It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
Choosing the right vendor can make or break a marketing strategy, so it’s no wonder marketers are more scrupulous than ever before.
New global research released by Hotwire and Vanson Bourne surveyed 1000 global business decision makers including around 100 from Australia, to find out which information sources prove to be effective in helping to investigate potential vendors.
The study, The Changing Face of Influence, found almost half of marketing respondents look for vendor customer stories and case studies, direct customer references either via phone or visit as well as vendor thought leader opinion pieces before making their decision. Other factors considered included external peer opinions and independent consultant opinions.
Hotwire Australia managing director, Alexis Wilson, said despite the information overload many decision makers are experiencing, it’s clear marketers are still looking for the proof in the pudding – customer references.
“The IT industry is relying heavily on their colleagues and industry analysts to point them in the right direction,” she said. “Interestingly, thought leadership pieces are proving to be highly influential in both fields, which supports the efforts many organisations are putting behind content marketing, blogging, and CEO profiling.”
When assessing the effectiveness of different information sources, the report also revealed some key differences between IT and marketing decision makers. Marketers got most value from thought leader/opinion pieces (52 per cent), customer case studies (46 per cent), direct customer references (35 per cent) and business press opinion pieces (35 per cent).
IT decision makers sought external peer opinions (50 per cent), internal peer opinions (48 per cent), analyst research (46 per cent) and independent consultant opinions (44 per cent) were most valuable.
“The survey demonstrates there are clear gaps between the information marketers and IT leaders are looking for, and the information that is actually helping them make decisions,” Wilson added. “Marketers are clearly impacted by industry experts who can think through and implement forward-thinking concepts, while IT leaders are highly influenced by their peers’ actions. Arguably, to ensure our businesses are thinking innovatively, we should be combining these to form strategic decisions.”