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Social Media's Influence on B2B IT purchases

According to a report by Starcom MediaVest Group and Mashwork, social media is playing a key role in IT purchases.

The study, ‘B2B Technology Decision Journey,’ analyses social media conversations among 500 business and IT decision-makers.

The study segmented various stages of the technology-purchase cycle from awareness to post-purchase and looked at how IT decision makers were using social media at each stage of the buying process.

Here are some interesting findings from the study:

  • 80% of IT decision makers said word-of-mouth is the most important source when making buying decisions while 58% said they use social media to learn from trustworthy peers.
  • 13% of social media conversations about IT purchases took place during the awareness phase where people used social media to discuss news about new products entering the market. Also, most of these conversations took place on tech blogs and Twitter.
  • 9% of social media conversations by IT buyers took place during the consideration phase. During this phase, the IT decision makers narrowed their choice to a few options and asked online users their views and experience with the products they were considering to buy.

Social media also played an important role in the post-purchase process with the B2B technology decision makers sharing their own experiences with the product.

The study found that 14% shared their experience about the products they purchased, 9% talked about the product implementation issues while 12% even disparaged tech brands if they found the products to be unsatisfactory.

The report also showed that the decision makers sought guidance from those familiar with the product before making a purchase.

The study suggests that B2b decision-makers are extremely aware of the perception of brands and technology products on social media when they are making a purchase. It also lends credence to the view that the B2B IT purchase journey is a modular, continuous cycle.

Big change. In the old days, the sales funnel was linear, with customers taking in information, narrowing their choices and deciding re purchase. However, this report shows that the IT purchase decision making process is anything but linear and multiple, different influencers are involved along the way. Today, B2B organizations selling IT need to develop a much deeper understanding of the modern customer’s  journey.

The sales and marketing teams of organizations also need to understand who influences the decision-makers, what matters most to them in making their purchasing decisions and when.


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