IT decision-makers tend to rely on news articles and product demos early on in the purchase process, turning to product testing and reviews during the vendor evaluation and selection stage, and ROI and other assessment tools to sell internally and authorize the purchase, according to a survey conducted by IDG Enterprise. The report reveals that decision-makers download an average of 7 informational assets during the purchase process, with enterprise organizations using more assets (8) than SMBs (6).
As expected, the quality of the content is the most important characteristic to decision-makers when they’re searching for tech-related information online. Some 72% cited “reliable/accurate content or information” as being important, with 69% pointing to “straightforward, unbiased coverage” as a top characteristic. Those are clearly the most important, followed by a group of second-tier factors such as “easy-to-understand content” (49%), “a reliable source for aggregated or curated content on specific topics (48%), and “information [that] is relevant to my job/career aspirations” (48%).
But coming across quality content isn’t easy: 8 in 10 respondents called it “somewhat challenging” (45%) or “extremely challenging/very challenging” (36%) to locate enough high-quality, trusted information on major enterprise IT products and services to make an informed purchase decision. The key challenges relate to a lack of independent and unbiased information, along with an overload of hype and buzzwords and a hesitancy to download because of the sales follow-up.
As far as registering to access information, content, events or tools, respondents indicated that the following content forms lead in driving their interest:
- Access to research-based content (54%);
- Access to content that can help them make more informed buying decisions (48%);
- Access to content from respected thought leaders or industry experts (47%); and
- Access to recent, exclusive content they can’t get anywhere else (41%).
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,101 respondents, all of whom are involved in the purchase process for major IT or security products and services. 55% of respondents identify as executive IT. The top-represented industries are high tech (17%), government and non-profit (13%) and manufacturing (12%). Respondents were drawn from the audiences of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World US, plus select IDG brands in the UK and Australia, via sites and email promotions. The margin of error on the survey is +/- 2.95%.