What IT Buyers Want From Marketers

BY Kathy Crosett
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Marketers in the IT world have big jobs. Technology is changing so rapidly, many of them find it hard to keep their industry knowledge current. On top of that, these marketers have to beat the competition and connect with buyers who find the latest product offerings confusing. Even worse, some of these buyers may question why they need to acquire the latest product upgrade. Do you know what your IT marketers should be doing to promote their products and services?

To sort out what’s happening in the world of IT buying and marketing, Spiceworks recently conducted a survey. The survey questioned buyers about which information sources they use to keep current. Respondents also told researchers what marketing formats will encourage them to buy.

IT pros spend plenty of time online. In fact, 97% rely on online forums and communities to learn about new tech products. They also rely on tech news sites (79%), vendor websites (67%) and conferences/​trade shows (43%). These folks like to go to trade shows for the learning opportunity. Only 19% want to get a hard pitch from a sales rep there.

Marketers who want to really connect should do so by email say 57% of IT buyers. At least 5% of these buyers always respond to email pitches and 25% say they sometimes do. Physical direct mail is also a plus, according to 9% of survey respondents.

As you work with clients on developing their marketing campaigns, remember what drives buyers to respond. Your IT clients can grab attention by promoting a relevant product/​service (77%), listing detailed pricing information (61%), and offering a free product trial (35%).

Your clients might fear that it’s tough to sway an IT buyer from a brand they’ve already invested in. For some categories – servers (75%), virtualization (75%) and networking (72%) – that’s true. Brand loyalty is much lower for other categories – mobile devices (55%), consulting/​outsourcing (52%) and cloud-​based services (47%).

If you’re working with IT clients who are launching new products this year, help them refine their email messages. Encourage them to buy ad space on tech news sites. And, make sure their ad copy contains the details buyers are looking for.