Manufacturers want their industrial content marketing for engineers to generate Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and not just Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) from content downloads. There is a big challenge faced by manufacturers of components targeting Design Engineers. These Design Engineers often don’t have the final buying authority but unless the industrial parts are “designed in” by these engineers (Specifiers), the Purchasing Department (Functional Buyers) can’t or won’t issue a Purchase Order or contact you with an RFQ.
Search this blog for my earlier posts on MQL vs SQL and understanding the differences between a specifier and a functional buyer. In this post, I’ll focus on a specific industrial marketing strategy that is an effective sales enabler when targeting engineers.
Importance of CAD files in industrial content marketing
Downloadable 2D CAD drawings and 3D CAD models in various formats are very effective in Design Engineers specifying a part. I say that based on my own experience with our manufacturing clients as well as research findings.
I recently read the eBook, “The B2B Guide to Digital Customer Experience” published by CADENAS PARTSolutions. It weighs in at a hefty 64 pages filled with useful information and includes many case studies. You can download the eBook from here. You’ll find some of my blog posts quoted in the eBook.
Take a look at these findings.
When engineers download a CAD file, it converts to an actual sale 81% of the time. It is not just a single sale either, there is a multiplier effect as shown in the second chart. With those kinds of conversions, measuring Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) should be easy.
Conversely, the third chart should be an eye-opener for manufacturers that don’t offer CAD models to their site visitors. I understand that you may be a bit skeptical since PARTSolutions is the provider of a Strategic Parts Management Platform, but there is a lot of value to their research findings.
Improving the engineer’s online experience
Engineers in general are now more time-challenged than ever before. According to the findings from IEEE ENGINEERING 360’s 2017 Pulse of Engineering Survey…
- 44% of engineers are working on more projects now than they were two years ago.
- 55% of engineers are being required to do more with less.
- 68% are working on three or more projects simultaneously
In short, anything you can do to save them time during the design phase will help you win their mindshare. Downloadable CAD files are big time savers and they improve accuracy across designs. They provide buyers with more relevant information that can be accessed 24/7 and on their schedule. This aligns very nicely with the self-select and self-serve mode of today’s engineers and industrial buyer.
Here’s an idea from the eBook that I found to be unique and a powerful benefit statement,
“Your website is now the favorite ‘vending machine’ for online components, providing instant digital product samples.”
CAD downloads for filling pipelines with SQLs and driving sales
If you’ve been doing industrial content marketing for a while like I have, you know how hard and time consuming it is to plan and execute an effective lead nurturing program for converting MQLs to SQLs. Using a digital catalog solution like the kind offered by CADENAS PARTSolutions can shorten the nurturing cycle considerably while producing qualified leads that you can easily track using your own CRM and Marketing Automation software.
Here’s the diagram from the eBook that explains this idea very well.
NOTE: I’m not affiliated with CADENAS PARTSolutions in anyway and neither am I trying to promote their platform. To remain platform agnostic and stay objective, I suggest you also consider other industrial content marketing tactics that I’ve found to be effective sales enablers for engineers. Here’s my short list:
- Parametric part number search applications
- Assessment tools, sizing programs and calculators
- How to order part number builder
- Online tracking of legacy installations and managing spare parts inventory
- Cross reference and selection guides
- How-to videos and on-demand training modules
- Online demos and freemiums
- Evaluation and engineering kits
Download our 7 Content Marketing Tactics to Sell Industrial Products for more content ideas.