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Tech Vendors to Apply Community Marketing

The technology marketer traditional demand generation and customer conversion processes won't qualify in the transformation from information technology (IT) to business technology (BT), according to the latest study by Forrester.

Buyers who are concerned with using technology to exploit new business opportunities are dominating technology markets -- and adoption of business capabilities is their objective, not product or service selection.

These "business technologists" use Web 2.0 applications to advance adoption goals. Their approach, which encompasses an attitudinal, procedural, and overhaul of technology marketing practices, is the new discipline for matching buyer's business needs with technology vendor capabilities.

Forrester believes that creative messages, collateral, and formal sales presentations are no longer the primary source of information about tech industry product strengths and weaknesses.

BT decision-makers see online search engines, discussion forums, blogs, podcasts, and other Web 2.0 publishing resources as unbiased, easier to apply, and more focused on BT success imperatives than typical vendor marketing materials.

Increasingly, business technologists turn to their "trusted peers" as a credible influencer that they reach through social networking communities for insight and meaningful guidance.

The enterprise adoption of BT is a social process that depends on complex networks of internal and external participants for success. In this way, business technologists recruit participants into adoption networks in response to business objectives and tactical needs. How?

Again, applying Web 2.0 technologies provide the means to inexpensively set up and sustain rich interactions across the activities -- such as educate, delegate, problem solve, share, collaborate, complain, elevate -- that define these adoption networks.

To intimately participate in customer adoption networks, tech industry marketers must evolve a new, co-optive personality and operating model that Forrester calls community marketing.

They define Community Marketing as: the application of marketing processes and resources to assimilate a supplier into customer adoption networks and activities in order to support better business outcomes. That said, I believe that Forrester has uncovered a significant new trend.

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