Thursday, February 26, 2009

BtoB Technology Marketers Missing Social Media Opportunities

February 25th, 2009

77 percent of business technology decision-makers engage with social media on the job, yet most B2B marketers are not effectively using social technologies to influence the purchasing decisions of their customers, says Forrester Research.

In 2007 Forreter released their comsumer Social Technographics Scale . (See more explanation about the scale in the Forrester PowerPoint )

Now they’ve done the same for BtoB buyers. Forrester polled more than 1,200 business technology decision-makers in North America and Europe about their social media participation throughout the buying cycle. The numbers are quite different - and I’d guess that the rapid adoption of social media over the past two years is one factor.

The Social Technographics Profile segments business buyers into six categories based on their social activities:

  • Creators — 27 percent publish a blog, publish Web pages, create/upload video or music, or write articles and post them online.
  • Critics — 37 percent post reviews of products or services, comment on someone else’s blog, or contribute to online forums.
  • Collectors — 29 percent use RSS feeds, vote for Web sites online, or add tags to Web pages or photos.
  • Joiners — 29 percent maintain a profile on a social networking site or visit social networking sites.
  • Spectators — 69 percent read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch video from other users, or read online forums and reviews.
  • Inactives — 23 percent do not participate in any social media activities for work purposes.
91% of these decision-makers consume social media including blogs, video, and customer reviews.

What’s the biggest influencer? 75 percent said peers influence their purchase decisions more than any other media or information source.

“Emerging social behaviors will fundamentally change the nature of the marketing relationship between B2B buyers and sellers — especially in a down economy,” said Oliver Young, senior analyst at Forrester. “B2B marketers must use social profiling data to determine how social tactics complement the rest of the marketing mix. Integrating traditional and online tactics is essential as the groundswell of social activity grows.”

The new report, “The Social Technographics® Of Business Buyers,” directed at Technology Product Management & Marketing professionals, is available to Forrester RoleView™ clients and can also be purchased directly from the Forrester website


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