Media Usage in Manufacturing 2014

Annual report includes marketing strategy, survey results and buyer analysis.

Now in its fourth year, the results of our annual media survey reveal the demographic characteristics and media usage trends of today’s manufacturing technology buyer. To assist in expanding the survey’s insights deeper into the industrial sales cycle, we expanded the survey to include questions on vendor selection, lead nurturing and content preferences.

In addition to the survey results, the report includes an overview of the key findings (listed below) and commentary on business-to-business marketing trends impacting companies tasked with marketing to today's industrial buyer.

Read the full report (Digital PDF / PPT)

Key Findings:

(Digital PDF / PPT)

Buying Cycle:

  • More than 70% look for products or services at least once a week
  • The majority manufacturing purchases are influenced by at least 3 people


  • Search engines are an essential research component of the manufacturing buyer.
  • Manufacturers use search are much more likely to select search returns featuring companies they know and prefer technical articles to other return type


  • Trade magazines remain the leading push media.
  • Websites and trade magazines are the two most accessed and effective information resources for manufacturing professionals.


  • Social media adoption has increased for the third consecutive year; however, the perception of its usefulness remains flat. 
  • LinkedIn and YouTube continue to be the most useful social media sites for manufacturing buyers
  • Twitter & Facebook are blocked at nearly 20% of responding companies. 


  • Overall mobile adoption is relatively flat, but significant gains appear in laptop and tablet usage. Primary tablet use is email
  • Manufacturers prefer browsers to apps when accessing web content on mobile devices

Vendor Selection

  • The most influential criteria impacting a buyer’s selection of a potential vendor is technology followed closely by service and reputation.
  • Buyers turn to peers, technical articles and tradeshows when forming a perception of prospective vendors.
  • While registration based media ranks lower on accessibility and effectiveness, it is a primary means for buyers to reveal their purchasing interest. 

Read the full report (Digital / PDF / PPT)

Gardner Business Media - Strategic Business Solutions