Study Says Social Media Still not Key Buying Influence for Technology Buyers

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There is a lot of talk about social media as it relates to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) selection. Do social media features have a major influence on your decision of which CRM software is right for your business? According to most other buyers, the answer is no.

Social technology has taken the world by storm, affecting every type of consumer and business network. Businesses are starting to take notice of social media, and many have included it in their revised business plans. Nevertheless, a recent study by IDC has found that, for the most part, technology buyers do not believe social media influences their buying decisions.

As reported by BtoBOnline the "2012 Buyer Experience Study" found that 84% of respondents use social media sites and networks for business trends and news, but only 18.6% of them actually believe social networks have reached a point where they influence purchasing decisions and how they interact with vendors.

The survey asked tech buyers to rate how various information sources affect their buying, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest. In-person events scored higher on the rating scale of top influencers. Conferences, trade shows, and direct contact with vendors scored a 7, while social media scored 4.5, and direct mail was the lowest with 4.4.

Among other things, these numbers show that business tech vendors have not yet found ways to leverage the power of social media to effectively communicate with buyers. Rich Vancil, VP of executive strategies at IDC says vendors will need to make adjustments to make social media effective for them. “Tech marketers are learning that they must give before they expect to receive, and focus on creating social media interactions that are highly relevant and provide value to buyers,” Vancil said.

That change may already be underway, as one survey portion indicates that tech companies are investing more in social media. 65% of respondents said their companies intend to boost investments in social media. Tech buyers can expect more social media integration in products and more marketing from tech companies via social media channels over the next couple of years.

But just because it is not a huge buying influence now – it is coming.  And Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be prepared. Want to know where Microsoft Dynamics CRM is heading in terms of social media? Check out this video on CRMSoftware.TV - The Social Media Roadmap for Dynamics CRM.

By PDG Consultants, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner in New Jersey

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