The customer Journey

A Guide to Reaching IT Decision-makers through content marketing

The Challenge

The distribution of influence & responsibility
means technology marketers need to target
all levels of the IT organization with messages
tailored to the IT decision-maker (ITDM)
involved at that stage of purchase process.

81%

of ITDMs say it’s
somewhat to very
challenging to find
enough high-quality,
trusted information
to make an informed purchase decision comfortably

66%

of ITDMs say
that lack
of content
matched to their information
needs will decrease
the likelihood
of a purchase

Time-crunched IT executives
feel this pain most acutely

vs. Non-Heads of IT

Heads of IT

40% 33%

report as extremely or very challenging

Top 3 Challenges

54%
51%
42%

Lack of truly independent,
unbiased information
Too much marketing hype
& empty buzzwords
Hesitate to download for fear
of unwanted sales follow-up

Leadership shifts with each
stage of the purchase process

Stage 1

Stag e 2

Stag e 3

Stag e 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Determine the
Business Need

Determine
Technical
Requirements

Evaluate
Products
& Services

Recommend
& Select
Vendors

Sell
Internally

Approve And
Authorize
Purchases

48% CIO/
Executive IT
LOB
44% Management

Consider where ITDMs look, and
how much content they need

3

What Type
of Content
Do They use?

Each stage of the purchase process
requires specific content to engage

CEO

Enterprise

11

Stag e 3

Stag e 4

Determine the
Business Need

Determine
Technical
Requirements

Evaluate
Products
& Services

Recommend
& Select
Vendors

ITDMs’ willingness to share can
make them your brand advocate

2. Search engines
3. White papers
4. Tech content sites
5. Newsletters

2. Search engines
3. Tech content sites
4. Tech vendor sites
5. Tech vendors

2. Search engines
3. Tech content sites
4. Tech vendor sites
5. Tech vendors

2. Tech vendors
3. Search engines
4. Tech content sites
5. Tech vendor sites

2. Tech vendors
3. Analyst firms
4. Tech content sites
5. Search engines

2. Analyst firms
3. Tech vendors
4. White papers
5. Executive events

7

84%

have registered online to receive
content related to a specific enterprise
technology solution in the past 6 months

8 6
vs.

Stag e 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Determine the
Business Need

Determine
Technical
Requirements

Evaluate
Products
& Services

Recommend
& Select
Vendors

Sell
Internally

Approve And
Authorize
Purchases

49%

Technology news
Feature article
on technologies
Case studies

40%

How-to content/
information

44%

38%
37%

Product demo/
product literature

42%

Product testing/
reviews/opinions

42%
41%

Technology news

66%

Product demo/
product literature

63%
49%

Technology news
How-to content/
information

49%
48%

Case studies

Product testing/
reviews/
opinions

45%

Product demo/
product literature

ROI tool,
calculator, other
assessment tool

29%

41%

Product testing/
reviews/opinions

Analyst Research
(IDC, Gartner, Forrester) 36%

Product demo/
product literature

31%
31%

Technology news
Buyer’s guides

ROI tool,
calculator, other
assessment tool

of ITDMs are
willing to share
online content
1

86%
85%

Links found via search
Emails received directly
Online links for articles
in printed publications

83%
Technology content sites
82%
Conferences or events info 81%
Third-party research
79%

88%

2
Email/
forwarding

at each stage

26%

21%

Product demo/
product literature

21%

Top 5 Tactics

How to
Engage
ITDMS

1

3

Timing
5 days

Only 36% say vendors Frequently hit the mark

What Makes a Purchase Less Likely?

say a rep lacking
knowledge makes them
less likely to purchase

Create quality
content by using
insights about IT
leaders and their
tech-savvy LOB
counterparts

37%

Share on
LinkedIn

2

Develop
content that
speaks to key
stakeholders
at each stage
of the purchase
process

71%
3

say contact outside
the ITDM’s desired
time frame

Deliver your
content and
message at
the right time
via preferred
channels

4

54%

Ensure timely
follow-up from
knowledgeable
representatives

Sources: IDG Enterprise Customer Engagement Survey, 2014; IDG Enterprise Role & Influence of the technology decision-maker Survey, 2014

say no
vendor
follow-up

5

Build credibility
and trust with
decision-makers

is considered an optimal
time frame in which to receive
additional related content

