7 in 10 Global IT Professionals Find White Papers Useful

August 11, 2011

idg-white-papers-aug-20111.JPGAbout seven in 10 (72%) global IT professionals find white papers extremely useful, according to the IDG Connect 2011 Global IT Content Survey. In addition, high percentages of IT professionals in each major world region prefer local content.

Preference for local content is strongest in Asia (74%), while 56% of North American IT professionals prefer local content. Even in South America, which has the lowest local content preference rate, more than four in 10 (43%) IT professionals still prefer it.

High Percentages Struggle to Find Local Content

Despite clear preference for local content in most regions, high percentages of IT professionals struggle to find it. South America leads with 81% IT professionals struggling to find local content, followed by Asia with 79%, Africa (75%), Australia/ New Zealand (69%), Middle East (67%), Europe (54%) and North America (33%).

Vendor Content Enthusiasm Highest in Asia

The percentage of IT professionals who find vendor content (not just white papers) extremely useful or useful is highest in Asia, where 94% fit this definition. Following are South America (85%), Africa (84%), Middle East (81%), Australia/New Zealand (75%), Europe (74%), and North America (67%).

North American IT Professionals Prefer Analysis

When North American IT professionals were asked to list their top three content preferences, the results differed from the rest of the world. North American respondents ranked their preferences in order as thought leadership, analysis and statistics.

Worldwide, preferences are ranked as analysis, thought leadership and statistics. In addition, IT professionals in Asia and the Middle East most prefer statistical studies, while IT professionals in Asia and South America rank thought leadership third. IDG Connect says these figures show North American IT professionals prefer a “right brain” intuitive approach to vendor content, while those elsewhere prefer a “left brain” analytical/statistical approach.

White Papers Attract Fewer ‘Always Interested’ Readers Outside US

When IT professionals in different regions were asked whether they are “always interested in consuming IT white papers,” or whether they seek them out “when it is relevant to a specific project,” a leading 47% in North America said they are always interested. This level of interest is far lower in Asia (39%), Australia/ New Zealand (38%), Europe (36%), Middle East (33%), Africa (30%), and South America (25%).

Unica: IT Seen as Mktg Productivity Answer

Slightly more than half of respondents (51%) to a Q4 2010 Unica survey of North American and European marketing executives said improved technology infrastructure or software could most increase their marketing organization’s productivity, while 36% cited additional staff/headcount and only 13% said more support from external agencies.

Responses to this question also varied by continent. North Americans were more likely than Europeans to choose technology (55% compared to 45%) and additional staff/headcount (38% compared to 32%). However, Europeans selected external agency support at a rate more than triple that of North Americans (23% compared to 7%).

About the Data: IDG Connect surveyed 3,217 IT professionals in 114 territories.

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