When it Comes to Purchasing Broadcast Technology, Who are the Most Important Decision Makers Today? Who Will it be in the Future?

Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 11 2010

I recently wrote an article called Broadcast Industry’s Largest Market Study Reveals Most Important Technology Trends, which shows that the move towards “file-based / tapeless workflows” is one of the most important issues to broadcasters today.

But how will this shift affect how broadcast technology products are purchased, not to mention who buys them?  Traditionally these products have been purchased primarily by engineers.  Will this be the same for products that are increasingly IT-based, or will there be a new set of buyers?

Broadcast vendors need to know this because a new set of buyers may require a new market approach.

To find out we asked the nearly 800 broadcast technology vendors who responded to the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey who they feel is currently the most important decision maker in the sales process, and who they feel will be most important in 2-3 years.

 

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The Most Important Decision Makers Today

Let’s start with the most important buyers today. Respondents were asked “when selling your products / services, which category of customer is typically the most important decision maker today”

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Today, broadcast tech vendors see engineering staff as their most important customers, followed by operations, IT, and finance personnel.  Engineers are clearly seen as the most important decision makers, with operations staff a distant second.

These results are fairly consistent with vendors of all types, but as the table below shows, a look at these results in detail does highlight some variation.

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Vendor respondents based in Americas, along with those who primarily sell hardware products, currently see engineering staff as the most important technology purchasing decision makers.

Large vendors, and those that primarily sell software products, see engineers as marginally less important.  But even so most of these vendors still see engineers as their top customers today.

 

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The Most Important Decision Maker in the Future

When these same respondents were asked who they feel will be the most important decision makers in 2-3 years time, the results were different.  As the following table illustrates, broadcast technology vendors are anticipating a shift in the type of decagons maker they will be targeting in the future.

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In a fairly dramatic shift, operations staff are predicted to become the most important decision makers in the broadcast technology buying process, eclipsing engineers.  In these results, engineers fall from 48% to 31%, while operations increases from 28% to 33%.

Engineers will still be a very important part of the buying process, but vendors are predicting that the power of the engineer as decision maker will be diminished in favor of not only operations, but also IT and finance personnel.

These results are once again fairly consistent across all types of vendors, but there are some variations when one looks at the detail.

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Once again, those vendor respondents based in the Americas along with those who sell primarily hardware products, continue to view engineers as the most important decision makers in the future, albeit it at a reduced percentage versus today.

Respondents from EMEA along with those who primarily sell software, or a hardware/software mix, see engineers as much less important in the future.  Instead, these respondents view operations and IT personnel as their most important targets.

Respondents from Asia-Pacific see operations personnel as the most important decision makers, in contrast to those from the Americas where engineers are still seen as the top target.  Indeed 42% of respondents from the Asia-Pacific region see operations staff as the most important decision maker in the future (up from 31% today), while just 21% of respondents from the Americas see operations staff as most important. 

These findings are consistent with the industry trends that are most important to broadcast technology buyers, which I mentioned earlier.  As technology buyers complete their HD build-outs, their commercial focus is shifting towards achieving operational efficiencies and generating new revenue streams.  Thus operations, IT, and finance personnel will become an increasingly important part of the decision making process at broadcast technology buyers.

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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.

One Response

  1. […] To read the full article, including four charts that break down the results, click here. […]

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