The Future of Media Consumption: What Tech Buyers Expect in 2024 and Beyond   

Shalen Lowell

Senior Content Marketing Manager

2024 – Year of autonomy product feature differentiation and skepticism
TechTarget & Enterprise Strategy Group 2024 Media Consumption Study | Worldwide

For B2B marketers to effectively engage tech buyers, they must have a clear understanding of the type of media tech buyers prioritize when evaluating their purchasing options, as well as where these buyers source information throughout their purchasing journey. That’s why each year, TechTarget and Enterprise Strategy Group runs a study of 600+ global technology buyers, so you can integrate their media preferences and our takeaways into your marketing strategy.

In this post, we spotlight six essential takeaways from our 2024 Media Consumption Study about today’s tech buying journey, paired with actionable recommendations that will help you align your content engine to buyers’ preferences, all to better engage your current customers and attract new prospects.

First, we know from previous Media Consumption studies that buyers are conducting a vast amount of their research in a self-service, digital fashion – a trend that has only grown in the last 12 months. A majority of buyers told us that vendor shortlists can be built on digital content alone (#1), as buyers seek out digital sources for research. We recommend prioritizing digital content creation and promotion to align with this need.

However, as marketers look to generative AI (GenAI) to scale their content engine, they should avoid over-reliance. We found that buyers won’t be so easily swayed by GenAI-authored content. Although our study notes a staggering 909% growth in GenAI purchase intent activity year-over-year (#2) (YoY), even with GenAI’s rise, tech buyers prioritize content written by analysts and experts. So, we suggest limiting AI content writing to infographics, news stories and blog posts – all of which are content types buyers care less about being AI-written.

Buyers are spending more time with independent sources of information (#3), and they tell us they rely on expert, technical advice to assist them in making a vendor shortlist (#4) more so than any other content type. In this vein, YoY reliance on analyst content grew 36%. Integrate independent analyst and expert content into your brand’s content marketing strategy to capitalize on buyer engagement with these content types.

65% of buyers want vendors that understand their needs (#5), and their requirements are specific, technical information before making a purchasing decision. Beyond case studies, use case highlights and educational materials on a topic or solution, buyers need detailed information on solution pricing and ROI, and technical specifications around implementation for their organization – and they want all this information to be delivered in your content first so they can conduct their research accordingly and distill their own shortlist before talking to one of your sales representatives. In most, if not all, cases, GenAI-authored content cannot achieve this level of technical content granularity. Prioritize technical content that dials into your product(s) implementation essentials and details solution specifications.

Additionally, vendor loyalty is down YoY, with 83% of tech buyers having added or switched vendors in the past 12-18 months (#6). In light of this trend, gaining trust with prospective buyers and maintaining a strong ongoing relationship with your existing customers – by sharing best practices and tips on your products, staying on top of your brand differentiation, sharing market insights, and adding new features and capabilities your customers want – is paramount.

High-value and expert content is key to reaching tech buyers

Marketers have their work cut out for them to provide tech buyers with the content they need to make critical purchasing decisions. As a marketer, if you’re not meeting buyers’ content needs – with the above trends in mind – you’re likely losing buyers’ attention to your competitors. In order to capture your buyers’ interest, remember that content is king, and successful marketers need a plentiful, comprehensive content pipeline that is tailored to buyers’ current technical pain points and content consumption needs. Use our recommendations to navigate today’s choppy waters and set sail for success in engaging tech buyers.

content marketing, demand generation, IT buyer preferences

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