I believe that the internet serves a great purpose for engineers involved in the design function as well as the MRO function. They need product information and they want it now.
My guess is that the first choice for searching is Google. I have a hunch that Google has mostly replaced any and all other inquiry methods for engineers seeking product information. However, it is still a secondary source function. The seeker must learn of the product from some source.
This is where magazines actually work to drive traffic to your company websites through Google. We really do not know how much traffic that we drive to our advertisers websites through Google but my educated guess is that it is significant.
When readers see your ad or press release in a magazine, they can send in a card with a circled number, go to the online bingo card, go to Google, or just type in www.yourcompany.com. The easiest path in my opinion is Google.
As long as we get customers and prospects to you our advertisers, we have done our job. That is how the web functions for engineers from my perspective.