What is the ITDMs Definition of Quality Content?

CMO: Numbers that Count

In our annual Customer Engagement survey we look at the role content consumption plays in the purchase process for major technology products and services. The results of this study can help tech marketers create a content strategy that will reach their desired target audience throughout the stages of the purchase process. We know that content marketing is an area that is continuing to grow in tools and complexity for tech marketers. And with more activity and investment, it is important to get it right.

While we know that IT decision-makers (ITDMs) rely on a variety of content types throughout the buying process what comes through loud and clear is the fact that they are challenged in finding enough high-quality and trusted information to make an informed purchase decision.

Considering the ubiquity of IT vendors’ web presence, the popularity of social marketing, and the ‘always on’ connectivity enabled by smart mobile devices, ITDMs should, in theory, have access to all the information they need to make knowledgeable technology and security purchases for their organizations. However, this survey demonstrates how difficult it can be to cut through the white noise to find enough high quality trusted information.

Eighty-one percent of the tech decision-makers we surveyed found it at least somewhat challenging to locate enough high-quality, trusted information on major enterprise IT products and services to make an informed purchase decision they are comfortable with. Lack of truly independent, unbiased information (54%), too much marketing hype and empty buzzwords (51%), and hesitant to download because of unwanted sales follow-up (42%, and new to the top 3 this year) are among the most frequently cited complaints among the respondents who find it challenging to find trusted information.

In a separate study, we asked our audience what the important characteristics are in online tech-related information. It is not surprising that the top three spoke to the quality of content, and that also the reliability of the source came in at number four.

Important characteristics of tech-related information

  1. Reliable/accurate content or information
  2. Straightforward, unbiased coverage
  3. Easy-to-understand content
  4. A reliable source for aggregated or curated content on specific topics
  5. Information is relevant to my job/career aspirations

ITDMs look to technology marketers and content providers to disseminate information that informs and helps them execute purchase decisions and these results show that content providers and technology vendors can improve the ways they deliver content to ITDMs.

By understanding what content is most relied upon at each stage of the purchase process, and creating quality content in those formats that is unbiased, and meaningful, it will go a long way to engaging your customers and prospects as they research solutions.

Sources: 2014 IDG Enterprise Customer Engagement Research; 2014 The Voice of the Customer Study, IDG Research, IDG Enterprise Results

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