Marketing to Engineers (M2E) 2023: 3 Key Event Takeaways for Better Marketing Practices
Creating unique, relevant marketing content for any industry can be a challenge. Marketing to engineers can pose additional obstacles when it comes to preferred platforms, comprehensive materials, credible sources, and so much more. Shifting trends, updated practices, and contemporary software integration can all have drastic impacts on the quality, reach, and engagement of any marketing campaign, especially with such an industry-specific audience. LinkedIn or Facebook? Email or print? Budget or timeline? From small business start-ups to massive market influencers, developing a cohesive marketing strategy to increase awareness, generate leads, and offer a competitive edge can be a common but complicated goal.
CFE Media & Technology recently hosted their live Marketing to Engineers (M2E) event in May 2023, bringing together hundreds of business owners, marketers, and engineers to educate and inform the most contemporary marketing practices, platforms, ideas, and more. Dedicated to the education and effectiveness of how people specifically market to engineers, this all-day event was a one-of-a-kind experience that provides unique insights and industry-driven data for B2B professional in the engineering, manufacturing, and/or automation industry. Our very own Marketing and Design Specialist had the amazing opportunity to attend this in-person M2E event and learn more about the most effective ways to engage customers, convert qualified leads, and sell products. We’re sharing our top 3 takeaways from this incredible event – on topics like content creation, preferred distribution channels, and how to optimize evolving business objectives – on our blog and social media.
Read more about our top 3 takeaways for this years M2E event!
#1 - Content Marketing: What Materials Are Engineers Actually Engaging With?
It’s no secret in the age of social media that content marketing can feel overwhelming. What type of content do I generate? Where do I share content? How can I create content engineers actually engage with? All these questions and more were be answered by CFE Media and Technology Managing Director and Partner Patrick Lynch, a B2B marketing expert specializing in customer relations and integrated marketing. Over the course of 4 months, Lynch conducted an internal survey with over 500 qualified response regarding the preferred ideals surrounding content generation, distribution, and engagement.
Overall, Lynch uncovered the most valuable content identified among engineers and managers included product specification information (84%), technical articles (68%), eBooks (65%), webcasts (52%), white papers (50%), and product demonstration videos (49%). These types of content range in engagement depending on the channel, including email, social media, and website features. To secure qualified lead generation, webcast features (58%) and white papers (39%) remain favorable for engineers. It’s also important to note that over 68% of those surveyed indicated their number one top criteria influencing their decision to buy is the alignment of products to project specifications. It is crucial when displaying previous portfolio examples to highlight not just what made the project successful, but why you won the custom job in the first place.
In short, Lynch identified that engineers value and engage with information-rich content centered around custom project capabilities, product specifications, and business credibility.
#2 - Distribution Channels & Branding: How Can Businesses Control the Message?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tik Tok… the list goes on and on when it comes to social media channels and online distribution possibilities. So, what platform stands alone as the ultimate influencer when it comes to engineers and B2B marketing? Personal Branding & Thought Leadership Leader Jeff Winters breaks down the best channels and perspectives in relationship to effective online marketing practices and brand awareness. As a distinguished business strategist, Winters offers his innovative expertise involving digital business transformation and technological implementation as we enter Industry 4.0.
Through independent experience and research, Winters concluded that LinkedIn is undoubtedly the most influential and effective online marketing channel for business professionals and those interested in successful B2B marketing strategy. LinkedIn is home to over 65 million decision makers - with 96% of executives turning to LinkedIn as their preferred content source. 73% of professionals trust LinkedIn for information, performing 277% more effective at lead generation that Facebook and Twitter. Encompassing a strong digital brand with authentic, well-target content can take an average online presence to amazing. Winters outlines the importance of personal branding and how credentials, advocacy, and networking can have a huge impact on awareness and legitimacy.
Authenticity, engagement, and a strong brand perception are the key to generating organic exposure and quality leads- in-person and online.
#3 - The Future of Manufacturing: What Will Generational Replacement & New Technology Look Like?
Post pandemic, it is no doubt that industries specializing in engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain distribution all took an extremely hard blow both domestically and globally. Employment and the future of the manufacturing workforce has begun taking yet another hit as a large portion of previous workers, identified largely within the Baby Boomers generation, are retiring and being replaced with incoming talent such as Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. So, what does this mean for marketing?
Featured speaker Jake Hall, known as the “Manufacturing Millennial” describes the importance of technology investment, cross training, and targeted content materials that specifically align with generational work and lifestyle culture. According to a recent study by Tallo Data Insight 2020, only 3.5% of Generation Z identified manufacturing as their primary career interest. This will widen the skills gap even farther than previously established, with an projected 2.69 million jobs opening as a result of retirement – and an estimated 4.6 million manufacturing jobs to fill between 2018-2028. As we transition from Industry 3.0 into Industry 4.0 in relationship to manufacturing, technology, and big data, Hall identifies the key focus to attracting new employees and incorporating successful marketing practices lies in industrial investment and generationally relevant business practices. Hall poses the question, “does your company and content match your attraction?” Companies are now saddled with challenges not only associated with previously determined best business practices, but now must excite and ignite a new generation of engineers, project managers, manufactures, and more.
The future of manufacturing is highly dependent on the initiative, investment, and overall interest current businesses and employers are willing to dedicate in an effort to overcome an evolving industry and stay relevant with customers and skilled candidates.
So, how can you optimize your marketing practices for the ultimate effect? Let’s recap the basics we’ve previously defined. CFE Media and Technology’s very own Patrick Lynch highlights the importance of informationally rich content and building authentic relationships when distributing industry-driven content. Branding and social media expert Jeff Winters demonstrates the power of personal identity and the importance of LinkedIn as an engineering-based content platform. Finally, the well-known “Manufacturing Millennial” Jake Hall describes the impact outdated manufacturing practices will have on contemporary business solutions and outlines the influence technological investment and generationally based culture will have on the future of manufacturing.
As an industry leader and foremost expert in marketing to engineers, this exclusive M2E event hosted by CFE Media and Technology offered a wide variety of relevant topics, current market trends, and future applications to help current marketers excel and succeed in the upcoming year. This live event was not only educational, but also engaging as attendees were invited to network and mingle over a private post-conference dinner and personalized comedy show at The Second City! This one-of-a-kind experience is an absolute must for anyone looking to sharpen their marketing skills directly related to engineering, automation, manufacturing, and more. Thank you to CFE Media and Technology and their incredible team for such an insightful event. We can’t wait to return next year!
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Published May 22, 2023
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