Technical buyers, such as engineers, manufacturing plant floor management/personnel, and industrial purchasing agents are not impulse buyers. They don’t suddenly decide to buy, for instance, a motor for a precision dispensing machine. Instead, they have a specific need, project or design requirement. In this case, it could be a motor accurate enough for the detailed work that the machine needs to do, and that has a similar “footprint” to work with the existing ball screws and slides associated with the machine.
This is the Needs Awareness phase of the buy cycle. Once the need is identified, buyers begin the Research phase to discover what products or services will satisfy their need.
Because the buy cycle can be complex, long, and involve multiple decision makers, buyers typically access, use, and share varying amounts of information from multiple different sources. Suppliers who want to be found by potential buyers must establish a highly visible presence in those places where customers are looking for information and vendors.
Research typically starts with searching on the Internet. 73% of engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial professionals spend three or more hours per week on the Internet for work-related purposes, as reported in the GlobalSpec 2009 Economic Outlook Survey. 62% visit six or more work-related Web sites per week. These professionals are searching for products, services and suppliers and use a number of information sources, including search engines, online catalogs, supplier Web sites . Additionally, 56% receive three or more work-related e-newsletters every month.
Marketers must understand the Industrial sales buy cycle to their marketing efforts, with specific online marketing programs that will help you reach potential buyers at all stages of the buy cycle, particularly the early stages where suppliers must be visible to their target customers.