If you were in a room jam-packed with tech buyers, what’s the first thing you would do?
Like any marketer, you’d probably tap a few of those prospects on the shoulder, and ask what their biggest concerns are today.
In return, you’d likely receive a drawn-out sigh.
Leaders are navigating unknown territory in 2020. The market is turbulent (to put it mildly), workforces are increasingly distributed, and companies have to adapt quickly to respond to shifting needs and expectations.
Amidst this chaos, marketers are more important than ever. You have the power to tell stories that cut through the noise and capture a busy IT exec’s attention (and budget). But that means you need to know what’s keeping them up at night right now so you can position your offering as the solution.
In the short-term, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in that room with hundreds of tech buyers ready to talk about their current wish list. Unless that room is an online community with heavy tech buyer engagement.
Marketers are building successful go-to-market strategies by leveraging buyer community insights instead of traditional B2B market research. Here’s why.
1. Tech execs are going online to share insights with peers
Without the opportunity for face-to-face interaction, tech execs are turning to digital communities to interact with their peers. Since March, the 20,000-plus tech executives in the online Pulse community have been 80% more active.
Here are the topics that have been the most popular:
2. Peer recommendations are the number-one way tech leaders are buying right now
In a survey of 100 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in May, 69% said they’re relying on peer recommendations to make purchasing decisions — the most popular response. Industry analysis and online IT communities rounded out the top three.
3. IT budgets are thawing slowly — so you need to know where they’re allocated
Many CIOs saw their budgets freeze during COVID-19, and less than a quarter (24%) think they’ll increase at all in 2020.
However, that doesn’t mean tech leaders have stopped spending. It simply means they’re focusing on their priorities. And with buyer community insights, you can identify what those priorities are. For example, in that same survey from May:
4. Market research doesn’t have to cost $50k and six months
Industry analysts might be one of the top ways tech leaders are making purchasing decisions, but subscribing to those services costs a lot. In 2017, it was reported a starting subscription for Gartner costs about $30,000.
Generating buyer insights in communities like Pulse is a fraction of the cost. Plus, you know you’re getting real insights from verified executives.
And with the market evolving so quickly, you don’t have six months to wait for the traditional research firms to release the “latest” news. Communities like Pulse generate survey results in as little as two weeks.
With the market shifting so rapidly, you need to get inside your buyer’s head to understand their current priorities. By crowdsourcing insights, you can adapt more quickly and tell relevant, timely stories.
After all, your buyers will have written your strategy.