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New IDC Study Reveals That the Most Senior and Influential B2B Buyers Use Online Social Networks in Their Purchase Process

(PresseBox) (Framingham, Mass., ) A recently completed Social Buying Study from International Data Corporation (IDC) concludes that 75% of the business-to-business (B2B) buyers studied and 84% of C-level/vice president executives use social media to support purchase decisions.

According to the findings of this global study, B2B buyers most active in using social media to support the buying process were more senior and had 84% bigger budgets, made 61% more purchase decisions, and had influence over a greater span of purchase decisions than those buyers who did not use social media to support their purchase process. The study indicates that social media increases decision-making confidence by providing more efficient access to an executive's professional network. In the final stage of the purchasing process, when stakes are highest, online professional networks are the number 1 information resource preference of buyers.

IDC believes that social networks will continue to grow in importance as purchasing tools. "Senior executives - the C-level and VP-level buyers who demonstrate the greatest propensity to use social networks for buying - set the pace for others in their organization. Where the leaders go, others tend to follow," said Kathleen Schaub, Vice President of Research in IDC's CMO Advisory Practice.

"As the use of social networks expands, the gap between companies that use social networks for buying and selling and those that do not will widen, creating a significant disadvantage for companies that lag behind," said Michael Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions. "For vendor companies, this transformation may be difficult and will take time; however, new competencies will amplify the value that buyers seek from social networks. This will create an echo effect, making social networks even more valuable to buyers."

The IDC report, Social Buying: The Importance of Trusted Networks During the B2B Purchase Process (Doc #249812), completed in February 2014 in collaboration with LinkedIn, surveyed 760 respondents in eight countries in the technology, professional services, and financial services industries who had responsibilities for or influence on company purchases at the department level or above.

Regions Covered:
United States

Topics Covered:
IT buyer, Integration and process automation middleware, Social networking

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IDC Central Europe GmbH

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.