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Text100-B2B-Tech-Buying-Decisions-May2014There are 7 executives typically involved in technology buying decisions in the US, according to results from a Text100 survey [download page] conducted with 1,900 respondents in 8 countries – USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, India and China. Across all 8 countries, the average number of executives involved in a tech buying decision was 6; the US was found to not be slightly above that average, but to also have a greater number of managing directors, CEOs and business owners involved. Overall, though, half of the executives involved in tech buying decisions across the 8 markets do not hold technical roles.

The top reasons given by respondents for purchasing a new technology solution were: business requirement (57%); potential cost saving (54%); and improved functionality (52%). Other factors such as reduction of overhead and administration (20%), consumerization of IT (19%) and merger and acquisition (16%) appear less influential.

There were some interesting results when it came to the most commonly-used information sources. Across each of 3 purchase stages (awareness, intent, and action), buyers are most likely to turn to IT supplier websites for information, followed by colleagues and peers. Specialty IT magazines are popular information sources during the Awareness stage, but lose their luster during the Intent and Action stages in favor of internet searches, consultants and analyst reports.

Despite signs that B2B buyers want different types of content at various stages of the purchase cycle, technology buyers responding to the survey named the same top 5 influential information sources during each stage. These were:

  • 1: Colleagues/Peers;
  • 2: Pro-active internet search;
  • 3. Consultants;
  • 4. IT supplier websites; and
  • 5. Analyst reports.

A new MarketingCharts Debrief, “Reaching and Influencing B2B Buyers and Decision-Makers” [download page] contains more data concerning the influence of various pieces of content through the B2B buyer’s purchase cycle, along with a detailed analysis of who typical American B2B buyers are, and how they can be reached through targeted media buys.

As the Debrief finds with respect to American B2B buyers, the Text100 report shows that technology buyers across the 8 markets analyzed are active social media users. Respondents to the Text100 survey indicated that online forums such as Quora and LinkedIn are the most influential social media source during each stage of the purchase journey, while Twitter is the least leveraged.

Technology buyers also tend to share feedback on social networks. Among those with that tendency, respondents are more likely to post positive and negative experiences on forums such as LinkedIn than to blog or tweet about it. For a positive experience, though, they’re most likely to write a positive review on a website, while for a negative experience, they’re most likely to tell colleagues and people in their industry.

Other Findings:

  • Technology buyers seek the same types of information throughout the buying process, most commonly cost/running costs, followed by technical, product and service details.
  • 85% of respondents believe they’re spending the same or more time researching technology decisions than they were 2 years ago, and 87% feel that they’re consuming the same or a larger volume of content.

About the Data: The findings are based on online interviews conducted in late November 2013 with 1,902 respondents across eight locations: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Spain, UK and USA. The participating companies had more than 50 employees. Participating individuals were drawn from a range of decision-making roles including (but not limited to): CEOs, CIOs, IT Directors, and Project Managers.

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