TechTarget’s recent report on digital convergence includes some compelling findings about how IT leaders make their buying decisions. As you would expect, the report found that IT buyers use a variety of online resources when researching a product or service, including online IT publications, vendor websites and communities, independent online IT social communities, and mainstream social media sites.
What was surprising however, was that although online IT publications are still the number one source for buying information (as cited by 64 per cent of respondents), there has been a dramatic increase in the use of IT social communities as a key resource in the buying process since the previous report published this time last year.
Just over half of participants (55 per cent) now view this channel as being critical to the research and decision-making process, and 45 per cent use it at all stages of the buy cycle. Meanwhile, 54 per cent use IT social communities when researching multiple vendors and solutions, 41 per cent use them when identifying a problem, and 28 per cent consult them when compiling their short list of potential suppliers.
Not only are IT buyers researching products and services via social media, they’re contributing heavily to them as well. Ninety-five per cent of IT buyers visit them regularly and 55 per cent are actually contributing on a regular basis. This serves to re-enforce what we’ve been telling our B2B technology PR clients for some time now: that with IT buyers now using multiple digital media outlets to conduct their research on IT products and services, vendors and service providers must be prepared to engage and interact on whatever online platform their audience operates – whether it’s Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about how we are supporting our clients with their online and social media engagement.