Accelerate your industrial marketing program success with marketing to new engineers

Written by Dan Konstantinovsky
Strategic Marketing, RH Blake

If you’re an industrial firm or manufacturer that’s focused on accelerating growth, reaching and engaging new customers is critical. But this is easier said than done as winning new business presents several challenges including:
  • Prospects that you haven’t approached before most surely already have relationships with a competing brand or supplier. Dislodging buyers from their loyalties can be difficult.
  • Seeking to displace an existing supplier can be complicated. Not only must you educate the new prospect about your product or service, you must clearly position your offering as being uniquely superior. Then, you must convince your new prospect that switching to your company and product is worth the investment and risk.

Marketing to engineers who are new in their career and/or position can be an excellent way to help displace a supplier. 

Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of new tech and solutions than older generations.
— Boston Consulting Group

There is a powerful rationale for applying time and resources towards winning over this audience. Marketing to new engineers means avoiding many of the traditional barriers that hinder new sales success. In other words, gaining business from new engineers and technical buyers can be a much more effective and straightforward proposition. Here are some reasons why:

  • New buying decision makers do not bring the same purchasing and vendor biases that more experienced specifiers may cling to.
  • As of yet, they are not loyal to particular brands or providers.
  • They are hungry to increase their product knowledge and seek those who can provide valuable information.
  • They are often more open to new ideas, trying new alternatives and expanding their ability to find new solutions than more experienced engineers.
  • They are digitally savvy and are more likely to Google for ideas, presenting a further opportunity for you to more effectively align your marketing.
  • They are more likely to challenge workplace norms by seeking out new solutions and gathering the research that proves their ambitions.

4 steps to effectively market to this key audience

51% of Millennials are always or almost always online, with 90% online a significant part of their lives including work.
— American Press Institute
  1. Conduct Voice-of-the-Customer research
    The key to connecting with an audience of new engineers and technical buyers is to discover what motivates them, what challenges they face and where they go to seek out solutions. An excellent way to accomplish that is to conduct Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) research.

As a marketing research technique, VoC is used to generate a detailed set of wants and needs as defined by the customers themselves.

  1. Generate targeted content based on VoC data.
    By asking new engineers and relevant buyers VoC questions, you can discover key behaviors. For example:

    • Where your audience goes to search for needed products and services
    • How they are educating themselves
    • Which content forms they appreciate and engage with over others
    • What knowledge gaps they need to overcome (e.g., what questions they ask most often about a particular product, application, service, etc.)

Once you have a thorough picture of what information your audience values, you can generate effective and targeted marketing content. You will also know what keywords engineers use most often for their online searches, so you’ll be better able to optimize your own website, digital content, and pay-per-click (PPC) keyword campaigns.

  1. Develop a smart strategy for your content format and distribution.
    Because your VoC research has told you what online channels your audience use most, the next piece of the puzzle is placing marketing content where your audience is—and using media formats that your audience favor.
Engineers spend 8.3 hours per week online and on their mobile phones consuming engineering content.
—engineering.com

So, where do you place your content? Young engineers are online, and they use social media. According to a recent survey, engineers shared definite preferences regarding where they go to find product and service information, and what digital media they prefer.

  • Online resources such as websites and search engines are the most valuable source of initial information
    • 60% of engineers get their marketing information from digital publications and articles
    • 79% are on LinkedIn
    • 35% are on Facebook
    • 16% are on Twitter
    • 95% will consider an email in their inbox (48% scan by subject line, 41% open and scan for relevancy)
    • 71% like short articles
    • 44% prefer brief video demos
    • Pre-produced podcasts and webinars were also popular
    • Least popular were live events and demonstrations that demanded online or personal attendance

For new engineers, it’s a progression thing. Feed this audience information they like: relevant articles, video, social media content, etc. Once they see you as a reliable, trusted source of valuable content, they will be more likely to consume your long-format articles, white papers and case studies, and opt-in to receive your other curated content.

Idea: There is a further strategy to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing to new engineers and similar buyers. Work to establish a presence at colleges and universities that are known for their engineering programs. This serves to instill name recognition and establish trust at the earliest career stages of students and graduates who may become your customers.

  1. Implement continuous improvement methodology
    A critical element of any content marketing strategy is to implement a program that enables you to learn from your marketing efforts and improve their effectiveness. This involves tracking the performance of your content and its channels.

Once you’ve gathered the information you want, the next step is to analyze it. This analysis will provide answers to such questions as:

  • Which marketing programs and campaigns worked best for you?
  • What should you change about your messaging and the type of information you provide?

There are many strategies and methods you can employ to capture the minds and hearts of today’s new engineers. This is an audience that is hungry for information on the latest products, services and application solutions.

It makes perfect sense then, that your content marketing remains relevant —and that it follows young engineers through the steps they take to make purchasing decisions and identify their long-term suppliers and partners.

Are you ready to start a conversation with a leading industrial and manufacturing-focused marketing agency? We’d love to discuss how we can develop your niche customer base and build your company into an industry leader. Contact RH Blake today.

