CFE Media LLC, TREW Marketing launch engineering-focused content marketing study

A study of over 700 engineers uncovers online marketing and content preferences.


Source: CFE Media and TREW Marketing 2014 Marketing to Engineers studyTREW Marketing and CFE Media—publisher of Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer and Plant Engineering— announced results of its joint survey about engineers’ content consumption preferences and online behaviors. In March, CFE Media and TREW Marketing performed this research by targeting their engineering audiences to learn about how they find, use and engage with content throughout the buying cycle. Over 700 participants in North America completed the survey, providing a first-of-its-kind data set for marketers targeting technical audiences to better focus their investments for the greatest return.

"Marketers targeting technical audiences are grappling with the shift toward online and content marketing and how to implement an approach that effectively engages an engineering audience," said Rebecca Geier, CEO and Co-founder of TREW Marketing. "The research teams at CFE and TREW set out to study the types of content engineers require, and the results are truly enlightening."

Notable insights

  • The average age of engineers involved with industrial applications is 50+, however there are only small differences in where engineers over 40 and under 40 go to find reliable new product information (search engines, vendor websites, trade publications, etc.).
  • When researching the latest products or technologies, engineers most often use product specifications, reviews, trade publication articles, and case studies/application stories.
  • Engineers are very comfortable with downloading and viewing PDF files (preferred over other delivery methods).
  • 66% of respondents will go through three or more pages of search results, much deeper than the average consumer.
  • The most valuable sources of information are supplier/vendor websites (86%), search engines (84%), trade publications (78%), and trade publications' websites (67%).
  • 54% of respondents search for content several times per week.
  • 74% of respondents are more likely to do business with a company that regularly produces new or updated content.

"Engineers rely on vast amounts information each day to do their jobs," said Amanda McLeman, Director of Research, CFE Media. "So it's no surprise to find that engineers use a variety of both traditional and newer content sources to obtain the necessary facts and trusted opinions to make an informed buying or specifying decision. Engineers will dig deep to better understand an issue, corresponding options, and potential outcomes when making a product or system recommendation."

Access the full CFE Media and TREW Marketing 2014 Marketing to Engineers report.

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