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.

Online Video

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.

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image of Lenna Garibian
Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.