posted on June 01, 2011 |
Consider the following diagram. On the left is your marketing funnel, leading from the population of unaware engineers through to prospects and finally to leads that you can hand over to sales.
On the right is the engineer’s buying cycle. It starts with research for a solution to a particular problem. These are usually Internet searches. The engineer will typically not disclose their contact information at this stage because they don’t want to waste time responding to emails about products that may not fit their needs.
Once a class of possible solutions has been identified, the engineer then needs to confirm that the solution will match their application. They will need specifications. And at this point, they may well be willing to share their contact information if they have a tricky application question. Note that if you demand contact information at this point and your competitors do not, the engineer is more likely to get their information from your competitor, all other things being equal.
The final stage is one of vendor selection and risk mitigation. This is where price, quality and delivery time come into play. And this is the time when you can hand the lead over to sales. However, if you haven’t been in the picture for the first 2 stages of the buying cycle, there is a very real risk that you will not be selected in this final stage.
In future blog posts we’ll discuss what messages and what media are best matched to each of these 3 stages.