The resource on demand generation for B2B IT buyers is part work sample and part resource.

First, it’s a great sample of our work.  It’s an awesome display of our adeptness at handling new technology – of one that barely exists in the marketplace.  We dig in, learn everything we can and get to the details.  It also showcases a research project that is packaged up as demand generation marketing content.  So full disclosure –  numbers are dated.

Second, the reason why it’s a resource is that it lays out a framework that works in nearly any tech market.  It is the basis for segmenting for demand generation for B2B IT buyers.  All new technologies in very new markets have the same 3 segments:

  • Pioneers
  • Planners
  • Stragglers

Regardless of the tech product or service, you can characterize segments the same way.

Demand Generation for B2B IT Buyers: A Market Framework

In B2B markets, Pioneers tend to be companies that compete based on technology innovation.  They seek out ways to raise revenue first, and cut costs second.  Executive business management at these firms support and drive innovation.  Pioneers tend to have strong vendor relationships to stay close to the very latest.  On nearly any barrier to purchase that a Planner or Straggler might have – Pioneers just don’t perceive barriers to be as high as the rest of the market.  Pioneers just get on with it.  They experiment, they learn, and reap the benefits of new technologies faster than the rest of the market.  This is why Pioneers are nearly always market leaders.

Let’s move onto Planners.

Marketing Should Target the More Cautious Planner

Planners bounce differently because they tend to be more deliberate decision-makers.  They involve a lot of partners and tend to expect that new technologies help them cut costs or increase agility, as opposed to increase revenues.  An IT department at a Planner has lots of vendors involved and their systems integrator partners are pretty much extensions of it.  This means they’re slower to make decisions.  They also perceive barriers that are generally like cost – fairly easy to overcome once the business case is thoroughly understood. Planners depend on their legions of partners – as opposed to top business management — to help make technology and app decisions.  So, much more marketing is required to move them through the pipeline.

Stragglers Make Up Majority of an Early Market

Lastly, every market has Stragglers.  Stragglers are generally not worth knowing much about because marketing for a new product or new technology is NEVER targeted toward them.  Or, rather, it never should be.  The best thing you can do is identify a Straggler as fast as possible.

Of course, Stragglers are rarely universally stragglers.  Sometimes they are.  But usually, Stragglers selectively implement new technologies once they’ve been proven by the pioneering crowd.

How can you spot a Straggler for your new technology or app?

Stragglers will almost always rely on trusted 3rd parties and the biggest barriers for them is the fact that a technology is new.  It’s unproven. In addition, they almost always see cost as a barrier to using a new technology or app.

This is before they see any benefit of actually using your cool tech-thing destined for greatness.  Stragglers are notoriously slow and generally know it themselves.  In fact, Stragglers tend to adopt a new technology in hopes that it improves agility.  Oh, the irony.

The best way, hands down, is to assess current technologies or apps they use.  For example, you’ve got a new marketing management application that makes every marketing department more productive.  If the organization only uses marketing automation and a CRM, your cool technology is going to be a really hard sell because a Straggler just isn’t ready for what you have to offer.

So, now that you’ve met Pioneers, Planners, and Stragglers, what does it mean to your new technology?

If you want to talk about your demand generation for B2B IT buyers, we’re here.

And if you know a colleague who needs to better know their Pioneers, Planners, and Stragglers, pass this along to them!

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