Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blogs are a Powerful Presence in the B2B Marketplace

KnowledgeStorm Research Finds: Blogs are a Powerful Presence in the B2B Marketplace

KnowledgeStorm Inc. (www.knowledgestorm.com), the Internet’s top-ranked search resource for technology solutions and information, and Universal McCann (www.universalmccann.com), one of the world’s largest media services firms providing strategic services and consultancies, today announced the results of a joint research study on the emerging role of new media, particularly blogs and Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, on B2B technology purchase decisions.

The survey was completed by more than 4,500 business and IT professionals globally, representing a variety of job titles, vertical industries and company sizes.

“With this particular study, our goal was to determine marketing opportunities with blogs and RSS,” said Stacy Malone, vice president, interactive media director, Universal McCann. “Blogs and RSS have quickly progressed into a mainstream medium. Blogs, in particular, give marketers the perfect opportunity to generate demand, nurture leads and stay connected with customers.”

According to survey respondents, 80% claim to be blog readers, with 51% reading blogs at least once a week. And the respondents say they are getting both business and technology information from blogs: 53% read blogs weekly for business information, while 57% read blogs on technology topics each week.

Blogs are the perfect forum for business and IT professionals — readers want to hear about a company or a product from ‘someone like them,’” said Matt Lohman, director of market research, KnowledgeStorm. “And technology buyers seem to be more than happy to pass along relevant information from blogs — 70% of survey respondents recommend or pass along content from blogs at least once a month.”

IT purchase decisions are heavily influenced by content found in blogs. More than 53% of survey respondents felt that content they read in blogs already impacts their work-related purchasing decisions. And respondents are not only reading blogs, at least once a month nearly half of the respondents said they comment on or contribute to blogs they read. Thirty-two percent of respondents are even considering starting their own blogs.

“New online media formats, such as blogs, will help companies better address shifting preferences and opinions in the B2B marketplace,” said Malone. “Marketing campaigns will achieve even greater results because companies are now able to truly listen to and come to understand their audiences’ needs and wants through these mediums.”

RSS is one of the main delivery vehicles that has helped catapult the usage of blogs by delivering only the content users want. The rise in RSS is further evidence that technology marketers must come to grips with the fact that communication between buyers and sellers has changed.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they are “somewhat” to “very” familiar with RSS, and 31% subscribe to RSS feeds or readers. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they are accessing RSS feeds on specialized news topics, covering specific industry or company information, while only 36% of respondents are accessing blogs via RSS feeds. This suggests that buyers are still going to blogs, rather than having the blogs’ RSS feeds published to them.

“The results tell us that most technology buyers reading blog content are still compelled to visit the blogger’s site, rather than get the text version via an RSS feed,” said Lohman. “These findings suggest that a user’s experience with the blog may be just as important as the content they access from it.”

This is the second in a series of joint research studies focused on the effects of new media within the B2B marketplace. The first study focused on podcasts, and the final study will focus on Wikis, Webcasts and mobile technology.

“The objective of these studies is to explore the impact new forms of media are having on content consumption and purchasing influence within the B2B marketplace,” said Lohman. “The results clearly show that podcasts, blogs and other emerging media types are viable mediums for reaching B2B technology buyers.”

To learn more about the Blog and RSS study findings, please click on the following link: Blog and RSS Study Report

To learn more about the podcast study findings, click here: Podcast Study Report

KnowledgeStorm is the Internet’s top-ranked search resource for technology solutions and information. Leveraging the KnowledgeStorm Network of premier partners and its extensive search expertise, KnowledgeStorm is able to reach technology buyers and deliver the information they need no matter where their search begins. KnowledgeStorm, with its network, search expertise and performance tools and services, is a powerful resource for technology vendors, providing them the most opportunities to reach buyers on the Internet and convert them into Web leads.

For more information,;visit www.knowledgestorm.com

Universal McCann is one of the world’s largest media service firms providing strategic services and consultancies in the areas of traditional and non-traditional media planning and buying, communications architecture, digital technologies, and research/modeling. Launched in 1999 as the branded media services arm of McCann Worldgroup, Universal McCann is a primary element of Interpublic Media, a part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. Its multiple US locations have the privilege of serving some of the country’s most recognizable brands, such as Intel, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal, US Army, Wendy’s, Microsoft, Sony, Major League Baseball, Verizon Wireless and Bacardi.

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