Almost half (41%) of global CIOs consider themselves to be ‘disruptive’ in their approach to IT, looking for new ways to challenge the status quo. French (46%) and German (42%) CIOs are most ‘disruptive’ in their approach, but all tech leaders are united in their desire for more innovation and passion from IT brands, according to Tech Heads a campaign to demystify what really influences IT purchasing decisions.
The study, conducted on behalf of ION, an international group of comms agencies, asked 1,000 IT decision makers across the UK, US, France and Germany what tactics they use to find out about IT products and services. When considering this new cohort of disruptive thinkers, IT publications (40%), LinkedIn Groups (28%) and videos (23%), are their tools of choice to find out about IT suppliers.
A quarter of global CIOs consult social media ahead of a purchasing decision and almost a third (31%) research IT suppliers through LinkedIn, closely followed by Google+ (28%). In the US and France, however, 42% of CIOs respectively are still most influenced by meeting vendors at IT events / conferences.
Buck stops with the board
Disruptive or otherwise, Tech Heads 2013 indicates that IT decisions are stretching beyond the traditional realms of the CIO, with almost three quarters of international tech leaders (71%) needing to engage the board, when making IT choices. This is most prevalent in Germany (88%) and the UK (82%), where almost all investment decisions, involve these senior execs.
Relevance is king
Tech Heads 2013 suggests global CIOs want more relevant content, with 62% crying out for better targeted information, particularly those in France (68%) and the UK (60%). Use of marketing jargon (38%) and lengthy articles (37%) most frustrate international CIOs, with French IT decision makers having the least patience for articles full of jargon and buzzwords.
Kate Mills, head of ION at Octopus Group, comments: "We’re seeing huge uptake of analytics or use of big data to really understand CIOs on a practical and emotional level. It's no longer good enough to consider them as one group and the dawn of the disruptive CIO is testament to this. Tech investment decisions are clearly moving outside the IT department, so marketers need to understand additional influencers, and ensure that tech jargon is avoided at all costs."
Greg Swift, National Director of Information Systems, Grant Thornton agrees, suggesting that suppliers fail to demonstrate their relevance to him, meaning they lose a potential sale.
“I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the volume of irrelevant content that I come across that fails to meet my requirements as I search for compatible partners to do business with. My time is stretched and when it comes to research, I want to know how IT vendors can help me and how they have helped someone like me within minutes, not hours. This will only get worse, and I advise brands to take heed of the results of this study, to really succeed in influencing decision makers.”
Mills concludes: "This year’s findings confirm an integrated approach is needed to engage the ‘disruptive’ CIO, with new tactics considered alongside more traditional approaches. It’s not only a channel-neutral strategy that’s important, however, global comms must also be authentic in every market. With so many disparate audiences, global comms can be a real headache for IT marketers and this coupled with tech innovation constantly creating new ways to target CIOs, makes it even harder. We hope that Tech Heads helps to solve some of these challenges and aids the delivery of truly impactful international comms."
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