One of the benefits of being a founding sponsor of VDC's market intelligence is the opportunity for clients to review the survey tools and make suggested questions/inputs for considerations prior to launching the web survey and phone interviews. Here is a short blog about one such interesting example from our ongoing 2011 Data Acquisition Solutions Market Intelligence project.
I must admit that when one of our sponsors wanted to add professional networking sites (i.e. LinkedIn, etc.) and social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, etc.) to the list of information sources users rely on to learn more about data acquisition solutions and suppliers I did not anticipate getting much, if any, responses from survey respondents. Regardless I added them to the list so as to provide that benefit and was interested to see the results.
Feedback from over 220 respondents indicates that I may be operating from a 20th century mindset when it comes to marketing.
Below are the top level breakdowns of survey results and where these two mediums fared amongst of list of 19 different information source selections.
Professional Networking Sites
24% of external chassis & module users cited professional networking sites (10th out of 19).
28% (8th) of plug-in boards users cited relying on professional networking sites
16% (11th) data acquisition software users rely on professional networking sites
As a member I know that people utilize various LinkedIn groups to ask questions about products, solutions, suppliers, etc. Perhaps suppliers can become active participants in such discussions by using "soft sell" approaches which offer up helpful recommendations, perhaps even citing their own solution. Advertising on websites such as LinkedIn may be another way to reach a targeted customer segment. Personally I recommend the "no-cost" solution of being an active group participant; but even that takes time and consistent follow up to have any chance of being effective, so there is no free lunch.
Social Networking Sites
16% (15th) of external chassis users cited visiting social networking sites indicating their belief that they may learn something on Facebook or some other related website about DAQ.
17% (19th) of board users cited visiting social networking sites
only 8% (19th) of data acquisition software users cited visiting a social networking site
I am not sure why someone would visit Facebook to learn more about data acquisition solutions and suppliers. Perhaps our respondents were using Facebook to keep in touch with colleagues or to utilize that venue to engage in discussions about data acquisition solutions from people they know and trust. With over 500 million users on Facebook I imagine there may be a few data acquisition solutions users, suppliers and/or related stakeholders lurking around who may be happy to share an opinion or suggestion.
If you want to learn more about the other 17 information sources users rely on to learn about data acquisition solutions and suppliers or the plethora of additional analysis on users requirements and preferences, adoption plans, purchase plans, technical and commercial requirements and much more, drop me a line at email@example.com.