The Social Bridge to the IT Committee
 

The Social Bridge to the IT Committee

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How can IT marketers bridge the gap to better connect with the IT buyers? To answer that, LinkedIn commissioned comScore, Inc., Starcom MediaVest Group, and Mashwork to conduct research among IT decision makers across a diverse range of industries throughout the United States.

The results reveal a significant opportunity for marketers to rethink how they market to this important audience. Social media not only fosters long-term relationships, it also serves short-term business needs through lead generation that provides value for the lead.

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  • B2B buyers are using social and digital to self-diagnose their problems and solutions According to the Marketing Leadership Council (MLC), the average customer had completed more than one-half of the purchase decision-making process prior to engaging a supplier sales rep directly http://www.executiveboard.com/exbd-resources/content/digital-evolution/pdf/Digital-Evolution-in-B2B-Marketing.pdf
  • If you don’t develop a relationship with the buyer early in the process, you risk being on the sidelines. The implications for IT Marketers are a decrease in potential sales, decrease in lead potential, and less exposure to client and prospect projects
  • Opportunity to use these channels to build relationships using first party data at scaleMarketers that only plan for the short term, can turn off ITDMs and jeopardize losing them for the long term
  • In the U.S., $820 billion in IT spending is being influenced by only 15 million decision makers. This scarcity of influential B2B tech buyers means marketers must build long term relationships, you can’t afford not to.Marketers that only plan for the short term can turn off ITDMs and fail to secure a relationship with them.Forrester Research estimated spend in 2013$2,090 Billion Global$820 Billion UScomScorePlanMetrix – Past 6 month involvement in business purchases forASPs/Internet access services/Website hosting servicesEngineering/Architecture design servicesIT technology consulting servicesLAN/WAN/Networking related products & servicesMainframe/Mini/Workstation and related productsOther technology consulting servicesPC softwarePCs/Desktop/LaptopsPDAs/Handheld/Blackberry devicesTelephone/Telecom equipment/Services
  • 43% work outside of IT, in departments such as:FinanceBenefitsSales
  • Valuable and relevant content is the key to fostering long-term relationships with ITDMs, and social media has emerged as a core channel for ITDMs to find and consume this content.LinkedIn partnered with comScore and Mashwork/SMG to conduct research on ITDMs to reveal how social usage in business has evolved and how IT marketers can best use social to become a strategic partner with current and future clients.What are they thinking?Survey379 Tech Decision MakersJune 2013What are they saying?Listening Exercise across the social web200 Senior B2B Tech Purchasers2012What are they doing?LinkedIn Data WarehouseIT Decision MakersMay 2013
  • In 2012 US business usage was 84.5%Q10. How frequently do you visit each of the following social networks for information specific to your work or business?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about [the following networks], as they relate to your role in the IT decision-making process?“Agree” + VISIT AT LEAST MONTHLYBases: Facebook – 279, LinkedIn – 301, Twitter – 188 North American IT and business decision-makers that use social networks at least monthlyGoogle+ not asked in 2012
  • Q5. Which of the following information channels influence your discovery of technologies, products, and solutions to address your business needs? Q6. When you identify or scope business needs for an IT initiative, which of the following information channels influence your decision-making process? Q7. When you craft project plans or formal business requirements for an IT initiative, which of the following information channels influence your decision-making process? Q8. When you select vendors/third party service providers or authorize funding for an IT purchase, which of the following information channels influence your decision-making process? Q9. When you implement or roll out an IT initiative, which of the following information channels influence your decision-making process? Social Channels include any selection of: Private domain or topic-specific professional social networks (e.g. Spiceworks, CIOZone.com, NOT including LinkedIn), Professional social networks (e.g. LinkedIn), Personal social networks (e.g. Facebook) or Microblogs (e.g. Twitter)
  • Q26. Which of the following factors would prevent you from connecting with a potential vendor on any social network?
  • Q32. Had you previously purchased from ?Q30. Before you decided to work with , how many companies made your short list for consideration? - MedianQ33. Was one of the brands you had originally considered?
  • Q26. Which of the following factors would prevent you from connecting with a potential vendor on any social network?
  • IT Committee members have busy, difficult jobs. A vendor who shares and engages them on multiple topics of interest to them, earns more interest and long term opportunities than the vendor who only talks about themselves!Q4. What type of information do you generally seek for each of the phases of IT decision-making that you are involved? Awareness - Discover technologies, products, and solutions to address your business needsScope - Identify or scope business needs for a new IT initiativePlan - Craft project plans and formal business requirements for the new initiativeSelect - Select vendors or third party service providers, authorize funding, and/or approve the purchaseImplement/Roll out - Implement the project, roll out the solution, and/or validate outcome
  • Link to image usedhttp://allthingsd.com/20130604/salesforce-com-makes-its-biggest-acquisition-yet-buys-exacttarget-for-2-5-billion/
  • “Big Data” is the IT topic with the second highest engagement on LinkedIn. This Influencer post was a top 4 Big Data article in JuneIn total15.5k views1,085 inShares182 Likes53 Commentshttp://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130619125316-230929989-is-your-jet-engine-linked-in-connecting-minds-and-machines-to-drive-efficiency
  • traditional lead generation needs to be blended with social's approach to it... earning leads by participating and adding value. we'll help you find the hand raisers!Traditional lead generation: Cold callsBlocking content with lead formsLittle lead scoringBuying leads
  • Q27. To what extent do you trust LinkedIn versus other websites in general?
  • not only is content trusted more when shared on linkedin but ITDMs are more likely to engage with it. this means higher likelihood for broad reach and engagement leading to potential for more consideration
  • Earn trust & credibility with the entire IT Committee by targeting more than IT

