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TMCNet:  Research: BtoB Tech Users Lead the Way in All Things Digital

[December 19, 2012]

Research: BtoB Tech Users Lead the Way in All Things Digital

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. --(Business Wire)--

Business and IT professionals are taking to social, mobile, and video in a big way in the United States. They also have several favorite sources of information on tech products. These are some of the findings in an IDG Research Services survey of more than 2, 200 visitors to IDG media sites such as CIO, Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World (News - Alert), and PCWorld.

Tech savvy BtoB tech buyers, across multiple segments from healthcare to finance and manufacturing to government, are key indicators for marketers as they plan to reach a broader business audience. More than 40% said tech marketers' presence on the social web positively influenced their satisfaction with the company (45%), likelihood to purchase (43%), and willingness to recommend a company (43%). As to what tech buyers look for in social sites, more than 50% seek information about product offerings/directions, wish to see product reviews/rankings, and would like tech marketers to respond to customer questions.

Massive Mobile Use

Use of mobile devices is pervasive. Seventy-five percent of BtoB tech buyers own/regularly use at least two or more mobile devices (smartphones and tablets topping the list). The vast majority use the devices for everything from email to apps, and content consumption, including multimedia. Tablets topped smartphones in every application usage category.

BtoB tech buyers are doing more than collecting information with their mobile device. Forty-one percent purchased a product in a six month period after seeing an ad on their mobile device and 40% looked for a product in a retail store. Again, tablets led smartphones for this question in the BtoB survey conducted last summer.

Lights, Camera, Action

For 95% of BtoB tech buyers, the web is a constant source of tech-related videos: 82% of the respondents post, forward, and/or share such videos. This level of active engagement is illustrated by the actions BtoB tech buyers are taking as a result of watching a tech-related video. Almost half purchased a product, nearly three-quarters researched an item, and approximately half visited a vendor site, contacted a vendor for more information, or looked for a product in a retail store.

Grazing for Information

For these BtoB tech buyers, the reliance on digital media is a given, but they seek multiple sources. Ninety-two percent rely on technology web sites, 60% tech vendor web sites, and 58% tech-related print publications. In addition, tech marketers cannot ignore the growing influence of the social web. In fact almost a third of the survey respondents turned to the social web in their search for information, a figure that has shown continued growth each year.

While search is an important tool for discovery, when choosing what to read on the web, 88% of buyers say they are more likely to click on a link from a familiar and trusted source as they strongly prefer unbiased product test/reviews/opinions (93%) and relevant content (86%). Asked what content they will register for, the top items were newsletter (56%), mobile apps (49%), and white papers (46%). Again, trust in the source of the information drives more engagement.

"The survey findings show that while tech buyers may be early adopters, they're good indicators for what marketers should prepare for with the rest of the user population," said Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Global Solutions. "A 2013 digital marketing program without consideration of mobile usage and social interaction will miss a growing prospect base."

About International Data Group (IDG)

International Data Group (IDG) is the world's leading technology media, events and research company. Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, IDG products and services reach an audience of more than 280 million technology buyers in 97 countries.

IDG Communications' global media brands include ChannelWorld®, CIO®, CSO®, Computerworld®, GamePro®, InfoWorld®, Macworld®, Network World®, PCWorld® and TechWorld®. IDG's media network features 460 websites, 200 mobile sites and apps and 200 print titles spanning business technology, consumer technology, digital entertainment, and video games worldwide. The IDG TechNetwork represents more than 500 independent websites in an ad network and exchange complementary to IDG's media brands.

With expertise in branding, lead generation, and social media marketing, IDG marketing services programs are strategically designed and implemented to influence technology vendor prospects worldwide.

A recognized leader in conference and exhibition management, IDG produces more than 700 globally branded technology and entertainment conferences and events in 55 countries.

International Data Corporation (IDC (News - Alert)), a subsidiary of IDG, has more than 1,000 analysts who provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in more than 110 countries.

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at

Trademarks and registered trademarks are owned by International Data Group, Inc. All product and company names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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