consumption time.png

2. Engineers prefer to acquire information first via a Google search, second via a trusted trade publication, and third through email. The conclusion one may come to based on this data is that manufacturers need to be creating useful content that shows up high in the search engine results pages.

3. Engineers, by a side margin, prefer to consume content in the form of short written articles (71%) followed by recorded video (44%). Once again, we don't know the definition of a "short written article" which makes it hard to capitalize on this particular data. The bottom three, less preferred types of content are live local industry events, podcasts, and streamed video events. Only 31% prefer to consume content in the form of webinars.

Engineers Content  Types.png

4. This is a big one for manufacturing marketers! When asked, "How do you process emails that land in your inbox?"

  • Scan subject lines for interest (48%)
  • Open and scan for interest (41%)
  • Read every one (6%)
  • Delete most automatically (5%)

Engineers email preferences.png

These results demonstrate a substantial opportunity for manufacturers wanting to engage with engineers via email. By using relevant, audience-focused subject lines and content, you have an 89% chance of getting a look at your email. Don't disappoint.

5. If you're thinking of siccing your sales folks on an engineering audience, think again. It's not a good idea because:

  • 25% of engineers want to be contacted at the start of the buying process.
  • 56% want to be contacted once they've narrowed down their options.
  • 19% want to be contacted at the end of the buying process for pricing and delivery information.

buying stages engineers.png

With 75% of engineer decision makers or influencers not wanting to hear from your sales team until they are in the later stages of the buying process, how can your sales team win more business? The sales team can't do it by themselves. They need a marketing team to build a well-planned foundation of useful content that is easily accessible and readily found with a Google search.

Very few manufacturing companies provide that kind of helpful information. Your firm can take the lead, gain market share, and increase revenue when you realize what and where engineers are looking for during their buying process. The manufacturing companies who unconditionally share useful content will very likely win the business because of TOMA and credibility.

Manufacturing Marketing Group Louisville, CO US 303-953-4361