Ever wish you had a chance to ask your target market straight out “Hey does this advertisement work for you?”  Well at Spiceworks Unplugged you can.  Unplugged is a free event with a panel of IT decision makers answering your questions, whether those questions are about purchasing habits, the advertisements that annoy them, or what you can do to get their attention.  Many topics are covered, from content types to delivery methods to what advertisements worked.

When asked what type of content they want to see, the IT decision makers all agree that they need unbiased reviews from customers who have had hands-on experience with the product.  Additionally, they normally want to see these reviews on various communities other than the vendor’s website, as they feel they may not get the full picture otherwise.  This is why paying attention to how your product is viewed and responding to negative comments publically, not ignoring them, is needed.  If your product has a negative review on Newegg.com, or Amazon.com, but there is a manufacturer response that deals with the user’s issue, that may settle fears on a potential buyer.

So what about how your product is shown to potential clients?  When the panel was asked if they preferred White Papers or a trial period use of the product, they agreed that although they don’t like opting in for trials, they prefer any method that doesn’t require giving out personal information.  White Papers normally require that you put in your email address, physical address, phone number, and lots of information that many people don’t want a company to have.  Many times IT personnel will be scouting out a multitude of products, and don’t necessarily want to receive 15 sales calls that day.

The panelists all agreed that service was the biggest priority for them when it came to company value.  Product and price took a backseat to service every time.  IT companies that respond immediately to requests and do everything possible to help the customer were always the first choice.  Poor service was the first reason they would look for another product.

Paid advertisements on Google were said to be ignored by most of them.  They didn’t seem to be relevant to what they were searching for most of the time; however ads on sites like Spiceworks felt more personal.  Ads on social media were also ignored by the panelists, however following companies on Twitter or Facebook is a different story.  Snail mail was mostly ignored, unless it contained some sort of swag.  Free stuff always got them to open it up.  Most flyers and postcards were immediately trashed, if they even made it to their desk in the first place.

Follow these tips to help market to your IT clients, and let us know in the comments what marketing tricks you love and hate!