Online marketing in the electronics industry

A study of small and medium-sized technology companies examined marketing activities in the electronics industry. Find out what sectors the most profitable companies are investing in.

The electronics industry already invests nearly one-fourth of its marketing budget in online activities. Smaller operations (20 to 29 employees) in particular are reacting faster to the online marketing trend than larger ones (200 to 500 employees). At 27 percent, the share of their budgets that goes to online expenditures is much higher than that of larger companies (17 percent).

Asked about their most important online marketing instruments, electronics companies’ responses included the company website (91 percent), followed by e-mail marketing (46 percent) and SEO (44 percent). It is interesting to note that e-mail marketing is much more relevant among profitable companies (55 percent).

Offline marketing remains important
Despite increased digitalization, doing without “offline“ activities is not an option. Flyers and brochures were rated as important or very important by nearly 70 percent of those surveyed. At 66 percent, product catalogs were not far behind. However, larger corporations are more attached to classic print products than SMEs. In contrast, TV and radio commercials received little support. There is also a noticeable trend toward more presswork and networking events among best-practice companies.

When it comes to communicating competitive advantages such as “Product and service quality” and/or “Innovative leadership,” the electronics industry predominantly relies on the company website (69 percent), flyers and brochures (43 percent) and e-mail marketing (33 percent).

At 30 percent, the significance of the website for “Canvassing customers/prospective customers” is considerably lower, even though it is the most important online channel for reaching that objective. When it comes to offline channels, the trade show was ranked first with 32 percent, followed by events and workshops with 11 percent.

Electronics industry relies on online marketing
Survey participants from small and medium-sized enterprises in the electronics industry also plan to invest in online marketing measures in the future. At 53 percent, the industry still regards the introduction and development of online marketing measures as its greatest challenge. Measurability of responses (27 percent) and automation (16 percent) were ranked considerably lower. The most profitable companies in the electronics industry produced similar results, although they consider the measurability and collection of ROI statistics less relevant (20 percent).

Content marketing is now considered a key instrument when it comes to using “added value” content to motivate target groups to interact with a companies products/services and, at the same time, using SEO-related measures to improve the visibility of a company, a brand or a product on the Internet.

Surprisingly, that approach is also used by many SMEs in Germany. 32 percent of companies surveyed in the electronics industry are already using content marketing, a figure that increases to 39 percent among the most profitable companies. The most important formats used are the e-mail newsletter (90 percent), followed by website articles (87 percent) as well as illustrations and photos and personal events (68 percent each).

The study
The “SME Marketing Study 2016/2017” survey released by Saxoprint and conducted by TNS Infratest interviewed the marketing executives of 960 companies in eleven different branches of industry. The study showed that the degree of digitalization and the strategies being employed vary greatly, depending on branch of industry and company size. That is why the individual reports on the various sectors such as the electronics industry in “B2B Manager,” which is published by Onlinedruckerei Saxoprint, can be downloaded separately free of charge. A free benchmarking tool also makes it possible to directly compare a company’s own results with industry averages or the results of best-practice companies.

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