Unbiased product
testing/reviews/
opinions
Relevant
content

93%
86%
73%

63% performed additional product research
54% visited a vendor website or contacted vendor
29% added a vendor to their short list
24% purchased a product

18%

51%

say such sites made them
more willing to recommend
a vendor to others

43%

Average time for an
ITDM to be ready for
sales contact after viewing or downloading
technology product or service content

say a knowledgeable
vendor rep makes them
more likely to purchase

Only 25% believe this

83%

2

Discuss in person
or by phone

3.2Weeks

After viewing a Video...

believe use of social/business
networking sites improved
their customer service
experience with a vendor

3

72%

The Power of Video

Analyst research
(IDC, Gartner, Forrester) 19%

executive IT is more likely
to use social/business
networking sites for business
purposes than other IT levels

Why? More ITDMs
are involved.

Established,
trusted brand

51%

of ITDMs use
social/business
networking sites
for business purposes

62%

Knowledge

84%

82%

What are they sharing?

When
do they
want it?

Top
Content

30%

Case studies

Enterprises take 1 month
longer than SMBs to make
purchase decisions.

What Drives Tech
Buyers to Tech Sites?

26%

18%

to technology’s most
powerful audience of
enterprise influencers,
business stakeholders,
solution champions and
final decision-makers.

say networking/
connecting with peers
ranks as a top benefit of
attending face-to-face events

Product testing/
reviews/opinions

Analyst research
(IDC, Gartner, Forrester) 19%
Case studies

Peers

of ITDMs say association with a trusted third party increases credibility of vendor content

93%
1

44%

Product testing/
reviews/
opinions

Top Source:

pieces of content

Stag e 3

IDG Enterprise
connects you

connecting Peers

2 additional

Stag e 2

Feature
article on
technologies

Months

After registering to
access a piece of content,
ITDMs are interested in
receiving an average of

Enterprises
download more
assets than SMBs

Stage 1

happens frequently

6

Sell
Internally

Approve And
Authorize
Purchases
1. Peers

Become an integral part of your
customers’ research process

Pull it all
together

Stage 6

1. Peers

Sharing
Methods

5

Stage 5

Average number of
informational assets
downloaded by ITDMs
during purchase process

6.3

Months

1. Peers

ITDMs devour vendor content
during the selection process

Non-Heads of IT

5

1. Peers

Top 3

The 3 Keys
to Increase
Sales

Heads of IT

1. Peers

Feature article on
trends, strategy,
management

at each stage

CFO

1. Peers

70%

4

5

Stag e 2

Analyst research
(IDC, Gartner, Forrester) 33%

How Do
They Share
& Use Social?

Shorten The
Sales Cycle
By Targeting
High-Level IT

SMB

Stage 1

How Much
content
do ITDMs
want?

The Purchase Process

2

Where Do
they Find
Content?

The Purchase Process

How Many
ITDMs Weigh
in on Major
IT Purchases?

Top ITDMs

61% IT/Networking
68% IT/Networking
50% IT/Networking
50% CIO/
59% CIO/
Staff
Staff
Staff
Executive IT
Executive IT
IT/Networking
IT/Networking
IT/Networking
IT/Networking
48% Management 49% Management 48% Management 43% Management 49% 49%
Decision
TIME FOR MAJOR
PURCHASE

1

Know Your
Target
Customer

The Purchase Process

To succeed, tech marketers must deliver the right content, to the right person, at the right time, in the right format. Here is a roadmap to help guide your efforts.

claim social/business
networking sites increased
their brand loyalty

77%

of ITDMs
report
that association with a
known, familiar source
builds trust

92%

of ITDMs
are more
likely
to click on a link from a
familiar trusted source,
like IDG Enterprise’s
network of tech sites

Trust
Time Spent with
Vendors by IT Team

Familiarity Cuts
Sales Cycles in Half
Current Vendor

3.3 Months

Enterprise

4 months
Prospective Vendor
Enterprise

7 months

SMB

3 months
6.2 Months
SMB

6 months

Current Vendor

4.41
2.54

hours
per week

Prospective Vendor

Partner with a trusted source like
IDG Enterprise and its network of
technology sites and publications

www.idgenterprise.com

hours
per week

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