A new study that explores purchasing decisions in the tech sector reveals that traditional methods of outreach are fast losing appeal because of the emergence of a “new breed” of IT buyers.
The Tech Heads 2013 survey, conducted by Octopus Group for its international ION Group network, polled 1,000 CIOs across the UK, the US, Germany and France.
The research found that CIOs want more innovation and passion from tech brands, with 41% considering themselves ‘disruptive’ in their approach to decision-making. This type of buyer, says the report, is more open to a wider range of content from IT suppliers, with IT publications (40%), LinkedIn Groups (28%) and video (23%) all gaining influence with this group over the next 12 months.
Unsurprisingly, the the ‘retro CIO’ is not extinct just yet. When it comes to purchase decision making, events (36%), industry analysts (35%) and tech company sites (34%) are still turned to first, with the first two particularly favoured in the US and France.
Digital channels appear to be growing in importance. A quarter of global CIOs consult social media ahead of a purchasing decision and almost a third (31%) research IT suppliers through LinkedIn, closely followed by Google+ (28%).
However, it is not just media consumption findings that support a different marketing approach. The Tech Heads study reveals, for example, that IT decisions are stretching beyond the traditional realms of the CIO, with almost three quarters of international tech leaders (71%) needing to engage the board when making IT choices, particularly in Germany and the UK.
“It’s a much murkier world,” says ION head Kate Mills. “Tech investment decisions are clearly moving outside the IT department, so marketers need to understand additional influencers, and ensure that tech jargon is avoided at all costs.”
The report also suggests that global CIOs want more relevant content, with 62% asking for better targeted information, particularly in France (68%) and the UK (60%). Use of marketing jargon (38%) and lengthy articles (37%) most frustrate international CIOs, with French IT decision makers having the least patience for articles full of jargon and buzzwords.
“I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the volume of irrelevant content that I come across that fails to meet my requirements as I search for compatible partners to do business with,” said Grant Thornton national director of information systems Greg Swift. “My time is stretched and when it comes to research, I want to know how IT vendors can help me and how they have helped someone like me within minutes, not hours.”
Mills believes the report calls for “new thinking and innovation” on the part of tech marketers. She also pointed to the collision between the CIO and the CMO, noting that “everyone is pretty much an IT decision maker now.”