Tech Marketers – Here’s Your Guide to Navigating the Tech Purchase Process

The tech purchase process is in continuous transformation, making it a complex process to keep track of and navigate. As technology becomes more and more prevalent as a business driver, it is necessary to align your marketing strategy with the current needs of the buying team.

Enter the latest and greatest tech buying journey road map: IDG’s 2020 Customer Journey Poster – Tech Marketers’ Rules of the Road. Establishing a strategy that effectively engages IT decision-makers (ITDMs) may start with quality content, but it extends much further. The poster highlights additional aspects, such as the impact of a strong customer experience and proper engagement to the overall success. Turn to these 6 easy rules to guide your strategy.

Understand where your customer is trying to go

It doesn’t matter the company; every organization wants to be considered an innovator in their respective industry. Gaining a stronger understanding of what your customer is currently prioritizing and what they want to focus on in the future is essential to their customer journey.

  • Why are organizations implementing a digital transformation (DX) strategy?
    • 67% Create a better customer experience
    • 53% Improve process efficiency through automation
    • 48% Drive new revenue
  • Top tools/solutions being actively researched today:
    • 5G – 43%
    • Artificial Intelligence – 42% 
    • Machine Learning – 37%
    • AR/VR – 31%
    • IoT – 30%

Be Aware of the conditions

Having a strong comprehension of the different strategies and tech goals organizations have in place is the next area to focus on. Make sure to have a grasp on what’s driving their IT strategy, what types of tech purchases they’re making, and how they view emerging or legacy vendors.

  • Incumbent vendors do not always have the edge – 47% of tech purchases were from new vendors
  • Down from 33% in 2017, 28% of IT strategy is driven by status quo tasks, while 29% is responding to external events and 40% is responding to internal events

Use Caution when passing drivers

While some tech influencers may be easier to pass by than to engage, it is vital to interact with all ITDMs throughout the tech buying process. Up from 16 total in 2017, there are 21 influencers involved in tech purchases – 11 IT and 10 LOB. No ITDM should be overlooked. Be sure to understand who is involved throughout each stage of the purchase process so your message aligns with the influencer and their needs.

  • There are more than double the number of influencers involved in enterprise tech purchases – 28 total compared to 13 for SMBs
  • 90% of ITDMs are involved in digital business transformation at their organization

Recommend the right directions

There are so many forms of content available today, but do all of them provide quality, actionable insights to your audience? On average, ITDMs download five assets throughout the tech purchase process, however they state that only 38% of downloaded work-related content has provided them with value in the past 12 months. It’s important to provide them with the content types they most rely upon as well as the proper sources. 

  • 86% of ITDMs think it’s challenging to find high-quality content, up from 79% in 2017
    • Most relied upon pieces of content:
    • Product testing/reviews
    • Product demo/literature
    • Technology news

Become a trusted partner

One of the most important aspects to the customer journey is establishing trust and authenticity with your target market. Becoming a dependable and knowledgeable partner is key to retaining your customer base.

  • 80% of ITDMs say that when a technology brand is known and trusted it increases the likelihood they will be added to the short list
  • ITDMs have responded to outreach from a potential vendor when they demonstrated honesty/transparency, showed respect for their time, or shared valuable content with them

Lead them to their final destination

Everyone has heard the classic phrase “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” While the destination very much does matter, the sentiment holds true. Be sure to provide a valuable and enjoyable journey for your customers and prospects.

  • 92% of ITDMs share info about a tech vendor if they provide:
    • A great customer experience
    • Timely/relevant content
    • Content that offers “how-to” information
  • 62% of ITDMs expect to receive more detailed info specific to their business use case after taking a vendor meeting

Between this research, our content experts and premium data we can help you feel like you are driving down the highway on cruise control versus an off-road adventure. Get started by downloading the 2020 Customer Journey Poster – Tech Marketers’ Rules of the Road to receive your full guide to navigating the elements of the tech purchase process.