Break through with integrated media

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The ability to reach electronics engineers hinges on leveraging a complete integrated media mix, said John Schirmer, group publisher of Reed Business Information's Electronics Group. "And the ideal mix is most often led by online elements that enable marketers to stand out from their competitors," he said. BtoB caught up with Schirmer to find out how he thinks marketers can provide the right type of content, in the right media, at the right time during the design cycle.

BtoB: What are the biggest challenges in reaching electronics engineers with your marketing messages?

Schirmer: One of the greatest challenges continues to be getting "time at the table" with the engineering audience. These professionals work on an extreme amount of projects each year, and they're often working on multiple projects at a time. They don't always have the time to sit with a sales vendor rep, so you have to try to reach them in a variety of ways to get their attention. Another challenge is to get heard above the roar of competing messages in the market. And you don't just want them to hear your message but also react and respond to it.

BtoB: What media work best in engaging the engineering audience?

Schirmer: No one medium works better than another. It's a combination of all of them that works best. Successful marketing organizations in this sector are leveraging print, video, webcasts, online banners, microsites, white papers, lead-generation programs and e-mail newsletters, among others. And they are doing it consistently and globally. In addition, they are targeting very specific audiences with very specific messages tailored to their needs.

BtoB: What type of messaging should marketers use to appeal to electronics engineers?

Schirmer: Engineers don't want marketing fluff or vaporware claims. They want someone to step in and help them solve a technical problem. Companies that can do that in person will benefit, but the ultimate winners will be those that enable engineers to get those answers online, with little human interaction at the earlier stages of design.

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