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Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Social Media
Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Social Media
Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Social Media
Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Social Media
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Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Social Media

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Vanson Bourne research into social media in B2B tech marketing and purchasing.

Vanson Bourne research into social media in B2B tech marketing and purchasing.

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  • 1. Research Insight: Social Media: the key to buyer engagement? Intelligent Market Research
  • 2. 2 Social media: the key to buyer engagement? Faced with the 24/7 internet’s barrage of disruptive communications, technology buyers need to filter a plethora of branded communications, product ratings, testimonials and user sentiment before making their choice. But executives can find it difficult to extract genuine insight that supports their decision making from that information flood. For their part, technology vendors are trying to engage prospects individually, mixing communications, content, and endorsements via corporate and social media networks, to deliver valuable information to purchasers. To understand new-style brand communications in the Facebook age, we examined 300 UK purchasers’ opinions of the buying cycle while our companion business-to-business marketers survey gauged 59 technology vendors’ views on their brand communications challenge. Brand engagement is becoming more complex and fluid as social media rewrites marketers’ assumptions. BRAND And given how social networks blur the lines between data, research, sentiment and insight, marketers accept the need to outsource some of their research and analytics workload. In the confusion of corporate noise and distinct from the easy-to-win ‘likes’, true referrals are a guiding beacon for purchasers and marketers alike. Social media is disrupting marketing – but is it a trusted information source alongside other branded communications? And what focus should vendors put on it? Find out more: Read our blog "Social media and technology marketers - friends or foes?" Social media is on the rise Purchasers once relied on exhibitions, forums and analyst briefings to keep ahead. They now embrace the online world – attracted by 300 UK IT purchasers interviewed 59 Technology Vendor Marketers interviewed social networks’ immediacy and range - to interact better with key contacts and save time spent at face-to-face events. Online is transforming B2B marketers’ approach too; our survey identified a social media “Big Three”: LinkedIn being the most popular, just ahead of Twitter and YouTube with even the consumer-facing Facebook being used by a majority. Find out more: Kevin Withnall and Graham Opie, Directors at Vanson Bourne discuss the headline findings of the surveys. Social media can help purchasers optimise their time. Buyers’ top tips to vendors on making their information more accessible include: “make content easier to find”, “have more frequent online events” and “make more content available via social media”. Find out more: For a headline view of the trends "The Rise of Social Media" Infographic "Social Media: 3 Years On" Infographic looks at the figures in more detail
  • 3. 3 Bosses ‘get’ social media Brand & research anarchy? Our research identifies changing information-gathering dynamics Social media is complicating vendors’ engagement amongst buying teams. But what role does social media play? with buyers and its measurement. Responses show three discrete purchasing unit roles: solution Responding to how buyers mix different information ‘influencers’; ‘recommenders’/’short listers’ ; and the ‘decision-makers’. sources, vendor marketers must now fund, implement and evaluate an array of communication activities, led Surprisingly, decision-makers find a range of offline and online (purely in terms of share of budget) by event marketing information sources - media, events, vendor information, analysts, blogs followed by content marketing, PR, advertising, digital media, and social media - more useful than the other two roles do. e-mail, SEO, customer insight, social media/analytics, direct mail, online advertising and mobile apps. Decision-makers outstrip purchasing colleagues in connecting to bloggers, analysts, and media on social platforms and share more information socially than those colleagues too. Vendors need to engage purchasers through an ever-multiplying number of channels and this complicates their research and customer insight tasks, not least managing the torrent of information arising from them. Marketers acknowledge both a lack of analytical skills and, in But how useful is socially-derived information? Purchasing decision-makers are probably better at filtering information but colleagues doing the ‘legwork’ of validating suppliers may treat new many cases, the budget successfully to outsource. Directions in Tech Marketing information channels with no more enthusiasm than existing ones. Find out more: Download our recent Research Report: Directions in Tech Marketing And marketing professionals strike a more downbeat note, admitting that they struggle to measure social networks’ value. Intelligent Market Research Despite bosses’ enthusiasm for “social matters”, how useful are these information sources? Are senior purchasing decision-makers simply better filterers of information than colleagues focused on contracts and compliance? Next generation research and evaluation? Find out more: Watch our video discussion on the importance of social media to decision makers and the challenges social media presents to technology vendors. But is the technology market adequately assessing social media’s value? Buyers already find blogs as useful as exhibitions and rate Twitter ahead of analyst events, hinting at their ability to exploit multiple information sources. Vendors need to be at least as au fait. The growing influence of social conversations is forcing technology marketers to rethink their research and customer insight operations - but can they turn data from these sources into genuine insights and personalised content? Individual buyers’ ease in using social networks means that vendors need to keep improving their understanding of how their targets engage in this way.
  • 4. 4 Social media trusted information To take the first step, download our latest White Paper 'Things to take into consideration when choosing a Market Research company' for lots of tips and advice. Technology purchasers are using multiple information channels, increasingly including social networks, to build their product, supplier and industry knowledge while optimising the work time available to them. And technology vendors need to personalise their delivery of information to ensure closer customer engagement. They will need to regularly review both their research and insight processes and how they manage them. white paper Find out more: Watch our video discussion on the use of social media in market research. Things to take into consideration when choosing a Market Research company Market Research; What is it? What’s it for? What do you do with it and how do you do it? Which agency should I use? 1-2 3 4-6 7-10 MR: What is it? The clue is in the name. This is an examination or questioning of a defined market, which is usually carried out by asking carefully-constructed and replicable questions of a representative sub-set of that market (rather than everyone because that would be a census which would be very expensive, take too long and is unnecessary) which gives us a perspective on the current, past or future behaviour of the whole market. It tests the whole market by researching the responses, attitudes, understanding, of this ‘sample’ group. That’s market research. 01 | Vanson Bourne - Things to take into consideration when choosing a Market Research company ru dis This means that, in today’s internet of ideas Download Now n source for buyers and as a channel for marketers. tio Social media has come of age as an information p Understanding disruption (however grounded in fact those ideas are), mindsets around marketing communications are being overturned. As are the perceptions of what constitutes market research, analytics and customer insight. Next-stage questions will therefore include: • How to understand brand engagement needs in a ‘disrupted’ marketplace • How to improve your understanding of buyers • How to deliver optimal information • How to measure ever-evolving communication platforms’ effectiveness? Intelligent Market Research

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