Research Maps Enterprise IT Customer Journey Through Content Resources

IDG Enterprise’s 2014 Customer Engagement Research Details Tips for Tech Marketers on Forms of Content Marketing; Use of Video, Social and Events; and Follow-Up Timing to Increase Engagement

Framingham, Mass.—December 18, 2014—IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—reveals how IT decision-makers (ITDMs) use content to educate themselves throughout the purchase process, and the preferred timing for vendor follow-up, in the 2014 Customer Engagement study (Click to Tweet). ITDMs are taking ownership in educating themselves on products and services for enterprise purchases, consuming numerous pieces of content prior to connecting with a specific vendor. Throughout the purchase process, ITDMs download an average of seven assets during the purchase process.

Content ITDMs Value vs. Content Marketers Create
ITDMs rely on a variety of content types throughout the technology purchase process. Product testing/reviews (87%); product demos and literature (83%); and technology news (81%) are the top resources used during the purchase process. However, according to the 2014 B2B Tech Marketing Content Report only 26% of marketers put efforts behind product demos and literature, leaving a gap between desired content and available content. Eighty-one percent of ITDMs find it challenging to locate enough high quality information, leading marketers to rethink content strategies to create unbiased information and reduce marketing buzz words.

“IT decision-makers are taking the time to educate themselves early on in the purchase process, and marketing content is shaping purchase decisions prior to conversations with sales representatives,” said Brian Glynn, chief revenue officer, IDG Enterprise. “With so many resources available, marketers need to create and distribute content that can shape opinions. The use of data can make content more digestible. The majority of ITDMs are interested in having content tailored to them, specifically aligning with their responsibilities or industry.”

Content Engagement – Video, Social, Events
The number of platforms available to distribute content continues to expand. The use of video, social and events provide opportunities for interaction that can boost conversations and ITDMs opinions. During the purchase process, 88% of ITDMs watch a video, up from 80% in 2013 (Click to Tweet). After watching the video ITDMs take action from researching a product (63%) to visiting a vendor’s site or contacting the vendor (54%). Most often watched video ad types are those that are housed as a standalone ads on a website.

Social media sites are also capturing a large audience of ITDMs; 82% use social networks for business. Given the business focus, it is not surprising that LinkedIn is the primary social resource used. Social strategies should incorporate more than just content distribution. ITDMs are using social networking sites to interact with technology vendors. These interactions are proving to be very beneficial with 51% citing an improved customer service experience, 51% willing to recommend a technology vendor to others, 46% improving overall satisfaction with a vendor, and 46% are more likely to purchase from the technology vendor. While fewer ITDMs use Pintrest and Instragram, those users have a greater affinity and more favorable response to customer service received via those sites than other social platforms.

Events offer multiple touch points for sharing content and conversations both during and post event. The majority of ITDMs (95%) attend industry or job-related events and 20% of IT executives say that they attend events often. There are numerous benefits attained by attending an event, from learning new concepts and ideas to networking with peers, seeing new products and learning about new vendors. These conversations and content on technology purchases have legs; 81% of ITDMs said that they are likely to share content from events.

Lack of Vendor Follow-Up Speaks Volumes
ITDMs seek out content as they progress through the technology purchase process. When search is used, 74% of ITDMs prefer to click on organic search results and 64% are much more likely to click on a search result from a known source. When accessing this information, 84% of ITDMs have registered for relevant content in the past six months (Click to Tweet), and they (86%) use a work email address for this information. This provides tech vendors the opportunity to present additional assets. After the original download, U.S. ITDMs prefer to receive an average of two additional pieces of content over a three week period.

Once all of this content has been digested and an ITDM reaches out to speak with a sales rep a response and response timing is vital. Lack of contact will cause a negative reaction for 89% of respondents. The majority of ITDMs (63%) will move on and evaluate other vendors’ solutions, the lack of follow-up will be mentioned to colleagues (46%), and one-third (36%) will ignore future promotions. Forty-four percent will give the vendor another shot and will contact a rep directly. As for timing, ITDMs like to be contacted within 6 days. Seventy-one percent of respondents said that contact outside of this window will decrease the likelihood of purchase. While the response to this lack of contact varies, it highlights the need for marketing and sales collaboration to mitigate this issue.

About the IDG Enterprise 2014 Customer Engagement Research
IDG Enterprise’s 2014 Customer Engagement Survey was conducted across audiences of the IDG Enterprise brands (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World) and select IDG UK and Australia brands, and garnered more than 1,100 responses from security and IT decision-makers over a variety of industries. The survey was fielded online with the objective of understanding of the various types and volumes of content consumed throughout the purchase process for major technology products and services. It also looks into the preferences of IT decision-makers with regard to follow-up by technology vendors during the purchase process.

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About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences.  As the premier high-tech B2B media, data and services company, we leverage the strengths of our premium owned and operated brands, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity. We provide market leadership and converged marketing solutions for our customers to engage IT and security decision-makers across our portfolio of award-winning websites, events, magazines, products and services. IDG’s DEMO conferences provide a platform for today’s most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.

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Lynn Holmlund
Sr. Marketing & PR Manager
IDG Enterprise
Office: 508.935.4526
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