Insight: Merkle B2B & Bloomberg Quint launch ‘The Media Guide’ for Indian Tech Marketers

MUMBAI, INDIA — The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic sent the world into a massive shockwave, bringing human lives to a near standstill; and no matter how diligent the planning and forecasting, lives and businesses continue to struggle under its impact, globally.

The situation is no different in India, owing to the absence of a tried-and-tested business or political playbook that can help deal with such testing challenges. Nonetheless, the situation has also led to an amplification in the adoption of technology in everyone’s lives. Businesses and organisations too are now aware that normalcy may never replicate or return to pre-Covid operating conditions any time soon. Thus, organisations are now heavily investing in technology or technological assets that will allow them to thrive in the coming times.

To unearth and illustrate the tech buyer’s insights, Merkle B2B,  a purpose-built agency from the house of dentsu India, has partnered with Bloomberg Quint, an Indian business and financial news organisation, to commission a study through Greyhound Research. The study has been conducted with Indian CIOs (Chief Information Officer) and ITDMs (IT Decision Maker), to identify their concerns, issues & preferences about a brand, product or solution while making a purchase. The aim is to understand the world of evolving Indian tech buyers and the factors influencing their decisions.


The dynamic economic scenario has fundamentally altered the nature of business. Today, technology buyers have a plethora of choices in the Indian market. Although Indian organisations are investing in a technology-first approach, not all industries are tactical about their investments. Businesses adopt technology to survive and thrive in the current times, as they expect it to help them stabilise and optimise operations.

Traditionally, organisations reach out to technology vendors for support in spotting new opportunities. Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Startup companies, on the other hand, connect with vendors for unique and personalised experiences. Also, technology investments do not have a very high priority to deliver business value.

The question ahead of the marketers is, therefore, ‘How should one engage with the buyers as they progress to a technology-first approach? How should a technology vendor organisation deliver digitally enabled interactions to this self-serve audience?’. Marketers rely on inputs of sales and secondary industry information to build their audience persona and buyer’s journey. Though these help in initial planning, the real gap of local insights is often felt while engaging with the audience. As a result, this has led to the study of the technology environment in India and an understanding of the tech buyer.

The report is a guide for Indian Tech Marketers who are trying to understand ways to respond to the tech buyer’s dynamically changing world. It consists of all segments for buyers such as Enterprises, Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs) and Startups.

Below is the research methodology used:

  • Email-based survey + F2F interviews.
  • Sample size: 60 organisations (n=30 Enterprise, n=30 SMB/Start-ups).
  • Audience: CIOs, ITDMs and Influencers.
  • Period: April 2020 to March 2021.

The study is aimed to find answers to the below questions:

  • What role do different stakeholders play within the IT organisation in the purchase cycle?
  • What media influences at different stages – preference, consideration, and purchase?
  • What emerging content types have the tech buyers opened to in the pandemic?

Key highlights of the report:

  • Increasingly, CEOs/MDs are personally getting involved in the technology decision-making process. They are seeking business leaders and external parties (analysts/consultants) to gain deeper insights and better bargains from the existing and new vendors.
  • Traditional (80%) and startup (73%) organisations prefer to use local podcasts and videos along with their global content pieces to strengthen context.
  • 73% of respondents from traditional organisations continue to value conferences and events, while only 53% of startup organisations prefer them as part of the new technology buying decision-making process.
  • 60% of traditional organisations and 100% of startup organisations find online technology magazines to be effective in their technology buying decision-making process.
  • 40% of startup organisations and 23% of traditional organisations find global video content to be helpful while identifying a technology vendor.

Link to the report:

Abhay Kulkarni, MD, Merkle DWA

Commenting on the report, Abhay Kulkarni, MD, Merkle DWA said, “Our intent is to get an on-ground understanding of the tech buyers’ evolving world and unearth insights that can help tech marketers make informed decisions. Merkle believes that today’s customer-focused marketing leader is evolving with the core pursuit of placing people at the heart of the business strategy. Our aim is to help marketers stimulate their thinking towards the future of marketing while getting actionable ideas that can impact businesses, and ultimately, strengthening their ongoing approach to people-based marketing.”

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