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The Disconnect Between Marketers and IT Buyers

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
October 17, 2014

Technology marketers are increasingly focused on one-sided content tactics even though IT buyers remain heavily dependent on community-driven information to make purchasing decisions, according to a recent report from Spiceworks.

The report was based on data from a survey of 136 tech marketers and 450 IT buyers from a range of company sizes and countries.

Most marketers surveyed say they are trying to connect with potential customers using tactics such as social media (95% use) and case studies (87%). However, though buyers do engage with those channels, they say they are more reliant on peer recommendations (97%) and IT forums (92%).

Below, additional key findings from the report.

Peer Recommendations and Ratings

  • 82% of the IT buyers surveyed seek out information from peers during the initial research/awareness phase of the purchase process, and 79% do so when considering particular vendors.
  • 80% of buyers look for ratings/reviews online from peers during the research/awareness phase, and 79% do so when considering particular vendors.

Content Types

  • IT buyers say they do use some content marketing assets to research new products as well as to determine which vendors to consider.
  • After vendor websites, which are accessed by 97% of buyers, the most popular content types with IT pros are webinars (79% of respondents use) and videos (76%).

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Vinay Bhagat Fri Oct 17, 2014 via web

    It's great to see this data from Spiceworks about IT professional buying behavior. We at TrustRadius have witnessed the same phenomenon with line of business professionals involved in purchasing business software. They want to read peer ratings and reviews. Additionally, they want to filter to find the most relevant results that match their use case. Some want to dig in further and speak to peers based upon what they have to say.

    Business technology buyers are increasingly mirroring the behavior of consumers.They begin their evaluations through search. They crave authentic, candid insights (reviews) from their peers. Yet, the current sales and marketing model in B2B has been slow to adapt. Here is a related article I wrote for the Content Marketing Institute on why B2B marketers should welcome online reviews and redirect energy from traditional case studies:

    Vinay Bhagat
    CEO, TrustRadius

  • by Ayaz Nanji Fri Oct 17, 2014 via web

    Thanks much for the comment Vinay!

  • by Nate Berg Sat Oct 18, 2014 via web

    Good read! Being a full stack marketer and also working in the enterprise software industry I have recognized this conundrum over time. The thing is, is that the IT industry has always worked this way. It is heavily based on what industry analysts and consultants have to say and rightfully so when often times deals are made through contracts worth millions.

    As a result, I don't think B2B marketers have been slow to adapt, but rather inaccurate in understanding this market and applying the right strategies and tactics. Just because the marketer may feel that certain forms of content would better help these companies, IT professionals are often times working with large amounts of data in legacy systems in industries in industries that already move slow due to their size. I think the currently disconnected forms of content can be effective but secondary in focus and fine-tuning after the core strategies the audience wants are well established.

    Nate Berg
    Business Analyst

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