Lack of transparency from manufacturing companies is one of the major challenges of industrial marketing. Intellectual property theft is a big problem, making manufacturers acutely aware that other domestic and/or foreign entities could steal their designs and create cheaper versions of their products. As a result of this fear, many manufacturing companies are hesitant to share the very data engineers are seeking from them. In order to protect their products, some manufacturers require that potential customers sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before reaching out for data. Moreover, only 20 percent of engineers will contact a supplier if they cannot find a 3D model download online. In order to protect intellectual property, many manufacturers are reluctant to leverage their most valuable content, the CAD models and data they use for their products.
The more information manufacturers make available on their websites, the better the customer experience is for engineers. Information regarding industry-standard specifications, maintenance instructions, maintenance schedules, minimum order quantity, and installation information all help engineers as they spec parts. Each type of information is another hook that adds value to the engineer outside of the product itself. If an engineer can choose between comparable products, purchasing the part with more data and information is more advantageous. In some cases, the data is worth more to the engineer and their company than the product is itself, especially if the data informs downstream processes like predictive maintenance.
Another critical factor is the ease at which engineers can access product information and CAD data. Engineers are busy. If they have to spend much time and effort to get information, chances are they will go the path of least resistance and find a vendor that makes obtaining CAD data and product information more accessible. John Joyce, the Global Marketing Director at Brennan Industries, Inc., harps on this in saying, “If you aren’t taking customer experience seriously as an industrial manufacturer, you don’t deserve your customer’s business. Innovations in data sharing, delivery, accuracy, speed, and availability are just as important as other innovations and often become competitive advantages”.
Embedding a configurator with 3D previews is the most effective way to deliver product-specific data. Engineers can easily navigate through product families, view product metadata, and visualize products in 3D instantly. In addition to providing engineers with the information they need, 3D previews increase time spent on pages, which is a key in ranking for product-specific keywords.
You need to ensure that the 3D CAD models on your website are in great shape in order to serve as powerful marketing content and to lead capture. 90% of engineers and architects see 3D visualization as an important factor in product selection, and when they can’t download CAD models from a supplier, 37% redraw the part, 80% move on, and 43% go directly to another supplier. John Joyce, the Global Marketing Director at Brennan Industries, Inc., says that after uploading 3D CAD models to their site, “We saw our downloads double overnight. Each download is a foot in the door for us”. Open doors for your industrial products with 3D CAD models.