Your company Web site is the top online marketing option when it comes to marketing to engineers, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals. This is according to a new white paper from GlobalSpec called "Marketing to Engineering, Technical, Industrial and Manufacturing Professionals: What's Working Best Today."
The white paper cites statistics from their recent surveys of their target audience, which show that:
- 90% have used the Internet to find components and suppliers
- 85% go online to obtain product specifications
- 74% use the Internet to conduct research
- 68% use the Internet to search for technical application ideas
One of the conclusions from the 2007 GlobalSpec Annual Engineering Trends Survey was that:
An online presence drives industrial professionals to take offline action
85% of respondents stated they have contacted a supplier after visiting their Web site, and 49% ordered samples. Additionally, this audience takes action as a result of seeing an online advertisement: 81% have visited the advertiser’s Web site, 59% have e-mailed the advertiser and 56% have bookmarked the advertiser’s Web site for future reference. These results show that a strong online presence by suppliers can motivate their target audience to take positive action.
The white paper suggests that your Web site should focus on providing extensive technical product information and an up-to-date product catalog or even the capability to make online purchases. These are the features that are most wanted by engineers and buyers of technical products and services.
Even having a robust Web site is not enough because your audience has to find it first. Tactics such as organic/natural search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, banner ads, e-mail marketing, direct mail, print ads and trade shows can all help to drive qualified traffic to your site.
However, traffic alone will not cut it. You must have an effective lead capture mechanism in place. A Contact Us or RFQ form is not enough because your prospects may not be ready to buy now. Don't dump all your online leads into the same bucket and expect sales to close the deal with a phone call.
Sales and telemarketing can help to further qualify the prospects but it is important to nurture them until they are sales-ready with offerings such as white papers, case studies, webinars and other content. One size fits all strategy may not be effective.
The white paper concludes by stating:
You must have a Web site just to be in the game. Its effectiveness depends on your ability to keep content robust and up to date, drive customers and prospects to your site, and capture qualified leads.