The IT buyer’s X-mas list for technology marketers
If you have read any of our recent posts you have seen references to statistics and/or insights from TechTarget’s latest Media Consumption Report, Content essentials for technology buying teams worldwide. The primary premise for this year’s report was to give technology marketers insight into what their prospects’ want, and more importantly what they don’t want, from vendors when conducting researching and making purchase decisions.
So with Christmas quickly approaching, it’s time for technology marketers to uncover and deliver the right “gifts” that their prospects are seeking. Here are the 5 items every tech buyer would want to see under their Christmas tree.
- An independent research process
I have blogged about it before but it bears repeating; after identifying a technology problem, the process of researching potential solutions and vendors is preferred to be done with as little vendor interaction as much. Cold-calling from sales representatives is deemed very ineffective in generating leads and/or understanding the unique needs of each lead. If you still need proof, hear what three senior IT buyers said at our recent Boston ROI Summit.This is obviously where the importance of content marketing comes to play; identifying and educating your prospects with relevant content. While this is preferred among buyers, there are additional requests when it comes to leveraging content to engage them.
- Content for everyone on the buying team
Staff members, managers and senior managers all have a say in the purchase decision and each have different interests when consuming content. When marketers are producing content, different themes and tones should be applied when nurturing leads with various titles.
- In-language content
While most non-English buyers in EMEA and Latin America are accustomed do consuming more content that is presented in English, translating and localizing content will greatly increase the chance of your content being consumed and stand out from your competition. For China and Japan, the only way your content will be “survive” out there, is if it is translated. To learn more, check out this post: “Does your marketing speak the language of IT pros worldwide?”
- Content that can be consumed quickly and easily
Streaming media assets such as webcasts and videos are seen as effective when buyers are in the early and middle stages of the research process. This is also when they are comparing the most vendors to help satisfy their technology needs, so the content needs to be consumed quickly and be conveniently available. That is why buyers prefer webcasts to be on-demand instead of live and less than 30 minutes in length. Videos should be less than 10 minutes in order to ensure consumption amongst buyers. Shorter is better.
- Well-informed sales reps
While content will allow buyers to evaluate vendors and build their short-lists, direct engagement with the sales reps is needed to finalize the decision. However, the dynamics of this first engagement have changed and a consultative approach is preferred. As buyers have conducted their research on each vendor prior this engagement, they expect the sales reps to have done their own homework so that this initial conversation can be as productive and brief as possible. Don’t start the conversation with, “Let me take 5 minutes to describe our company..” the buyer knows about your company or they would not have taken the meeting. Start the conversation with, “I know you have read our white paper on XYZ, so is it safe to say you are looking at how our solution can … If so, I would love to share how a company just like yours successfully implemented our solution and saw incredible results.”
So technology marketers, while you scour the local shopping malls for those last-minute gifts for your friends and family, don’t forget to provide your customers and prospects the items that they are asking for all year-round. If you believe there are additional items that should be featured on this list, please leave a comment.