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Reach Senior IT Executives with LinkedIn

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With IT budgets on the rise and most organizations planning significant purchases in 2011-12, opportunities for IT Hardware marketers abound. We surveyed 800 IT leaders and C-level executives in the U.S. who are involved in hardware purchase decisions at their companies and are active members of LinkedIn. The study examined decision-making responsibilities, LinkedIn usage, trust factors, purchase intentions, and brand affinities.

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Reach Senior IT Executives with LinkedIn

  1. 1. Marketing Solutions Reach Senior IT Executives with LinkedInIT DECISION MAKERS LinkedIn IT Hardware Buyer Audience Study, 2011ON LINKEDIN With IT budgets on the rise and most organizations planning significantACTIVE BUYERS purchases in 2011-12, opportunities for IT Hardware marketers abound.100% plan hardware purchases in LinkedIn’s membership includes leaders from every Fortune 500 company1the next 12 months as well as executives at thousands of small and mid-sized businesses. LinkedIn connects marketers with the most influential, affluent, and75% plan hardware purchases in educated audience on the web2 – but can it connect you with senior IT3 or more categories executives? This is the question we examined in LinkedIn’s 2011 U.S. IT Hardware Buyer audience study.ENGAGEDSpend 5-9x more time on LinkedIn We surveyed 800 IT leaders and C-level executives in the U.S. who arethan leading IT channels involved in hardware purchase decisions at their companies and are active members of LinkedIn. The study examined decision-making responsibilities,CONNECTED LinkedIn usage, trust factors, purchase intentions, and brand affinities toNetwork with 3-5x more colleagues learn whether executives on LinkedIn:than the average LinkedIn member • Actively use LinkedIn to do their jobs and make IT decisionsTRUST LINKEDIN & THEIR • Influence and direct IT hardware purchase decisions at their companiesPROFESSIONAL NETWORK98% rely on their work colleagues / • Have budget for major IT hardware purchases in the next 12 monthsprofessional network for IT product • Recognize and recommend specific hardware brandsrecommendations63% look specifically to LinkedInfor IT information SENIORITY OF HARDWARE BUYER STUDY PARTICIPANTS CIO, CTO, COO IT C-LEVEL VP DIRECTOR IT LEADERS MANAGER 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Participants in LinkedIn’s 2011 IT Hardware Buyer audience study included a representative sample of C-level IT executives (CIOs, CTOs, and COOs with IT responsibilities) and IT Leaders (VPs, Directors, and Managers). At the time the survey was conducted, 87,000 IT decision makers were active on LinkedIn each month, and the number continue to grow. Base: all survey respondents (n=800) IT executives are active on LinkedIn – and not just for job searches The number of channels that compete for the attention of technology leaders is on the rise. How are these IT leaders using LinkedIn, and how does their LinkedIn usage compare with time spent on leading IT channels? As a group, IT professionals tend to be early adopters and have long been actively engaged on LinkedIn. In fact, IT professionals who visit LinkedIn spend more time on site per visit – and view more pages per visit – than they do at leading IT sites such as ZDNet, IDG, and Ziff Davis Enterprise.3 1
  2. 2. IT PROFESSIONALS ON LINKEDIN ARE HIGHLYENGAGED 34 Average Pages per Visitor (US) Minutes per Visitor (US) 19 4 3 3 2 2 2 LinkedIn ZDNet IDG Tech Network Ziff Davis Enterprise SitesIT professionals spend more time and view more pages per visit on LinkedIn than on leading IT sites.4Do IT executives spend their time on LinkedIn to network, sharerecommendations, and seek IT information – or are they simply lookingfor jobs? We examined the activities of IT executives on LinkedIn duringa typical month. IT executives primarily use Linked to engage inprofessional networking activities, view people and profiles, participate inLinkedIn Groups around a professional interest, and learn aboutcompanies and products. Participation in each of these activities exceedsjob hunting by a wide margin.5IT execs on LinkedIn are senior decision makersIt can be difficult for marketing professionals to ensure that theirmessages are reaching the right people at the right level in anorganization. LinkedIn makes it easier for marketers to reach their targetaudience, because LinkedIn members participate under their real namesand organizational affiliations, and senior executives comprise asignificant portion of the overall audience.Of the 800 IT executives who participated the LinkedIn IT Hardware Buyeraudience study, 57 percent were director level or above,6 and all play asignificant role in hardware purchase decisions in their companies.LINKEDIN MEMBERS DRIVE IT PURCHASE DECISIONSWhat role(s) do you typically play in purchases of IT products or services for yourcompany or institution? FINAL DECISION MAKERPART OF DECISION COMMITTEESET BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS & BUDGET RECOMMEND BRANDS TO CONSIDER SET TECH. REQUIREMENTS 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% IT C-Level IT Leaders C-level IT execs on LinkedIn are most likely to be the final decision makers in IT purchase decisions, and IT leaders strongly influence every phase of the purchase process. Base: All survey respondents. IT Leaders (n=656), IT C-Level (n=144) 2
