20 November 2012
New Study Quantifies Impact of Social Media and Industry Analysts on B2B Technology SalesNEW YORK, 19 November 2012 – According to the Technology Purchase Decision Study, a new report from Hill+Knowlton Strategies, top executives and IT managers increasingly look to their peers and industry experts when making business-to-business (B2B) technology purchases, and social media is playing a growing role in driving revenue and reputation for technology companies. While traditional media continues to be important in tech sector communications, commentary from peers and experts is now the top driver of B2B technology sales, and can even impact how executives view their own business priorities.
- Word of mouth from peers and industry analyst commentary were the top two drivers of technology purchase decisions, followed closely by financial analyst reports, corporate web sites and traditional media sources (both online and offline).
- 48% of respondents said that word of mouth from peers frequently changed their decisions about their business priorities, not just their purchase decisions.
- 76% of respondents said they actively post opinions and comment on what they read online at least a few times per month, with 49% saying they actively comment at least weekly.
- The most effective means of generating online commentary from B2B decision-makers is to pose a thought-provoking question related to current events
- Traditional news sources are consulted more frequently than social media or industry analysts, while analyst commentary and consultations have more impact on final purchase decisions.
- This trend marks a profound shift in how technology companies approach communications, increasing the need to share, not dictate,their reputation with the technology-buying public. The influence of peer-to-peer word of mouth and industry analyst commentary has jumped dramatically from the last time this study was conducted in 2009.