A new report reveals helpful insights on how the B2B marketing landscape is changing and how marketers should respond to better meet customer needs. The data supports much of the research TechTarget has done over the past several years, and is a good reminder to all B2B marketers that your customers are in the driver’s seat.
In the recently released study Inside the Mind of the New B2B Buyer (conducted by DemandGen Report and Genius.com), IT buyers give marketers a valuable glimpse into the buying process. You can also read one blogger’s analysis of the report.
One of the report’s findings is that the time and detail B2B buyers put into the purchasing process is changing. 48% say they are using more information sources than they used to - and doing so during different stages of their decision-making process.
TechTarget also found this in our 2009 Media Consumption Report: Closing the Gap. In our study, IT buyers said they consume content throughout their decision-making process, from identifying a need through consideration to a final purchase.
However, the type of content they consumed changed according to where they were in their process. For example, earlier stage leads were more likely to read white papers or eBooks while end stage leads sought out trial software demos or vendor comparisons.
This research underscores the need for B2B marketers to reach IT buyers in every stage of the buying process by offering a variety of content types, such as white papers, webcasts, and software downloads. Savvy IT buyers seek out different media types, giving advertisers the perfect opportunity to target them at each stage of their decision-making process with content that speaks to their needs at that time.
Another finding in the “Inside the Mind of the New B2B Buyer” report was that the way decisions on B2B purchases are made has changed, especially when it comes to budgeting. Less than 25% of respondents said their budget was allocated at the beginning of the year, and 23% said funds were allocated only after the ROI was proven. For B2B marketers, this means that you have an opportunity to influence IT buyers throughout the year. Taking your campaign offline can mean you miss crucial opportunities.
This also means that proving the ROI of your product or service is more important than ever. IT buyers are increasingly being asked to demonstrate the impact of the purchases they make. As a marketer, you can make their job easier (and influence them toward your solution) by providing content assets such as case studies and side-by-side comparisons of your solution versus your competitors’. Marketers who cannot clearly demonstrate their ROI will find themselves being left off the short-lists of IT buyers.
The report reveals many other findings and is worth a read. You can also access TechTarget’s research at the following links: Google/TechTarget Behavioral Research and 2009 Media Consumption Report: Closing the Gap.