“IT Buyers Shun Social Media”

“IT Buyers Shun Social Media” :

Arun Sudhaman:

New research suggests that IT buyers continue to shun social media, preferring search engines, personal networks, consultants, trade media and industry analysts when choosing their suppliers.

The study, from CCgroup, polled 150 IT decision-makers in the UK. It found that when researching suppliers, IT buyers were very unlikely to use LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. They were also unlikely to be influenced by national media or industry forums, placing their trust instead in peers & colleagues, search engines and consultants.

Bizarrely confused conclusions here. So, they trust search engines, personal networks, consultants etc — but don’t think to connect that those influencers may get their knowledge from social channels? If it’s vicarious influence, isn’t it just as valuable?

Also, you might expect that some of this audience doesn’t use social in a native sense. But there are no doubt innovative and forward-looking members of the group that do. And if you’re the vendor of something that’s ambitious, disruptive and innovative, aren’t those going to be the low-hanging fruit to convince to your side?

Unless I missed a bit, the conclusions here seem pretty off.

- Max Tatton-Brown

November 28th, 2013

  • Will Gardiner

    Hi Max,

    Thanks for your comments. It’s worth pointing out that the research was specifically examining what the tech buyers *themselves* use.

    So, to your two points:

    1. Yes, influencers – who are clearly more important than many realise – can be readily approached via social media. But this research shows that tech buyers *themselves* will not be likely to use social media. By the way, we’re currently writing a chapter for a B2B Marketing Best Practice Guide that investigates and advises how to best approach influencers.

    2. Completely agree that there is a proportion of this tech-buying audience that will use social – the “innovative and forward-looking members” you mention. After all, Arun’s article quoted our research as saying “very unlikely to use [social]” and not that they categorically never do! And accordingly, we are not saying that social media is defunct – simply that as a direct route to buyers, it is not as effective as, for instance, search.

    There’s plenty of discussion on the findings in the white paper that might make things clearer. It’s available here http://info.ccgrouppr.com/tech-decision-makers

    Will Gardiner

  • http://MaxTB.com Max Tatton-Brown

    Hi Will, thanks for the comment and explaining some of the thinking.

    I think the research has done its job in that we’re talking about it here now and it has got some decent coverage around your launch. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of a report where you use a finding as a hook and then compromise toward more interesting truths as you talk more sense around it.

    But there’s something about putting this as the lead that feels superficial and unsatisfying (maybe just to me.) Maybe it’s that it stops one step short of the more interesting insight that I’ve no doubt the full report fleshes out in more detail.

    Will try to make some time to give it a fuller read, wish you all the best of luck with the new division at CC.