At UBM TechWeb, we are in the midst of a phased rollout of a new relational database with CRM tools that help us better serve our audience in so many ways.
Yes it has been challenging, fraught with gotchas and a few missed deadlines. However, my colleagues and I are learning so much along the way by following the data. Some obvious, some revealing. One MASSIVE trend is the use of personal email addresses/accounts by the CIO, IT and business technology decision making community.
Nearly 1/3 of all of TechWeb registered users with verifiable company contact info utilize a separate, often dedicated personal email address on their account (Gmail, Yahoo being amongst the most popular). This is up from 22% just one year ago. Most importantly, professionals with these accounts are more engaged with our content, products and services. In exploring why the use of personal email accounts for gathering education and research on products and services is growing, we discovered 3 basic reasons:
- It is the most efficient way for IT Pros to organize educational and product information used for planning – it is in one place
- By using a separate email account, they are able to manage urgent internal & customer needs via their corporate email that needs to be prioritized
- When registering, they realize they will often keep receiving info from media companies like TechWeb or the vendor they download info from; this is their email and info management system
The lesson here for all of us is don’t miss out on critical contacts by dismissing leads or professionals who register for your information with a personal email account, be it webcast, white paper or at a conference. The data and our best IT customers have spoken. At the last InformationWeek Advisory Board meeting, of the 7 CIOs on the board, 6 used personal email accounts to gather info – and these are the largest buyers of technology in the world. Take note and take action.
Share your experiences and thoughts on this data and any best practices on better serving the CIO and IT Pro community, and ultimately your business.