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Live Webcast: Rethink the Tech Buyer's Journey

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The buyer's journey for technology purchases is rapidly evolving and tech marketers must now engage new stakeholders, often in functions outside of the IT department, with relevant content.

Join LinkedIn's Global Technology Marketing Lead, Kelly Kyer, as she dives into insights on the vendor selection process, persona-based content strategies, effective audience targeting and best practices that tech companies have used to achieve success.

Rethink your marketing approach with LinkedIn and help us guide you through the modern technology buying journey.

Published in: Marketing

Live Webcast: Rethink the Tech Buyer's Journey

  1. 1. 1 Rethinkthe Tech Buyer’s Journey
  2. 2. 2 Hello! ​ Kelly Kyer ​ Global Lead - Technology Vertical Marketing ​ LinkedIn
  3. 3. 3 Housekeeping…
  4. 4. 4 Rethinkthe 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. 5. 5 Rethinkthe 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
  6. 6. 6 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. ​ Why the Tech Committee matters? Source: Accenture Technology Vision 2014; http://www.accenture.com/microsites/ittechnology-trends-2014/Pages/tech-vision-report.aspx
  7. 7. 7 ITDM Multiple titles with: •  Budget •  Purchase authority •  Influence OperationsFinanceSalesMarketing HR The Tech Buying Committee: Then
  8. 8. 8 The Tech Buying Committee: Now OperationsFinanceSalesMarketing ITDM HR Now all possess budget, purchase authority, and influence in tech buying
  9. 9. 99 Technology decision making is beyond the senior IT department 78% of the Technology buying Committee works outside of IT 30% 61% are individual contributors or managers control part or all of the IT Budget 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. 10 10+ million global LinkedIn members who influence IT decisions across departments and seniorities
  11. 11. 11 Growing 1.25xfaster than general member growth
  12. 12. 12 ​ We surveyed 3,800+ technology decision-makers globally But, who are they?
  13. 13. 13 Hardware Software & Services We looked at technology buyers in 2 ways.
  14. 14. Six Stages of Technology Buying* Spec/Fund Vendor Choice Implement Manage RenewIdentify Needs 1414 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 Source: Andy Bartels, Forrester, “Understanding Shifting Technology Acquisition Patterns,” February 2014 And we looked at their ENTIRE journey The Buying Cycle: It’s long, but well worth the trip
  15. 15. 45% 52% 59% 51% 62% 50% Needs Specs/Funding Vendor Choice Implementation Management Renewal 1515 4+ functions (% among buyers participating in each stage) 4+ functional groups can be involved at each stage.
  16. 16. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1 2 3 4 5 6 16 On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. ​ SOURCE: CEB/Motista 2013 B2B Brand Survey Number of Group Members Chance of Purchase It’s Important because Group size matters
  17. 17. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1 2 3 4 5 6 Which means there’s only a 30-50% chance of purchase Number of Group Members Chance of Purchase 17 ​ SOURCE: CEB/Motista 2013 B2B Brand Survey It’s Important because Group size matters
  18. 18. So who’s our tech buying committee? Engineering Operations IT Business Development Purchasing Support Sales Finance Project Management 18
  19. 19. IT 1 1 Engineering 1 1 Operations 1 1 Prog. and Proj. Mngmnt 1 2 Finance 1 2 Bus. Development 3 2 Support 2 3 Accounting 3 - Marketing - 2 Purchasing 3 - Sales - 2 Research 3 - Consulting/Ext. Consultant - 3 19 Hardware Software & Services The buying committee is a complex group... ​ * 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 Extremely Important 1 Very Important 2 Important 3Importance to the decision process*
  20. 20. IT 1 1 Engineering 1 1 Operations 1 1 Prog. and Proj. Mngmnt 1 2 Finance 1 2 Bus. Development 3 2 Support 2 3 Accounting 3 - Marketing - 2 Purchasing 3 - Sales - 2 Research 3 - Consulting/Ext. Consultant - 3 20 Hardware Software & Services …in some surprising, often non-technical, functions. ​ * 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 Extremely Important 1 Very Important 2 Important 3Importance to the decision process*
  21. 21. 21 Rethinkthe 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
  22. 22. 2222 Discussed technology solution/vendor with… 1% 13% 22% 45% 51% 70% Others Friends/family Thought leaders Colleagues not directly involved in process Technology users (e.g., via usage stats, surveys) Professional peers Who’s helping buyers navigate their journey? discuss technology solution/vendor with an outside party 86% 86% buyers look outside the buying committee for opinions 8 in 10
  23. 23. ​ 2 to 4 ​ distinct pieces of content at ​ each stage of the purchase journey Content consumption happens at every stage. 23
  24. 24. So, what motivates this diverse group of decision-makers? Proj. Mgmt. Finance Accounting Top Factors Driving Willingness to Engage with Sales IT Engineering Bus. Dev. Operations Purchasing Sales Support 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 Subject Matter Expertise Consultation/Education/Tools Business Model Costs/Business Impact User Adoption Know/Trust Product /Service Tier 1 audiences Tier 2 audiences
