YouTube: Not Quite Home to Direct Materials Supply Market Research Just Yet

Over on the MFGx blog, my friend and colleague AJ Sweatt took it upon himself to do some research about how much manufacturing suppliers are using YouTube for promotion. His findings are probably what you would expect at this point. According to AJ, "Videos presented on machining and manufacturing Web sites vary wildly in both quantity and quality ... Some are pretty good (mostly on capital equipment manufacturers' or other big boys' sites). But the vast majority of what little you can find shouldn't be." Consider how in AJ's search for machinings supplier videos on YouTube, he found 174,600 references, although this number only "looks impressive until you start finding Jimi Hendrix 'Machine Gun' and Rage Against The Machine clips" in the same search.

More specific searches turn up less. Take a search for "high speed machining," which found 100 source videos (a number of which were published by suppliers) or "gear hobbing," which turned up eight videos, including "a House of Blues reference." Clearly, when it comes to supply markets research, YouTube is not quite ready for prime time. But why not? Who is to say that videos will not become a critical piece of supplier marketing and supply markets research in the next decade? Methinks there's potentially a lot more value here than in sorting through trading company websites and directory listings masquerading as manufacturer's websites.

Jason Busch

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