IT Is It: Who To Target - In What Channels - When Selling Technology

IT personnel may be the most technologically savvy of people. But they largely rely on the usual information sources, including email, judging by Buyers Stand by Trusted Information Sources Amid Signs of Fraying Vendor Loyalty, a new study by IDG. 

IT workers and IT decision makers (ITDMs) turn to these information sources when buying: 

  • Technology content sites — 51%
  • White papers — 46% 
  • Webcasts/Webinars — 39%
  • Technology vendors (via phone, email, video conference) — 39%
  • Technology vendors (via vendor website) — 38% 
  • Peers outside your company (via phone, email, video conference) — 37%
  • Online communities, discussion forums — 34% 
  • Newsletters — 32%
  • Executive conferences or events (virtual) — 29%



On average, tech buyers now download six pieces of content (i.e. white papers, research reports, case studies) versus five in 2017. And it’s a long journey—the average length of a tech purchase is now 6.2 months, up from 5.4 in 2018 and 4.8 months in 2017. 

All this is important because tech budgets are on the rise this year, with 51% planning an increase, 39% holding steady and only 10% expecting a decrease—that means 90% will post an increase or stay the same, up from 76% in 2020. The median  planned hike is 15%. 

What are they spending on? Budgets will be allocated as follows:

  • Software — 35% 
  • Hardware — 34%
  • Services — 28% 
  • Other — 4% 

Software is getting the biggest boost—52% are planning to spend more on it.  

And whatever you’re selling, there may be an opportunity to snare new clients: 45% of tech buyers have sought or will seek a new IT vendor. The reasons? 

  1. Current product/service no longer met business needs
  2. Increased cost/level of investment required by current vendor.  
  3. Poor customer service

Vendor loyalty varies by the technology being purchased: 54% of data & analytics purchases will be made with a new vendor, as will 52% of enterprise software (non SaaS) and 51% of IoT devices.  

But first you should know the tech buying committee. Inside companies, the average number of influencers is 20. That goes up to 27 in enterprise organizations, and SMBs have 14 on average. 

CIOs are the first or second influencer at every stage of the process except for tech product evaluation—that’s largely overseen by IT Staff. And 91% of ITDMs Of course, CEOs lead in authorizing and approving expenditures.

Brand awareness helps drive prospects to engage with these forms of content: 

  • Product reviews — 71%
  • Case studies — 56%
  • Third-party market research — 44%
  • Technology related videos — 44%

Despite the pandemic, 57% of ITDMs plan to attend an in-person technology event within the next 12 months.

IDG surveyed 646 IT decision makers at companies with more than 12,500 employees. 



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