August 23, 2011
Today’s launch of Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator seemed like a good catalyst to dig a little deeper into my previous blog post about how many marketing vehicles are needed for a B2B tech solution (How Many Marketing Vehicles Do You Need? Guiding Principle Number Two.) If you read that blog, you’ll recall that I identified that on average 7.6 marketing vehicles are used by IT or business professionals during a technology purchasing process (with considerably more than 30 available for marketers to use.) Note that you’ll need to use more than 7.6 marketing vehicles in your overall marketing mix because you’re likely need to influence various stakeholders whose use of marketing vehicles varies. This makes a tech marketer’s job challenging.
Now that you’ve begun to align your vehicle selection with the 7.6 guiding principle, it’s time to think about how those vehicles change across the awareness, consideration, and purchase stages. Our data shows that there is up to a 30% change in vehicle effectiveness across each of these stages. Also, there is no one single mix prescription that marketers can follow, since vehicle usage across these three stages varies widely by title, technology, company size, and geography. One general trend we routinely see is that search engines and the online versions of tech magazines (i.e., computerworld.com) and information sites (i.e., CNET) have a greater influence at the beginning of buying the process but wane as the influencer moves closer to purchase. Besides the effect of sales and channel partners, we also routinely see increasing influence of tech analysts (I’m not deliberately being self-serving here even though I work for Forrester — it’s what the data from 20,000 interviews says) and online ROI tools/sites increasing as an influencer moves further through the marketing funnel.
So as you begin building your next campaign or are evaluating the results from existing campaigns, remember vehicle selection across awareness, consideration and purchase is critical to drive the highest impact for your precious marketing funds – It will serve you well.
About the data: These data points come from Forrester’s Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester’s Tech Marketing Navigator measures how tech buyers and influencers consume marketing across awareness, consideration, and purchase. The data is collected through more than 20,000 interviews per year, covering 20-plus technology categories, across 11 geographies, and annually influences more than $4 billion in marketing program spend.