Marketing to the executives making IT decisions

To sell a tech product or service, it’s essential to get in front of the right IT decision makers. These are the executives at companies who decide what hardware, software, and other technologies to embrace.

It can be difficult for marketers, however, to reach this important audience given their busy work schedules and the fact that they're inundated with marketing messages. When it comes to selling to businesses, additional barriers include long sales cycles and the need to convince a company to diverge from the status quo.

Marketers need to understand where decision makers are spending their time, so they can better position the right marketing messages at the right time. To help, Yahoo partnered with Maru/Matchbox on a study interviewing 202 IT decision makers to learn more about their digital daily habits.

Here’s what our research found:

Mobile for business travel

IT decision makers travel often for business, increasing the importance of mobile:

  • 80% of IT decision makers say they travel for work
  • 46% travel for work once a month or more
  • 121% more likely than the average person to have taken 7-10 domestic business trips a year (according to comScore)

As would be expected, mobile usage is higher when traveling, due to convenience and accessibility; however, IT decision makers are also on their desktops, spending 3-9 hours on this device on a typical day.

What this means for marketers: Because IT decision makers are heavy users of both mobile and desktop, cross-platform advertising campaigns are essential. Marketers should be sure to understand their specific audience to best inform their cross-device strategies.

Watching video—and video ads

IT decision makers are most likely to notice ads when watching video—and they’re watching a lot of video:

56% of decision makers recall seeing ads when watching video, more than any other ad type

  • 1.5x more likely than other executives to notice ads while watching video
  • Most video (pre-recorded or live) on sports (77%), social media (66%), and news sites/apps (57%), with 41% watching video on finance sites/apps
  • 33% more likely than the average Yahoo user to watch video on Yahoo Finance

What this means for marketers: Consider running video ads in areas where they engage most, including sports, social media, news, and finance.

Balancing business and personal usage

IT decision makers use the internet for business and personal reasons—and should be marketed to during both. They're most likely to consume technology content and blogs during the week and shift their attention to social media and entertainment on the weekends.

And for IT decision makers, leaving the office doesn’t mean shutting off: more than 25% of IT decision makers spend a devoted period of time consuming news, financial information, and email during the week and on weekends.

What this means for marketers: Decision makers have an always-on mentality and rarely stop working, even when they’re home. Still, your message and strategy should vary depending on the medium.

Decision makers are busy people, and often difficult to reach. By understanding how and where this audience spends time online, you'll be more likely to get the results you want.

Sources: Maru / Matchbox (Nov. 2016), Internal Yahoo data