The Factors That Influence Marketing And IT Decision Makers: Hotwire Research

The Factors That Influence Marketing And IT Decision Makers: Hotwire Research

Direct customer references and customer stories are what marketers typically search for when seeking to identify appropriate vendors, while IT decision makers proactively seek out analyst research and external peer opinions, according to a recent survey by Hotwire and Vanson Bourne.

Mylan Vu
Posted by Mylan Vu

The survey of 1,000 business decision makers (including 10 per cent from Australia), has been analysed in a joint report, titled The Changing Face of Influence.

It examines where senior IT and marketing decision makers look for information, as well as which information sources prove to be effective in helping to investigate potential vendors.

The leading types of information typically searched for by Australian marketers when assessing vendors were:

  1. Customer stories (case studies from vendors) – 48 per cent
  2. Direct customer references (by telephone or visit) – 48 per cent
  3. Thought leader/opinion pieces (from vendors) – 46 per cent
  4. External peer opinions – 42 per cent
  5. Independent consultant opinions – 40 per cent

The leading types of information typically searched for by Australian IT decision makers when assessing vendors were:

  1. External peer opinions – 66 per cent
  2. Analyst research/opinions (reports, comparison tools) – 50 per cent
  3. Thought leader/opinion pieces (from vendors) – 46 per cent
  4. Internal peer opinion – 44 per cent
  5. Independent consultant opinions – 40 per cent

Alexis Wilson, managing director for Hotwire Australia (pictured), commented on the findings:

“When it comes to making business decisions, despite the information overload many decision makers are experiencing, it’s clear marketers are still looking for the proof in the pudding – customer references.

“Meanwhile, the IT industry is relying heavily on their colleagues and industry analysts to point them in the right direction. Interestingly, thought leadership pieces are proving to be highly influential in both fields, which supports the efforts many organisations are putting behind content marketing, blogging, and CEO profiling.”

When assessing the effectiveness of different information sources, there were further differences between IT and marketing decision makers. Marketers got most value from thought leader/opinion pieces (52 per cent), customer case studies (46 per cent), direct customer references (35 per cent) and business press opinion pieces (35 per cent).

For IT decision makers, external peer opinions (50 per cent), internal peer opinions (48 per cent), analyst research (46 per cent) and independent consultant opinions (44 per cent) were most valuable.

“The survey demonstrates there are clear gaps between the information marketers and IT leaders are looking for, and the information that is actually helping them make decisions,” added Wilson.

“Marketers are clearly impacted by industry experts who can think through and implement forward-thinking concepts, while IT leaders are highly influenced by their peers’ actions. Arguably, to ensure our businesses are thinking innovatively, we should be combining these to form strategic decisions.”