Cisco Blogs

Social Media & IT Decision Makers – 8 Relevant Points

- February 17, 2009 - 2 Comments

imageIn my quest to uncover how we can use social media tools to reach technology purchase decision makers, I came across a series of interesting studies done by ITtoolbox and PJA.In June 2007, ITtoolbox and PJA conducted an inaugural Social Media Index Survey to assess the impact of emerging media and online communities on the technology purchase process. They subsequently executed two additional surveys in November 2007 and August 2008. The goal – To determine the influence of social media tools through distinct stages of the purchase process and assess the credibility of online communities as an extension of personal networks. Here’s what they found:• IT decision-maker and influencer audiences spend more time consuming or participating in social media than they do consuming editorial media or vendor content.• Executive decision-makers spend nearly 4 hours per week consuming or participating in social media — the highest usage profile.• IT decision-makers and influencers spend more time with and increasingly consider online communities — discussion groups, peer-to-peer networks, social networks – as extensions of their existing network of personal contacts.• More than half of IT decision makers and influencers consider it important/valuable to reach out beyond personal contacts to peers.• When utilizing social media for technology purchasing decisions, search is the most important information source during the early (awareness) stages of the buying cycle.• When utilizing social media for technology purchasing decisions, topic-based networks and personal networks are the most important sources of information in the consideration and evaluation stages.• IT decision-makers rated topic-based communities as the most important social media source of information throughout all stages of the purchase cycle.• There is an unmet need and significant opportunity for online social networks. All categories of IT decision-makers and influencers expressed a need for more online networking communities.Clearly, it is possible to reach IT decision makers in the digital world. Knowing this, I think the discussion now centers around where is your ideal customer footprint online and how can you get in front of them? I’ll be looking into this next. Complete detail from these surveys is available online at:ITtoolbox/PJA November 2007 Survey Results and ITtoolbox/PJA August 2008 Survey Results .

Leave a comment

We'd love to hear from you! To earn points and badges for participating in the conversation, join Cisco Social Rewards. Your comment(s) will appear instantly on the live site. Spam, promotional and derogatory comments will be removed.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. This is fantastic information Ruth. Many partners that I work with wonder if their customers are actually using these tools and this information clearly shows that they are! Am very interested in if it is possible to pinpoint the footprint you mention or if it is dispersed across many venues / sites.

  2. Thanks for the comment Amy. I think that the online footprint will depend upon what the ideal customer profile looks like for a particular partner company. In the ITtoolbox/PJA study they sent email blasts to 465,000 ITtoolbox members. If your ideal customer profile matches to a significant segment of the ITtoolbox members, then that could potentially be a good resource to leverage to engage with your target customers online.