Industrial Marketing–What’s Next?


Adotas talks with Patrick D. Mahoney, President and CEO of IEEE GlobalSpec, about industrial marketing in the digital world and where it’s headed.

Q: In terms of diversifying the marketing mix, do you foresee companies incorporating more tools and more channels or reducing the number of tools in their marketing stack?

A: Among senior marketers, multichannel marketing is a key focus of their strategy. With so many information resources available – both online and traditional channels – there is increasing competition for share of voice, making it challenging for marketers to differentiate themselves. Critical to this effort is engaging with the right publisher who brings relevant and credible content to the mix that connects with a targeted audience.

In today’s digital media landscape, there is no single magic bullet for reaching the industrial customer. Companies must incorporate several channels and tactics into the marketing mix. A strategically diverse combination of push and pull media will help to ensure you are consistently reaching your audience where they are looking for content at each stage of the buying cycle.

Q: How do you see marketing budgets for industrial marketers changing in the coming year?

A: For 2017, we expect to see industrial marketers allocate a greater percentage of their marketing budget to digital channels, a trend that has been growing sharply.

Content marketing enables manufacturers to become a trusted resource and be better positioned to win business. Conversely, their audience seeks content to help them make informed decisions.

In the technical B2B publishing space, engineers and technical professionals are inundated with information while content requirements have increased in parallel as an essential part of the buyer’s journey. The savvy marketer becomes a curator of expertise if they partner with the right publisher for their content creation efforts.

Q: What should people look out for to stay ahead of the curve in the new year?

A: Our published research shows that social media has evolved into an established media channel for the industrial audience. Savvy industrial marketers understand how social media can work for them and how to integrate it into their work activities. They have chosen their preferred platforms accordingly. For millennial engineers and technologists, the proliferation of “how to do…?” videos is a case in point of how this marketing channel has found a home with a particular audience seeking work-related knowledge.

We see some differences in the types of content based on industry. For example, engineers working in the electronics space often have a greater need for in-depth technical articles, teardowns, and datasheets. We also see some differences by age, e.g., a larger percentage of younger engineers gravitate toward video. Overall, content needs are relatively similar: engineers are looking for content that is going to meet their specific information needs at each stage of the buying cycle.

On a closely related note, content marketing is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Industrial marketers are tying content creation and marketing into overall KPIs. It has clearly evolved from a “nice to have,” to an essential component of the marketing mix.

Creating marketing events with targeted content that reflect past usage and interest patterns is becoming the path to convert engineers and technical professionals on the buying journey. Securing the right technical assets in the B2B industrial space to meet this need is now a requirement.

Patrick D. Mahoney is President and CEO of IEEE GlobalSpec. IEEE GlobalSpec connects a global audience of engineers and allied technical professionals with suppliers of industrial and electronic equipment, components, materials, and technology. The company combines technical product information with digital media solutions that deliver measurable awareness, demand, and engagement opportunities at all stages of the buy cycle.


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