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Survey Says

Reader Survey

Content that doesn’t serve the audience it was intended for is merely words on a page or screen, so IBM Systems Magazine set out to uncover readers’ biggest challenges and knowledge gaps. This year, 323 readers took time out of their day to share with us how the magazine helps them make the most of their IBM Power Systems* investment.

The reader perspective is important, and this survey data can help IBM Systems Magazine create content that resonates with readers. “Our overall value lies in our diverse, integrated content,” says Doug Rock, publisher of MSP TechMedia. which publishes the magazine on IBM’s behalf. “Strong content, how and when you want it. That’s the value we strive to deliver.” Read on for a synopsis of the 2017 Readership Survey Results—and what they mean for Power Systems users.

Influencing Buying Decisions

IBM Systems Magazine readers hold a variety of job titles: 41 percent are IT staff members, 23 percent work in IT management and 14 percent work as systems analysts. With their extensive IT and programming knowledge, the majority of readers are involved with purchasing decisions within their organizations: 62 percent determine the need for specific products, 60 percent recommend purchases and 57 percent are responsible for defining product features. Moreover, 50 percent of respondents indicated they’ve used information from the magazine to support technical recommendations to business-line executives, and 59 percent visit ibm.com for more product information.

“Talent. There is too much variety in technology for us to stay on top of all the technology we want to use.”
—Ed Waldschmidt, IT Project Manager at PHD Inc. and an adjunct professor at Baker College

Readers also found value in business partners’ marketing efforts. In fact, 50 percent of respondents reported they have visited a business partner’s website after seeing the URL in an advertisement, 38 percent of participants said they click-through to view advertised videos and 35 percent said they registered for or attended a webinar after viewing an advertisement for that educational event in IBM Systems Magazine. Effective advertisements are also worth talking about—22 percent of participants said they discussed advertisements seen in IBM Systems Magazine with other people.

That influence spills into buying decisions. In fact, 53 percent of respondents said advertisements in IBM Systems Magazine were “influential” in their IT-related purchasing decisions. And the vast majority of participants listed all seven types of content—including industry trends, education and training, software, information from ISVs, support services, tactical tips and product news—as “useful” when making buying decisions.

Diverse Media Platforms

Digitization has proven valuable to readers, and a majority report they prefer the digital version of the magazine delivered via email—63 percent, to be exact (see Figure 1). When asked the reason behind this preference, most respondents said it was more convenient and environmentally friendly. One active reader, Andy Eickstadt, elaborated on the value of digitization. “I like the electronic version because I can save the PDF and put it out on our server so other people can access it,” says Eickstadt. “It keeps you on top of things, especially when you read it from cover to cover.”

Readers turn to the twice-monthly IBM i and AIX* EXTRA eNewsletters for technical content (see Figure 2). In fact, 92 percent of respondents want to see tips and techniques, while 85 percent look for more technical information and 54 percent want to see more content regarding education, skills and training.

The ibmsystemsmag.com website is another valuable asset for readers, and 70 percent of survey respondents report they’ve visited it, particularly gravitating toward specific topic areas such as security or systems management (51 percent), magazine archives (49 percent) and blogs (46 percent).

Technical information, articles on new IBM technologies and technology trends stood out as the most valuable types of information within the magazine (see Figure 5). When asked about their interest in reading specific types of information in IBM Systems Magazine, 244 said they were strongly interested in technical information, 223 said they had a strong interest in articles on new IBM technologies and 157 said they were strongly interested in technology trends.

Keelia Moeller is a former editorial assistant with IBM Systems Magazine.


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