Commentary

B2B Tech Marketers OK With Online Video, But Not Sure of Social Networks and Wikis

B2B Tech Marketers OK With Online Video, But Not Sure of Social Networks and Wikis

New research by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann illuminates the impact that emerging online media have on B2B technology marketing and shows how online video, social networks and Wikis are evolving into B2B information delivery tools

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A wiki (WICK-ee) or (WEE-kee)[1] is a website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content, and typically without the need for registration.)

This survey indicates the B2B marketplace seems to have taken advantage of the benefits online video offers, but has grappled with different aspects and business applications of Wikis - and to a greater extent social networks.

Summary of Key Findings:

With regard to interest in Online video...

  • Sixty-three percent of the survey respondents access online videos at least weekly. An additional 27% view videos downloaded from the Internet on a monthly basis.
  • For the majority of respondents, the content they choose is a combination of both technology and business information. Twenty percent alone are reading technology-related material. Only 7% do not access either type of information through online video.
  • The Webcast tops the list of most popular online video content with 70% of respondents saying they use this format. News and demonstrations rounded out the top three spots.
  • 84% of respondents said that online video enhances content related to technology product information and research.
  • 76% of respondents are sharing online video content either weekly or monthly. Only 18% said they "never" recommend this type of content to co-workers or colleagues.
  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents in this survey felt that online videos impacted their purchasing decisions. A previous report by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann showed that podcasts influenced 27% of respondents when it came to technology purchases, while blogs played a decisive role for 53%.

In responding to social networking online...

  • Seventy seven percent of B2B technology buyers have little to no familiarity with social networking online. Of the 24% who are very accustomed to social networks, a large majority of the respondents visit these sites at least once a month.
  • 70% of B2B technology buyers use social networking sites for business networking and/or development, though 59% admit to also using these sites for personal reasons.

And, during the involvement with "wiki" questions...

  • Eighty-six percent of respondents are familiar with Wikis, such as Wikipedia, with 47% considering themselves "very" comfortable with this medium. And, more than 50% are weekly Wikis visitors.
  • Sixty-three percent of survey respondents who visit Wikis do so for both business and technology information, with 96% percent rating information from Wikis as "somewhat" to "extremely" valuable. Only 6% of respondents regularly contribute content to Wikis, though
  • Considerable sharing of Wiki content is occurring among respondents with 70% preferring to endorse or pass along related information among co-workers and colleagues.
  • Respondents are closely divided on the impact that Wikis currently have on IT decisions. Fifty-two percent of the respondents state that Wikis influence their purchasing decision-making while 48% aren't so sure.

Finally, the editors conclude and recommend that, "as B2B marketers continue to increase online spending, they need to move beyond traditional banner advertisements and search marketing to explore and experiment with emerging media such as online video, social networks and Wikis... to target specific niches and increase reach within the B2B technology marketplace."

Administered in October 2006, the survey represents responses from more than 5,300 participants on the topics of online video, social networks and Wikis. The survey was answered by an equal representation of business and IT professionals across a variety of job titles, vertical industries and company sizes. The demographic profile shows:

  • 45% of the respondents were involved with their company's technology at a strategic level
  • 55% are engaged in implementation or day-to-day management
  • 42% are relied upon by 10 or more people within their organization for IT research and expertise
  • 28% have a major influence on IT purchasing or actually authorize purchases
For more detail and editorial observations on the study, please go here

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