Use Content to Uncover Tacit Know-how Inside the Minds of Engineers

I recently read the survey, 2012 Mind of the Engineer that was released by UBM Electronics, the global leader in media and marketing solutions for design engineering and the electronics industry. The findings are very interesting and blew away some of the myths about how engineers think.

The key takeaway for me was the concept of “tactic know-how” and its implications for engaging with engineers when it comes to industrial marketing with content.

To get a quick overview of the survey, watch this short video (2:15) from UBM Tech’s CEO of Electronics, Kathy Astromoff where she talks about tacit know-how, engineers’ challenges, perceptions, and information-gathering habits.

Here’s a chart from the report that shows how manufacturers can build trust and brand loyalty with engineers.

2012 Mind of the Engineer Survey

How do design engineers use online content resources?

2012 Mind of the Engineer Survey

I believe content plays a big role in how industrial companies address these challenges faced by engineers. The conclusions from the survey have many implications for industrial marketers. IMO, the two most important are:

  1. Engineers communicate with and trust other engineers. Leverage this collaborative ethos.
  2. An engineer’s time is precious. Marketers can’t afford to waste it. Aim to educate, share, assist and partner.

Even though this survey was restricted to the global electronics industry, I see it as applicable across the board for manufacturers and industrial companies.

An industrial blog for publishing solutions-oriented articles and “how-to” posts is one of the most effective ways for using content to tap into the tacit know-how and bring it out in the open. Good blogs create thought leadership, build trust and differentiate your solutions. These goals are the cornerstones of good content marketing and very important for engaging with engineers. You may find it helpful to read my earlier post, “Industrial Blogging Lessons Learned from Working with Technical SMEs.”

The above statement is not just an opinion; I have seen real results produced by some of my clients and other industrial companies.

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