I’m heading off to EDS2012 in Las Vegas this week – the annual gathering of the Electronic Distribution industry. As usual, there’ll be a flurry of meetings between the Component Suppliers (such as Panasonic Electric Works, my employer) and the major channel partners, to discuss strategies for the year. One thing I’ll be looking out for is how each company is using social media to connect with their customers and partners.
ECIA (Electronics Component Industry Association) has partnered with TTI to develop a social aspect to the conference, with a Linkedin page and Twitter account to follow the activities. It’ll be interesting to see how much traction this will get in its’ first year.
The large distributors – Arrow, Avnet, Future and TTI – are all active in social marketing, but it’s likely that the most willing community will be those engaged at the design end of the business – namely element14, Digikey, Mouser and Allied.
Newark/Farnell’s element14 community is one of the leaders in social media within the industry. They’re constantly trying new ways to connect with their engineering audience, and work closely with component suppliers to provide compelling content. Digikey have also put a lot of resource into digital marketing and social over the last couple of years – I’m looking forward to hearing how much engagement they’ve both achieved with their web and social programs.
I’ll also be meeting with GlobalSpec, who are heavily invested in on-line marketing (their entire business model is digital!) and lead the way in many areas. Their annual report on Social Media Usage is well worth a read. I wonder what they have in store for us this year.
And Sam Wurzel and Chris Calvey will be there to demonstrate their progress with Octopart, the Google-like search tool for electronic components.
All in all, it should be an interesting week, and a great way to keep up to date on digital marketing within the Electronic Components world. You can keep up by following @ECIAOnline, or look for #EDS2012.