Four genres of tech buying organisations to influence marketing in 2021: Gartner


BENGALURU: About 70% of global buyers are exploring more ways to purchase technology this year. Vendor engagement strategies, however, continue to underdeliver when it comes to meeting buyers’ expectations, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

“Technology providers often create go-to-market (GTM) strategies with limited insights into how an enterprise will make a buying decision,” said Christy Uher Ferguson, research vice president at Gartner. “As the size of buying teams continues to increase, ideal customer profiles (ICPs) increase in importance. While understanding individual buyer personas is important to align messaging and content to specific role-based needs, buying teams act as an enterprise, with enterprise goals first and individual goals second.”

Gartner identified four marketing clusters of technology buying enterprises based on key behaviours that influence GTM tactics – the Cooperatives, the Strict Planners, the Catalysts, and the Business-Leds.


The Cooperatives make up the largest group of enterprises, representing 43% of buyers, but they are also the most challenging to predict. Their cooperative approach often means that they are less clear on what matters most to them — everything seems to matter equally. When exploring a new product or service, Cooperatives said they evenly use all information types to learn more about it, including thought leadership, the product’s or service’s features, and product reviews.

Strict Planners are often coveted as targets due to the clarity with which they define their buying process. Strict Planners prefer proven technology that aligns to their strategic vision. 55% of Strict Planners said they rely primarily on information about the product’s or service’s features when exploring a new purchase, so vendors should focus on supplying information that contains quantified results and rely heavily on expert interactions.

Catalysts accept risks and costs of new technology and deploy as early as possible, but they want assurances and validation that technology will meet their needs. Catalysts look to understand a provider’s products and services for new technology primarily through search within a trusted independent site. When buying replacement technology, they are more likely than other enterprises to seek information through direct vendor interaction. Tech providers should share information on product capabilities and implementation details, provide free trials or proofs of concepts and interactive tools to support the Catalysts cluster’s buying process.


Business-Led buyers, representing 21% of those surveyed, involve the business throughout the entire buying process and seek to ensure that technology drives business value. They seek specific product and service information in the form of customer references and proof points. In addition to product review sites, they are heavily reliant on direct engagement with vendors to learn more about products and services.

When buying new technology, 80% of Business-Led enterprises said they look to understand a provider’s products and services primarily by self-driven search rather than interactions. Yet, the opposite is true when buying replacement technology as only 43% look to self-driven search, relying on interactions instead.


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