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How Can RFID Vendors Influence End User Opinions of Them?

End user perceptions of RFID vendor companies are strongly shaped by systems integrators, analysts, researchers and media, according to a study. End users rate these industry professionals as stronger influences than RFID vendors themselves. Vendors are advised to target them -- instead of targeting end users directly -- in their marketing and branding efforts.
Jun 17, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

June 17, 2009—RFID resellers, systems integrators, analysts and media have more influence over end user opinions of RFID vendors than vendors themselves do, according to the 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report produced by RFID Update and Burnell Reports.

The research was conducted to determine how end users form opinions about RFID vendor companies. It specifically measured the relative influence of direct vendor sources (marketing and sales) versus indirect sources (resellers, systems integrators, analysts and media). The research also measured what influences channel companies like resellers and systems integrators. Results found it is easier for vendors to influence channel companies than to influence end users directly.

Over 40 percent of end users indicated that resellers, integrators and analysts have a "strong influence" over how they perceive RFID vendor companies. This is more than three times as many end users as those who are strongly influenced by vendors themselves. The table below documents in more detail how end user perceptions of RFID vendors are influenced. Note that media sources are also more influential than direct vendor communication.

What Influences End User Perceptions of RFID Companies?
  Strong influence Some influence Very little influence No influence Overall score
Professional sources
(resellers, systems integrators, analysts, etc.)
40.5% 37.1% 13.8% 8.6% 2.09
Media sources
(magazines, media-run newsletters and websites, etc.)
16.2% 57.3% 17.9% 8.5% 1.81
Vendor's own sources
(marketing, direct sales, communications, its website, etc.)
12.9% 52.6% 19.8% 14.7% 1.64

Note that more end users say RFID vendors' own sources of information have "no influence" on their perception of the company than say they have a "strong influence." The results indicate that RFID vendor relationships with the distribution channel (resellers and integrators) and press and analyst communities contribute more to their reputation among end users than appealing to end users directly.

The key takeaway is that RFID companies should therefore adopt an "influence the influencers" strategy by targeting communications specifically to the channel, analysts, media and other industry professionals -- rather than focus on targeting end users themselves.

The full report includes a comprehensive analysis of marketing opportunities and pitfalls for RFID vendor companies, and demonstrates that the effectiveness of most forms of RFID marketing and advertising has changed in recent years. The complete report includes data that documents these changes and includes recommendations for influencing prospects in the current climate.

The 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report and its companion the 2009 RFID Brand Report are based on an exclusive survey of more than 500 end users and prospects, channel professionals and manufacturers around the world. Some of the best-known companies in the RFID industry have used the data to refine their own marketing efforts.

For more information about the 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report and 2009 RFID Brand Report see: Also see our past coverage of the reports, which highlight various key findings: You can purchase your own full copy of the 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report and 2009 RFID Brand Report here.
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