The strong survey participation and increased research activity illustrates manufacturers’ investment in evolving and expanding their businesses.
Gardner Research, the market intelligence division of Gardner Business Media Inc. in Cincinnati, has announced the results of the fifth annual “Media Usage in Manufacturing” survey of industrial professionals. The full report including complete survey results, insights on industrial marketing trends and buyer behavior is available at short.gardnerweb.com/MEDIA15.
The survey, completed in the first quarter of 2015, includes a group of 2,288 respondents composed mainly of executives, managers and engineers at companies engaged in durable goods manufacturing.
The survey results include observations and raw data investigating primary trends in business-to-business industrial marketing and media usage. Specific topics include: buying cycle behavior, search, mobile, media usage, social media and vendor selection.
Commenting on this year’s key findings, Rick Kline, Jr. group publisher & vice president noted “Along with delivering insights into how industrial professionals are using media, this year’s survey is a positive commentary on the strength of North American manufacturing. Respondents indicated they are researching products, processes and services more frequently and using more types of media to conduct their research. The strong survey participation and increased research activity illustrates manufacturers’ investment in evolving and expanding their businesses.”
• The majority of manufacturing purchases (64 percent) are influenced by at least 3 people
• Nearly 70 percent look for products or services at least once a week
• Websites and trade magazines are the two most accessed and effective information resources for manufacturing professionals
• Trade magazines remain the leading push media
• LinkedIn and YouTube continue to be the most useful social media sites for manufacturing buyers
• Social media adoption has increased for the fourth consecutive year
• Overall perception of social media as a business tool remained flat with a below average rating of 2.64.
• Manufacturers are significantly more likely to select search returns featuring brands they recognize (93%) to brands they are not familiar with (31 percent).
• When reviewing search engine returns, manufacturing professionals favor technical articles and known brands over images, ads and videos.
• Most manufacturing technology buyers travel less than once a month (65 percent); nearly 20 percent indicated that they don’t travel at all for work.
• Overall mobile adoption is relatively flat, but significant gains appear in laptop and tablet usage; primary tablet use is email.
• In line with media usage reports, manufacturers that made a capital equipment purchase last year relied most heavily on trade media, supplier sites and events.
• The most influential criteria impacting a buyer’s selection of a potential vendor is technology followed closely by service and reputation.
• While registration based media ranks lower on accessibility and effectiveness, it is a primary means for buyers to reveal their purchasing interests.
Speaking on media usage trends, Kline, Jr. continues, “Looking back over the five year survey history, it is clear that manufacturing professionals are incorporating new forms of media in their research and buy cycle. However, adoption of newer media is being used as a complement to, not as a replacement for, traditional media forms. As a result, a marketing mix integrating multiple media remains the most impactful means to reaching today’s active, evolving technology buyer as they progress from awareness to vendor selection.”