Reaching IT decision-makers (ITDM) online can seem like a daunting task. After all, they are making business decisions about which technologies to implement in their organizations. However, there are several ways to reach ITDMs online and persuade them to consider your product or service. This blog post will discuss some of the best methods for reaching IT decision-makers online.
What is an IT Decision Maker ITDM?
ITDM is an acronym that stands for “Information Technology Decision Maker.” This type of decision-maker is responsible for making purchase decisions about which technologies to deploy and implement in their organization. ITDMs are usually high-level executives or managers who have a lot of influence within their organization.
ITDMs range from the CIO (Chief Information Officer) to the IT manager of a small business. They may also include directors of technology and vice presidents of information systems and infrastructure.
What are IT Decision Maker Job Titles?
ITDM job titles will change based on industry, vertical, and organization size. Starting with the C-suite, the CIO and CTO are the most common ITDM job titles. However, the CIO may also be responsible for business decision-making (BDM) in smaller organizations. This C-suite audience most likely started their careers as engineers, developers, and technologists and became technology decision-makers.
The Chief Data Officer and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) are also standard job titles in enterprise organizations. They are responsible for business decision-making and purchasing software and other tech.
The next most common title is Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, or just Vice President of Information Technology. They often refer to themselves as the “Head of IT” or “Head of” Engineering, Software, Data Science, etc.
The next level down is the Director or Sr. Director of Information Technology. They are usually more focused on the day-to-day operations of their department and less on purchase and business decisions. From there are the managers, engineers, developers, architects, data scientists, and analysts.
There are also specialty job titles which would include areas like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, DevOps, MLOps, AIOps, SIEM, Threat Intelligence, RPA, Automation, Intelligent Automation, and many more. There are hundreds of other ITDM job titles and they change all the time.
Why Reach ITDMs Online?
Reaching IT decision-makers online is a great way to promote your product or service. These are the people who have the power to decide which technologies to use in their organizations. You can persuade them to consider your product or service with an analysis of the B2B sales funnel. Understanding which media outlets IT decision-makers use and how they consume information will help you develop an effective marketing and PR strategy.
It’s also critical to understand the topics and trends important to ITDMs based on their social media conversations.
The ITDM Customer Journey
The ITDM customer journey is extremely complex. ITDMs are constantly inundated with information, and they have to sift through a lot of noise to find the signal. To reach IT decision-makers online, you need to understand how they consume information and what type of content they’re looking for. It shows how complex the customer journey is for ITDM when they are in the market for new software or services.
The typical sales cycle for enterprise software is between 6-18 months, which means that ITDMs spend a lot of time researching various products, asking peers and colleagues for feedback, reading analyst reports and articles in the media. They are looking to reinforce their decision-making before they decide to purchase.
The first step in the ITDM buyer journey is awareness. In this stage, IT decision-makers become aware of a problem or challenge that needs to be addressed. They may not even be aware that your product or service exists. The second stage is interest. In this stage, IT decision-makers are interested in finding a solution to their problem or challenge. They may start researching different products or services online.
The third stage is evaluation. In this stage, IT decision-makers evaluate different options to find the best solution for their needs. They may compare other products or services and read online reviews. The fourth stage is purchase. In this stage, IT decision-makers are ready to buy a product or service. They may contact a vendor directly or make a purchase online.
Lastly is loyalty. In this stage, IT decision-makers become loyal customers who continue to buy a product or service. They may also recommend a product or service to others. It’s just as important to pay attention to this group of ITDMs because they will be the ones that influence other decision-makers during their customer journey.
ITDM Audience Analysis
Below is an analysis of a mid-level ITDM audience. For the purposes of this post, we built an audience of 2K self-identified IT decision-makers and analyzed their media affinities and conversations. The affinity data is based on the percentage of the audience that follows a specific media outlet. The conversational data is based on the content that this audience is publishing public on social media channels.
A few IT job titles in this analysis include:
- IT Manager
- IT Director
- Sr. Manager, Engineering & IT
- Director of IT Services
Even within the larger ITDM audience, each level and function has different likes, dislikes, affinities, and preferences. In this case, we’re looking just at one small segment of the IT audience.
What Media Publications do ITDMs Read?
The research below shows the top business and technology media publications that ITDMs follow on social media in order of affinity. Most of these media outlets are expected–the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WIRED, The Economist, and Harvard Business Review. However, when ITDM are interested in technology news, they read Engadget, The Verge, ArsTechnica, ZDNet, and Fast Company.
Knowing what media publications IT decision-makers read will help inform a data-driven public relations and thought leadership program.
The ITDM audience is also interested in following blogs written by technology companies like Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, and Microsoft Azure. In addition, they appreciate content from vendors/solutions providers in the enterprise software space, such as SAP, Oracle, and IBM.
Other popular blogs that ITDM read include Gigaom, ReadWriteWeb (now part of Say Media), TechCrunch, Mashable, VentureBeat, and Business Insider. These are all great places to get your company’s name and story in front of potential customers.
When trying to reach IT decision-makers online, it is essential to know what kind of content they are interested in consuming. By understanding this information, you can better tailor your outreach efforts and create content that will resonate with your target audience.
