As global IT spend continues to rise, the business landscape advances at colossal speed. New technologies like AI, automation and IoT devices are changing the way that brands connect with their customers and clients. And this means that marketing departments are searching for new solutions to help them stand out. They are buying more MarTech products than ever before, and they are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing.
For vendors, knowing more about how their buyers think and what technologies they’re interested in is key to successful content delivery. According to our research, the typical timeline for all three phases of purchasing to be complete (research, buying cycle and implementation) is usually between 9 months and 3 years. This means that early-stage content consumption is a useful indicator of buyer intent further down the line.
We delve into our network of senior professionals and combine the content stats with our latest MarTech buyer survey to see what research themes are prominent in 2020.
Reading time: 5 minutes
Tapping into the IFP community
The IFP readership community is made up of senior managers in marketing, C-suite professionals and business owners. They access the Insights For Professionals website for high quality, relevant and trusted resources to help them gain knowledge in different technology solutions and trends.
Our unique content brings together the best content from vendors, brands and tech experts with research conducted by Inbox Insight. By tracking content consumption of buyers, we are able to shed the light on important themes.
The IFP community:
Looking at the content views and downloads of this group, we can give tech vendors and demand generation managers invaluable insight into what their audience wants to invest in the coming months.
The marketing professionals we surveyed
We surveyed 250 senior marketing professionals across the US and UK. All respondents play a role in decision making for tech purchases in their company.
All are from large businesses with 500+ employees, and in the group there is a good mix of roles and authority levels within their respective organisations.
A third of respondents are from companies with up to 1000 employees, 42% (the largest group) are from companies with up to 2500 employees, 16% from companies with up to 5000 employees, and 9% are from companies with 5000+.
The mix of senior job roles include department heads (12%), senior managers (22%), company directors (32%), vice presidents (23%) and C-suite decision makers (11%).
The buyers we surveyed are heavily involved in the buying process, with over a third involved in 10+ marketing tech purchases per year. A small percentage (7%) are buying solutions at high volume, with 20+ purchases per year.
What topics are trending with MarTech buyers?
According to our survey, some of the most important research themes are customer experience (CX) and CRM, content management, and marketing automation. The overarching topic of interest is digital marketing in general, which highlights the shift into online. Digital transformation can revolutionize marketing, and as organisations tap into their online audience, they will seek out more technology solutions to save time, reduce manual labor and elevate campaigns.
Diving deeper into relevant topics, we can see what content is being consumed by IFP readers right now:
Within the wider field of digital marketing, what seems to be the most prominent theme is content marketing. Over a third of buyers are downloading guides, reports and articles on this specialism, which is likely to result in a growth in content platforms and tools.
Looking at marketing tech in general, the biggest focus is on data. The way vendors market to businesses can be augmented through Big Data and customer analytics. By using existing data and compiling it in a way that highlights trends and patterns, organisations can nurture the funnel more effectively.
There has never been a more important time for tech vendors to discuss the concept of CX. Intangible elements such as great customer care, seamless website usability and an enjoyable customer journey are the key to success. With a massive 61% of professionals actively researching CX, technology that can solve end-customer problems will have the biggest opportunities for growth. Also in the same ballpark, topics such as customer service and UX are just as vital. This overlaps with readership interest in CRM.
Our network of marketing professionals are also spending time researching brand development and PR. These are intangible assets that can improve the overall customer experience. Vendors have an opportunity to create content around social media, demand generation solutions and other tech that could support campaigns at the top of the funnel.
With social media, we are seeing a massive rise in content consumption about influencer marketing. The use of influencers is going far beyond B2C. With a large percentage of B2B purchases driven by word-of-mouth and recommendations, it makes sense for organisations to invest in influencer marketing techniques as this trend continues to gain traction.
As our survey data also shows, eCommerce is a dominant theme. Technologies that help connect retailers with shoppers such as mobile commerce will take center stage, as will solutions that can help businesses increase efficiency and reduce operational costs. So things like inventory management systems and automated data collection systems will be of interest to buyers.
What does this mean for buyer behaviour?
From our survey results, we can get a sense of what concerns buyers have and what solutions they are interested in this year. But how can we relate this to their intent to buy? Is there a correlation?
The short answer is yes. Based on their content downloads and the areas they say they are researching, it is evident that they also have intent to invest.
As seen from the survey results, the top themes are digital marketing, CX and CRM, content management, automation, eCommerce, analytics, events and social media. This aligns with their purchasing plans according to our survey.
Digital marketing, automation, content management, CX and CRM are the most important areas for investment. This shows the power of content for demand and lead generation specialists who want to put their brand at front of mind and create successful conversions.
Not only can a content strategy connect tech vendors with their target audience, but it can also provide invaluable and actionable insight into what their buyers are thinking about next.
As the buyer’s interest in MarTech grows, there will be more opportunities for technology companies to use content in this way. Boost your brand awareness, develop a solid strategy that nurtures the funnel, and create relevant content at multiple touchpoints to delight your prospects.
Interested in learning more about the purchasing habits of Marketing buyers? Access all our research, in the full report.