Profiling the International Technology Buyer for more Effective Media Planning

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1 Profiling the International Technology Buyer for more Effective Media Planning A TechTarget Global Marketer Services Report July 2012

2 Survey goals Key Goal: - Put some common assumptions about International marketing to the test Particularly in these areas: - Specialists vs. Generalists - Buying teams - IT managers role in online research - Advancement of online research - How do IT decision makers want to communicate with us - What can you get away with in terms of translation - How is social media working for B2B 2

3 Who took the survey? Fielded March April 2012 Conducted online through web-based form Surveyed more than 1,850 IT buyers for insights and tips that might make marketing easier and more cost efficient - Same survey questions to IT buyers in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Benelux, ANZ, India, ASEAN, China, Japan & LATAM to look for differences and similarities - Surveys done in appropriate language with statistically significant number of responses (min. 140 per country) - Roughly 50% <500 employees; 50% >500 employees - Variety of job titles, roughly 30% IT manager+ 3

4 Specialists are the marketing target you should be planning for In most countries, a plurality of IT targets call themselves specialists - Across tech specialists and project-to-project specialists - Japan lowest at 33% specialist - IT generalist sits at about 1/3 of target IT managers (11 26%) deserve separate effort - ITMgr proportion of buying team decreases at larger co At larger companies, specialist jumps to 60% How would you describe your role? Tech/Serial Specalist Generalist IT Manager LATAM 62% 21% 17% Benelux 50% 32% 18% Italy 54% 21% 25% UK 52% 31% 17% France 49% 29% 22% Germany 38% 43% 19% ANZ 48% 38% 14% India 52% 37% 11% ASEAN 50% 38% 12% China 41% 37% 23% Japan 33% 41% 26% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 4

5 Specialist considerations as you set your strategy Content considerations - For mature categories, assume your targets have a sophisticated knowledge of features and competitors look for segmentation opportunities - Don t shy from deeper technical problems as prospects are likely looking for content focused on it - SMB targets are more generalists, with less experience and will want appropriate content Does this change things for your VAR enablement strategy? Larger company marketing - Assume they are sophisticated on the tech front - For serial specialist getting up to speed, need full chain of content IT Manager deserves a separate stream of marketing focused on cost-savings and business benefit 5

6 Single buyer scenario is rare, especially at large companies <35% in any country say buying team of 1 is standard - Less than 7% of companies >500 employees say there is a single buyer (except France and China) 55 75% say most common scenario is 2 4 person buying team (Benelux, UK, Japan trend larger) 30% of >500 employee companies report a typical 5+ buying team size % with single buyer scenario >500 employees All LATAM Japan China India ASEAN ANZ Germany France Benelux Italy UK 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 6

7 Larger buying team has implications for the way you market More potential contacts and ways to penetrate an account, but everyone has a unique area of interest - App manager, storage admin, project mgr, IT Director may all work on project, but each will approach from their unique perspective Reps and marketing team follow-up has to know how to take good first step with different roles - Is the first to a lead targeted to a role or content downloaded? - Can your reps/marketers speak the unique language of the person who has downloaded the content? Finding as many contacts as possible is key - Any contact you DON T know is an opportunity for another vendor to set tone for buying process 7

8 Does the IT manager handle the web research? At small companies, IT mgr takes early stage research burden - 53% IT mgr+ from companies <250 employees conduct awareness stage research alone >250 employees, IT Mgrs farm out early (52%) and late stage (32%) research to team Late stage research everyone is involved Which most accurately describes your research pattern? IT Mgrs >250 emp Early web research assign to team Early web research do it myself Late stage web research team Late stage web research do it myself Rarely do web research IT Mgr <250 emp 0% 40% 80% 8

9 Obviously, your reps want to talk to the IT Director/Manager, but Marketing efforts solely focused on IT manager and above miss the point at larger organizations - Exaggerated, but directionally correct, 60% of companies >250 employees, IT mgr won t show up in online demand gen programs IT manager-only lead gen campaigns may be most effective for smaller business target Need to change marketing and sales targets processes to identify, incorporate and cultivate the broader buying team Online programs are part of the marketing cycle, not where it will end. You will need to work to get to full buying team (including the manager), but don t ignore the first open door. 9

