January 30, 2006
Blog Entry

New Study Results on Marketers as Technology Buyers (Hint: Don't Call Them on the Phone)

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Anne Holland, President

Late last year, the folks at Three Deep Marketing (a firm offering survey software to the marketing community) asked me if I would help them get the word out about a questionnaire they wanted marketers to take.

I said yes -- as long as the questionnaire was truly for research purposes (not a lead gen device asking for contact info) and as long as I could share the resulting data with you guys.

More than 300 MarketingSherpa readers wound up clicking over to start the one-page questionnaire and 27% completed it. I've posted the formal results PDF for you online (link below).

Here's my quick take on a few of the results.

-> Marketers vehemently don't want to be pitched in person or on the phone by a rep. 70.9% of respondents said "No phone!"; 57.3% didn't want a face-to-face meeting; and 63% weren’t interested in a group presentation meeting.

However, most were cool with Web-based presentations and pitches. 86.4% would like emailed info; 87.4% wanted links to an info Web site; and 74.8% would attend a Web-based demo from their own computer.

I suspect that most business prospects would reply the same way to these questions; however marketers' answers were perhaps a bit more dramatic because of the traditional sales vs marketing personality chasm.

-> 64% of respondents want more marketplace feedback, yet only 36.9% would use an easy-to-use survey tool to get it.

My take? Color me dumbfounded. This explains why I've never to my knowledge gotten an editorial survey from an email newsletter that's published for marketing purposes.

The editors of trade magazines have used annual questionnaires for years to make sure their content hits the spot. For an unknown reason this practice has never been copied by marketers publishing newsletters. It should be.

(My golly, here you are competing for attention in your customer's inbox and you never survey them to make your editorial more engaging?)

-> 34% of respondents said their biggest marketing challenge is measuring ROI of campaigns, while only 7.8% said they had a hard time quantifying lead status before handing off to the sales team.

While I agree that measuring ROI is getting harder with multi-channel communications (all those touchpoints intersecting on the same prospect), I was saddened by the lead quantification answer.

Frankly, when we interview demand generation marketers for Case Studies, we find too many of them focus on generating loads of leads rather than qualifying those leads. And then they complain about how sales never follows up on all the leads they're given.

It's another example of that sales vs marketing chasm I mentioned above. Marketing has to get more proactive about truly qualifying every lead and *only* handing over the best ones.

Anyway, rant over. Here's that link I promised to the research results PDF with 13 interesting data charts: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/3deep/study.html

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