The Social Bridge to the IT Committee The Social Bridge to the IT Committee Presentation Transcript

  • The Social Bridge to the IT Committee How trusted content on social media builds relationships with IT buyers Commissioned study conducted by:
  • 2 Through decision making process 60% Buyers are highly informed, savvy, and demanding Source: CEB, “The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing”, 2012 First contact with brand
  • Tech companies risk being on the sidelines if they don’t educate and help TECH COMPANIES 3 Decrease in lead potential Implications Less exposure to client and prospect projects Limiting long-term perception as a trusted partner and thought leader
  • Social media can help bridge the gap and build relationships 4 TECH COMPANIES
  • Why is it so critical to foster long-term relationships?
  • There is a scarcity of influential B2B tech buyers – tech companies can’t afford to alienate them 5X more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one 3 1 comScore PlanMetrix US June 2013 2 Forrester Research 3 TARP Worldwide $820 billion US IT spending2 15million US Tech Decision Makers1 6
  • THE IT COMMITTEE They work cross functionally 43% Work outside of IT They include individual contributors and managers 50% are individual contributors or managers These scarce influencers include more than the IT department and the Executive team Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 7
  • LinkedIn partnered with comScore, Starcom MediaVest Group, and Mashwork to understand today’s B2B IT Committee comScore: Q3 2013 SMG / Mashwork: 2012 LinkedIn data: Q2 2013 8 What are they thinking? 379 IT Committee members What are they saying? 3,000 tech posts from public LinkedIn Groups What are they doing? IT decision makers on LinkedIn
  • Key Findings Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 9 Make the vendor shortlist by fostering long-term relationships, while serving short-term needs via lead generation. The vendor shortlist is more exclusive and critical than you think. Social media is not just for connecting with peers. The IT Committee actively seeks insights & conversations with vendors.
  • The IT Committee actively seeks conversations with vendors on social media 10
  • Nearly all of the IT Committee use social networks Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 11 LinkedIn leads all social platforms 86% 2013 95%95% 2012 85% Use social network monthly for business
  • The reason? Social media – LinkedIn especially – provides them with trust, efficiency, relevance, and access Source: Commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting in 8 countries on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2012 12 Access A Access a broader network 49% Relevance R Relevant context to connect with vendors 37% Efficiency E Quickly find information 40% Trust T Learn from trustworthy peers 58%
  • TERA continues to drive even deeper utilization across the entire IT decision process Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 13 67%56% 58% 49% 61% Implement 70% Select 68% Plan 74% Scope 73% Awareness 79% Influence of social media at each stage of decision making YoY Increase
  • As tech decision makers use social to learn and debate, they’re looking to vendors to participate Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 14 68% Open to connecting with vendors on social Ready to have a conversation with a vendor on social 76%
  • The vendor shortlist is more exclusive and critical than you think 15
  • The IT Committee already have a good idea who they want to work with Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 16 vendors make their short listOnly 3 purchased from a vendor that made the short list92% purchased from a new vendorOnly 1 in 6
  • How do you make the short list if you are a new vendor?
  • Old ways of communicating don’t work and can turn off your audience Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 18 Top 5 reasons the IT Committee doesn’t connect with a vendor on a social network 05 Talk too much about themselves 02 Don’t believe would provide any credible information 04 Don’t believe would provide any info that is relevant to my job 01 Don’t want to receive a lot of marketing materials 03 Not thought leaders in the category Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013