10 IT researchers are juggling multiple purchases; you re competing for their attention Across the region, a majority are multi-tasking, researching more than one potential purchase each quarter - About 10% have 5+ projects - Little variance by company size or change year to year Importance of marketing at the point of research and aligning with editorial content to influence buyers as they are doing research 2+ projects per qtr LATAM China Japan ASEAN India ANZ Benelux Germany France Italy UK 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 10

11 Plenty of ways to influence and assist the busy IT researcher Capitalize on the ability to be a one-stop shop - Those with broad product portfolios can try to address multiple concerns Lots of cross-sell opportunities IT departments generally prefer to manage fewer vendor relationships Respect the researcher s time - Make content readily available and easy to access - Hold their attention; nurture with links to additional content - Take an on-demand vs. live approach to webcasts, virtual trade shows and other multimedia 11

12 F2F events and print are declining in importance as a place for research Across the board shifts away from print, events - Europe sees biggest shift away from events Trend mirrored on the increased use question - % of buyers increasing online research is double that of group increasing use of F2F or print - France has biggest online increase of 47%, followed by China at 42% LATAM Over last 2 years, where have you spent less time in purchasing research? Japan China ASEAN India ANZ Benelux Germany France Italy UK Print F2F Events Independent Sites 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 12

13 While vendor interactions are moving online, in some markets human contact still matters Push towards spending more time on vendor websites Face to face remains important in China - China-45% more time faceto-face with vendors Much less in others - Australia-33% spending less time in vendor meetings - Japan/UK moving away from direct vendor content and more online LATAM Where are you spending more time in terms of buying research? Japan China ASEAN India ANZ Benelux Germany France Italy UK Visit vendor sites F2F w/ vendors Phone w/ vendors w/ vendors 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 13

14 Outbound calls need to be timed just right Most frown upon early-stage phone calls Phone receptivity peaks during the shortlisting process - Phone strategy should focus on contacting leads after there has been some downstage indicators - When asked when are you open to receiving a phone call, less than 40% would take a call at all Benelux least receptive to ever getting a phone - Less than 20% would take a call during any stage of the buying process LATAM Japan China ASEAN India ANZ Benelux Germany France Italy UK Initial research Shortlisting Final decision stage 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 14

15 Receptivity to early stage phone calls is on the decline In nearly all markets, IT buyers are becoming increasingly reluctant to receiving early stage calls from IT vendors % change Benelux 27% 38% -11% France 30% 53% -76% Germany 18% 54% -66% Italy 29% 33% -12% UK 20% 41% -51% ANZ 27% 38% -11% India 38% 49% -11% ASEAN 42% 41% +1% China 53% 55% -2% Japan 34% 54% -20% LATAM 33% N/A N/A 15

16 How effective is a cold call with a content offering? Across all markets, about half got a call offering content - Roughly 50% 75% accepted the content, if it s interesting even if they had no plan to make a purchase - Germans (35%) most apt to take the content just to end the call Be skeptical of the info collected - Less than 20% provide accurate info - French/Aussies most apt not to tell truth How accurate would the information you share about your company and purchasing plans be? LATAM Japan China ASEAN India ANZ Benelux Germany France Italy UK Would say anything to end the call Somewhat accurate Completely accurate 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 16

17 Hit users at the right time, with the right message, through the right channel Avoid cold calling to early-stage prospects - Most find it a nuisance and the information you should be skeptical of the information you gather Nurture prospects using the same channel where you initially engaged them - online leads with additional content; raise familiarity with your offerings and move them downstream Look for activity cues on when it s a good time to call - There s a small window of time when calls are most likely to be welcomed - Rely on internal CRM systems and publishers to establish these cues and have more engaged conversations with prospects - Ensure your reps/isrs are Web savvy 17

18 Local vs..com websites: Which to IT researchers prefer? Even accounting for language preference, within the majority of countries more than half of IT pros put global best practices as what they look for most in a site Most think having a local voice on a website is nice to have, but not essential Japan & China are the exception Which of the following web sites/content do you prefer when conducting research for purchase? LATAM Japan China ASEAN India ANZ Benelux Germany France Italy UK Local content 27% 30% 24% 41% 33% 44% 42% 43% 41% 62% Global best practices 78% 73% 70% 76% 59% 67% 56% 58% 57% 59% 38% 22% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 18

