The IT market is huge—IT buyers control and influence $2.5 trillion in IT budgets annually. With this large of a market, tech marketers tend to focus on one of two key players in the IT buyer purchase process.
These executives often outline the business objectives, set the timeline, and then reviews the selections.
ITDM typically spots the problem, hunts for solutions, picks the vendor, buys and deploys the product, maintains the solution, and replaces the product.
Most tech marketers choose the top C-suite IT buyer or business decision maker. While on the surface this may make sense, both C-suites and business decision makers usually play a smaller role in the purchase process than you’d think. Commonly, they only approve the budget/strategy and aren’t concerned with evaluating solutions and vendors. That responsibility is passed off to their IT team for review and consideration.
So who should you target? Focus on the people most involved with the tech being purchased: IT pros. The ITDMs are out in the tech world, constantly investigating tech trends and solutions they can draw on when the BDMs come to them with the next problem to solve. When trying to reach ITDMs there are three common misconceptions tech marketers always fall for:
According to a recent Spiceworks survey, 69% of IT pros say BDMs are involved in the purchase decision, but 100% of IT pros are involved to some degree.
Typically, 5–19 people are involved in a tech purchase including seats for the financial, legal, and IT departments. While the BDM may be the one bringing the problem to light, it’s often the ITDM who's the workhorse, researching solutions and recommending the best product or service to purchase.
More than 60% of IT pros are IT managers and network admins — and while they aren't the final "decision makers,” they still heavily influence what's purchased. Speaking with the head ITDM is helpful, but evaluating solutions and vendors is something ITDMs do with their full IT team.
But don’t take our word for it. As one IT pro put it:
While I, as an IT professional, am not the decision maker, I have two very important roles: decision influencer and gatekeeper. If a vendor doesn’t convince me, they don’t make it to the decision maker… and [I] can make or break most IT decisions. –Justin Davison, IT Manager
Sustained brand awareness of a product or service is vital to getting on an IT buying team’s short list. While the C-suite and BDMs are often the ones who say “yes” and write the check, the regular IT pros have the power to say “no” before it reaches the BDMs. Pay attention to the voices in the IT department when marketing and selling as talking with real IT buyers will help you understand the problems that arise and how they’re solved. Keep an open mind and you’re sure to open your funnel as well.