  • Building relationships with the right content is critical to being considered 19
  • AWARENESS SCOPE PLAN SELECT IMPLEMENT The IT Committee are interested in a diverse range of topics – earn more interest with multiple types of content Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 20 Best practices, how-to’s, checklists Prod / solution demo / software trial IT industry news / strategy info Top types of information sought in each stage of IT decision-making process: Diagnostic / assessment tools
  • 3,217 IT Decision Makers engaged with this article on LinkedIn in June "Windows 8 is gold: Release date just days away [link] #ITBW for @computerworld by @richi $MSFT” Junior Decision Maker, Twitter "It's nice to hear that Asian companies are starting to adopt e-learning. [Link] E- learning going mobile in Asia | ZDNet” Senior Decision Maker, LinkedIn Groups 21 Source: commissioned social intelligence research conducted by Mashwork on behalf of Starcom MediaVest Group and LinkedIn, Q1 – Q4 2012 Senior decision makers are 2X more likely to have shared and engaged with product / industry news
  • Senior decision makers were 11.5X more engaged with thought leadership content 22 Source: commissioned social intelligence research conducted by Mashwork on behalf of Starcom MediaVest Group and LinkedIn, Q1 – Q4 2012 1,345 IT Decision Makers engaged with this post on LinkedIn in June
  • 23 Source: commissioned social intelligence research conducted by Mashwork on behalf of Starcom MediaVest Group and LinkedIn, Q1 – Q4 2012 Junior decision makers were 39% more engaged with best practice content "An interesting and insightful article elaborating on the innovative applications of analytics to enhance VAS revenues.... [Link]" Junior Decision Maker, LinkedIn Group
  • Build relationships to make the short list 24
  • Traditional lead generation needs to be blended with social to earn leads 25 Sweet Spot Social Relationships Valuable Content Traditional lead generation
  • Context matters. Credibility and trust drive brand perception and willingness to consider a vendor for the shortlist 45% 46% 47% 32% 33% 31% 23% 23% 21% Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 26 % who trust LinkedIn more than other websites Connecting more efficiently with vendors and relevant companies Talking about my experience with IT vendors Receiving information relevant to my IT decisions LinkedIn Same Other websites
  • The IT Committee are more likely to engage with their vendors on LinkedIn than on other social networks 27Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 Reading a post from their vendor Following their vendor 50% more often than other social networks LINKEDIN IS USED 56% more often than other social networks LINKEDIN IS USED
  • Likelihood of getting a meeting with the IT Committee increases as vendors engage with this audience on LinkedIn 28Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 # of types ways engaged with vendor on LinkedIn before purchase Pre-Purchase Vendor Engagement by # of Types of Engagements on LinkedIn
  • Vendors who interact with the IT Committee at a high rate are more likely to create promoters 29Source: commissioned study conducted by comScore in the US on behalf of LinkedIn, Q3 2013 Types of Engagement on LinkedIn Prior To Purchase Vendor Net Promoter Score 39 NONE 58 1 TYPE 62 2+ TYPES
  • Engage the IT Committee everywhere they learn 30 NEWSFEED MOBILE GROUPS INMAIL
  • Earn leads and build relationships with content 31 SLIDESHARE CHANNEL SPONSORED UPDATES SLIDESHARE CONTENT ADS PERSONALIZED INSIGHTS VIA API
  • Key Takeaways for IT Marketers 32 01 02 03 04 Target more than IT functions in your campaigns. Effective content is authentic, valuable, timely, and customized by decision stage and seniority. Start earning leads via social in addition to buying leads (traditional lead gen). Focus on building relationships to get you on the short list. Begin tracking how often and for what clients you make the short list. 05