19 What do the global/local results mean for your marketing? Technology problems are rarely geo-specific - Buyers want to stay up to speed on what is going on globally We think it says something positive about our approach of global best practices content with local online sites combination For your content, keep in mind: - Users first want to know what you are doing that is global and best - Don t diminish the value of local content, just size the investment appropriately because it is typically the hardest to source, produce and approve - Prioritize what you want to be local 19

20 More variety exists than you would expect in preferred content types Despite taboos around comparison, content users that ranked this highly in across all countries Case studies proved most popular with India & China Trial software has grown in popularity LATAM Japan China ASEAN Benelux Germany France Rank value of the these content resources when visiting an IT site for research (% rating asset as most valuable) Case Studies Trial Software White Papers India ANZ Italy UK Product Literature Tech Solution Comparison 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 20

21 What insight do content preferences provide for your marketing plan? Invest in comparison content - Produce your own comparison content buyers know it is biased, but not enough content like it exists. Align with sites that offer deep, technical best-practices oriented material - It s among the two top types of content that researchers look for Make trials easier people want them Make the most of the case studies you have - Tend to work well as a secondary asset - Preference for local over vertical especially in China/Japan speaking places where little of that content is produced 21

22 English can be a starting point for European countries A significant percentage of users do feel with technical white papers in English and can be a foundation for baseline efforts: - Benelux Very/somewhat 92% - France Very/somewhat 84% - Germany Very/somewhat 71% - Italy Very/somewhat 86% - Best if on your most technical/essential information - Comfort level slightly declines with more engaging media types You do miss a significant portion of the audience without the local language component - For our European campaigns, 60%-80% of our French, German, Italian campaigns come from local language campaign *97% of respondents from LATAM noted they were very/somewhat reading white papers in English, however, the survey was fielded in English to this particular region which may skew results. 22

23 In non-english speaking countries, comfort with English content decreases with rich media Benelux comfort with English? France comfort with English? Very Somewhat Not Very Somewhat Not Subtitled videos 68% 22% 10% Subtitled videos 41% 36% 23% Product Lit 59% 28% 13% Product Lit 32% 33% 35% White papers 62% 30% 8% White papers 42% 40% 18% Webcasts 57% 27% 16% Webcasts 35% 27% 50% 23

24 In non-english speaking countries, comfort with English content decreases with rich media Italian comfort with English? German comfort with English? Very Somewhat Not Very Somewhat Not Subtitled videos 43% 45% 12% Subtitled videos 17% 43% 40% Product Lit 33% 49% 18% Product Lit 22% 53% 25% White papers 33% 53% 14% White papers 24% 47% 29% Webcasts 20% 44% 38% Webcasts 14% 36% 50% 24

25 In non-english speaking countries, comfort with English content decreases with rich media LATAM comfort with English? Very Somewhat Not Subtitled videos 73% 21% 6% Product Lit 64% 27% 9% White papers 76% 21% 3% Webcasts 51% 34% 15% 25

26 In non-english speaking countries, comfort with English content decreases with rich media Japan comfort with English? China comfort with English? Very Somewhat Not Very Somewhat Not Subtitled videos 27% 35% 38% Subtitled videos 35% 48% 18% Product Lit 11% 36% 53% Product Lit 26% 40% 34% White papers 7% 29% 60% White papers 27% 43% 30% Webcasts 27% 19% 74% Webcasts 35% 35% 51% 26

27 IT Pros are using social media for research, but not the popular platforms ITDMs seem to be looking to social media for recognized peer expertise and opinion - Most of these options are very niche - Influencer based marketing becomes important LinkedIn is only broad social media platform playing any role and how they are using it is relatively unclear Which social media tools do you use to gather info on potential tech purchases? User communities or forums Industry blogs Q&A sites (ITKE, Quora) LinkedIn Facebook Twitter 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 27

28 What direction can you take in terms of social marketing? Figure out who the influencers are in these niche communities. That is where the peer-to-peer advice giving is happening. - Supply the leaders and the process with relevant content and answers on things you know about 28

29 Final thoughts Realize you are largely talking to a specialized audience and respond to it Aggressively pursue the whole buying team Put even more bets online that is where users are and increasingly will be, including IT managers Simplify your local content approaches and start with the English assets you have Begin movement to Web 2.0 sales and marketing - Put off phone conversations; make more content available; target your follow up and engagement - Wide spectrum of sophistication in the market now (with some clear, old barriers). Changing processes now will start you on the journey 29

30 Questions? 30

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