RESEARCH NEWS: IT decision makers put social communities and search first

Social communities and search engines have become the main information sources for IT decision makers engaged in the purchasing decision processes. This is according to a survey by B2B consultant, Wildfire PR.

The findings suggest that 58 per cent of UK IT decision makers consider social networks and online communities the most useful information source to use when researching an IT business purchase. Search engines were also seen as a useful information source by 50 per cent of respondents. Thirty six per cent preferred online news sources and 32 per cent IT industry press.

Eighteen per cent of the respondents said they are reading fewer IT print publications than they used to do 12 months ago, and another 24 per cent suggested they prefer getting most of their news online. The use of other digital media services is increasingly important, with 16 per cent saying they use more video or podcasts than they did a year ago.

Online news sources still come out on top when it comes to staying up-to-date with IT business news and industry trends, as 64 per cent of the IT decision makers pointed out. Social networks or communities are also popular and are used by 43 per cent, IT industry press by 28 per cent and TV by 23 per cent.

Finally, when enquired about their sources to keep up-to-date with general, non-IT news, IT decision makers appear more likely to use traditional media sources, with 76 per cent indicating online news services and 54 per cent TV.

Commenting on the findings, Debby Penton, managing director at Wildfire PR, said, “In these days of media fragmentation, it is interesting to see newer channels like search and social media are becoming increasingly important at a critical stage in the IT buying cycle. Our research shows that the trend towards peer recommendation is as prevalent in the B2B world as it is for B2C brands. Tech brands who ignore this trend will lag further and further behind their peers, and will fail to get maximum ROI from their PR budget, however big their PR spend.”