Engineering isn’t a profession as much as it is a way of looking at the world. For marketers, considering this perspective when speaking to highly discerning technical audiences can be the difference between being taken seriously and being ignored.
Scientists and engineers can be a tough audience to crack, which is the catalyst for the State of Marketing to Engineers Report. For the fourth year in a row, TREW Marketing, which focuses exclusively on marketing to technical audiences, and GlobalSpec, a provider of data-driven industrial marketing solutions, have collaborated to research and survey the tactics, digital content types, and social platforms that are most effective for reaching engineers.
2020 brought unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 crisis, and this year’s report included questions about how engineers are navigating the unexpected emphasis on virtual events and how they’re finding new ways to learn about new products and trends.
This year, probably not coincidentally, was also the largest sample size to date for this research – with nearly 1,400 engineers and technical professionals around the world responding. Survey respondents also came from a diverse set of industries, from engineering services, energy, and aerospace/defense to automotive, semiconductor, and materials.
Insights include information-gathering practices, content preferences, and engagement expectations of technical audiences – as well as the impact of COVID-19 on marketing.
A few key findings in the 2021 report include:
- 62% of respondents complete more than half of the buyer’s journey online
- 80% of engineers found value from virtual events, but twice as many prefer webinars over virtual events
- 96% of engineers watch videos weekly for work, and over half listen to podcasts for work regularly
- Engineers are willing to fill out forms for highly technical content like white papers and CAD drawings
Special Focus: Approaching Videos and Podcasts
The popularity of videos and podcasts stands out among new ways this audience is gathering information, particularly as it relates to how marketers act on this information.
Ninety-six percent of engineers watch videos weekly for work, and over half listen to podcasts for work regularly.
Creating on-demand content is likely working its way into most marketers’ plans, but there’s trepidation about doing something that doesn’t have the production value we might be used to in the videos and podcasts we consume in our own lives. With the sheer amount of video and podcast content being produced, this shouldn’t be a barrier to entering this arena.
There’s a clear preference among technical audiences for authentic content that focuses on educating over entertainment, and everyone starts somewhere. There are actually some great resources on getting started with podcasts and video creation, and you’ll be surprised how little is required.
The report details critical findings and conclusions, along with complete data by global region and age group, or register for the webinar to gain insight on how to use the data from this study to create better B2B technical marketing programs.
And for more great tips on how to effectively reach technical audiences, follow the TREW Marketing blog here.
Martech Zone Interview
Be sure to listen to my interview with Douglas on Martech Zone Interviews discussing the research and best practices around marketing to engineers: