Ninety-six percent of B2B technology buyers believe that online video and wiki content "have value," and 57 percent felt that blogs were "equally or more credible" than traditional media according to a study done by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann.
OMMA Magazine reports (free subscription required) that the study was performed in 2006 and developed from over 13,000 responses. Across the board, respondents indicated emerging media as influential in purchasing decisions, with 57 percent of respondents indicating they were influenced by online video, 53 percent by wikis, 52 percent by blogs, and 27 percent by podcasts.
The data is compelling, though I am suspicious of the claim that wikis influence B2B purchasing decisions, though this is in part due to the fact that I have never made a purchasing decision of any kind based on something I read on a wiki. The survey also said wikis had the second-highest "pass along" factor, with 70 percent of respondents saying they shared wiki content with others, second only to sharing of, you guessed it, online video, with 76 percent indicating that they do so.
The data is interesting, but equally interesting to me, and a bit worrisome, too, is the headline, Marketers Look to Emerging Media. I’m bothered by it because I do not see emerging media as marketing tools, per se, or at least I don’t see social media this way.
Sure, they’re just media, another word for communications channels. And you can use a podcast, for instance, to communicate both executive perspectives and product marketing information, but I see the former as a vastly more effective use of social media than the latter.
Finally, the subhead of the article, "Blogs, podcasts, wikis and online video are key sources of unfiltered data," is also not supported by any data quoted in the article, and I would argue that these media, when used in a pure marketing environment, will quite often be stripped bare of any unfiltered data.
The best application for true social media, which one could argue includes all of the media mentioned in the article, is communications, not marketing. It is the very socialness of social media that makes them so compelling, and it is this characteristic that marketing is so good at crushing.