ITDM Influencer Purchasing Factors
The ITDM data below shows is critical to the customer journey. It shows the purchase influence factors based on affinity and conversation data.
- 66% of ITDMs make purchase decisions based on brand name
- 33% of ITDMs make purchase decisions based on the utility of a product
- 24.7% of ITDMs make purchase decisions based on recommendations from peers and colleagues
- 18% of ITDMs make purchase decisions based on advertising
- 14.2% of ITDMs make purchase decisions based on social media
Based on this data, it’s clear that the most important thing for marketing is to focus on their brand name. This means creating a solid brand identity that will be easily recognizable by ITDMs. Additionally, it’s essential to create helpful content for ITDMs to help them in their decision-making process. Recommendations from peers and colleagues are also crucial to influencer the customer journey, so vendors should focus on creating a solid network of brand advocates. Finally, social media and advertising can also be effective but should not be the only focus.
What’s Top of Mind for IT Decision Makers?
When exploring the ITDM conversation, a few key topic areas are driving the conversation. These are
- Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud Security
- Big Data
- Hybrid Work
ITDMs are discussing artificial intelligence and machine learning at very high levels. Artificial intelligence is a process of programming software to make intelligent decisions for themselves. This can be done through several different approaches, including but not limited to neural networks, rule-based systems, decision trees, algorithms, and fuzzy logic systems. Machine learning is part of AI that focuses on learning from data and improving their performance in real-time without being programmed by an engineer or developer. The result is initiatives that will enhance customer experience, automate sales processes, and an organization’s ability to scale and innovate.
Some of the questions that ITDMs are asking about Artificial Intelligence include:
- What are the different types of AI technology?
- How can AI be used in business on a global scale?
- What are some ethical concerns around AI?
- How will AI impact the future of work?
ITDMs are excited about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. They see these technologies as transformative and believe that they will significantly impact businesses in the future. However, they also express some concern about the ethical implications of AI and the potential for job loss as a result of automation.
Cloud security is also top of mind for IT decision-makers. With more and more businesses moving to the cloud, there are several security concerns that they are talking about, including data breaches, data loss, threat intelligence, and more. In addition, there are significant discussions about securing their data in the cloud, including but not limited to encryption, access control, and activity monitoring. Some of the questions that ITDMs are asking about cloud security include:
- What are the most significant security concerns with moving to the cloud?
- How can businesses secure their data in the cloud?
- What are the consequences of a data breach?
Automation is another concern among IT decision-makers. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, several automated processes can be performed by software like RPA. As a result, automation can help businesses improve efficiency and save money. Some of the questions that ITDMs are asking about automation include:
- What tasks can be automated?
- How will automation impact the workforce?
- What are the benefits of software automation?
- What are the risks of automation?
- How will automation affect the future of work?
Automation is seen as a way to improve efficiency and save money. However, there are also some concerns about the potential impact of automation on jobs. As a result, IT decision-makers are interested in understanding what tasks can be automated and the benefits and risks of automation within the global infrastructure of their organization.
Big data is not just another technology buzzword. It’s still a vast topic that is top of mind for ITDMs. With more businesses collecting data, there is a need to store, manage, protect and analyze this data. From a marketing perspective, big data can improve business decisions and understand the customer experience, website analytics, market research, user data, and sales performance. Some of the questions that ITDMs are asking about big data include:
- How can businesses use big data?
- What are the benefits of big data?
- What are the challenges of big data?
- What is our big data process and strategy?
Big data is a hot topic for IT decision-makers. They see the potential of big data to improve business decisions and improve processes. However, they also recognize the challenges of managing and analyzing large amounts of data.
As expected, hybrid work topics have been top of mind for the ITDM audience over the last two years. With more businesses allowing employees to work remotely, there is a need to manage both on-site and remote workers. As a result, hybrid work can help enterprises improve productivity and reduce costs. Some of the questions that ITDMs are asking about hybrid work include:
- How can businesses manage hybrid workforces?
- What are the benefits of hybrid work?
- What are the challenges of hybrid work?
The conversation around hybrid work is primarily positive, with many ITDMs excited about the potential productivity gains and cost savings that it could bring to their organization.
In conclusion, ITDMs are talking about a variety of topics online. They are interested in understanding the different types of AI, how AI can be used in business, and the ethical concerns around AI. They are also discussing cloud security, data loss, and automation. Additionally, ITDMs are talking about big data and hybrid work.
ITDMs are excited about the potential of new technologies and have some concerns that need to be addressed. Businesses should stay up-to-date on these conversations to understand the latest trends in the IT industry.
Q: Are all IT decision-makers the same?
A: No, there are different types of IT decision-makers. Some focus on technology, while others focus on business.
Q: How are business decision-makers different than IT decision-makers?
A: Business decision-makers focus on the business impact of technology. IT decision-makers focus on the technical implementation of technology.
Q: What do IT decision-makers care about?
A: IT decision-makers are interested in a variety of topics, including cloud security, data, and automation. Additionally, they are talking about big data and hybrid work.