In a recent survey of industrial professionals, GlobalSpec inquired about their use of mobile devices for work-related purposes.

In asking, “Do you use a smartphone and/or tablet computing device for work-related activities?” we found that there was a 50/50 split between those who use one or more mobile device for work-related activities and those who don’t use any mobile device.

30% Yes, I use a smartphone
8%   Yes, I use a tablet
12% Yes, I use both a smartphone and tablet
50% No, I use neither a smartphone nor tablet

Twenty eight percent of those who use mobile devices for work-related activities do so at least “a few times a week.” When asked what types of specific activities are performed on mobile devices, respondents were relatively split among the following:

21% Research and/or source parts
21% Read work-related articles or papers
20% Watch work-related video
20% Receive engineering and technical news feeds
18% Play engineer-related free games

When we isolate the most active mobile users, those who use a device at least a few times a week, we find they most commonly “receive engineering and technical news feeds” (30%), “read work-related articles or papers” (26%) and “research and/or source parts” (24%).

That being said, it is likely that active mobile users would also watch more work-related videos if there were more work-related videos available. The amount of B2B-related video, let alone video related to the industrial manufacturing industry, as compared to B2C-related video is small.

In the future, it’s the use of tablet computing devices that is most important for marketers. It is likely that the percentage of tablet users will outpace smartphone users since tablet devices better accommodate work-related activities. This opens up a variety of opportunities for marketers.

  • Ensuring your brand’s website(s) are mobile-friendly
  • Allowing users to subscribe to your blogs and news feeds
  • Developing content, especially video, that reinforces thought leadership and/or demonstrates product benefits
  • Creating apps that offer tools and resources for your customers and prospects while allowing them to engage with your brand on a more profound level

How have you incorporated mobile into your industrial marketing strategy? What companies or brands have you seen that are strategically targeting tablet or smartphone users? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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