Are B2B Tech Buyers Really Using Smartphones for Market Research?

Much to our teenager’s amusement, I finally ditched my obsolete mobile phone (‘keitai’, in Japanese) and signed up for an iPhone 4S.

The business reason is that, as a freelance b2b IT writer, I want to better understand how people, specifically IT Buyers, are using smartphones to help with the buying process.

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After the initial shock of being all “fingers and thumbs” with the tiny keypad layout, I’ve noticed the following ‘habits’ in my useage.

  • I can check email on the train, taking action on some and flagging others for later review.
  • Perfect for collecting and listening to tech marketing podcasts and audio interviews while commuting. (But then, so was my mp3 player…)
  • Can read, send and schedule tweets but don’t usually have the time or patience to follow links to ‘heavy data’ sites.
  • Can check LinkedIn groups – but rarely post via iPhone because it takes time to think of and then compose a reply or useful comment.
  • Can check voice mail and take calls (less convenient on train as social custom in Japan is not to ‘yak yak’ and annoy other passengers.)
  • Can do basic research on a company’s site – layout, products and services.
  • Cannot concentrate on white papers, tech papers, data sheets etc – need the bigger screen of a tablet or notebook computer.

Are B2B tech buyers actually reading white papers, case studies, independent research reports and other ‘heavy’ data sources from smartphones?

Or, are they snacking on ‘exec summaries’ and leaving the rest to subordinates and their own trusty desktop / notebook computers?

I think we should be told.

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About the Author

Author: Mark McClure – A freelance b2b case study and white paper writer to the computer networking industry. Based in Tokyo, Japan. About the ‘Samurai Writer’.


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