I’ve had a difficult year, business-wise (this is Peter O'Neill). Oh, I have certainly been busy and travelled a lot — I‘m not complaining about that. But I have found myself too often in the position of “let’s shoot the messenger.” Remember?  I already complained about this back in May 2010, but the situation still hasn’t changed yet: Many tech marketers still refuse to believe our numbers. Well, our 2011 Business Technology Social Technographics® results are now ready: I presented the European data in a Forrester Teleconferencea few weeks ago and soon our excellent English-language editors will finish off two reports from me:

  1. Showing the 2011 European data (see below).
  2. Discussing the question: Does age matter in social media usage?

My new colleague, Kim Celestre, is completing the other 2011 BT ST reports.  As you can see, the European data especially continues to be compelling. Tech vendors who do not plan for local language social media engagements do this at their own peril. We also point out that there is a danger that many tech marketers are not engaging because they are asking for customer data too early in THEIR research cycle. The old marketing adage of always getting something back if you provide something needs to be rethought.

Because of the general skepticism I meet, I am continually on the lookout for other surveys that would substantiate (or not) our findings. So I was grateful to see this survey report from John Bottom of the marketing agency Base One (with a quaint Twitter handle of @basebot). The agency’s Buyershpere 2011 surveyacross more countries in Europe, and more general B2B transactions (though 47% of that is BT) shows similar behavior.

Coincidently, a new book has just been published in Germany entitled “IT-Berater und soziale Medien” (IT Consultants and Social Media) where I also present our findings in my own chapter among a series of contributions from illustrious IT market experts in Germany. Perhaps that will also help.

By the way, does age matter?

Our survey shows that social media preferences, likes and dislikes, do vary across age groups. Also, that the cliché assumption about social media is “Sure, those are the younger employees but they are not involved in decision making” is definitely not true in either aspect. So watch out for that report or set up an inquiry now to discuss the findings.

Do you agree? Disagree?  Are you involved in social media strategy and have had a good or bad experience? Please let us know. Perhaps you have executed a best practice that I can share with other Forrester clients. I’d love to hear from you on this.   

 Always keeping you informed! Peter