Report: 60% of an engineer's buying process occurs online

92% of IT decision-makers said they are more likely to work with companies that produce online content. Here are five keys to marketing to tech professionals.

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A focus on digital content creation is critical in attracting and keeping tech business leaders, according to TREW Marketing's 2017 Smart Marketing for Engineers Research Report.

The survey of over 800 engineering and tech decision-makers found that 92% of respondents said they are more likely to work with companies that produce new content, the report's press release said.

About 60% of an engineer's buying process takes place online, with most wanting multiple web interactions with a company before purchasing, the report said. Here are five key factors in attracting engineers with purchase power to your company, according to the report.

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1. Making an impact with your online presence

The majority of engineers considered a company's website to have a serious impact on what they thought of that brand, the study found. A site should look professional, be easy to navigate, and provide content that helps inform the engineer, it suggested.

2. Extending online presence to the inbox

Email newsletters are especially important, the report found, as nearly half of respondents said they subscribe to at least four newsletters. Respondents said they also will give newsletters a chance, at least opening them instead of directly deleting them, as opposed to other marketing materials. Companies should make sure all emails sent out include something of value for the recipient, and have interesting subject lines and introductions.

3. Diversifying

Web presence extends past a website or landing page to any brand representation on the internet, including social media. Marketing agencies may want to fund multiple web-based options to build a comprehensive marketing strategy to reach different audiences, the report said. Not only do different demographic groups tend to be attracted to different channels, but they also consume multiple types of content that may be housed in different internet channels.

4. Knowing your audience and when to contact them

Knowing demographic information about your target audience can help marketers understand what content works best for their situation. For example, younger decision-makers expect a 24-hour turnaround after completing a contact form, and are more likely to watch how-to videos, according to the report.

5. Timing really is everything

Don't try to talk sales before the customer has looked around a site multiple times, the study suggested. Most respondents interact with a vendor's site three or four times before initiating a sales discussion or even contacting them directly, according to the report. By the initial contact, it is likely engineers have examined different options and educated themselves, the report said.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. A new report from TREW Marketing says 92% of engineers and tech decision-makers want new online content from brands. They can use this content to learn about fields and products, potentially leading to sales.
  2. About 60% of an engineer's buying process takes place online, with the engineer visiting a brand's site three to four times before contacting the vendor to talk sales.
  3. Other things marketers should keep in mind: Know your audience, diversify your online presence, and be quick to contact interested customers.

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