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Rethink the Tech Buyer's Journey

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  1. Rethink the Tech Buyer’s Journey 1

  2. Hello! ​ Kelly Kyer ​ Global Lead - Technology Vertical Marketing ​ LinkedIn 2

  3. Housekeeping… 3

  4. Rethink the Tech Buyer’s Journey 1.  The Tech Buying Committee •  Why does it matter •  Why does it exist •  Who is it 2.  Why and how should you use content to reach and unify your buying committee •  Multiple functions •  Common goals 3.  Content is not just about lead generation… •  Think beyond the sale •  Align with your sales and post-sales teams 4

  5. Rethink the Tech Buyer’s Journey 1.  The Tech Buying Committee •  Why does it matter •  Why does it exist •  Who is it 2.  Why and how should you use content to reach and unify your buying committee •  Multiple functions •  Common goals 3.  Content is not just about lead generation… •  Think beyond the sale •  Align with your sales and post-sales teams 5

  6. ​ Why the Tech Committee matters? A huge shift is under way. Boundaries are blurring in many dimensions — not just between IT leaders and their business colleagues... IT strategy and business strategy are no longer separate; they have become inseparable. Source: Accenture Technology Vision 2014; http://www.accenture.com/microsites/ittechnology-trends-2014/Pages/tech-vision-report.aspx 6

  7. The Tech Buying Committee: Then ITDM Marketing Sales Finance Operations HR Multiple titles with: •  Budget •  Purchase authority •  Influence 7

  8. The Tech Buying Committee: Now Marketing Sales Finance Operations ITDM HR Now all possess budget, purchase authority, and influence in tech buying 8

  9. Technology decision making is beyond the senior IT department 61% 30% 78% are individual contributors or managers control part or all of the IT Budget of the Technology buying Committee works outside of IT 9 9 LinkedIn, Nurturing the IT Committee Research 2014: In which department do you work? In which of the following stages of IT decision-making are you currently involved?

  10. 10+ million global LinkedIn members who influence IT decisions across departments and seniorities 10

  11. Growing 1.25x faster than general member growth 11

  12. But, who are they? ​ We surveyed 3,800+ technology decision-makers globally 12

  13. We looked at technology buyers in 2 ways. Hardware Software & Services 13

  14. And we looked at their ENTIRE journey Six Stages of Technology Buying* Vendor Choice Identify Needs Spec/Fund Implement Manage Renew 4-6 months 4-6 months 4-6 months 4-6 months 4-6 months 1-2 months 12 months+ time involved in all stages of buying across hardware and software & services The Buying Cycle: It’s long, but well worth the trip 14 14 Source: Andy Bartels, Forrester, “Understanding Shifting Technology Acquisition Patterns,” February 2014

  15. 4+ functional groups can be involved at each stage. 62% 59% 52% 51% 50% 45% Needs Specs/Funding Vendor Choice Implementation Management Renewal 4+ functions (% among buyers participating in each stage) 15 15

  16. It’s Important because Group size matters Number of Group Members 6 5 On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. 4 3 2 1 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Chance of Purchase 16 ​ SOURCE: CEB/Motista 2013 B2B Brand Survey

  17. It’s Important because Group size matters Number of Group Members 6 5 Which means there’s only a 30-50% chance of purchase 4 3 2 1 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Chance of Purchase 17 ​ SOURCE: CEB/Motista 2013 B2B Brand Survey

  18. So who’s our tech buying committee? IT Engineering Operations Project Management Business Development Finance Purchasing Sales Support 18

  19. The buying committee is a complex group... Hardware Software & Services IT Engineering Operations Prog. and Proj. Mngmnt Finance Bus. Development Support 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 Accounting 3 - Marketing Purchasing Sales Research Consulting/Ext. Consultant - 3 - 3 - 2 - 2 - 3 Very Important Important Extremely Important 1 2 3 Importance to the decision process* ​ * Each function’s’ importance was ranked across four measures: 1) perceived leadership in six stages of buying; 2) likelihood of being cross-functional partner to a leading role; 3) propensity to be a formal decision maker; and 4) perceived influence on vendor opinion among those involved in Vendor Choice. Gartner source: http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt%3Fopen%3D512%26objID%3D202%26mode%3D2%26PageID%3D5553%26ref%3Dwebinar-rss%26resId%3D1871515 19

