How Tech Buyers Consume Content: New Findings from TechTarget
In October, TechTarget released A Profile of TechTarget’s Hyper-active IT Researchers, a report providing insight into the media consumption habits of the media publisher’s most active users. These users are the folks conducting research about technology products and services they might purchase. TechTarget sent a survey to its most active users (those in the top 30%), and 1,765 submitted their answers. TechTarget followed up with select interviews of a subset of the respondents.
The research highlights that these hyper-active researchers:
- Are constantly hunting for and gathering information
- Agree that content is most relevant to them as it relates to their place in the buying cycle
- Average 5-20 activities per day when in research mode, including reading articles/visiting pages on websites, downloading content from vendors, clicking email newsletter links, etc.
- Will download and catalog information they may not get to for a while but know they will need in a later stage
- Are often researching on behalf of others within their companies
- Consume white papers throughout the buying process, and turn to vendor comparisons and trial software in later stages
- Spend a majority of the research process in the consideration stage
- Are most receptive to completing a registration form in exchange for content during the consideration and decision stages
According to TechTarget, one of the key takeaways from the research is that “It not only validates the continued need to map your online content to match stages, but the necessity to have all stage-related material ready simultaneously should your sponsorship of it intersect with the “ravenous appetite” of this target audience. The reality is that if your content is not available for them to proactively download and/or store away then whoever’s is will be chosen for the “grand catalogues” of information that these buyers are constantly building and referring to along their purchase paths.”
This insight is critical as marketers plan their content strategy. They must acknowledge that it’s not sufficient to produce content in a piecemeal fashion. Instead, they need to develop content that addresses concerns and questions at each stage of the buying cycle and make it available simultaneously. Startups in particular should take note, as they are often so eager to get to market that they launch without all necessary content in place.
Just as important, the findings underscore the need to be aware of the content that prospects have downloaded. Otherwise lead nurturing efforts can fall flat as marketers try to offer content/information that the prospective buyer has already stored away.
Stay tuned for my next post featuring an interview with Marilou Barsam, Senior Vice President of Client and Corporate Marketing for TechTarget. She’ll share further insights from TechTarget’s interviews with the participants in the survey.
In the meantime, feel free to download the report along with presentations from TechTarget’s Online ROI Summit, covering the report findings and more.