13.09.2018

HOW ENGINEERS USE CONTENT TO MAKE PURCHASING DECISIONS

Engineers play a significant role in the purchasing decisions of the companies they work with. So if you’re looking to sell, you need to influence their choices – this can be done with content. Click here to find out how engineers consume content.

Today’s engineers use content to make purchasing decisions such as how-to videos, case studies, and datasheets amongst others. To make your products appealing to these engineers, you need to have an effective content marketing strategy. You need to study how they consume content and tailor your content marketing strategy to fit this so that you can win them over. But before that, you need to understand how engineers use content so that you can create an effective industrial content marketing strategy.

WHAT MAKES CONTENT IMPORTANT FOR CONNECTING WITH ENGINEERS?

Old sales strategies of e-mail blasts and cold calling are no longer effective. Engineers are a set of educated and intellectual people that like to make buying decisions on their own. They tend to analyze things a lot. They are hardly moved by your attractive and eye-catching emails. They need to consume content and see a lot of things for themselves before making their purchasing decision. Engineers are self-servicing and self-selective. Most engineers like to deal with a vendor representative during the purchasing process before they make a final decision.

You must know the difference between a specifier and a functional buyer before you can create content that will convert your target engineers to purchasing customers. True, the contact name in your CRM may be someone from the purchasing department of your client company that issued the purchasing order or sent the RFQ inquiry. But, you must understand that it isn’t that person that made the purchasing decision. It is the engineer who usually makes a recommendation for the purchasing department. You may not see the name of the engineer on the list of contacts, but the engineer is making behind-the-scenes decisions. The engineer must approve the industrial products before the purchasing department can contact your sales team.

Most purchasing departments have Approved Vendor Lists (AVLs). Engineers usually nominate vendors to this list. The engineers are more influential than other parties in the buying process even if they don’t have the authority to make the final purchase. Engineers provide guidance and expertise before the final buying decision is made.

Content is used a lot by young engineers, and they consume content in a different way from older engineers. You need to understand how they consume content before you can appeal to them.

You need to understand the age difference and use this to appeal to them. Your content must be appealing to these young engineers as they are usually the ones who conduct the initial research before a purchase is made. And most of the young engineers conduct their research online. They then pass on information they got online to the senior engineers. A lot of them may not go to your website regularly, but that doesn’t stop them from consuming content.

Most of the engineers involved in online research before a purchasing decision is made, are younger than 45 years of age. And almost all of them get information online and consume content online.

Short written articles are the most preferred form of content for engineers. And this is understandable as the attention span of this generation is shorter than ever. There’s so much content available out there with so little time so, it’s no surprise that young engineers prefer short articles to long ones.

After short written articles, the other preferred type of content for young engineers are white papers, case studies, webinars and long written articles. Next are eBooks and webinars. The least preferred form of content was live local industry events.

And, most young engineers consume content on their smartphones. This is also not surprising as mobile internet usage has now surpassed internet usage on desktop computers. So, your website must be mobile-friendly to make it more accessible to young engineers.

Young engineers use social media to get sources rather than trade publication sourcing. Engineers above the age of 45 still prefer trade publication sources, but their younger counterparts prefer social media. So, you must publish a lot of content on social media to appeal to young engineers.  You must also have a strong social media presence to capture their attention ahead of your competitors.

There are various ways by which engineers consume content.  To connect with them, you need to create a content marketing strategy that’ll appeal to them while still retaining the message that you want it to tell.

SUMMARY

Today’s engineers use content to make purchasing decisions – content such as how-to videos, case studies and datasheets amongst others. But in other to successfully sell to them, you have first understand how they use content. This article examines how todays engineers consume content, and the best way to present said content to improve its appeal.