We’ve all heard the following with regard to the project management triangle: “Price, quality or service – pick two.”
Well, if the latest “Marketing to Engineers” webinar (presented by Patrick Lynch, Director of Marketing to Engineers, CFE Media and Sean Callahan, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, LinkedIn) is any indication, there’s another element that is an important factor into the decision-making process. Care to take a guess?
It’s the manufacturer’s brand. In fact, brand awareness (i.e., previous experience with manufacturer) and brand reputation outrank both initial product cost and lifecycle cost.
Important factors to decision-making process (Source: CFE Media)
Take a moment to review the stats above. While I’m sure you all know this, it’s nice to see data on it as well. A manufacturer’s brand is more important to engineers than warranty, price or delivery!
Of course, this data isn’t telling us that pricing (including initial product cost and lifecycle cost) and delivery aren’t important to engineers that are making (or at least influencing) the buying decisions. Not at all, as they have both ranked in the mid-to-low 80%.
However, it does tell us a very important story: Engineers are evaluating functionality and quality first and that brand reputation (that is, both the manufacturer’s reputation and their previous experience with the manufacturer) plays a strong second place when they’re deciding who to recommend and/or specify. Frankly, it’s the engineer’s name and their reputation on the line. For them, while it may be an old line, it still rings true: “No one gets fired for recommending IBM.” Bottom line: It’s a safe bet to hang your hat on a well-established and respected brand.
Collectively, B2B agencies and their clients need to think more about strengthening their brand programs that don’t do anything to generate leads, as well as building strong brand messaging into our lead generation initiatives.
Even if your lead gen activity doesn’t turn a visitor into a prospect, at the very least it should build your brand’s reputation as a thought leader in the minds of engineers.
As you contemplate your overall B2B marketing strategy, evaluate whether or not you’re working brand and lead gen programs together in a cohesive integrated marketing campaign. Are you using the various elements of inbound marketing to provide engineers with content they love while building brand awareness and reputation?
Written by Loren S. Meck: Goldstein Group account manager. B2B marketing automation maverick. Friend to the 'content strategy challenged'. Forever exploring the inbound marketing, content marketing and social media frontiers. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School of Hard Knocks. Unpublished novelist.