Written by Dan Konstantinovsky
Strategic Marketing, RH Blake

If you’re an industrial firm or manufacturer that’s focused on accelerating growth, reaching and engaging new customers is critical. But this is easier said than done as winning new business presents several challenges including:
  • Prospects that you haven’t approached before most surely already have relationships with a competing brand or supplier. Dislodging buyers from their loyalties can be difficult.
  • Seeking to displace an existing supplier can be complicated. Not only must you educate the new prospect about your product or service, you must clearly position your offering as being uniquely superior. Then, you must convince your new prospect that switching to your company and product is worth the investment and risk.

New engineers and technical professionals are a prime buying audience for many key reasons.

Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of new tech and solutions than older generations.
— Boston Consulting Group

There is a powerful rationale for applying time and resources towards winning over this audience. Marketing to new engineers means avoiding many of the traditional barriers that hinder new sales success. In other words, gaining business from new engineers and technical buyers can be a much more effective and straightforward proposition. Here are some reasons why:

  • New buying decision makers do not bring the same purchasing and vendor biases that more experienced specifiers may cling to.
  • As of yet, they are not loyal to particular brands or providers.
  • They are hungry to increase their product knowledge and seek those who can provide valuable information.
  • They are often more open to new ideas, trying new alternatives and expanding their ability to find new solutions than more experienced engineers.
  • They are digitally savvy and are more likely to Google for ideas, presenting a further opportunity for you to more effectively align your marketing.
  • They are more likely to challenge workplace norms by seeking out new solutions and gathering the research that proves their ambitions.

4 steps to effectively market to this key audience

51% of Millennials are always or almost always online, with 90% online a significant part of their lives including work.
— American Press Institute
  1. Conduct Voice-of-the-Customer research
    The key to connecting with an audience of new engineers and technical buyers is to discover what motivates them, what challenges they face and where they go to seek out solutions. An excellent way to accomplish that is to conduct Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) research.

As a marketing research technique, VoC is used to generate a detailed set of wants and needs as defined by the customers themselves.

  1. Generate targeted content based on VoC data.
    By asking new engineers and relevant buyers VoC questions, you can discover key behaviors. For example:

    • Where your audience goes to search for needed products and services
    • How they are educating themselves
    • Which content forms they appreciate and engage with over others
    • What knowledge gaps they need to overcome (e.g., what questions they ask most often about a particular product, application, service, etc.)

Once you have a thorough picture of what information your audience values, you can generate effective and targeted marketing content. You will also know what keywords engineers use most often for their online searches, so you’ll be better able to optimize your own website, digital content, and pay-per-click (PPC) keyword campaigns.

  1. Develop a smart strategy for your content format and distribution.
    Because your VoC research has told you what online channels your audience use most, the next piece of the puzzle is placing marketing content where your audience is—and using media formats that your audience favor.
Engineers spend 8.3 hours per week online and on their mobile phones consuming engineering content.
—engineering.com

So, where do you place your content? Young engineers are online, and they use social media. According to a recent survey, engineers shared definite preferences regarding where they go to find product and service information, and what digital media they prefer.

  • Online resources such as websites and search engines are the most valuable source of initial information
    • 60% of engineers get their marketing information from digital publications and articles
    • 79% are on LinkedIn
    • 35% are on Facebook
    • 16% are on Twitter
    • 95% will consider an email in their inbox (48% scan by subject line, 41% open and scan for relevancy)
    • 71% like short articles
    • 44% prefer brief video demos
    • Pre-produced podcasts and webinars were also popular
    • Least popular were live events and demonstrations that demanded online or personal attendance

For new engineers, it’s a progression thing. Feed this audience information they like: relevant articles, video, social media content, etc. Once they see you as a reliable, trusted source of valuable content, they will be more likely to consume your long-format articles, white papers and case studies, and opt-in to receive your other curated content.

Idea: There is a further strategy to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing to new engineers and similar buyers. Work to establish a presence at colleges and universities that are known for their engineering programs. This serves to instill name recognition and establish trust at the earliest career stages of students and graduates who may become your customers.

  1. Implement continuous improvement methodology
    A critical element of any content marketing strategy is to implement a program that enables you to learn from your marketing efforts and improve their effectiveness. This involves tracking the performance of your content and its channels.

Once you’ve gathered the information you want, the next step is to analyze it. This analysis will provide answers to such questions as:

  • Which marketing programs and campaigns worked best for you?
  • What should you change about your messaging and the type of information you provide?

There are many strategies and methods you can employ to capture the minds and hearts of today’s new engineers. This is an audience that is hungry for information on the latest products, services and application solutions.

It makes perfect sense then, that your content marketing remains relevant —and that it follows young engineers through the steps they take to make purchasing decisions and identify their long-term suppliers and partners.

Are you ready to start a conversation with a leading industrial and manufacturing-focused marketing agency? We’d love to discuss how we can develop your niche customer base and build your company into an industry leader. Contact RH Blake today.
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