2021 State of Marketing to Engineers …Top 5 Key Findings

by Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

GlobalSpec recently released their latest annual “State of Marketing to Engineers” Report. In addition to measuring the usage and success of various marketing tactics, this year’s report also includes specific questions about the pandemic and its effect on engineers as well as emerging trends of virtual events.

Here are the Top 5 key findings I found interesting after reading the report.

1) Supplier/vendor websites #1 source for new trends and products

With trade shows cancelled for most of 2020, it’s no surprise engineers turned directly to suppliers/vendors for relevant and timely information.

2) Engineers find value from virtual events, but even more so from webinars

In general, our manufacturer clients did not see a lot of value, from an exhibitor standpoint, with 2020 virtual events targeting the “contractor” audience, but it’s nice to hear some positive news from virtual events targeting “engineers.”

3) Online content supports over 50% of the buyer’s journey

This percentage continues to increase every year, so having a well-thought out and planned content strategy is never more important for marketers trying to reach the engineering audience.

4) Videos and podcasts grow in adoption

Videos continue to be a key marketing tactic for engineers; this was the first year podcasts were measured and over half listen to them on a regular basis…will be interesting to see where this number goes in future reports.

5) Be wary of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Professional networks and LinkedIn are by far the preferred social media channels for engineers.

What marketing tactics are you finding successful for the engineering audience?

Link to full report: https://www2.globalspec.com/2021_report_stateofmarketingtoengineers



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Web 2.0: Why Smaller Companies Have the Upper Hand

The great thing about social media success isn’t measured by how big your bank account is. According to Soumitra Dutta and Matthew Fraser in an article that appeared in the August Chief Executive, “The elimination of entry barriers puts small companies with little-known brands on the same level playing fields as the global brands.” They also point out that “CEOs have long functioned in closed, bunkered environments and aren’t used to the rules of social media, they are used to leading from a top-down authority, manage vertical hierarchies, and assert power through the implied threat of sticks.” All these traits go directly against the grain of what social media is all about.

This, in my view, is an advantage to the small guy. I’ve been associated with plenty of Entrepreneurs in my 35-plus years in this business, and what’s so refreshing about most of them is that they already exhibit the traits of social media long before  it was  invented. Think about it.

  • They want to be in front of the customer.
  • They listen to what the customer wants and says.
  • What you see is what you get – which bodes well for developing that personal relationship.
  • They can react to the marketplace quickly.

CEOs of big, publicly held companies are so entrenched  in wanting to control everything and continue to have a one-way conversation. There are personal agendas of those under a CEO that can get in the way as well. As you go up the ladder, people don’t want to take a risk or lose control. There are a few strong-willed CEOs that get it, but they are the minority for sure.

So if you’re the little one, you have the advantage in my book. Don’t give up. Your contacts are talking to you, not someone else.

I’d like to hear some success stories from some of you independent business owners who are the backbone of our country.


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