Nine out of ten (89%) senior purchase decision-makers will only buy from AV technology vendors that are trusted in the industry, according to a survey by Platform Communications, the specialist media and technology marketing consultancy. ‘The Power of Trust in Driving AV Technology Sales’ report sheds light on who the top purchase decision-makers are and what matters most to them. It provides actionable insights that will help AV technology companies create strategic marketing communications plans.
The independent research commissioned by Platform found that nearly three-quarters (71%) of decision-makers said their companies plan to increase technology investment in the next year and will keep spending more over the next five years (63%). While spending levels are set to rise, trust is the currency defining which AV technology vendors will get a bigger share of the pie. The research reveals that when it comes to driving trust, demonstrating experience and expertise (44%) and communicating well about vision and strategy (37%) come out ahead of being the market leader (35%).
According to the survey, online research is the most important information source for buyers, with more than half of respondents (54%) depending on it. The next most used information source is analyst reports/recommendations (44%), followed by conferences (37%) and media articles (28%). When it comes to which source to trust, the voice of analysts breaks through to the top of the survey (46%), demonstrating the importance of effective analyst relations in closing deals. Online research ranks second (45%) with trade and business press articles (33%) and industry group conferences (32%), illustrating the importance of third-party and peer group insights to buyers.
The survey also reveals that environmental and social considerations are hugely significant to AV technology purchasing decisions. Over three-quarters of the survey respondents (76%) said they demand environmental compliance, while two-thirds (65%) of buyers think it is critical that vendors take a leadership role on environmental issues. They can do this by sharing insight about what they are doing to reduce their impact now and in the future to help the industry learn together about best practice.
“Building trust is absolutely essential to driving AV technology sales. Reputation is the number one factor influencing AV technology buying decisions, more important than price or being market leader. Building trust comes from having an authentic voice, acting like an advisor, and actively engaging with stakeholders,” said David Lawrence, Managing Director at Platform Communications. “Our survey also showed that being compliant with environmental standards is nowhere near enough — buyers want to see brands taking a leadership role. It’s also essential that companies play a positive role on social issues, demonstrating clear momentum on diversity and equality.”
Another key finding is the importance of continuous engagement between AV technology vendors and buyers, requiring targeted messaging and content hitting a range of buyer groups. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of buyers stated they want to be able to continuously track and follow what an AV tech brand is doing.