Tech Buyers May Not Be Who You Think They Are

November 7, 2013

Picture the type of person who buys IT for their company.  What do you see?

Are they spending their days developing computer networks and maintaining security?  Does their LinkedIn profile include skills like MIS, Hadoop, cloud computing and technical project management? Is anyone non-technical?

If you picture nothing but IT professionals, then you are not seeing the whole picture.  More importantly, if IT is the only type of professional you are targeting, you are not building relationships with everyone that owns or influences IT purchasing.

We recently sought out, in partnership with comScore, Starcom MediaVest Group, and MashWork, to understand who these professionals influencing IT purchasing were and how they were influenced. The reality is that B2B technology purchasing is a process that includes an entire committee along the way.  While the journey certainly isn’t linear and can differ based on the complexity of the solution, the typical path starts with discovering and generating awareness of products and solutions.  This leads to scoping business needs and project planning.  Finally, the purchaser is ready to select a vendor and implement the technology.  Throughout the journey, the influence of social media is high.

ITChart_Resized

Because of the various needs required at each stage, different roles become actively involved.  In fact  we saw that 45% of the people that influence tech purchases work outside of their IT group in departments like:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Facilities

As marketers, we must think holistically about all of the decision makers that can impact a tech purchase so that we are helping all stakeholders see our value and building advocates for our brands.

As you look beyond the US, it’s even more critical to engage members outside of IT, as demonstrated in the map below.ITCommitteeGlobalMap

 

If you want to reach the IT Committee in places like Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore, the vast majority of influencers don’t work in IT.

If your marketing strategy calls for targeting B2B tech buyers, be sure to think about all of the functions that impact an IT purchase and prioritize who is most critical to know your brand.  Once you’ve set priorities, you will need to align your content to these distinct audiences to deliver messaging and content that is relevant to their role.  Marketers who are not reaching the broader IT Committee are missing out on an important and influential audience.

For more information on who the IT Committee are and what they want, you can download the full report at lnkd.in/IT-Committee

If you’d like to know more about targeting the IT Committee on LinkedIn, contact us at marketing.linkedin.com/contact

Source:  Commissioned study conducted by comScore in 10 countries (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Australia) on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013

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