  25. 25. 25 Top reasons vendors make the short list: 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) Subject Matter Expert-Consultation Features-Functionality Cost-Price-Terms Quality-Reliability References-Trust
  26. 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. 26https://hbr.org/2015/03/making-the-consensus-sale
  27. 27. 27 ​ Top types of information sought in each stage of IT decision-making process Identify Needs Spec/Fund Vendor Choice Implement Manage Renew IT industry news / strategy info1 Product / solution demo / software trial3 Best practices, how-to’s, checklists2 Earn more interest with a variety of content Diagnostic / assessment tools4
  28. 28. 28 Start with content about general industry topics, prioritized for your audience Author or promote expert content on the direction and use of your industry’s products Promote branded user reviews and case studies to drive consideration and selection of your company 1 3 2 Three types of education
  29. 29. 29 Rethinkthe 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
  30. 30. 30 The technology space is more competitive than ever. 21% Hardware 31% Software & Services (% who shortlisted a “new” vendor)
  31. 31. 31 Hours spent researching at each stage – Last 3 Months Know when and where content engagement is most critical. ​ Base: N=583-631 recent technology buyers in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets – participating in each stage 7 7 16 7 16 7 Needs Specs Vendors Implementing Managing renewing Top Resources Used •  Vendor website •  Blogs, forums, boards •  Technology media •  Social Media •  Webinars
  32. 32. 32 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Needs Specs/Funding Vendor Choice Implementation Management Renewal Hardware for End Users Software & Services Engaged Directly with Vendors – Last 3 Months (% among buyers recently participating in each stage) Engagement is constant throughout the journey… ​ Bases: Technology decision participants (last 3 months) in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets in each market who recently participated in each stage ​ 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+
  33. 33. 33 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Needs Specs/Funding Vendor Choice Implementation Management Renewal Hardware for End Users Software & Services Engaged Directly with Vendors – Last 3 Months (% among buyers recently participating in each stage) …and there are peak times pre- and post-sale. ​ Bases: Technology decision participants (last 3 months) in 11+ person companies across 11 major markets in each market who recently participated in each stage ​ 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+
  34. 34. 34 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Salesperson reached out Attended event…by vendor Spoke/emailed with support Professional peer...referred me I submitted my contact information I reached out to sales Interactions across all tech buyers Spec/Fund Vendor Choice Implement Manage RenewIdentify Needs
  35. 35. 35 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Salesperson reached out Attended event…by vendor Spoke/emailed with support Professional peer...referred me I submitted my contact information I reached out to sales Support, Sales and Peers are the top three sources of interaction at every stage. Spec/Fund Vendor Choice Implement Manage RenewIdentify Needs
  36. 36. 67% 3636LinkedIn, Nurturing the IT Committee Research 2014: How significant is the role education plays in the following types of decisions undertaken by your organization? More likely to consider an IT vendor who educates me through each stage of the decision process Educating throughout the purchase funnel makes generating leads more effective
  37. 37. 37 Technology buyers engage intensively throughout the process. Top Relevant Topics Engaged on LlinkedIn, 3 Mos Prior 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 Spec/Fund Vendor Choice Implement Manage RenewIdentify Needs
  38. 38. 38 78% 38LinkedIn, Nurturing the IT Committee Research 2014: How significant is the role education plays in the following types of decisions undertaken by your organization? of the Tech Committee require education to sustain or make a change to their ecosystem But educational content is critical throughout the technology lifecycle.
  39. 39. 39 Like (353) Comment (33)
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. 41 EARNED Trust + Credibility m u s t b e
  42. 42. 42 Rethinkthe Tech Buyer’s Journey 1.  The Tech Buying Committee •  Why does it matter •  Why does it exist •  Who is it 2.  Why and how you should 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 Broaden your targeting to include more functions. The more people who know about your brand, the more likely you are to make it to the short list. Craft content that extols the cross-functional benefits of your products and services. Unify your buying committee. The brands that do this win. Make sure your content strategy continues with your customers post-sale – they want to hear from you throughout their entire purchase journey.
  43. 43. 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.
  44. 44. Thank you

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