09/18/2013

Video and Social Media Use Growing in Connecting IT Buyers and Vendors

IDG Enterprise’s 2013 Customer Engagement Research Details the Role Content Marketing and Social Media Play in the Technology Purchase Process and what Customers Expect from Vendors

Framingham, Mass. – September 18, 2013IDG Enterprise—the media company comprising Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld —shares insights on how IT decision-makers (ITDMs) use and share content throughout the IT purchase process from the 2013 Customer Engagement research. The research also delves into ITDM’s vendor expectations, providing actionable data for tech marketers.

ITDMs Search, Read and Share Trusted Content
During the IT purchase process, ITDMs download an average of eight informational assets to help guide their purchase decision, from product reviews, product demos/literature, technology news and feature articles (see infographic). Additionally, ITDMs are turning to video at the beginning of the purchase process, watching IT news, interviews with industry experts and technology primers. During their content search, 86% of IT heads register for content and almost half appreciate content being delivered to them based on their search history. When beneficial content is found, ITDMs do not keep it to themselves, the majority (93%) share this content. Top methods for sharing useful content are email, in-person or phone conversations and sharing on LinkedIn. During the purchase process, ITDMs at enterprise organizations are most likely to share viewed or downloaded white papers, emails directly received and case studies.

Creating “High-Quality” Content
Trusted content is hard to come by; 82% of ITDMs find it challenging to locate high quality and trusted content. Tech marketers should be wary of including too much marketing hype and buzzwords in their content.  Including independent, unbiased and specific information will elevate your message and potentially result in the asset being shared.

“Time strapped IT decision-makers cannot find enough high quality content to make informed purchase decisions to benefit the enterprise,” said Bob Melk, SVP, group publisher & CMO, IDG Enterprise.  “Technology marketers can win business and grow prospects by providing unbiased, in depth content. When IT leaders find a true resource they are willing to register with their work or personal email and receive follow-up communications, building a strong dialogue with self-selected prospects.”

Mobile & Social Provides Best Responses
ITDMs’ time is limited and they rely on multiple devices to stay informed. Producing content that will adapt to a variety of device types is key. Smartphones and tablets are often used for reading technology news and feature articles about technology/trends/strategies/management, where desktops are ideal for reading product testing/reviews and product demos/literature.

An increasing number of ITDMs are engaging with technology vendors through social and business networking sites. IT heads are more likely to use this channel than non-IT heads to stay on top of industry trends, see product reviews, obtain perspectives to help make decisions and keep informed on vendors’ offerings.  Interactions with vendors through social and business networking sites has improved ITDMs customer service experience, made ITDMs more likely to recommend a technology vendor and increased feelings of brand loyalty.

Preparing the Perfect Marketing Approach
Once an ITDM has downloaded content from a tech vendor, nurturing that relationship requires a calculated strategy. After the initial document download, ITDMs prefer to receive an additional two pieces of content over three and a half weeks. Once this ideal amount of content is consumed, ITDMs are ready to be contacted by a sales rep within six days. During this dialogue, it is imperative that the sales rep is highly knowledgeable about their solution, is able to answer questions promptly and is well suited to speak with someone at the ITDMs level.  IT decision-makers are 79% more likely to purchase a solution from someone that is highly knowledgeable. More ITDMs are less likely to make a purchase after a delayed communication versus no communication.

About the IDG Customer Engagement Research
IDG Enterprise’s 2013 Customer Engagement research was conducted during the spring of 2013 across more than 1,100 IT and security decision-makers from a range of industries.  The research goal was to gain a better understanding of the role content consumption plays in the technology purchase process. All respondents are involved in at least one of the following steps in the purchase process of IT or security products and services: evaluation, recommending/selecting vendors, determining requirements, determining the business need, approval/authorization or selling internally.

To receive the complete study results contact Bob Melk at bmelk@idgenterprise.com.

About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences.  As the premier hi-tech B2B media 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. In addition, the CIO Executive Council—a peer advisory service—delivers on the business, technology, and leadership needs for the world’s elite CIOs and their respective staffs. IDG’s DEMO conferences provide a platform for today’s most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.

Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.

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Contact:
Lynn Holmlund
Senior Marketing & PR Manager
IDG Enterprise
lholmlund@idgenterprise.com

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