Two engineers helped shine a light on a sometimes wide gap between what the Web does for engineers today and what some hope it could do in the future.
Noah, a chip designer for hire whose clients include NXP (for whom he develops peripheral circuits), uses the Web avidly to find information and connect. But he never watches online webinars, videos or attends live events. He rarely opens vendor marketing emails and he rarely clicks on paid Google ads because the few times he has clicked on them they have proven largely irrelevant.
Both agree they do not want to provide vendors anything more than name, rank and serial number—i.e. an email address and maybe a phone number. They only do it when it’s required to get a data sheet or other bit they are seeking, and they always want an option to opt out of vendor email campaigns.
A third panelist and engineer, Saurabh Sisodia, took a more middle-of-the road stance in how he uses the Web. But he too said he preferred not to share detailed information with vendors.
The reticence both engineers feel is one of the biggest non-technical hurdles to fulfilling one of the promises of the Web for designers. Marketers want to build deep relationships to target the specific needs of the thousands of Ralphs and Noahs in electronics, giving them what they need right when they need it. But all too often they know little more than a name and an email address.
There are financial hurdles too. Convincing management to pull $1 million out of R&D to buy big-data systems, tools and experts to identify and track Ralphs and Noahs still is a hard sell, said Kathy Astromoff, chief executive of UBM Electronics, publisher of EE Times, in a talk opening the session.
As an industry, “we know what we need to do, but we are still far away from doing it,” said Astromoff.
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