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SOCIAL NEWS: IT buyers 'very unlikely' to use social to source suppliers

IT decision-makers are very unlikely to use social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, when creating a list of suppliers, according to new research by CCgroup.

Instead, the survey revealed IT buyers were very likely to use colleague or peer reviews, search engines or consultants as information sources to create a list of potential suppliers. 

Meanwhile, when finally selecting a partner, decision makers were ‘likely to use’ content such as white papers, case studies, user reviews and webinars. But buyers were ‘unlikely to use’ email newsletters, vendor videos, blogs or social media.

The research also revealed that B2B IT marketers are not providing enough of the following content:

  1. Whitepapers
  2. Case studies
  3. Supplier news in trade media
  4. Supplier webinars
  5. Videos on supplier’s website

The research asked 150 UK IT decision-makers who had all made IT investments in the last year about their research, consideration and selection processes and what content and information sources they used.

Will Gardiner, head of business technology at CCgroup, said: “One of the most striking research insights is that, for all the hype around social media, it simply isn’t an influential information source for buyers of IT products and services.

 “That is not to say social is an entirely unproductive marketing activity. Well-run social media programmes boost SEO and provide a way for a business’ audience and influencers to actively engage with a brand should they wish. The fact is though, this research shows that IT decision makers rarely do. Of far more importance is the ability to find practical advice and insight through search engines, peers and consultants, to see third party endorsements of the brand’s reliability and innovative nature and finally, evidence of the company’s successes in the relevant verticals.”