CMO Council Study to Assess How Buyer Perceptions, Preferences and Actions are Influenced by the Consumption of Syndicated Vendor Content Online. Quarterly Analytics Reports will be Supplied by KnowledgeStorm.
Last year, U.S. workers spent about 75 hours per month surfing the Internet on their office PCs, visiting more than 100 different Web sites monthly, according to ClickZ and Nielsen/NetRatings. Concurrently, today’s technology buyers are using the Internet as their primary resource for purchasing decisions. According to eMarketer, last year 65 percent of U.S. B2B buyers turned to the Web first when researching technology solutions. That number was expected to rise to nearly 70 percent in 2005. Clearly the Internet is the destination of choice for researching potential technology purchases.
Today, thousands of technology vendors, integrators and consultants have become valued producers and purveyors of thought leadership content aiming at helping millions of technology buyers better understand, compare, evaluate, specify and consider complex technology purchases. Digitally wrapped so content consumption can be individually tracked and users profiled, the content is syndicated through a plethora of Internet distribution channels reaching many millions of online business and technical professionals worldwide. These white papers, market reports, case studies, competitive assessments, product comparisons and category overviews create marketer value by generating leads from content consumption reports. In addition they appear to have become a significant source of customer intelligence and knowledge, as well as an indispensable part of the decision making process. But have they really?
To what degree is this free downloadable content influencing and shaping buyer opinions and behavior? How is it being used to screen and qualify potential suppliers, contractors and vendors? How much reliance and trust is now placed on vendor-syndicated content and to what degree is it viewed as objective and credible? Which are the most popular channels for sourcing decision-support content and how frequently do users visit these destinations? What topics, content areas and formats are most valuable and enlightening? Which online channels have the most download activity and why? Which type and level of decision makers are downloading content and in what business sizes, industry sectors and geographic regions is this taking place?
These and other questions were answered in the CMO Council’s ongoing Syndicate to Educate™ authority leadership marketing program. Drawing on KnowledgeStorm’s real-time analytics relating to vendor-syndicated content, the CMO Council provides quarterly reports on content syndication and consumption patterns and trends as possible indicators of category, vendor and geographic business performance. KnowledgeStorm draws its analytics from a content delivery network of more than 150 online media channels, and 2.0 million monthly visitors.
In addition to quarterly analytics on vendor-syndicated content that was part of a Tech Buyer Barometer, the CMO Council conducted a milestone survey of KnowledgeStorm users to better understand where and how online content sourcing impacts the customer decision-making and procurement cycle. Dubbed DEFINE WHAT’S VALUED ONLINE, the online survey :
- Determined online content consumption habits, patterns, and relative importance of various information sources and destinations
- Measured where and how downloadable content is impacting purchasing and procurement decisions
- Ranked and rated document delivery channels by audience and frequency/type of downloads
- Understand the dynamics and drivers around the use of Internet research by technology buyers and specifiers
- Evaluated the dependency and value of online content sources and syndication channels
- Assessed where and how these channels were shaping and influencing product procurement practices
- Looked at variations in online document sourcing by company size, vertical industry, geography, user role or title, and content type
- Quantified the degree of reliance, dependency and trust placed on vendor-syndicated content
The Syndicate to Educate program components included:
- Qualitative dialogues and discussions with 12-15 technology buyers, conducted by the CMO Council
- Quantitative online syndicated content consumption survey (Define What’s Valued Online) fielded by the CMO Council and KnowledgeStorm
- Quarterly “IT Buyer Barometer,” incorporating KnowledgeStorm’s advanced analytics to audit and analyze technology content being sourced, viewed and downloaded across multiple categories and vertical industry sectors
- KnowledgeStorm “Data Slice” featured in the CMO Council’s eNewsletter, Marketing Magnified.
- Publication and syndication of “Define What’s Valued Online” report through KnowledgeStorm channels; distribution of this document through CMO Council’s Web site and eNewsletter, Marketing Magnified
More information on this program can be obtained from Liz Miller, VP, Programs & Operations of the CMO Council. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 650.433.4145 x4152.