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How Customers Choose Solution Providers, 2010: The New Buyer Paradox

Author: Julie Schwartz , Katie Espinola, Olivier Nguyen Van Tan
Published: January 6, 2011
Ref. Number: F018
Pages: 236

2010 was the year of marketing transformation. One of the key drivers behind marketing’s need to transform is that the buyers themselves are transforming. ITSMA’s research with buyers shows that buyers are saying one thing, but their behavior shows something else. We are calling this the New Buyer Paradox.

What is the New Buyer Paradox?

  • Cost conscious, yet investing. Buyers are dealing with numerous business challenges, sometimes contradictory: being cost-cautious and supporting growth
  • Cloud wary, yet hopeful. Buyers see cloud computing as a major disruptive technology wave with many benefits, forcing them to re-think their IT landscape
  • Self-reliant, yet dependent. Buyers are pushing salespeople out of the early stages of the buying process with search, industry influencers, their peers, and social media, yet they demand strong relationships
  • Short on time, yet content hungry. Time-constrained buyers maintain a robust appetite for relevant content, but they want it packaged and delivered on their terms
  • Individualistic, yet collective. Buyers want customized solutions based on their unique business needs, but they want to see where solution providers have done it before
  • Thoughtful, yet pragmatic. Buyers are looking for both visionary thought leadership and realistic solutions

ITSMA, in partnership with Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC), conducted the 2010 version of its acclaimed How Customers Choose research across three continents.

Specifically, the study answers questions such as:

  • How has the current economic situation impacted the way customers make buying decisions?
  • What are buyers’ plans for cloud-based solutions?
  • What role does thought leadership and epiphany marketing play in the buying process?
  • When customers have a need, how and where do they look for potential alternatives?
  • How are buyers using social media during the purchase process?
  • When creating a short list of providers, what sources of information do they use?
  • What is the most important criteria used to select solution providers?

Free Download Download an Abbreviated Summary of this study!


Study Methodology

In Fall 2010, ITSMA surveyed, via phone, 486 business and IT executives from companies that purchase business or technology solutions for individual contracts over $500,000. These respondents represented larger enterprises, ranging from $100 million to $20 billion or more in annual revenue from six different countries: US, UK, France, Germany, China, and India. They
also represented a variety of vertical markets, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Financial services
  • Communications
  • Public sector
  • Healthcare
  • Energy/utilities
  • Life sciences

Respondent Characteristics

Role in Purchase Decision Process

Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2010

Geographic Distribution

Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2010

Job Role

Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2010

Job Title

Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2010

Verticals Represented

Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2010

Annual Revenue of Organizations Represented

Source: ITSMA and PAC, How Customers Choose Study, 2010

This report is free to ITSMA member companies (password required) and for sale to nonmembers. See our special offer below.

$1,495 for the complete study (The complete study consists of three documents – 3 Region Roll-up: US, UK, France, Germany, China, and India; plus separate EU data only and US data only, detailed reports)
$795 for Europe data only (UK, France, Germany).
$795 for United States data only.
Free Download Download an Abbreviated Summary of this How Customers Choose Study!
Download the datasheet (including order form) PDF icon PDF (358KB)

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