A key business objective for semiconductor firms is to have a design engineer “design in” their components into an electronics product.

While the semiconductor market is likely to be dominated by the same top ten firms who receive over 51% of the business, the Internet of Things offers an opportunity for the next ten (or the next ten…)

The semiconductor companies that fall outside of the top ten need to find the new entrants who will deliver the next generation of consumer and industry products that will flood into the market over the coming decade – smarter white goods, wearables, medical applications, energy harvesting devices, and a myriad of other possibilities offered by the IoT and other emerging technologies.

With increasing activity in the maker market and new kickstarter companies appearing overnight, it’s impossible to target these efficiently. Instead, the goal is to be top-of-mind at the very moment design engineers are deciding what parts to use, and then nurture this unknown prospect into a qualified lead – a lead from a design engineer with real authority and who has a funded, high volume project to deliver within the next 2 years is a definition that would satisfy most semiconductor marketers.

Therefore a lead nurturing process should be part of your lead management system; by understanding the individual design engineers’ interests and where they are in the design cycle you can create content for each step of the process – content that is relevant and valuable, as well as easy to find, easy to read and easy to share. This content needs to include authoritative articles, white papers, case studies, videos, and press releases on new product and technology developments.

With 57 percent of the purchase journey completed before the buyer contacts a salesperson, and contact with a supplier only fifth in the list of information sources for engineers, it is clear that this information needs to be available wherever the engineer looks – whether through a timely email, sitting on top of the pile within search results, or by being the industry authority in social media. Digital sources are now clearly mission critical tools.

New technologies New product information “How-to” design information Industry news
Industry/trade magazines – digital 21 16 8 31
Industry/trade magazines – print 17 15 8 24
Search engines – general 12 11 16 9
Conferences – in person 9 11 5 4
Face-to-face meetings with suppliers 8< 11 6 2
Industry/trade websites 7 5 6 9
Vendor websites 6 11 15 2
Distributor websites 5 9 5 4
Search engines – industry-specific 5 4 5 4
Your peers 3 2 13 3
Conferences – virtual 3 2 3 3
Webcasts 2 1< 5 1
Social media 2 1 1 2
Videos 1 0 4 1
ONLINE TOTALS 43% 46% 56% 36%

Hearst: Design Engineer and Supplier Interface Study 2014

You not only have to create content for each stage of the buying process, you have to create this continuously. Why? Search engines place a large value on the freshness of your content. That means your marketing can’t continuously try to drive potential visitors to the same static pages.

You need to acquire visitors; you need them to take action (to engage) and to measure outcomes. There are multiple successful outcomes on the way to purchase. For instance, before a sale happens, an engineer might visit your site multiple times. In the first visit he might get specs. In the second he might share content with a colleague (or even purchasing to find out other details he needs along the way) or ask a question. In the third, he might look at sample or reference specifications you have on offer. Maybe in the fourth, he finally orders samples.

This process may take days, weeks, months or even years.

This means you have to have a great site structure into which you are continually pouring high quality content to create a consistently great experience. You need engaging content that brings engineers back over multiple visits. And you need to be everywhere they look, with a highly targeted sales message at the exact time they are ready to make the decisive step.

This is what we do for our clients. Contact us to find out more.