Market Research » IT Decision Makers are Real People Too

IT Decision Makers are Real People Too

Learn how to sample IT Decision Makers…

What 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… Just the person in charge of software/hardware strategy & purchasing (or influencer).”

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

Answer: “Sure, they all need to be programmers/developers with Anaconda/Python/R experience and 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 to understand 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 contingencies that are unknown 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 is accomplished?  Via a multi-stage combination of digital fingerprinting, 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.



Jim Whaley

Jim Whaley



Jim Whaley is a business leader, market research expert, and writer. He posts frequently on The Standard Ovation and other industry blogs.

OvationMR is a global provider of first-party data for those seeking solutions that require information for informed business decisions.

OvationMR is a leader in delivering insights and reliable results across a variety of industry sectors around the globe consistently for market research professionals and management consultants.


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