Marketers failing to engage young engineers – here’s why

young-engineersIf your business involves winning new leads from engineering companies then this blog post is for you. Companies are missing new business opportunities by failing to engage younger engineers, according to new research.

I’ve produced a summary of the research below, based on the survey of over 1,000 engineers by, and added a few thoughts of my own. As it’s younger engineers that are usually tasked with doing the initial groundwork towards building potential supplier lists, the results have implications for anyone wanting to reach influencers within a target company.

Social media

64% of engineers, 25 year olds or younger, say they get engineering information from social media, while only 28% said they read trade publications. Those aged 46-55 are equally likely to use social media as they are to use a trade magazine to gather engineering information. And only those over 55 years old showed a definite preference for printed magazines. Failing to engage younger engineers using social media means you may not be on their radar.

Preferred devices

While engineers of all ages say their computer/laptop is their most commonly used device, tablets are the least used. Smartphone usage is, unsurprisingly, highest among the younger engineers. Taken as a whole, 53% of engineers also rely on their smartphone to source engineering information. Content therefore needs to be mobile-friendly and even more so into the future.

Digital publications

Engineers of every age group report a high usage of digital publications for gathering engineering information. 74-84% of working age engineers report using this media as a source, outpacing printed publications and social media for all age ranges in this group. The only source of engineering information more popular than digital publications is search engines.


97% of engineers will at least read the subject line of every email you send. Older engineers say they are more likely to just scan the subject line before deciding to read on or delete. But only 39% of younger engineers say they treat email this way. Either way, this reinforces the importance of getting your email title right and experimenting with what works best.

Sponsored content

Citing recent research from the Pew Research Centre, they say that 76-82% of respondents have some trust in news sources but only 34% in social media. So why do younger engineers use social media to research, when they may not trust it? It’s possible that younger engineers see the information on social media while also viewing other non-engineering content.

If you want your engineering story to seem more credible, the report says, seeking inclusion in a digital publication may be a better solution. They say that only 10% of younger engineers claim they won’t read a sponsored story because they consider it to be biased. However, in my view, that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily trust it either. Real news content is not paid-for and as such is more credible than sponsored content, so my preference is for news over sponsored content.

For the original report click here

If you require expert content and communications services to help reach your target market, contact Ward Communications or email me directly:    


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *