From Hurting to Helping: How Marketers Can Strengthen Relationships with IT Committees

September 4, 2014

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Did you know that nearly 3 out of 5 IT Committee members provide fake information when completing a lead capture form? Even more troubling, those who are in-market for an IT solution are even more likely to provide fake information. “Anxious,” “annoyed,” and “hate” were the common responses when we asked IT Committee members how they felt about filling out lead generation forms for content.

To help modern tech marketers understand how to earn trust and credibility using content marketing, we recently performed a global survey of over 2,300 IT Committee members on LinkedIn. Read on to learn about the key findings from the survey. If you’d like to download the full report now, you can do so here.

Trust and Credibility Must Be Earned

The IT Committee is just like each of us. They hate being bombarded with marketing that is too focused on the tech company’s agenda and not about the IT Committee member’s needs.  The decision to change an IT vendor or buy a new IT product is often complex, and IT Committee members want education without bias to help inform these complex decisions. IT vendors who provide educational value throughout each stage of the decision-making process are more likely to earn trust and, ultimately, the business.

A value-based approach to content should be more than just content about your company, too. IT Committee members care about a lot more than just IT so we must expand our content strategy to include topics that IT Committee members care about like leadership, entrepreneurship, customer experience and social media.

IT-Committee-Education-LinkedIn-Stats

Naturally, we, as tech marketers, want to gate our content to find who’s interested and contact them directly. However, in the process of gathering leads, many marketers are actually hurting relationships by asking for contact information too soon or too often. In fact, 37% of in-market IT Committee members said they were less likely to consider a vendor that gates the first piece of content and 75% said they were less likely to consider a vendor that gates all content.

We clearly saw that an “always-on” strategy with a well-rounded content strategy marrying branding and lead generation content can better support IT Committee members. And, this education throughout the entire purchase funnel makes generating leads more effective as nine out of ten IT Committee members on LinkedIn will be in-market for an IT solution in the next 12 months, and at any given moment only a certain percentage will be in-market for your solution. The great news is that a well-rounded content strategy doesn’t mean tech marketers have to double their content budget. Tech marketers can use broad-based content to engage and build relationships with all prospective buyers, whether they are in-market or not.

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The IT Committee Is Influential and Is Growing Rapidly

It’s important to understand the new IT Committee to ensure your content is relevant and valuable. The cross-functional departments are now a massive influence on the IT department; from marketing, sales, and HR to the finance, operations and facilities departments. To help modern tech marketers reach this group, LinkedIn created a custom IT Committee segment, which contains over 10 million members globally across a variety of departments and seniorities. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about the IT Committee.

  • It is growing 1.25x faster than general LinkedIn member growth
  • 74% of the IT Committee works outside of IT
  • Of the 74% who work outside of IT, 33% are individual contributors or managers, and 58% control at least part of the IT budget

IT Committee Members Lean Heavily on Social Networks to Aid Purchase Decisions

Eighty-five percent of IT Committee members use social media for IT news and information each month. Social networks are often viewed as trusted sources of information that can both inform and validate purchase decisions. The professional context of LinkedIn makes it the most trusted platform for IT-specific news and information.

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For the full report including additional recommendations and insights, download LinkedIn’s guide to Nurturing the IT Lead and learn:

  • Which types of content have the most influence on tech purchases during each phase of the purchase funnel
  • How IT Committee members define expertise, and why you may have more expertise than you think
  • Three employee actions on LinkedIn that are shown to have a positive impact on the IT Committee
  • How many pieces of content the average IT Committee member needs to consume before they are ready to talk to a sales rep

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