Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Shifts in Search Patterns

About a month ago I attended TechTarget’s Online ROI Summit in San Francisco, a one-day event geared to those who market to IT decision makers. I came away with a lot of great information – on lead generation programs, ROI, lead scoring and automation – even got to hear directly from two CIOs in a breakout session about the best way to reach them (they unanimously said email – they don’t answer their phones!).

Some of the most interesting information to me was data shared from a Google/TechTarget Behavioral Research Project on the online search behavior of IT buyers during the purchase process. Breaking down the buying process into three stages – early (awareness), middle (consideration), and end (decision) - they highlighted two major shifts in search patterns between 2008 and 2009:

• Greater frequency of brand and issue/opportunity searches in the early stage of the buying process
• Higher volume of comparison searches in “consideration” vs. end stage of the buying process

Essentially, people are searching on a solution’s company name earlier in the buying cycle than they used to, and they’re looking to compare products with those of competitors earlier as well. The key takeaways – be sure your company’s web site addresses all stages of the buying cycle with relevant content, and don’t shy away from direct product comparisons between you and your competitors. IT buyers want comparisons and will do the due diligence with or without you, so provide them with the information - if you don’t, assume your competitors will.

Content from the Summit can be found online on TechTarget’s web site for your reference. If you market to IT buyers, it’s worth a look.

2 comments:

Tracey said...

I especially like the PPT on the post-recession economy and how you can sit around waiting for full recovery (and watch your competitors make off with your business), or be smart and take advantage of the coming uptick. 2010, baby!

Larissa Gaston said...

Agreed. There was a lot of good information!