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IDG-IT-Buyers-and-Content-Consumption-Setp2013During 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.

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