Hyper-Activity: Deciphering what an IT buyer’s digital footprint can reveal

B-to-B Magazine’s recent report, “Outlook 2011: Marketing Priorities & Plans” discusses a revolutionary shift in the way marketers interact with business audiences: When we’re on the internet – whether on Facebook, LinkedIn or an iPad – we leave a digital footprint behind.

This concept of a digital footprint is the reality of consumer day-to-day interactions on the web. Think about all that you do on the internet – How many actions do you take on the web per day? How many messages are you exposed to seeing while you’re surfing from your desk or smartphone? And exactly what does your digital footprint say about you as an individual?

IT buyers are no exception to this shift. In fact, a recent study profiles use of the web by IT researchers as hyper-active, or in overdrive, due to their need to address pressing business issues. As they are researching and seeking out IT solutions online, their digital footprint can speak volumes about what is pertinent to them at this point in time. Savvy marketers are acknowledging this powerful shift, deciphering digital footprints and taking the opportunity to engage with their most active prospects based on their likes/interests.

When looking to decipher an IT buyer’s digital footprint, keep the 5Ws in mind:

Who is taking action? Observe the types of individuals researching (i.e.) titles, company size. This uncovers who’s truly involved in the purchase decision for a solution, and who you can be catering your marketing message to.

What are they interacting with? Keep an eye out for trends in topics. This can indicate what type of products/solutions IT buyers need or are responsible for.

Where are they engaging information? Some IT buyers may prefer one medium over another. Others may lean more heavily on 3rd party, or peer-to-peer interactions. Be sure to cover off on all forms in order to keep your message present and available at all times.

When are they taking action? Look for the frequency of activity. Increased activity could measure the urgency around the need for a product or solution.

Why are they researching? Pay close attention to problem/issues their research solves. This can be telling of the types of solutions an IT buyer is in the market for.

By taking note of what an IT buyer’s digital footprint says about their current purchase interests, marketers are becoming even more successful at anticipating the buyers needs and providing only the most relevant solutions as a result.

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