#socialIT

THE
SOCIAL
THIRD:
HOW SOCIAL

MEDIA IS
TRANSFORMING
IT SALES
THE SOCIAL THIRD:

INTRO
Few things have captivated the imagination of communications professionals
more in recent years t...
THE SOCIAL THIRD:

Social Marketing:
Embrace it
The results of this survey are clear: there is today a significant opportu...
2013 awards
Large Consultancy
of the Year & Overall
Consultancy of the
Year

contact details:

Elizabeth Littlewood
Head o...
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The Social Third: How Social Media is Transforming IT Sales

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Few things have captivated the imagination of communications professionals in recent years more than social media. But the journey forward has not been plain sailing, with some skeptics suggesting the medium is often an exercise in vanity characterized by too much broadcast and little meaningful engagement.

For consumer brands social media has proved a valuable route to reaching a broad audience. In the world of B2B marketing, however, where target audiences are considerably smaller and messaging is often more complex, some have suggested the social media is too lightweight or even irrelevant.

To uncover the truth about social media in the B2B space, GolinHarris teamed up with YouGov to complete the report, Social Media: How Social Media is Transforming Sales, which examines the ways in which IT buying decision makers are influenced by this medium. To complete the research for the report, YouGov conducted an online survey of people on both sides of the purchasing spectrum: the marketers from technology companies and the IT buyers they are trying to reach.

Top line findings reveal that any lingering doubt over social media’s importance to B2B marketers should be dismissed. In total, 34% of IT buyers surveyed – the ‘social third’ – have been positively influenced by online interactions with a brand when making a purchasing decision. Moreover, this ‘third’ actually wants to engage with brands online.

In this report, GolinHarris sheds light on how B2B marketers can most effectively engage customers online in order to drive sales.



To access the full report please click here: 131413 The Social Third 04_FINAL

For further information please contact:

Elizabeth Littlewood, Head of Techology, GolinHarris, elittlewood@golinharris.com

Jane Fordham, Director of Marketing, GolinHarris, jfordham@golinharris.com

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Transcript of "The Social Third: How Social Media is Transforming IT Sales"

