Technology Influencer Survey: UK Results

03 July 2007

On Wednesday 20th June (the same day as Gartner’s Quarterly Analyst Call)
Mark Jackson, UK MD H&K Technologies, presented the UK results of
Hill & Knowlton’s annual survey in which 420 IT buyers were asked
about what influences them when making an IT purchasing decision.
Respondents included decision-makers from both the C-Suite and non
C-Suite (i.e. IT managers).

In general the findings are in line with recent trends, although some people might be surprised by some of them.

Industry analysts
- and not just the
obvious ones – are cited as being a key influence by IT purchasing
decision-makers, especially within large enterprises,
not only at short-listing, which we have long known about, but in the
UK in particular, analysts are influential from right at the start of
the purchasing process through to the end. Verbal consultations
(inquiries) tend to be used at earlier stages, to help decide which
companies should be invited to the table, whereas written reports are
used right up to the final decision. Presumably they are being used to
justify costs to the FD.

It is interesting to note that the percentages of respondents subscribing to Gartner and Forrester Research
are very similar (16% each), but the former is favoured by technical
staff whereas the C-Suite seem to plump for Forrester. Moreover,
Forrester’s research appears to be used regularly as a back-up to
Gartner, but the reverse is not the case: purchasers of Forrester’s
research are more likely to turn to other firms as a secondary source
of industry analysis. Datamonitor and Juniper Research were also mentioned quite often and several ’boutique’ firms came in at around the 7% mark.

Having a positive previous experience is important, especially amongst CTOs, 26% of whom said this was vital.

The credibility and influence of bloggers is growing rapidly
and can no longer be
ignored; although less important in the UK than the other countries
surveyed (Canada, China and the US), 32% of SMBs said that they turn to
blogs as a credible information source. Note that that this fell to 17%
among enterprise buyers, but relevant blogs are worth taking into
consideration especially if smaller companies are a key market.

In contrast to blogs, sales and marketing collateral, including corporate websites, was not rated particularly useful by UK decision-makers (cynical lot that they are)

On the broader media relations front, the FT comes out as a key publication for reaching global
audiences, being widely read in China and the US (although not in Canada) and is seen as trustworthy. Notably, the Wall Street Journal was only read by half as many respondents.

Amongst the trade press, Computer Weekly is popular scored highly as a reliable source. Surprisingly perhaps, Information Age is not widely read by the people we surveyed, but those who do rate it as highly credible.

All told, the survey provides a fair amount of food for thought. If
you are interested in learning more about the UK findings, we have
published a white paper that you can download here.

We also made a recording of Mark’s presentation and you can listen to his analysis by following the link to the attachment below
(I must figure out how to embed podcasts into the body of these
posts…). Sadly, the Q&A section of the presentation was not
picked up by the microphone, but happily that means you miss my
interventions.

If you would like to speak to Mark or me about the survey, please call me on +44 20 7413 3106

or email dominic.pannell (at) hillandknowlton.com

A video of the presentation is in the final stages of editing and will be published shortly.

3 Responses to “Technology Influencer Survey: UK Results”

  1. James Governor’s Monkchips » links for 2007-07-09

    PingBack from http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/2007/07/09/links-for-2007-07-09/

  2. David R

    Really interesting Dom.  Thanks for sharing.  

  3. Infuse » Blog Archive » Review of H+K’s Influencing Technology Decision Makers research

    PingBack from http://blogs.influencer50.com/infuse/2007/08/16/review-of-hks-influencing-technology-decision-makers-research/

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