Choosing The Right Marketing Vehicles In The Tech Industry — Timing Matters

Today’s launch of Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator seemed like a good catalyst to dig a little deeper into my previous blog post about how many marketing vehicles are needed for a B2B tech solution (How Many Marketing Vehicles Do You Need? Guiding Principle Number Two.)  If you read that blog, you’ll recall that I identified that on average 7.6 marketing vehicles are used by IT or business professionals during a technology purchasing process (with considerably more than 30 available for marketers to use.) Note that you’ll need to use more than 7.6 marketing vehicles in your overall marketing mix because you’re likely need to influence various stakeholders whose use of marketing vehicles varies. This makes a tech marketer’s job challenging.


Now that you’ve begun to align your vehicle selection with the 7.6 guiding principle, it’s time to think about how those vehicles change across the awareness, consideration, and purchase stages. Our data shows that there is up to a 30% change in vehicle effectiveness across each of these stages. Also, there is no one single mix prescription that marketers can follow, since vehicle usage across these three stages varies widely by title, technology, company size, and geography. One general trend we routinely see is that search engines and the online versions of tech magazines (i.e., and information sites (i.e., CNET) have a greater influence at the beginning of buying the process but wane as the influencer moves closer to purchase. Besides the effect of sales and channel partners, we also routinely see increasing influence of tech analysts (I’m not deliberately being self-serving here even though I work for Forrester — it’s what the data from 20,000 interviews says) and online ROI tools/sites increasing as an influencer moves further through the marketing funnel.

So as you begin building your next campaign or are evaluating the results from existing campaigns, remember vehicle selection across awareness, consideration and purchase is critical to drive the highest impact for your precious marketing funds – It will serve you well.


About the data: These data points come from Forrester’s Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester’s 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.


well explained with

well explained with hierarchy.
i saved this page.really useful post :)
Thank You

Your comment

Hi Nirav, Thanks for your comments and I'm glad that it's helpful. Feel free to forward/share with colleagues.

Cheers, Dan

Buying Cycle vs. Problem Solving Cycle

Completely agree with this. I would add that its not just the 'buying cycle' that requires marketing vehicles but also the customer's 'problem solving cycle.' In a world of complex yet rapidly changing technology, many marketers are providing solutions to problems that customers are not yet aware they have. Helping customers understand that they have a problem as well as the implications and cost of that problem require a specific set of marketing vehicles. I agree that industry analysts do play a role farther down the funnel but they also play a critical role helping technology decision makers understand the problem. Mapping all of this to the sales process will be an interesting exercise.

Your comment

Hi Bob,

Your comment highlights a very important point - there is no one formula for marketers to use to reach, engage and influence buyers/influencers. In emerging tech categories or where potential customers don't even realize they have a problem, tech analysts or other ways of creating thought leadership in the marketplace will likely need to occur much earlier marketing funnel. While these variances (and others) makes the marketer's job more challenging, it also illustratetes why marketing's role is so important.

I also agree with you that the 'Marketing Funnel' is a marketing oriented view. As you aptly point out, buyers/influencers simply want to solve problems - hence the 'problem solving cycle'. It's the marketer's job to link the two.

Cheers, Dan