  1. 1. #socialIT THE SOCIAL THIRD: HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS TRANSFORMING IT SALES
  2. 2. THE SOCIAL THIRD: INTRO Few things have captivated the imagination of communications professionals more in recent years than social media. But it has not been plain sailing. There have been suggestions that social media for some has been a vanity exercise, characterised by too much broadcast, too little meaningful engagement and little strategic foundation. For consumer brands wanting to sell soft drinks or chocolate bars to millions of consumers, social media has provided an invaluable route to a broad audience. But in the world of B2B marketing, where target audiences may number just a few thousand people and messaging is often considered more complex, some have suggested social media is too lightweight, too random, or even irrelevant as a medium. This research report proves that if ever this sentiment held true, then it certainly no longer does. HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS TRANSFORMING IT SALES INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE PURCHASING DECISIONS OF IT BUYERS 34% To dismiss the opportunity to reach those individuals would be to ignore a large proportion of the market. Given that in a relatively short period of time social media communications have become part of the consideration process for one third of buyers, we can safely assume their relevance will only increase. The social third is therefore the group of buyers that marketers should be targeting. About this report: GolinHarris has teamed up with YouGov to explore the ways in which IT buying decision makers are being influenced by social media. YouGov surveyed people online on both sides of the purchasing spectrum: marketers from technology companies and the IT buyers they are trying to reach. negative 73% of IT buyers think it important that B2B brands take a position on relevant issues in the daily news agenda of IT buyers surveyed take up to three months to make their purchasing decisions, yet one third of marketers (34%) end social media campaigns after less than one month 50% Positive 11% Give campaigns a chance: be topical: 31% MEET THE SOCIAL THIRD Any lingering doubt over how important social media is for B2B marketers should be dismissed. In total 34% of IT buyers surveyed – the ‘social third’ of this report - have been positively influenced by online interactions with a brand when making a purchasing decision. KEY FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH 55% neutral Many of the arguments against social media have been made with the assumption that the channel itself is wrong. In reality – and perhaps unsurprisingly - this report reveals that IT buyers are more put-off by poor content and poor tailoring, regardless of what channel it comes through. Similarly, doom-laden prophecies about the ineffectiveness of social media can become self-fulfilling, with brands often cutting off campaigns before they have even had a chance to influence audiences who are open to them. Despite this, of marketers surveyed state that real-time marketing (the rapid creation of written or visual content in response to breaking news) is not important to social media campaigns quarter In truth, a of IT respondents would stop following a brand altogether during a purchasing decision if they are not timely in their insights Be informative: Over two in five (44%) of IT purchasers want IT vendors to act as advisors that proactively offer them information and knowledge 41% of marketers echoed this sentiment, stating that the most appropriate role for their business was to act as an advisor with a focus on opinion, analysis and insight get closer to the customer: Over one third of IT purchasers rate localised content as important to them Despite this 35% of marketers rank creating localised content as unimportant to their social campaigns Only 23% localise all of their content This disconnect is particularly concerning in regions such as Europe, which some global companies treat as one market despite the fact that its citizens speak over thirty languages and live under dramatically differing socio-economic conditions ve : selectivant Be rele ys and nno t ng a nten i 43% th co y no ary s sa necess er n has u purc re than IT nt of mo leva d hem of re y woul t ck he t e la y th eason a rs s ary r hilst ase rim p d, w d urch IT p t is the a bran limite of en of ing t con follow e same stop said th 37% mation r info 39%
  3. 3. THE SOCIAL THIRD: Social Marketing: Embrace it The results of this survey are clear: there is today a significant opportunity for technology brands to use social media and online engagement to positively influence IT decision makers. Moreover, with generations of future decision makers now growing up with social media, it is probable that this trend is still in its infancy. It is vital that IT brands start work now on building a social presence and getting in place the right governance and creative structures to create compelling real-time content. Elizabeth Littlewood, head of technology at GolinHarris: “This report reveals a trend that we hope can spur into action those technology companies still pondering the relevance of social media to their marketing efforts. We also hope it will dismiss scepticism as to whether social media is just a nice to have that is only beneficial for consumer brands. Many business-to-business brands have had social channels up and running for some time, with varying degrees of success. What the report tells us is that investment in developing social channels – including time, resource and content creation efforts – should reflect the role social media is cementing for itself in buyers’ consideration and decision-making process. Ultimately, it’s not just about doing social media; it’s about doing it well.” HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS TRANSFORMING IT SALES Suhela Dighe, Paul de Lara, Head of PR, Europe at Infosys In order to maximise coverage and extend our visibility to a broader base of purchasing decision makers, we launched a RTM programme with GolinHarris UK this year. In PR it is increasingly true there are ‘the quick and the silent’. Responding to a fast moving news agenda not only raises our visibility, it demonstrates to our client that we are able to help them with their most immediate and imminent needs. The programme has generated coverage in more than 10 titles across national, trade and vertical press on topics such as women in IT and the impact of vacation trends on British retailers. Social Media Marketing Director, EMEA, EMC Traditional marketing models are rapidly decreasing in effectiveness while the sales cycle is getting shorter. Our prospects’ research process starts long before any interaction with sales teams. As a consequence, we are ramping up our customer insight and mobile presence, as well as our digital and social marketing execution. We have found that tech professionals like to collaborate on online communities with their peers. Over the past few year our EMC Community Network (ECN) has grown tremendously. Here, customers and partners network, discuss their issues and give troubleshooting advice. The online community also lets members engage directly with subject-matter experts and obtain responsive customer service. Hosting these conversations drives brand loyalty and creates additional revenue for us. Ultimately, It’s important that engagement isn’t driven by EMC alone, but also by the customers and partners we work with. tapping into the social third media presence, it To create a strong social the right strategic is essential to start with that the medium building blocks and understandstories with your sharing is fundamentally about ving moment. Intrinsic to achie audience in the -time. Real-Time in real this is delivering content content M) is the art of creating Marketing (RT instantly and agenda that responds to the news building way. It is a core part of in a meaningful and very easy to presence a strong social media for is GolinHarris’ checklist get wrong. Here : achieving social success 12 MAY BE TIMELY & RELEVANT be people centric be always-on To be truly social you need to have an always-on programme that focuses on your audience’s interests and naturally weaves a brand or product into the conversation This makes the brand look smart and of the moment Make the brand relevant to people’s stories, don’t try to convince them to be a part of the brand’s story CHECK YOUR TONE OF VOICE Establish a brand voice that is relatable to the audience BE HUMAN Give customers information that is informative, useful, or entertaining and remember to relate to your audience as individuals YouGov conducted this research on behalf of GolinHarris London. The total sample size was 105 IT purchasers and 103 marketers whose company have implemented marketing campaigns on social media. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13/09/2013 - 23/09/2013. The survey was carried out online.
  4. 4. 2013 awards Large Consultancy of the Year & Overall Consultancy of the Year contact details: Elizabeth Littlewood Head of Technology GolinHarris M. +44 (0) 787 613 2262 / T. +44 207 067 0671 elittlewood@golinharris.com Jane Fordham Director Marketing & Talent GolinHarris M. +44 (0) 7770 401 436 / T. +44 207 067 0622 jfordham@golinharris.com www.golinharris.co.uk UK Consultancy of the Year

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