  20. …in some surprising, often non-technical, functions. Hardware Software & Services IT Engineering Operations Prog. and Proj. Mngmnt Finance Bus. Development Support 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 Accounting 3 - Marketing Purchasing Sales Research Consulting/Ext. Consultant - 3 - 3 - 2 - 2 - 3 Very Important Important Extremely Important 1 2 3 Importance to the decision process* ​ * Each function’s’ importance was ranked across four measures: 1) perceived leadership in six stages of buying; 2) likelihood of being cross-functional partner to a leading role; 3) propensity to be a formal decision maker; and 4) perceived influence on vendor opinion among those involved in Vendor Choice. Gartner source: http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt%3Fopen%3D512%26objID%3D202%26mode%3D2%26PageID%3D5553%26ref%3Dwebinar-rss%26resId%3D1871515 20

  21. Rethink the Tech Buyer’s Journey 1.  The Tech Buying Committee •  Why does it matter •  Why does it exist •  Who is it 2.  Why and how should you use content to reach and unify your buying committee •  Multiple functions •  Common goals 3.  Content is not just about lead generation… •  Think beyond the sale •  Align with your sales and post-sales teams 21

  22. Who’s helping buyers navigate their journey? 8 in 10 Discussed technology solution/vendor with… buyers look outside the buying committee for opinions Professional peers 70% Technology users (e.g., via usage stats, surveys) 51% Colleagues not directly involved in process 45% Thought leaders 22% 86% Friends/family 13% 86% discuss technology solution/vendor with an outside party Others 1% 22 22

  23. Content consumption happens at every stage. ​ 2 to 4 ​ distinct pieces of content at ​ each stage of the purchase journey 23

  24. So, what motivates this diverse group of decision-makers? Top Factors Driving Willingness to Engage with Sales Tier 1 audiences Tier 2 audiences IT Engineering Bus. Dev. Operations Proj. Mgmt. Finance Accounting Purchasing Sales Support Subject Matter Expertise Consultation/Education/Tools User Adoption Business Model Know/Trust Costs/Business Impact Product /Service Bases: N=32-598, recent technology buyers (last 3 months) in key functions In general, how important are the following factors in your willingness to engage with sales professionals and other employees of [technology type] vendors? 24

  25. Top reasons vendors make the short list: Subject Matter Expert-Consultation Features-Functionality Cost-Price-Terms Quality-Reliability References-Trust 25 Bases: Technology decision process participants (last 3 months) in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets who shortlisted a company that is “new” (i.e., their company never worked with it)

  26. ​ The best way to build customer consensus isn’t to do a better job of connecting individual customer stakeholders to the supplier but to more effectively connect customer stakeholders to one another. 26 https://hbr.org/2015/03/making-the-consensus-sale

  27. Earn more interest with a variety of content ​ Top types of information sought in each stage of IT decision-making process Identify Needs Spec/Fund Vendor Choice Implement Manage Renew 1 IT industry news / strategy info 2 Best practices, how-to’s, checklists 3 Product / solution demo / software trial 4 Diagnostic / assessment tools 27

  28. Three types of education Start with content about general industry topics, prioritized for your audience 1 Author or promote expert content on the direction and use of your industry’s products 2 Promote branded user reviews and case studies to drive consideration and selection of your company 3 28

  29. Rethink the Tech Buyer’s Journey 1.  The Tech Buying Committee •  Why does it matter •  Why does it exist •  Who is it 2.  Why and how should you use content to reach and unify your buying committee •  Multiple functions •  Common goals 3.  Content is not just about lead generation… •  Think beyond the sale •  Align with your sales and post-sales teams 29

  30. The technology space is more competitive than ever. Hardware Software & Services 21% 31% (% who shortlisted a “new” vendor) 30

  31. Know when and where content engagement is most critical. Hours spent researching at each stage – Last 3 Months 16 16 Top Resources Used •  Vendor website •  Blogs, forums, boards •  Technology media •  Social Media •  Webinars 7 7 7 7 Needs Specs Vendors Implementing Managing renewing ​ Base: N=583-631 recent technology buyers in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets – participating in each stage 31

  32. Engagement is constant throughout the journey… Engaged Directly with Vendors – Last 3 Months (% among buyers recently participating in each stage) Hardware for End Users 90% Software & Services 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Needs Specs/Funding Vendor Choice Implementation Management Renewal ​ Hardware for End Users n=140-173, Software for End Users n=163-199, Data Center Hardware n=142-162, Data Center Software n=132-167 12 months+ ​ Bases: Technology decision participants (last 3 months) in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets in each market who recently participated in each stage 32

