Global IT spend is on the rise and despite project delays caused by the disruption of COVID, our data shows an overall trend of growth. But in a time of uncertainty, understanding B2B buyer behavior is more important than ever.
Getting inside the minds of your target audience will help you tailor your strategy more effectively. IT buyers have very specific challenges they want to overcome, and therefore want products that solve these problems. But what technologies interest them the most? What solutions do they want to hear about in your next content delivery?
Research is a big part of the technology buying process and our data sheds the light on IT decision making practices as well as the link between content consumption and intent to buy. Our latest survey taps into the Insights for Professionals (IFP) network of IT decision makers for insights into what makes IT buyers tick. The results can assist B2B marketers in planning a content strategy that is going to hit the ground running.
A look at the IFP community
Inbox Insight provides resources for senior IT managers through the Insights For Professionals platform. We gather the best content from suppliers, brands and industry experts and combine that with our own unique research. The content we deliver includes whitepapers, research reports, high-quality articles and guides.
These are the latest stats on our community:
As a trusted source for IT buyer research, we’ve been able to analyze buyer intent signals based on content views and downloads. Together with our recent survey panel, we aim to answer an important question on every tech marketer’s mind – “What do IT buyers care about in 2020?”
What topics are trending with IT buyers?
When looking at IT buyer timelines, it’s essential for marketers to understand the importance of the research phase. IT buying can be complex and the process of research, buying and implementation can take years to complete. The research stage highlights buyer intent – if a prospect is at this stage, it is likely they are looking to purchase at some point in the near future. This means that vendors need to be one step ahead, embedding relationship building techniques early on and delivering content for future purchases. This is why looking at buyer content consumption is key.
A quick look at our survey results shows that cloud, security and software are areas of focus for a lot of buyers in 2020.
Delving deeper into popular research topics based on IFP readership, we can further break these down into niche topics.
Connectivity is just as important as migration. It also goes hand in hand with cloud, as migration projects often need dedicated connectivity to support applications. Additionally, we have seen a spike in IoT readership as connected devices continue to grow in the workplace.
There’s been an increase in IT buyer research around common cyber-security threats and malware, plus a renewed interest in data protection. This could be due to the rise of remote working in recent months, which aligns with other small spikes seen in our data such as searches for “employee education” and “insider threats”.
In the software space, there’s been an increasing number of buyers researching robotic process automation and AI. Desired outcomes include finding ways for systems to be bridged and improving productivity in the workplace.
Other topics that have shown up in our data are:
Senior IT leaders are still looking at content about effective IT project management. This could be linked to Digital Transformation projects that can be complex to manage.
Data Management is a popular research topic in the storage space. As more initiatives such as automation or data protection and privacy call for better data management practices, this will see more readership.
There has also been a growth in PaaS content consumption in our community. This could be linked to the increasing need for scalability, and modern enterprises wanting large cloud vendors to support their growing requirements.
Content consumption of data science topics has ramped up and we are seeing specialists with dedicated skill sets drawing insights from lakes of big data forming in the enterprise space.
The increase in workplace collaboration has led to more interest in telecoms and communications. This has also been impacted by the rise in remote workers due to global health concerns. Connecting teams is a priority for many businesses, not just now but going into the future. This is also backed by our boost in readership on content discussing traditional conferencing systems.
Buyer intent and behavior
The most important takeaway from our stats is that content consumption lines up almost directly with buyer intent data. This shows just how important the research phase is. Not only does content consumption act as an indicator for buying outcomes, but it’s vital that marketers create quality content to help buyers conduct their research with confidence.
As seen with these stats, cloud, security and software are key areas for buyers to invest in. When it comes to budget, this is only set to grow in the next 12 months.
An outstanding 99% said they plan to spend the same or more on tech in the coming year, with over two thirds definitely increasing their budget.
And a quick glance at the previous year’s budgets for our IT leaders shows that investment in technology is hugely important to businesses. Their intention to buy is clear, with over a third spending $500,000 or more last year. Further, the majority plan to spend the same or more in the next 12 months.
Almost a fifth (19%) of IT buyers spent over a million in tech investments. As budgets increase and organisations become more reliant on tech to solve business challenges, million-dollar projects are set to grow.
Who we surveyed
Our survey sample is made up of 250 senior IT leaders who are involved in B2B technology purchasing decisions in their company. The geographical mix is 200 in the USA and 50 in the UK.
In terms of company size, all are from large organisations with 500 employees or more. 40% are from companies with 1000 or less, 29% are from companies with 2500 or less, 16% are from companies with 5000 or less, and 15% are from companies with 5000+ people.
Interested in learning more about the purchasing habits of IT buyers? Access all our research, in the full report.