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STUDY: Search Engines, Supplier Websites and Online Catalogs Top Channels Engineers Use to Locate Product Info
[July 11, 2017]

STUDY: Search Engines, Supplier Websites and Online Catalogs Top Channels Engineers Use to Locate Product Info

ALBANY, N.Y., July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, IEEE GlobalSpec, a prominent multimedia destination for the engineering community that provides proprietary editorial and technical content, releases its annual marquee study on digital media use in the industrial sector. The 2017 report provides insights into how engineers use digital channels to assist in their research and support decision making throughout the buying process.

IEEE GlobalSpec, Inc., East Greenbush, NY

"Digital resources are deeply engrained in the life of an engineer," said Patrick Mahoney, president and CEO, IEEE GlobalSpec. "As a marketer, you must provide relevant, useful content about your products and services to help potential buyers lean in your direction rather than toward a competitor."

According to the report, the use of mobile devices for work-related tasks has grown significantly over the past two years. Nearly 40% of respondents said they conduct product searches from their phone, up 13% from 2015. Furthermore, 61% of industrial professionals visit six or more work-related websites each week, with 50% spending six or more hours a week on the Internet for work-related purposes.

Additionally, the most popular uses of social media among technical professionals are reading work-related content (36%), searching for contacts (33%) and researching suppliers (32%). The numbers from this report underscore the need for marketers to focus on branding and vsibility rather than sales and lead generation when it comes to social channels.

Additional key findings on digital media use in the industrial sector:

  • 64% of engineers subscribe to two or more free e-newsletters
  • 67% of engineers use YouTube or another video sharing website for work-related purposes
  • 79% of online time for engineers is spent on desktops/laptops

The 2017 sample of 2,239 respondents is representative geographically, demographically, and in distribution between different company sizes. 51 percent of respondents are over 49 years old, which underscores other research that suggests the engineer population is aging.

Respondent characteristics are similar to previous surveys. The top three job positions are Design Engineer (17%); Maintenance/Facilities Management (11%); and Technical Support/Services (10%). 33 percent influence $100K or more in annual spending; 52 percent influence $50K or more.

Engineers surveyed represent a wide range of industries and applications, such as Engineering/Tech Design Services (11 percent), Building and Construction (7 percent), Aerospace and Defense (six percent), and Industrial Machinery/Tools & Equipment (6 percent).

The complete research results are available for download at:

About IEEE GlobalSpec
IEEE GlobalSpec is a community built by engineers, for engineers - delivering the single source for trusted, expert engineering content, information, insight, tools and community for engineers and technical professionals across multiple industries and disciplines. An engaged community of more than 8 million industry professionals rely on IEEE GlobalSpec as a trusted resource at every stage of the research, product design, and purchasing process. For industrial marketers, our mission is to provide comprehensive digital media solutions that connect manufacturers, distributors and service providers with engineers and allied technical professionals and generate unparalleled results – delivering measurable and actionable awareness, demand and engagement opportunities at all stages of the buy cycle. Learn more at

Amber Cooleen
Senior Product Marketing Manager

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