How Many Marketing Vehicles Do You Need? Guiding Principle Number Two

Last week I provided the first of five guiding principles for technology marketers, based on over 100,000 tech buyer interviews and countless client interactions. Now it’s time for the second guiding principle.

Guiding Principle Number Two: Marketing Vehicles

Forrester tracks the relative importance of 38 different marketing vehicles across awareness, consideration, and purchase (i.e., email, tradeshows, search, display ads, etc. I’ve included a picture of these 38 vehicles below.) It’s the tech marketer’s job, and a difficult one at that, to decide how many are actually necessary. That’s where the second guiding principle comes in: On average, 7.6 of these 38 marketing vehicles are used by a technology buyer/influencer. For example, an IT manager who is evaluating a new technology purchase will use between seven and eight different sources as he/she becomes aware of the solution, considers the solution, and makes/influences a purchase decision.   Similarly, a line-of-business professional involved in the same purchase will also use between seven and eight sources.  Since these two individuals are involved in the same purchasing decision, the sophisticated marketer should also look to determine which vehicles (sources) are shared, thus providing an opportunity for reuse and bridging the two influencers together.    

So the next time you are deciding how many marketing vehicles are actually necessary for each of the different buyers/influencers you’re targeting, remember the 7.6 rule — it will serve you well.                                                                                                                     

About the data: These data points come from the Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator measures how tech buyers and influencers consume marketing across awareness, consideration, and purchase. The data is collected through more than 20,000 interviews per year, covering 20-plus technology categories, across 11 geographies, and annually influences more than $4 billion in marketing program spend.


calendar reminder link is broken

FYI... the link to the calendar reminder results in a dreaded 404 page...

your comment

thanks - it should be fixed now.

Chart Question

Question. What are the "1", "2" and "3" circles in your chart? How do you explain the chart in terms of the concentric circles. Does this mean that there are considerably more vehicles to build awareness versus what it takes to close the deal and get an order? Do you have a generic presentation explaining your chart? I am a Product Marketing Manager in the electronics industry trying to wrap my arms around these types of marketing vehicle decisions.


your question

Hi Scott,

Great question - the dotted lines with the "1", "2", & "3" circles in them higlight a buyer/influencer's utilization of those marketing sources and in what order during the three stages of the buying process (awareness, consideration & purchase.) For example, this depiction indicates that the buyer and influencer consumed marketing from 1) email, 2) white papers and 3) IT Forums/Message Boards/Chat rooms during the "Awareness" phase and then 1) print/news sites, 2)info from a SI/consultant and 3)the vendor sales person during the "Consideration" phase and finally attended 1)vendor events, 2)industry conference and 3)a sponsored seminar during the "Purchase" phase.

It's a great visual to help tech marketers understand all of the marketing sources/vehicles available to them and to plot the journey that their prospects will take across Awareness, Consideration and Purchase. Keep in mind this path will often vary depending on the role/title you're marketing to, the technology your marketing and the geography your marketing in.

Feel free to post another comment here or send me an email at if you'd like to discuss further.

Cheers, Dan

I'm also curious about how to

I'm also curious about how to best utilize this chart. It's a nice 'tickler list' of possible tactics. (FWIW, I'm also in the electronics product management field. Semiconductor memories to be specific.

your comment

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the comment. Take a look at my response to Scott's question above. If that doesn't answer your question, just let me know.


Dan, It does indeed. I've got


It does indeed. I've got a copy tacked over my laptop. Kudos.