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ITSMA-PAC Survey Finds Dramatic Increase in Social Media Among IT Executives in the Purchase Process
ITSMA’s eighth annual How Customers Choose Survey finds that social media usage surged 50% among U.S. IT buyers. However, U.S. usage lags that of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Brazil.
LinkedIn led the list of social media tools, with 37% of U.S. buyers saying they use the site during the IT purchasing process. Another 28% read blogs, 23% use Facebook, and 16% interact with colleagues and providers on Twitter.
However, U.S. buyers’ usage of social media lags far behind that of buyers in other countries. In the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Brazil, between 93% and 98% of IT buyers use social media during the purchasing process. Among the individual social media tools, LinkedIn does not dominate as it does in the United States. European and Brazilian buyers use the various social media tools in roughly equal percentages and utilize business-focused social network Plaxo more than Americans do.
Given the importance of relationships in the B2B technology buying process, the emergence of social media should prompt marketers to give social media more prominence in their marketing mixes in 2009. “Almost nonexistent two years ago, social media is now becoming central to the technology-based solutions buying process,” says Julie Schwartz, senior vice president of research and thought leadership for ITSMA. “Buyers have higher expectations for providers to understand their individual business issues. Social media should be part of an integrated marketing mix designed to meet those increased expectations for personalization and customization.”
ITSMA and PAC interviewed 355 senior IT and business decision makers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Brazil. The majority of respondents hold director, vice president, or C-level positions and represent organizations with revenue or operating budgets ranging from $200 million to over $20 billion in eight major industries:
- Business services
- Financial services
- Public sector
- Retail trade
Respondents qualified for inclusion based on their involvement in purchasing major business or technology solutions, defined as “combinations of hardware, software, and IT services plus intellectual property that solve a business problem and are valued at $500,000 or more.”
For more information on the study, please see:
Questions? Contact Julie Schwartz at +1-781-862-8500, ext. 112, or at email@example.com.
For general inquiries please contact:
Pamela O’Rourke at +1-781-862-8500, ext. 136, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ITSMA provides research, consulting, and training to the world’s leading technology, communications, and professional services providers.
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