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Technology Buyers Require Practical, Timely Content [Research]

UBM TechWeb recently released Buyers Research 2012. This is a survey of 240 business technology decision makers conducted in March 2012 that sheds light on what prospects want — and what they don’t — when it comes to vendor content.

While the survey focused on what buyers want to see with technology vendors, the insights are useful for anyone in content marketing.

You need to provide practical advice

Technology vendors consider these to be the most important attributes in information about technology solutions:

  • Facts and figures to support claims (64 percent)
  • Information that contains both business and technical considerations (62 percent)
  • Current or timely information (58 percent)

Similarly, these are the mistakes tech vendors make that turn off prospects:

  • Too much marketing “fluff” (77 percent)
  • Lack of real world examples in vendor material (44 percent)
  • Lack of technical depth (36 percent)

The survey respondents also indicated what they want to see from tech vendors:

  • 65 percent want best practices.
  • 59 percent want competitive comparisons.
  • 54 percent want how-to information.


It’s probably not surprising that respondents want quantifiable and practical content that will help them understand how your products or servies will work in “real life.”  But how do you make sure your content is meeting the mark? Here are a few ideas:

The age of content does matter

The research also looked at how important the currency of the content is:

  • 41 percent would only consider information that is less than one year old.
  • 28 percent would consider information published more than 12 months ago.
  • 31 percent would consider information published more than 18 months ago.


While the need to constantly create content is tiring, think of ways to keep content current without re-inventing the wheel. Joe Chernov has this suggestion in his post, 5 Quick Tips to Make Your Content Live Longer:

“Like serializing content, updating successful pieces annually is another way to get more mileage out of your production. Technology has accelerated the pace of change across most industries, so what was relevant and accurate information one year, may have lost some of its punch or even be completely outdated the next. Yearly updates provide marketers with an ideal opportunity to materially enhance content that has served their audience well in the past without having to start over from square one.”

For instance, Brody Dorland recently revisited his popular CMI post, 12 Things to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post with 7 NEW Things You Need to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post.

In addition, as libraries of content grow, you need to make sure that your audience can find what is most current if that is important to them. As Tom Pisello aptly states,

“Content marketing groups often measure success based on how much content is produced within a given time frame. As content marketers produce more and more content, very little of the older collateral is retired and the number of items keeps multiplying. Consequently, buyers have to wade through a plethora of content to find the right tools that facilitate their buying decisions. Relevance is being lost in a sea of content.”

His suggestions:

  • Map content development to the buying cycle (here are templates to help you do this), delivering just the right pieces of content to enable buyers to navigate the buying process with their executives and other stakeholders.
  • Determine if the new content should replace existing content.

What other ideas do you have to make content more relevant and timely? Let us know in the comments.