Are Marketers Bugging IT Buyers? [Infographic]

As marketers guide buyers down the purchase path, it’s easy for them to get wrapped up in their cocoons and focus on their personal needs and wants—rather than those of their customers. In fact, only 39% of tech marketers say lead nurturing and engagement is a top campaign priority, according to a new report by IT professional network Spiceworks. Conversely, 66% of respondents say acquisition and lead generation is a top campaign priority, followed by sales conversion (45%) and brand awareness (42%). However, focusing on acquiring leads, rather than forming connections, can result in prospects considering marketers more as pests than as partners.

Indeed, the biggest obstacle marketers face is the disconnect they have with their IT buyers.

Primarily, what IT buyers use to research products and services isn’t necessarily what marketers invest in to reach those purchasers. Take social, for instance. According to the report, 95% of marketers rely on social networks; however, less than one quarter of IT buyers (23%) do the same. Likewise, 87% of marketers depend on case studies or ROI studies, yet only 69% of IT purchasers find these useful. In addition, 85% of marketers invest in whitepapers, but again just 69% of buyers utilize these resources. If marketers considered what IT buyers value, they’d see that 89% leverage free product trials—even though less than two thirds of marketers (62%) invest in them. Clearly, marketers must spread their wings and learn how to view the purchase process from the IT buyer’s point of view.

But this disconnect isn’t the only issue marketers face in achieving their campaign goals. Forty-three percent of tech marketers surveyed say budget constraints can cause a bit of a sting. Audience targeting (35%), insufficient lead quantity (33%), and effective message development (30%) are also major pain points.

Fortunately, marketers do have ways to draw IT purchasers successfully into their web. Both parties see the value in webinars (79% of IT buyers and 70% of marketers use them), as well as videos (76% of IT buyers and 78% of marketers leverage this resource). In fact, IT buyers like to consume a variety of content forms during the research and awareness phases of their purchase process. For instance, 70% of IT buyers consume videos during this stage, and 65% tune into webinars. Interviews or Q&A’s with product experts (53%) and whitepapers (51%) are also popular options.

Marketers also continue to invest in the channels they think are buzz worthy. According to Spiceworks, one quarter of marketers’ budget spend goes to digital media (such as ads or third-party email), 20% is allocated to tradeshows and events, and 18% is for marketing software and tools. The remaining 16% goes to other costs. Only 21% of respondents’ budgets are dedicated to content creation. But considering IT buyers’ penchant for content, perhaps marketers should dedicate more dollars to providing a wider array of it.

The main lesson? If marketers hone in on buyers’ preferences, their leads will beeline to the register.

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