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Are IT Buyers and Marketers Search-Aligned?

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According to a recent survey of 3,000 IT buyers and marketers, some 83 percent of buyers actively use Google to find tech information. About 65 percent of marketers participate in paid search programs to find these buyers. Maybe the other marketers are missing out.

IT buyers are sophisticated searchers. At least 56% enter at least three or more keywords and 19 percent use Boolean searches. They are thorough and generally scan at least three or more pages of results – countering the attitude that you must be on the first page to be viewed or relevant. Marketing spends make sense, since 52 percent of these educated buyers read and 35 percent say they click on ads frequently/sometimes.

Although buyers are actively searching and responding to paid search, the marketers don't spend with the same intensity. When probed further, only 17 percent spend more than half their online budgets on search and 58 percent spend less than a quarter of their budgets. Among the marketers not currently buying ads, 27 percent have never tried it, and 19 percent tried and gave up. Another quarter of marketers claim it's just too expensive!

IT marketers are interested in creating awareness, and also do this by improving their organic search results. Some 66 percent engage in SEO strategies and 58 percent report their content is available through the engines. This is about the same engagement level as paid search activities.

If all your prospects are all going somewhere like search, then it's worth trying to reach some of them. However, limited resources and trade-offs are reasons for not participating. As we heard, the returns aren't working for some marketers anymore. Maybe more targeted buys work better, on specific industry social and trade sites. Even so, I'm wondering why search seems to be an "all or nothing" proposition for 35 percent of IT marketers.


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