As I’ve written previously, if you’ve going to do a survey hoping to get ink make sure it generates some hard news. A recent survey by network management vendor Spiceworks did just that, asking if small to medium sized businesses are keeping their IT hardware longer than before. The answer: Yes, and about a year longer, to be  specific. That, and other survey results, got Spiceworks mentioned in Investors Business Daily, and Network World, and eWeek.
The lesson: Imagine the headline of the news story you hope to see featuring your name, and work the survey questions from there. Including some nifty graphics LINK highlighting the juicy stuff doesn’t hurt, either.

An added note: Spiceworks itself has an interesting business model, providing free network inventory and management software paid for by advertisers and sponsors. Spiceworks also lets users join buying clubs and tell vendors what they’d like to see in future products through its “Voice of IT” program. It’s yet another threat to IT trade pubs and those who serve them, such as PR agencies: Give away the content (in this case software) to aggregate customers, and plumb those customers for market insights at the same time. I assume Spiceworks also charges vendors who want to do custom surveys of that customer base. Wonder if they’re making any money, from what sources (advertising vs. selling research) and how many IT managers buy into this model?

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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