Closing the value gap in IT
IT professionals and senior decision makers are facing challenges getting the information they need to select the right technologies and services for their business.
Research from International Data Group (IDG) has identified what it refers to as the ‘value gap’ between IT marketers and IT decision makers:
- the majority of IT professionals (86%) say it is challenging to find high-quality, trusted information on major enterprise IT products and services
- almost two thirds (62%) of the work-related content IT buyers downloaded over the past 12 months has failed to provide them with actionable information
- more than half (52%) of IT buyers will drop a vendor if they find the content they seek to inform an IT buying decision is too promotional or self-serving
IT decision makers are coming under increasing pressure, as they lead the digital transformation of their organisations, to educate their line-of-business counterparts who are part of the extended technology buying team, and yet the research shows they not only struggle to find useful information, but will drop vendors who do not provide information of the right standard.
This contrasts with nearly three quarters (74%) who said they are more likely to consider an IT vendor who educates them throughout each stage of the decision-making process.
Furthermore 84% say they are willing to share their contact information with a technology vendor to gain access to the right content.
IDG reports that content marketers fall into well known and persistent practices, as survey respondents said the information they found was:
- clearly biased
- full of marketing buzzwords
- too general
Some IT professionals also expressed hesitance to register for a gated asset because they do not want the inevitable sales follow-up.
“When the quality of your content does not live up to the promises you’ve made in promoting the asset, it’s bad for your brand and bad for business,” said Rob O’Regan, director, content marketing strategy, IDG.
What can be done about this value gap that threatens to harm the credibility of IT vendors, service providers and technical partners?
The answer is a trusted arbiter.
The independent IT trade press has waxed and waned in popularity, as the rise of the Internet, bloggers, and latterly, social media, allowed direct access to audiences for marketing messaging.
However, without the gatekeeping function of journalistic rigour, marketers tend to fall back on unsubstantiated claims, hyperbole and inaccessible language.
As evidenced by IDG’s seventh annual run of this report into the buying practices and experiences of IT decision makers, the old habits have emerged to undermine the credibility of marketers and make the lives of technology buyers more difficult.
Since 1985, TechPro (formerly ComputerScope), has been the Irish IT professional journal, informing technology for business.
TechPro, and its online home, TechCentral.ie, remains a trusted source of decision informing information.
A reader’s survey conducted in 2019, found that while almost two thirds (63%) said they do not regularly use printed materials to inform decision making in their role, almost two thirds (62%) said they use TechPro to inform business technology decision making.
This is in comparison to other media:
- 66% conferences
- 53% webinars
- 53% independent events
Mediateam’s Tech Network of print, digital, events and research, represents a qualified audience of IT professionals that are highly engaged.
The survey found:
- More than two thirds of the audience (67%) read every issue
- Almost two thirds (65%) of readers share their copy with co-workers
- Almost two thirds (62%) archive copies of the magazine for up to 6 issues
- Nine out of 10 (91%) of TechPro readers use TechCentral.ie
- More than half (55%) of TechPro readers participate in TechBeat surveys
- Almost half (45%) of TechPro readers have attended a TechFire event
The trusted, independent IT trade media can ensure that IT vendors, partners and service providers’ value message can be communicated to a qualified audience, on a trusted platform, closing the value gap.