Globe and Mail - IT software buyers look online for advice: survey

(25-Jan-11)  Business people contemplating technology purchases today rely heavily on online forums, communities and blogs to do their research. Most purchasers use mobile devices, and a growing number get information – and recommendations – through social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

So if you’re marketing to business customers, you’d do well to pay attention to digital media and mobile, concludes a recent survey by Softchoice Corp. of Toronto. But remember that not everyone has access.

The North America-wide technology distributor wanted more specific information on its customers’ research habits, says Joel Marans, marketing design and delivery manager at Softchoice. Unable to find existing data, Softchoice did its own survey and received responses from 1,444 employees from more than 1,200 companies of all sizes from across Canada and the U.S.

Twenty-seven per cent of respondents named user forums and communities as their primary means of research, and 21 per cent named blogs, while a quarter said they rely most on IT publications and 14 per cent cited research firms.

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