  3. 3. IT execs trust their colleagues and professional networks IT EXECS ON LINKEDINAccording to Forrester Research, business technology buyers consistently ARE ACTIVE BUYERSrank ‘peers and colleagues’ as the number one source of influence in thebuying process.7 The LinkedIn Hardware Buyer audience study reinforces 75%this finding, with 98% of IT executives looking to their colleagues andprofessional networks for trusted advice on IT purchases.IT executives on LinkedIn are exceptionally well connected, with three to OF IT EXECUTIVES SURVEYEDfive times more connections in their professional network than the average BUDGETED FORLinkedIn member.8 3 OR MORELINKEDIN CONNECTS IT DECISION MAKERS TO MAJORTRUSTED ADVICE HARDWAREWhen deciding whether to purchase a particular IT product or service for your companyor institution, do you trust recommendations from the following sources? PURCHASES IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS WORK COLLEAGUES/ PROFESSIONAL NETWORK 98% VALUE-ADDED RESELLERS/ SYSTEM INTEGRATORS 81% WHITEPAPER 70% IT COMPANY’S WEBSITE 36% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%‘Work colleagues/professional network’ is the #1 trusted resource for IT Hardware Buyers on LinkedIn, surpassing othertrusted sources of information. Base: all survey respondents (n=800)IT executives consider LinkedIn to be an important asset in getting their jobsdone, with over half of respondents rating LinkedIn a good resource for:• Getting information about IT companies, services, or products• Getting advice on how to solve an IT product or service challenge• Finding recommendations about IT products or services• Staying on top of the latest news or trends in the IT industryAdditionally, 20 percent of IT leaders and 17 percent of C-level IT executivesstated that information on LinkedIn had directly influenced a recent purchasedecision.IT execs on LinkedIn are active IT Hardware buyersWith major analyst firms reporting rising spending across most IT hardwarecategories in 2011-20129, it’s not surprising that most IT execs on LinkedInare planning major purchases.We surveyed LinkedIn users on their purchase plans across major IThardware categories. Every IT executive surveyed had budgeted at leastone major hardware purchase in the next 12 months and 75% plannedpurchases in 3 or more hardware categories. We looked at plannedpurchases by category, company size, and measured awareness of 40major brands of computers, servers, storage solutions, networkingdevices, mobile phones and voice plans, landline phones and VOIP,and printers. Contact your LinkedIn account executive for informationon specific brands and categories. 3
  4. 4. Advertise on LinkedIn BRANDS INCLUDEDLinkedIn is a powerful vehicle for IT marketers to reach their target IN THE STUDYaudience. Our marketing solutions provide advertisers with the ability totarget audiences based on our members’ profile information, including job 3COM JUNIPERtitle, job function, seniority, company name, company size, industry, and 8X8 KODAKgeography. ACER LENOVOTo learn more about the LinkedIn IT Hardware Buyer audience study and APPLE LGhow you can tap into LinkedIn’s audience of affluent, influential, AVAYA MICROSOFThard-to-reach professionals, contact your LinkedIn account executive. BARRACUDA MOTOROLA BLACKBERRY NECMethodology BROTHER NETAPPLinkedIn’s 2011 U.S. IT Hardware Audience Study was an online surveyfielded in Q1 2011. The survey was conducted with 800 active, U.S. BUFFALO NETGEARLinkedIn members whose LinkedIn profiles met the definition of IT Leaders CANON NOKIAand C-Level execs in organizations of 200 or more employees, and who CISCO NORTELwere screened for their involvement in IT hardware purchase decisionswithin their organizations. For the purposes of this survey, ‘active’ means a DELL ORACLELinkedIn member who has used LinkedIn at least once in the last 30 days. EMC PALM EPSON SAMSUNGThe demographics of the survey were representative of the broaderLinkedIn Audience at the time the survey was conducted. A total of 800 FABRK SEAGATE/MAXTORLinkedIn members completed the survey, however, a number of analyses HITACHI SONYfocused on subsets of participants (n ~656 and n~144). The margin of HP SUN MICROSYSTEMSerror on reported percentages is +/- 3.5% for the entire sample. Themargins of error for subgroup analyses are +/- 3.8% for the IT Leader HTC TOSHIBAsubgroup (n=656) and +/- 8.2% for the C-Level executive subgroup IBM WESTERN DIGITAL(n=144), assuming a 95% confidence level. IOMEGA XEROXIT hardware product categories included in this study: computers, servers,storage, networking devices, mobile phones and voice plans, landlinephones and VOIP, printers.For more informationhttp://marketing.linkedin.com/contact1 As of January 2011, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2010 Fortune 500 companies as members.2 The Nielsen Company @Plan data, released December 2010. U.S. LinkedIn members include more decision makers, more college and post graduates, with higher average household incomes, than many leading business websites.3 Comparative pages per visitor and minutes per visitor from the Nielsen Company, @Plan January 2011.4 Nielsen Company, @Plan January 2011.5 For example, in January 2011, 90% of active IT executives communicated with their network, 82% searched or viewed profiles, and 31% participated in a LinkedIn group for like-minded professionals, whereas only 12% looked at job listings.6 18 percent of participants in LinkedIn’s 2011 U.S. IT Hardware Buyer Audience Study 2011 were C-level executives in IT (CIOs, CTOs , COOs), 16 percent were vice presidents, 23 percent directors, and 43 percent managers.7 Kim Celestre, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research, referencing Forrester’s Social Technographics® findings in her June 14, 2011 report, "The Social Tech Product Launch: Monitor Social Conversations to Guide New Product Introductions.”8 ‘Number of connections’ data based on LinkedIn active audience statistics, January 2011.9 Andrew Bartels, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, “Mid-year update: Tech Industry Outlook for 2011 and 2012” (teleconference presentation), June 23, 2011.Copyright © 2011 LinkedIn Corporation, Inc. LinkedIn and the LinkedIn logo are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation in the UnitedStates and/or other countries. All other brands and trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 4