Tuesday, July 03, 2007

IT Execs Extend Trust to Social Media in Making Purchase Decisions

Some great new info from ITtoolbox about social media usage during the decision making process. This is yet another reason for B2B marketers to get into Web 2.0!

The info below comes from the July 3 MediaPost enewsletter.

A new study by ITtoolbox confirms that today's Information Technology decision-makers and influencers not only turn to traditional vendor Web sites and editorial media Web sites for research, but also join peer-driven communities and participate in user-generated content to help in the decision process. And, the advertisers as well are seeking out these user-generated content sites to more strategically target the customer.

George Krautzel, ITtoolbox president and co-founder, says "This convergence of the purchaser and advertiser within the social media space... reveals the role social media can play in today's business world, and sheds light on new opportunities for advertisers."

And Mike O'Toole, Executive Vice President of PJA, partner in the study, notes that . "... the IT community now spends as much or more time consuming social media as they do consuming editorial media or vendor content... this is the first study to link IT executives' (use of) social media and user-generated content to make better purchasing decisions."

IT professionals who responded to the survey cited social media as the most trustworthy online source of information when making purchasing decisions. In addition:

  • Executive decision-makers spend nearly 3 ½ hours per week consuming or participating in social media
  • Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals who were surveyed believe that social media content and user-generated tools have made for a more informed purchasing decision
  • IT decision-makers and influencers trust user-generated content more than traditional content sources
  • IT audiences now spend as much or more time consuming or participating in social media as they do consuming editorial media or vendor content.

Specifically, the response to which sites are referenced most often:

  • Vendor Web sites are referenced information sources for IT purchasing information often or very often by 61.5% of respondents.
  • User-generated content is referenced often or very often by 42.6% of respondents. Editorial Web sites and trade magazines are referenced often or very often by 40.7% of respondents.
  • Paid analyst research, catalogs and buyer's guides are referenced often or very often by only 24.75% of respondents, on average.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Asian IT management and staff spend the most time consuming or participating in social media - 4.45 hours per week.
  • More than half of survey respondents noted a modest to substantial increase in IT purchasing budgets for 2007.

To read the complete executive summary, gain access to the report and view graphics, please visit here.

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