Marketing to Engineers® Research: Supplier/Vendor & Trade Publication Websites

In May and June 2015, CFE Media surveyed its collective audience of engineers about how they value supplier/vendor and trade publication websites as a content source. From previous studies, we know that engineers rely on various sources when making informed buying or specifying decisions, so for the Summer 2015 study we took a closer look at two specific information sources (supplier/vendor and trade publication websites) used by engineers.

This survey—the fourth in the Marketing to Engineers® series—was designed to target the average engineer in order learn about how they find, use, and engage with content that helps them better do their job. Specific topics for this installment include supplier/vendor and trade publication websites as valuable sources for information pertaining to purchasing or specifying engineering products, technologies, and services.

Notable Insights

  • Eighty-three percent of respondents found supplier/vendor websites to be a valuable content source, and 67% are referencing supplier/vendor websites for product information more often than they were 2 years ago.
    • Nine in 10 respondents navigate to a supplier’s website through a search engine, and the average respondent will look for the information they need for 2 minutes and 8 seconds—or four mouse clicks—before abandoning the website and starting their search over in the search engine.
    • When asked about which features and content types can increase the value of a supplier’s website, the top answers included product information and specifications, application articles and best practices, product demonstrations and how-to videos, engineering calculators, online training, and product comparison tools.
    • Sixty-eight percent of respondents say that a poor experience on a supplier’s website does negatively affect their decision to do business with that company.
  • Seven in 10 respondents consider trade publication websites to be a valuable source of information, and 52% are visiting trade publication websites more often than they were 2 years ago.
  • During the information gathering stage of their buy/specify process, 94% of respondents agree that a user-friendly and fast-loading website is moderately to very valuable.

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