  33. …and there are peak times pre- and post-sale. Engaged Directly with Vendors – Last 3 Months (% among buyers recently participating in each stage) Hardware for End Users 90% Software & Services 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Needs Specs/Funding Vendor Choice Implementation Management Renewal ​ Hardware for End Users n=140-173, Software for End Users n=163-199, Data Center Hardware n=142-162, Data Center Software n=132-167 12 months+ ​ Bases: Technology decision participants (last 3 months) in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets in each market who recently participated in each stage 33

  34. Interactions across all tech buyers Salesperson reached out Attended event…by vendor Spoke/emailed with support Professional peer...referred me 60% I submitted my contact information I reached out to sales 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Vendor Choice Identify Needs Spec/Fund Implement Manage Renew 34

  35. Support, Sales and Peers are the top three sources of interaction at every stage. Salesperson reached out Attended event…by vendor Spoke/emailed with support Professional peer...referred me 60% I submitted my contact information I reached out to sales 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Vendor Choice Identify Needs Spec/Fund Implement Manage Renew 35

  36. Educating throughout the purchase funnel makes generating leads more effective 67% More likely to consider an IT vendor who educates me through each stage of the decision process 36 36 LinkedIn, Nurturing the IT Committee Research 2014: How significant is the role education plays in the following types of decisions undertaken by your organization?

  37. Technology buyers engage intensively throughout the process. Top Relevant Topics Engaged on LlinkedIn, 3 Mos Prior Vendor Choice Identify Needs Spec/Fund Implement Manage Renew cloud computing data center business analysis active directory itil xss pricing hadoop amazon ec2 asp.net computer security vmware solution architecture databases internationalization scalability offshore operations vulnerability automation pci dss business requirements etl vdi sla iam Solr user experience cloud computing agile methodologies data warehousing predictive analytics information security security data integration symmetrix amazon ec2 xss data center vsphere hp-ux scalability hadoop websphere mq sql injection load testing databases cyber warfare emv rational performance tester consulting performance appraisal cloud computing amazon ec2 vmware performance testing sun information security x.509 project management windows 7 data center emv open source software xml scalability eai omniscript jquery microsoft sql server it service management abap test automation jboss application server java enterprise edition mobile computing operating systems db2 outsourcing supplier development data center personnel management cloud computing sun defects computer security websphere mq google technologies open source software mobile payments xss nfc data warehousing performance appraisal future trends cyber warfare business process scalability oa framework hall iso 9000 sql injection it outsourcing healthcare information technology db2 temenos t24 cloud computing business analysis amazon ec2 vmware ad networks mobile payments negotiation project management scalability l-1 vulnerability zfs defects richfaces ios development websphere portal consulting java enterprise edition telemedicine abap swt xss iso 9000 eai junit pim-dm requirements analysis tomcat ide cloud computing vmware websphere mq outsourcing sql injection financial services data center query tree emv sun var scalability eai user research offshore operations infrastructure business analysis virtualization payment gateways databases mobile applications service level agreements app-v esb mobile platforms future trends sqoop 37

  38. But educational content is critical throughout the technology lifecycle. 78% of the Tech Committee require education to sustain or make a change to their ecosystem 38 38 LinkedIn, Nurturing the IT Committee Research 2014: How significant is the role education plays in the following types of decisions undertaken by your organization?

  39. Like (353) Comment (33) 39

  40. 40

  41. Trust + Credibility must be EARNED 41

  42. Rethink the Tech Buyer’s Journey 1.  The Tech Buying Committee •  Why does it matter •  Why does it exist •  Who is it more likely you are to make it to the short list. Broaden your targeting to include more functions. The more people who know about your brand, the 2.  Why and how you should use content to reach and unify your buying committee •  Multiple functions •  Common goals committee. The brands that do this win. Craft content that extols the cross-functional benefits of your products and services. Unify your buying 3.  Content is not just about lead generation… •  Think beyond the sale •  Align with your sales and post-sales teams throughout their entire purchase journey. Make sure your content strategy continues with your customers post-sale – they want to hear from you 42

  43. Want more details? To learn more about the technology buying committee research, download the complete Beneath the Surface eBook. To learn more about how to build and execute a stellar content marketing plan, download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing. 43

  44. Thank you