Next to search engines, supplier and vendor websites are the sources engineers use most when seeking information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends and products. This is just one revelation from a new survey from IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”
It’s hard to overstate the importance of your online presence when you are competing for business. For the majority of engineers (52 percent), a company’s website has considerable impact on their perceptions of them as a credible, technically competent vendor.
Here are three ways to make sure your online presence helps, not hurts, your brand.
Carefully choose fields in website forms
Engineers and technical professionals are willing to share some information about themselves in exchange for content, but no one wants to jump through unnecessary hoops to get content.
The four fields engineers are most likely to complete in a form on a company’s website are work email address (66 percent), company name (54 percent) and first and last names (48 percent and 45 percent, respectively). The fields they are least likely to complete are purchase time frame (10 percent) and mobile phone number (18 percent).
A good rule of thumb is to ask only for basic information, especially from new contacts. You can collect additional information, such as purchase time frame, budget, and purchasing authority as you further qualify your prospect and help them along their buying journey. Another good rule of thumb is to use dynamic forms, so that prospects don’t have to reenter information they’ve already provided.
Respond to inquiries in internet time
Forty-two percent of engineers expect to be contacted by a vendor within 24 hours, and 22 percent expect to be contacted within 48 hours.
This means you need a reliable process for responding to submitted forms. At a minimum, send an autoresponder that promises a personal follow-up, which lets a prospect know that you have acknowledged them. Better yet is a response from a named individual. Go one step further in your response and include links to content related to what your prospect has registered for.
Every gesture you make that shows you are listening and ready to help will be appreciated—and the faster the response, the more likely the payoff to you in terms of winning business. Eighty-four percent of engineers and technical professionals are more likely to do business with companies that engage with them after indicating interest. Younger engineers in particular are more likely to do business with companies that thank them for their interest and offer further related resources.
Keep the content on your website fresh
A whopping ninety-two percent of engineers are more likely to do business with companies that regularly produce new and current content. So keep your content machine rolling.
The content can be new or updated web pages; download offers of white papers, articles or application notes; videos; webinar invitations; blog posts; infographics and posters—anything useful in helping engineers and technical professionals make informed buying decisions.
The takeaway here is to pay close attention to your website and the impression it creates on customers. Use it as a relationship building engine for your marketing and sales team. For more marketing recommendations and the complete survey results, download your complimentary copy of the latest research, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”