IT Decision Makers are Real People Too

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B2B Research with IT Decision Makers

Who are IT Decision Makers and how can you get them to take your survey?


IT Decision Makers: “We need 1000 of them!” We’ve all taken the call, or maybe you know someone who has placed the order.

OK, let’s start with the basics:  Who are you looking for exactly?

Response: “Nothing too complicated… We require a technology decision maker the person in charge of software/hardware strategy and purchase decisions (or an influencer).”

OK – We Got it. Ah, one more thing… Can we talk about the screener?

Answer: “Sure, they must all have experience as programmers/developers with Anaconda/Python/R skills and be familiar with MySQL/Spark*/Oracle DataBases, etc…

As it unfolded, the client was looking for data scientists when we probed further. Not precisely IT Decision Makers (in the purest sense) and targeted and sampled differently.


These days, one can argue that for every Sample Buyer trying to obtain ITDM Sample – there is a new panel company offering IT Sample.

Requirements can swing dramatically for sample buyers:

From those who make decisions about office computer equipment in small businesses to large enterprise ERP Systems Architects.

Online B2B Sample is also represented in broad strokes as if ITDMs were all issued an ITDM card. The IT sector itself is a diverse community, not even considering the number of non-IT jobs that make IT decisions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists hundreds of occupations in the IT sector alone.


4 Steps to Get it Right when Targeting IT-Decision Makers for Online Research


As a sample buyer, it’s best to make sure you consider the following when engaging a market research panel and looking for IT decision-makers for your next B2B research study.


Understanding the Target Audience

This is an absolute must. Yes, understanding what the project is all about is a plus, but if they don’t know what your respondents do and how they work, then I would ask whether or not they had the ability to recruit them into an online panel in the first place. It is also a way for the provider to have the ability to validate the participant’s skills/identity using various assessment tools.

They Understand the Project Objectives

Yes, they understand who the target is, but do they know what target participant needs to be prepared to answer the study questions? Perhaps this introduces some unknown contingencies to the client, like other software experience or certifications. Consultation is another area where experience and advisory skills add value for the client.

They Describe Their Product

You ask the right panel quality and engagement questions:

How do you Recruit These Panelists?  By Strategic Education & Publishing Partners Invitation Only Offers / Google & Targeted LinkedIn Ads and Other Highly-Relevant Targeted Methods.

How is validation accomplished?  Via a multi-stage combination of digital fingerprinting, plus social scoring, and we use partner HR-based tech skills assessments to validate indicated skill sets.

If they don’t measure up, they don’t figure into your survey.

They Give You a Proposal

You deserve a well-formatted, clear proposal:

  • Deliverables (N= / How Many / Not Best Efforts
  • Field Time (Expected Length of time in the field at stated IR/LOI)
  • Engagement Expectations (Reporting & PM Roles / Data Transparency, Other)
  • Review of your specifications ( LOI / Markets / IR / Quotas, Other)

Quality begins with good information. If you are working with an Online Panel Provider who is asking you good questions, then chances are they are experienced, and this will ultimately work to your advantage, both in terms of cost and quality data.



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