Manufacturers: Did You Realize CAD Downloads are a Good Lead Generator?

by | Oct 9, 2012

We’re so focused sometimes on our traditional ways of promoting our products that we sometime overlook the obvious. Today we have a guest post from Jeff Drust, VP Marketing at CDS (Catalog Data Solutions). CDS is a leading provider of software for product search, configuration and online CAD solutions. Enjoy.

Marketing organizations need to continually come up with new ways to get in front of the ever evolving selection and buying process. Industrial part and component suppliers can now do this in a more efficient way; realign their selling processes with the new buying process and turn it to their advantage with a new content type – CAD downloads like Brennan Industries.

CAD downloads as a type of marketing content, are both highly relevant and valuable to both parties. Industrial suppliers offering CAD downloads of their components (e.g. bearings) or engineered products (e.g. motors) create multiple benefits:

  • Adapt and exploit the new online world. Today, industrial suppliers’ websites are frontline sales tools that must help customers quickly find the ‘right’ product and conveniently save designers’ time when they spec your parts into their new designs ahead of the traditional buying process.
  • Increase sales. CAD models are the only type of online marketing content (e.g. white papers, case studies, brochures, videos, demos, recorded webinars, reviews, etc.) I’ve heard of leading to a sale nearly 50% of the time they’re downloaded!
  • Reach the real decision maker – influence the purchase process. Get selected at design time by the design engineer – the true decision maker. The more complex your parts are to draw (even a caster is complex to draw in 3D), the more design time you save customers and the more valuable your models are.
  • Reach new customers. Research into design engineers’ opinions shows that 97% rate CAD models important when selecting a supplier.
  • Decrease errors. Using the manufacturers’ CAD models should help eliminate potential CAD errors.
  • Generate low-cost, high-quality sales leads. Obtain sales leads in return for CAD model downloads – for one national distributor these leads cost ~90% less, convert faster and convert in higher proportion than traditional marketing generated sales leads!
  • Increase existing customer satisfaction and loyalty. By saving customers time and accelerating their time to market.
  • Obtain a competitive advantage. So far less than 10% of manufacturers offer downloadable CAD models.
  • Lower costs. Replace technical sales requests for CAD models with automated self-help downloads.
  • Enhance your distribution channel. Enable all these benefits within your distribution and OEM channel partners and make sure your CAD models are found online at sites like the CAD model search engine,

If you’re interested in case studies and testimonials on the use of this type of content, search for “online cad downloads case studies” or see some at

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