During the purchase process for major enterprise IT/security products and services, IT decision-makers download an average of 8 informational assets, according to a new study from IDG Enterprise. In fact, when researching a specific major solution, the average decision-maker typically needs to consume 5 pieces of content before being ready to speak with a sales representative. Coming across trusted information proves quite challenging, though, per the study’s respondents.
Asked how challenging they feel it is to locate enough high-quality trusted information on major products and services to make an informed purchase decision with which they’re comfortable, fully 39% of respondents indicated this to be extremely or very challenging, with another 43% finding it somewhat challenging. Just 1 in 5 said it’s not very or not at all challenging to find trusted information.
The top 3 challenges associated with finding the right information are: too much marketing hype/buzzwords; a lack of truly independent unbiased information; and information being too general.
Those results are similar to findings from a NetLine and CMO Council study released earlier this year, in which just 9% of B2B buyers said they trust vendor content.
Perhaps because they have such difficulty finding trusted content, 93% of respondents said they would share a piece of online content (such as an article or white paper) if they found value in it. The most common sharing method is by email (78%), while among social sharing platforms, LinkedIn (28%) is most popular, followed by Twitter (17%), Facebook (16%) and Google+ (12%).
More respondents are engaging with technology vendors on social and/or business networking sites this year (79%) than last (73%), according to the study, with engagement rates higher among heads than non-heads of IT. Respondents are most commonly using social and/or business networking sites to engage with technology vendors by staying on top of industry trends (50%, up from 44%), seeing product reviews and rankings (43%, from 38%), obtaining information and perspective that will help them make decisions (41%, from 35%) and keeping informed about vendors’ offerings (39%, from 33%).
About the Data: IDG Enterprise’s 2013 Customer Engagement survey was conducted online among the audience of six IDG Enterprise brands – CIO, Computerworld, Network World, CSO, InfoWorld and ITworld, as well as three IDG UK Brands – CIO UK, ComputerWorld UK, and TechWorld UK, via pop-up, forum posts, and email invitations. Results are based on 1,138 respondents.