2015 saw what can only be described as an acquisition frenzy – stagnating growth figures and discontented shareholders effectively forcing the bigger chip manufacturers to prey on vulnerable smaller operations in order to either enter new areas or gain market share in existing ones. The list is extensive, but among the most notable were Freescale, Broadcom, ZMDI and SanDisk. This trend is set to continue into 2016, with Sony already getting its hands on Altair. It seems to be only a matter of time before other companies, such as Fairchild and Atmel, get swallowed up too – with several prospective buyers currently circling each of them.
The semiconductor industry has always been in a continuous state of flux, with boom and bust cycles and bubbles building up then bursting. However, this new dynamic could be a sign of something more long-term.
There are some concerns about the effect all this M&A activity will have on how companies connect with the engineering community and how new products/technologies will be promoted to the relevant audience. At first it might appear that things won’t have really changed, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Consolidation means that there are fewer companies out there talking about more stuff. So will that mean those companies will get a bigger ‘share of voice’ in magazine editorials, blogs, forum discussions and the like. No – not really, because editors, journalists and bloggers don’t want to just talk about the same manufacturers all the time.
Imagine you are a magazine editor running a feature on microcontrollers. In the past you had a wealth of sources to gain good copy from – you could get a bunch of new products from different companies, maybe have two by-lined articles from a couple of them and do an interview with one of the others. The industry’s consolidation has the potential to change all that. ,You are unlikely to feature the same companies over and over , so you reduce the size of the feature. Bloggers aren’t going to be pleased about having to discuss just a hand full of companies either – they want variety.
The situation we are witnessing in the chip industry is pointing towards adoption of a whole new approach. So far only a handful of companies have done more than experiment with Content Marketing – this will need to change. With major alterations to both the media landscape and the ways in which search engines operate, companies need to develop a more sophisticated, multi-channel approach to how they engage with their prospective customers. It is no good just resorting to the hard sell route – something much more subtle is going to be required. By partnering with experts in this particular field, the generation of informative and entertaining content, in a wide array of different forms (including blogs, videos, case studies, animation, infographics, technical articles and white papers) can be accomplished. Through this a company will be able to position itself as an authority in its chosen market segment.
To learn more about what content marketing can do for your business, contact Pinnacle Marketing.