Marketing online with links to social media platforms can help IT providers to increase customer loyalty and avoid losing clients to competition, IDC Latin America regional marketing manager Luciana Sario told BNamericas.
According to Sario, a December 2010 IDC study found that more than 90% of Latin American IT professionals prefer search engines for finding information when buying an IT service or product for their company.
"When IT users search for a product, they will go to search engines like Google or Yahoo or the company's website. But these people will also tend to talk to their peers about a specific product, via social communities and blogs... so it's in these places where companies must have a link or something that mentions their company, so they don't lose the clients. This is a global trend, and Latin America is heading in that direction," Sario said.
The study polled more than 460 IT decision makers. The results show that more than 90% of Latin American IT professionals prefer search engines for finding information to buy IT products and services, followed by sales representatives (41.2%), company websites (38.3%) and online user communities (21.6%).
The report also found that users utilize online videos (14.6%), online events (13.1%) and IT industry blogs (12.8%). Social networks come close to last, at 11.3%.
According to the study, Venezuela and Brazil are the leading countries in the region in terms of search engine use, at a respective 94% and 93% of the online base, followed by Colombia with 92% and Argentina and Chile with 90% each.
"But when you add industry blogs, social networks and online communities, the numbers is high, so the importance of the link is key," Sario said.