As digital resources become more readily available, professionals in the industrial sector are turning to the internet for information during the buying process. In fact, the “2015 Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector” report published by IHS Engineering360 found that 71 percent of technical professionals visit at least six websites each week for work-related purposes.
During the research analysis portion of the buying cycle, 85 percent said they utilize general search engines to find information. The majority (76 percent) also stated that they use the same resource during the comparison and evaluation stage. However, supplier websites (54 percent) were the leading digital resource that individuals turned to during the actual purchasing process.
About 42 percent said that they are typically already in contact with a vendor during the research analysis portion of the buying cycle. Search engines (89 percent), supplier websites (75 percent), and online catalogs (74 percent) are the top three digital resources that technical professionals consult for work-related purposes.
Manufacturers and the Production of Digital Resources
To cater to technical professionals’ online habits, manufacturers are beginning to develop more online-based resources.
A study published by the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation and BusinessOnline recently discovered that 85 percent of manufacturers are now using social media, while 81 percent have adopted email marketing. About 79 percent said they were also using SEO, and the same percentage claimed that they were engaging in online advertising.
However, just 32 percent claimed that they were utilizing marketing automation tools, highlighting room for growth.