Part two of the highlights from the 2023 state of marketing to engineers research report Influencing the technical sale

In Person Events

Now that we have returned to normality after Covid-19, in-person events are again possible. In the Trew Marketing and GlobalSpec survey, engineers were asked if they planned to attend more in-person events now than they did prior to the pandemic. The results indicated that 28% of the surveyed engineers planned to attend the same number of events, while 27% expressed their intention to attend even more.

Engineers were then asked about the factors that influenced their decision to attend an in-person event. The results revealed that most would be more inclined to attend if the event featured highly technical sessions. Other factors include the opportunity for hands-on skill development, such as workshops, and the opportunity to discover new vendors, all at a low cost or even for free.

Networking opportunities remain crucial in the post-Covid era, so in-person events provide a way for engineers to find the right products. That’s why it’s essential for engineers to understand what events they will go to, so that they can sell themselves in a targeted way. By selecting events aligned with their preferences from the survey data, engineers can ensure they are able to meet the appropriate sales representatives and develop a solid relationship with them.

Sales Engagement

One of the main reasons for producing and posting content is to encourage companies to get their sales teams to engage with engineers . But what amount of validation do engineers seek online before they choose to contact a salesperson? According to the survey, 46% of engineers indicated that they would typically review six or more pieces of content before they would contact someone from sales.

When engineers do get in touch with a sales contact at a vendor for the first time, it’s important to consider their preferred method of communication to ensure a comfortable and effective interaction. The survey’s participants indicated that email was by far the most preferred method, followed by phone communication ranking a distant second place. This year’s survey included LinkedIn messages for the first time, but the research showed that only 1% found value in this form of contact. It’s worth noting, that while there are many good reasons for businesses using LinkedIn, selling to engineers doesn’t appear to be one of them.

In the context of engaging with sales teams, making content accessible to engineers has proven the most effective method of encouraging contact. When engineers are seeking validation or more comprehensive information, email emerges as their preferred contact method by a significant margin (51%). However, it is noteworthy that age can be a determining factor – older participants are more likely to prefer contact by phone.


The results of this study are useful for anybody seeking to capture engineers’ attention for their products and subsequently convert these leads into respective sales. Understanding engineers purchasing behaviour can strengthen and refine marketing strategies, keeping sales leads coming in. Marketing to engineers is always going to be a challenge, but having access to industry-specific insights and the information available from this survey can put any marketing team ahead of the game.