Podcast Use Growing in B2B Marketplace

Jul 13th, 2006 | By | Category: Corporate Podcasts, iPods & Portable Media Players

iPod nanoAccording to a recent survey, podcast usage among B2B technology buyers is significant and growing. 41% of survey respondents claim they have listened to podcasts on more than one occasion, while 13% stated that they “frequently” download or listen to them.The KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann survey was completed by more than 3,900 business and IT professionals, representing a variety of job titles, vertical industries and company sizes.

“The objective of this study was to explore the impact new forms of media, concepts of Web 2.0 initiatives, such as podcasts and blogs, are having on content consumption and purchasing influence within the B2B marketplace” says Matt Lohman, director of market research, KnowledgeStorm. “This is one of the first surveys focused specifically on the B2B audience and it clearly shows that podcasts, blogs and other new media types are viable mediums for reaching B2B technology buyers.”

Thirty-two percent of survey respondents stated their usage of podcasts has “Increased” or “Significantly Increased” in the last six months. The same question yielded 39% for blogs. And, there is plenty of upside as the innovative media types, like podcasting, blogging and RSS, are still gaining momentum in the technology buying community.“With this particular study, our goal was to determine marketing opportunities with podcasts by closely examining the behavior of podcast users as well as non-users,” says Stacy Malone, vice president, interactive media director, Universal McCann. “The results of this study prove that opportunities with new media are growing rapidly. In fact, podcasts have moved into the Top 10 most frequently accessed types of online content. This spike can be directly attributed to the addictive nature of this on-demand medium.”

B2B technology buyers are listening to podcasts for business interests, specifically technology-oriented topics, according to the study findings. Respondents are listening to a combination of personal and business interests in most cases — 65% responded that they listen for both personal and business interests. Furthermore, these respondents are listening to technology specific topics — 72% claimed that they have downloaded or listened to podcasts on technology topics on more than one occasion. Twenty-three percent do so “frequently.”

The study also revealed that B2B technology buyers want research content, such as white papers and analyst reports, delivered as podcasts. Nearly 60% of respondents said that information on business or technology topics, currently delivered as white papers or analyst reports, would be more interesting as podcasts. Fifty-five percent of respondents would be more likely to consume white papers and analyst reports if they were delivered as podcasts.

“Business and technology-related subject material is a perfect match for podcasting content,” says Malone. “Podcasts are no longer being used only for pure entertainment value. They are turning into an indispensable, business-critical information tool.”

“This survey presents a lot of encouraging findings for marketers considering podcasts as a content format. Not only are business and IT professionals tuning in, but frequent users are eager for more business and technology podcast content,” says Lohman. “Fifty-seven percent of the frequent podcast users stated their biggest challenge with podcasts is the scarcity of interesting content. That represents real opportunity for savvy marketers.”

This is the first in a planned series of joint research studies focused on the effect of new media with the B2B marketplace. Upcoming studies will cover topics such as: blogging, RSS feeds, Wikis, Webcasts and mobile technology.

Source: KnowledgeStorm

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