IT and marketing vendor buyers say websites have the most influence over their decisions, according to new research by Hotwire and Vanson Bourne.
The global study of 1,200 senior IT and marketing decision makers across Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy found 71 per cent were heavily influenced by websites during the buying process.
Websites also saw the greatest growth in popularity as a source of influence since last year, up 18 per cent.
Of the 100 Australian respondents, 84 per cent of marketing and 62 per cent of IT decision-makers found websites to be of greatest influence. Local IT and marketing teams also agreed that Facebook would be the channel they’d use to help with a purchasing decision.
Australian IT decision makers are more likely to search for opinions from thought leaders and external peers when considering a vendor, the study found.
Furthermore, their marketing counterparts look to customer stories and case studies to assist them in the search phase of the buying journey.
Hotwire Australia’s country manager, Mylan Vu, said: “Vendors need to put a ‘face’ to the technology that is otherwise abstract to potential buyers.
“Technology companies can give these prospects the depth of understanding they need through thought leadership and case studies, bringing their solutions to life.
“In addition, the research shows technology vendors looking for a competitive edge should be investing in their digital channels such as their website and Facebook page to help educate and influence potential buyers as they research your company.”
Other key findings from the report include:
- Online industry news and social media are the most popular channels for Australian IT and marketing decision-makers (76 per cent and 84 per cent respectively) when it comes to keeping up to date with industry and vendor news.
- This trend is reflected globally, with 82 per cent of both teams preferring online industry news sites (up 8 per cent from 2016) and 72 per cent preferring social media (up 11 per cent)
- Almost half of both Australian IT and marketing respondents agree YouTube as a channel is used more frequently than this time last year to help with buying decisions
- The same amount also agreed they expect to use LinkedIn more frequently by this time next year.