How do you consume, utilize media?

16. April 2014

Those are some nutshell takeaways from Gardner Research’s fourth annual “Media Usage in Manufacturing” survey of industrial professionals, which released its full results today.

Gardner Research, the market intelligence division of Gardner Business Media, Inc., which publishes Plastics Technology, conducted the survey from November 20 to December 20 of last year, drawing 3,494 respondents composed primarily of executives, managers, and engineers at companies engaged in durable goods manufacturing.

The survey assesses business-to-business industrial marketing and media usage, touching on specific topics like: buying-cycle behavior, search, mobile, media usage, social media and vendor selection.

In terms of the age range of respondents, 60% were 50 and over, 23% were 41-50, 11% were 31-40, and 6% were 21-30. By job responsibility, 24% were in corporate management, 22% in manufacturing/process engineering, and 17% were in manufacturing/process management.

Key buying cycle behavior findings included the fact that more than 70% of manufacturing buyers look for products or services at least once a week. When it comes time to buy, 68% of manufacturing purchases are influenced by at least three people, and those people are very likely to utilize search engines.  

When winnowing through search results, 86.3% reported first choosing companies/sources they recognize, reinforcing the importance of brand recognition. Armed with known-brands, respondents were asked “what types of results are you most likely to select” from a search query, and the No. 1 answer was technical articles (49%), followed by a vendor website (30%), and related ad (8%).

Ultimately, however, all these decisions are informed by an array of content sources, with manufacturing professionals surveyed noting that they use at least five types of media to find information.

In addition to “Media Usage in Manufacturing,” Gardner Research produces annual Capital Spending Surveys and the monthly Gardner Business Index. For a complete list of Gardner Research Market Reports, visit:

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