luni, 10 octombrie 2016

Six stages of technology buying

Linkedin recently found that there are over one year time involved in all stages of buying across hardware, software and services, which places the technology buying circle of B2B professionals into a long trip. But, is it worth it?

Six stages of technology buying

According to Linkedin study, there are 6 different stages of technology buying and there are 4 functional groups that can be involved at each stage:

Stage1 > identify needs (4-6 months)
Stage2 > Specifications/Funding (4-6 months)
Stage3 > Vendor choice (4-6 months)
Stage4 > Implement (4-6 months)
Stage5 > Manage (4-6 months)
Stage6 > Renew (1-2 months). The whole buying process ended up lasting over 12 months, especially because on average, there are almost 5 people involved in today's B2B purchase decision, which means there are 30 - 50% chance of purchase. 

In general, people who are committed to be part of the technology buying process are part of a complex group: there are people with technical functions (Engineering, Operations, Development)  and some of them have non-technical functions, such as: Finance, Marketing, Support, Accounting. 

Purchase is a content-driven journey

Technology marketers know that purchase is a complex process nowadays and it is driven by content. Actually, content consumption at every stage of the technology buying process starts with 2 - 4 distinct pieces of content. Most of the B2B marketers are interested in educational content, because they want to make sure they are making the right buying decision. And because content has to be more than lead generation, one of the top resources used by marketers are:

1. Vendor website
2. Forums, blogs
3. Technology media
4. Social media
5. Webinars.

Live Webcast: Rethink the Tech Buyer's Journey from LinkedIn

Educational content for B2B marketers 

 Content strategy has become more important, not only for lead generation purposes, but also for educational ones. Educating throughout the purchase funnel makes generating leads more effective. 

67% of B2B marketers are more likely to consider an IT vendor who educates me through each stage of the decision process.  
 Comparing to B2B market, technology marketers from B2B are, engage intensively throughout the process and that's why educational content crucial throughout the technology lifecycle - 78% of Tech Committee require education to sustain or make a change in their ecosystem. 

Key Summary

> The technology marketing process never stops >  it is not linear, it runs continuously, long after the sale, and repeats when it comes time for the customer to renew. 

> Generate content for every buying stage > create personalized and relevant content for each technology buying stage, so potential customers to be able to find answers anywhere in the process. This is a very important aspect, especially because the decision maker is no longer an individual or not even a department, it's a cross-functional committee. 

> Today's tech buying process is complex >  in terms of customer's needs, implementation and resource management. 

> Winning new business is more difficult than ever, but there are many possibilities > competition in the technology industry is even greater than other industries, because it involves larger budgets, so the journey is long, but in terms of revenue, everything is worth it. 

> Come up with a problem-solving perspective >  vendors have to be able to provide content that outlines the product specifications and generate specific analysis, in order to capture the attention of the tech buyers.
Source: photo top
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