When making purchasing decisions about tech products and services, business and IT (information technology) professionals are turning to social, mobile, and video content in a big way in the United States, according to a report from IDG Research Services.
Some 96% of B2B tech buyers say they use one or more social media website or service, and fully 4 in 10 say a vendor's presence on the social Web has a positive impact on their satisfaction with the company (45%), likelihood to purchase (43%), and willingness to recommend a company (43%).
A vendor's presence on the social Web also appears to boost brand loyalty (39%) and even level of spending (27%) with the vendor.
Below, additional findings from IDG Research Services.
When using social sites, more than one-half of B2B tech buyers say they seek information about product offerings and support; roughly the same proportion looks for product reviews and ratings.
Massive Mobile Use
In the tech sector, mobile device use is pervasive: 75% of B2B tech buyers own or regularly use at least two or more mobile devices.
Among those who own a tablet, browsing content (tech news, product reviews, etc.) is the most popular activity (93%), followed by email (87%) and using downloaded apps (80%).
Tech buyers who own a smartphone are most likely to user their device for email (86%), while using apps (75%) and finding content (75%) are the second most popular activities.
B2B tech buyers are doing more than collecting information with their mobile devices: 41% say they purchased a product in a six-month period after seeing an ad via mobile device; similarly, 40% looked for a product in a retail store.
Among B2B tech buyers, the Web is a constant source of tech-related video content:
- 95% say they view tech-related videos via the Web.
- 82% post, forward, or share video content.
Tech buyers are also taking actions a result of watching tech-related video:
- 72% researched products and services after watching a video.
- 54% visited a vendor website or contacted a vendor for more information.
- 46% purchased a product.
- 45% looked for a product in a retail store.
Grazing for Information
Among B2B tech buyers, the reliance on digital media is a given, but they seek multiple sources: 92% rely on tech websites, 60% use tech vendor websites, and 58% use tech-related print publications.
In addition, nearly one-third of tech buyers turn to the social Web in their search for information, a figure that has shown continued growth each year, according to IDG.
Trust is key: When choosing what to read on the Web, 88% of tech buyers say they are more likely to click on a link from a familiar and trusted source.
Asked which types of content they tend to register for, the most popular items are newsletters (56%), mobile apps (49%), and whitepapers (46%).
About the data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 2, 200 visitors to IDG media sites such as CIO, Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, and PCWorld in the third quarter of 2012.