Technology buyers: old school or not?

It’s interesting that in a recent survey conducted by Harte Hanks (c/o Tom Pisello The ROI Guy) that technology buyers are by in large old school when it comes to awareness of new technology.

But then again are they?

Technology buyers rank social media and blogs close to the bottom with only 7% and 16% respectively of respondents indicating they rely on social media and blogs for awareness of new technology. What’s interesting is that Peers & Colleagues ranked #1 in terms of awareness with 70% of respondents relying on such communication to gather information. The question being, how are they conducting such communication? According to the same report, it’s not social media.  Are technology buyers engaging with peers face to face (events & tradeshows #5 at 45%), on the phone, or via email? Talk about old school circa 1990s.

This data makes me think that technology buyers may not realize they rely on social media and blogs more than they think. Isn’t it becoming embedded in nearly everything we do?  Look at the top 5 on the list:

Peers & Colleagues 70% – What better way to engage with peers and collegues from around the globe that social media?  Many tech buyers are already engaged in community forums, groups on LinkedIn, technology communities like Spiceworks and Toolbox…all social media.

Magazines & Trade Journals 57% – Print or online? If online, then assuredly social media is embedded in this content as well. Whether you comment on an article, read the comments, share with a friend or colleague, you are engaging in social media.

Review Websites 46% – Websites like CNET or Tom’s Hardware are filled with not only editor’s reviews, but user reviews and commentary, again…social media.

Search Engines 45% – Packed with social media links: blogs, articles, reviews, etc.

Events & Trade shows 45% – In person or virtual.  If virtual, no brainer…obviously social media elements like chat and community forums, networking rooms, etc. If live, what do most event promoters use…social media.  I am attending CES in January, and get tons of information via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc from technology companies, analysts, trade publications informing me of what to see at CES.  While I’m there, you can be sure the feeds won’t stop.

You can easily argue that social media plays a key role in each of these communication channels in terms of tech buyers awareness.

Maybe, they’re just not “aware” that they’re using it.

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