What factors most influence the purchase of broadcast technology products?

Posted by Joe Zaller
May 17 2010

This is the third in a series of posts about how broadcast technology products are purchased.

Previously I have looked the purchasing channels typically used by different types of broadcast technology buyers, as well as whether these buyers prefer a best of breed or one-stop-shop approach when sourcing broadcast technology products.  The information in these posts reveals that there is considerable variation in the way different types of buyers purchase broadcast technology products.

Regardless of “how” broadcast technology products are purchased, what many in the industry want to know is “why” they are bought — i.e. what are the most important factors that influence the decision to buy one product over another.

When it comes to selling broadcast technology, there are several strategies that vendors have adopted.  This includes positioning their offerings as having the best technology, the best feature set, the lowest cost, the best value, the best service, the most recommended etc.

But which factor is the most important to the most buyers?

To find out we asked several thousand broadcast professionals around the world what is most important to them when buying broadcast technology products.  The results are shown in the chart below.

Question: When purchasing / evaluating broadcast technology products, which of the following are the most important factor?

These results show that in a highly technical business like the broadcast industry, when it comes to purchasing broadcast hardware and software products, technical specification and technical performance is the most important factor for the majority of today’s buyers.

In fact, technical performance in the broadcast industry is so critical, that at least three times more respondents cited technical performance / specification than the next most important factor.  It looks like in this case “the only race is for second place.” 

Having said that, other factors such as operational features, service and support, total cost of ownership, and purchase price are also seen as very important criteria for product purchase. 

The challenge for vendors is to deliver sufficient technical performance that is “fit-for-purpose” for the customer’s application and then work to differentiate their offering through the factors that are seen as most important to each type of customer.

They key to this is understanding how these results can vary when broken out by demographic factors such as organization type, company size, job title, and kind of product that is being evaluated for purchase.  Indeed a granular breakdown of this information shows that there may be considerable variation in purchase criteria based on a number of these factors.

If you would like more information, please contact Devoncroft Partners.

This article is based on the findings from the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participating, the 2010 version of the BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

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