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How Are CIOs Planning Their Technology Purchases?

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   December 06, 2022

A new survey from the Merritt Group finds that CIOs value input from key industry and thought leaders, as well as the media, when purchasing technology. And industry events are popular again as well.

Healthcare CIOs considering their next big technology purchase are looking to media and key industry and thought leaders for input on what to buy. And they're not all that interested in Twitter, Facebook, or the latest whitepapers.

That's the takeaway from a survey of 20 CIOs conducted by the Merritt Group, a marketing and PR firm. It speaks to the challenges faced by health system leaders as they sift through the ever-growing vendor landscape to find the right tool or platform.

According to the survey, 90% of CIOs say the endorsements of key opinion leaders and industry influencers add weight to their purchasing strategy, and 70% use the media to influence their decisions. Some 80% get their healthcare news from the media—trade publications, medical journals, professional organizations, and business press—while only 40% look at social media and 20% listen to podcasts.

In a blog accompanying the survey, Shea Lawless, a public relations account executives for the Merritt Group, says the survey results are a sharp turn-around from a previous survey that saw CIOs rank the media as the least favorite source of information.

"This points to the fact that CIOs aren’t looking to the media for [healthcare technology] vendors touting their solutions," she wrote. "Instead, they turn to the media for the seismic trends that will affect their business and patients. Healthcare technology vendors should focus on producing thought leadership content on these trends to educate the media and position themselves as trusted sources."

After media, the outside forces impacting buying decisions drops off. Only half of the CIOs surveyed say pressure from their health system affects what they buy, while 45% are swayed by what their competitors are buying, 35% pay attention to the "buzz around new diseases," and a quarter heed pressure from consumers or patients.

And after a few years of disruption caused by the pandemic, CIOs are interested in the live event circuit again. Three-quarters of those surveyed say they get product and vendor information from events.

"Anecdotally, we have also heard that many events held since COVID-19 are not reaching the same scale and having the same impact they used to," Lawless said in her blog. "Despite that, CIOs still find it to be an important element of their purchasing decisions, so marketers must keep that in mind."

As for vendor-initiated content, 75% of CIOs surveyed say videos work for them, while 65% are partial to case studies and 60% like either vendor websites or webinars. What doesn't click for them are social media (only 40% are interested) and whitepapers (30%).

Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

A survey of healthcare CIOs finds that 90% rely on key industry and thought leaders when purchasing technology, 70% use the media, and 75% eye industry events for information.

Some 75% of CIOs look at videos supplied by vendors, while 65% like case studies and 60% check out vendor websites and webinars.

Only 40% look at social media, and only 20% listen to podcasts.


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