During my full-day seminar today for IAB Canada - Interactive Advertising Bureau - called Social Media Marketing And Web 2.0 in Toronto, one of the attendees asked me for more specific information on how Social Media and Web 2.0 initiatives work in B2B (Business-To-Business) situations.
I was sifting through my RSS feed and noted this post from Marketing Charts called, IT Execs: Social Media Most Trusted Source For Purchasing Decisions.
Here's how the posting started:
"IT professionals cite social media as the most trustworthy online source of information when making purchasing decisions, according to the inaugural IT Social Media Index, which measures social media consumption trends among IT decision-makers and influencers.
Launched by online professional community ITtoolbox and PJA Advertising + Marketing, the study also seeks to determine how social media tools and user-generated content are used to evaluate IT purchasing decisions.
Among the key findings of the study:
- Executive-level decision-makers spend nearly 3.5 hours per week consuming or participating in social media - the highest usage profile of any IT audience.
- Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals surveyed say social media content and user-generated tools have made for a more informed purchasing decision; nearly three-quarters say such content and tools have made their lives more efficient.
- Overall, vendor websites, followed by user-generated content and editorial websites and trade magazines, are the most referenced information sources for IT purchasing information.
- IT audiences now spend as much or more time consuming or participating in social media as they do consuming editorial media or vendor content."
This study is good news on many levels. As Social Media (and Social Shopping) takes hold, we're going to see a significant shift in what formulates the decision for purchases at every level (and every price range). Social Media is also powerful because, by its nature, the content acts as the media which supersedes your typical "sales pitch." If we're seeing the power of Social Media in terms of general branding and awareness, using tools like Podcasts and Blogs to inform the decision makers of major purchases seems logical and powerful. These decisions not only take more time, but need much more attention focused on features, benefits, testimonials and stories. Not to mention the ability for the prospect to interact, communicate, share and question.
It does make perfect sense.
Check out the full post here: Marketing Charts - IT Execs: Social Media Most Trusted Source For Purchasing Decisions.