B-to-b tech buyers are increasingly influenced by social media, mobile and online video in making IT purchase decisions, according to a study by International Data Group.
The report, “B2B Tech Buyers,” was based on an online survey of more than 2,200 business and IT decision-makers visiting IDG websites, conducted in July and August.
It found that b-to-b buyers rely on a number of sources when making technology purchase decisions. According to the report, 92% of b-to-b buyers rely on technology websites when making purchase decisions; 60% use tech vendor websites; and 58% turn to technology-related print publications.
Social media is becoming an increasingly important source of information for b-to-b tech buyers, the survey found.
Forty-five percent of respondents said tech marketers' presence on social media positively influenced their satisfaction with the company; 43% said it influenced their likelihood to purchase from the company; and 43% also said it influenced their likelihood to recommend the company.
Also, 56% of b-to-b technology buyers said they are seeking information about products on social sites; 55% want to read product reviews; and 54% would like tech vendors to respond to questions or concerns using social media networks.
Mobile is becoming an important resource for tech buyers as well; 75% of b-to-b tech buyers responding owned at least two mobile devices.
According to IDG's survey, 41% of b-to-b tech buyers purchased a product within six months of seeing an ad on a mobile device; 40% looked for a product in a retail store after seeing a mobile ad; and 36% clicked on a mobile ad for a technology product.
Video is another key tool for b-to-b tech buyers in their search for products and services. Seventy-two percent of buyers researched a product within three months after seeing a tech-related video for a product; 54% visited a vendor website or contacted a vendor for more information; 46% purchased a product; 45% looked for the product in a retail store; and 28% added the vendor to a short list or consideration set.
“The survey findings show that while tech buyers may be early adopters, they're good indicators for what marketers should prepare for with the rest of the user population,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO of IDG Global Solutions, in a statement. “A 2013 digital marketing program without consideration of mobile usage and social interaction will miss a growing prospect base.”
IDG also asked b-to-b tech buyers what type of content they would register for on tech marketers' websites. The top content types were newsletters (56%), mobile apps (49%) and white papers (46%).
When asked which factors would increase their likelihood of registering for content, b-to-b buyers cited having a reliable reputation (68%); a secure website (66%); an easy registration process (64%); research-based content (54%); and exclusive content (52%).