Today’s modern B2B buyer directs their own purchasing research. Marketing will have to pivot effectively to engage customers during their buyer journey.
The following article is an excerpt from our inaugural issue of The Empowered Buyer™ Magazine. Click Here to read the full article, ‘Who Is The Empowered Buyer™’.
“Emotional impact is about making absolutely sure that the customer sees themselves in the story you’re telling”
– The Challenger Sale
A 2019 Gartner report indicates that B2B buyers spend 45% of their time researching a purchase, and only 17% of their time talking to potential suppliers. In a market where buyers direct their own purchasing research with the touch of a smartphone, Sales reps are losing their influence: prospects no longer have to listen to a sales pitch to make an informed decision. Times have changed! Buyers don’t want to be “sold to,” they want to make their own purchases based on the information they have gathered independently.
Companies need to shift away from touting the benefits and features of their own product or business, and focus instead on solving the problems of their buyers. As brand storyteller David Beebe points out, “Marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”
How does this major marketing shift impact B2B? Let’s first define the modern B2B buyer and what they expect, so Marketers can engage them effectively throughout their purchasing journey.
Who is the B2B Buyer?
The B2B buyer often operates within formal buying teams or committees, with multiple stakeholders engaging in different phases of the buying process. Some members of the team may be involved for a short time, while others may see the process all the way through. Buying team roles are also diverse, comprised of people from different departments, backgrounds, and demographics. Roles may range from executives to engineers, from CFOs to IT managers. B2B buying teams will also vary depending on the product being considered, and the unique dynamics that exist in any organization.
What do modern B2B Buyers expect?
The expectations of B2B buyers are changing as technology makes access to information faster and easier. Because of the sheer volume of information available online, buyers want relevant, meaningful content that speaks to their needs.
The statistics speak for themselves. Demand Gen Reports’ B2B Buyers Survey found that
- 67% of respondents wanted easy access to pricing,
- 64% wanted easy access to content without registration forms,
- and 66% wanted websites that showed expertise and spoke directly to industry needs.
The importance of having a website with high quality content and an optimized user experience cannot be ignored: with 75% of B2B buyers only visiting a company site once in their consideration process, Marketers can set their companies up for success by creating websites that stand out from the rest.
Marketers can start by anticipating what resources and information will add value to the B2B buyers’ research process, and ensuring that content is easily accessible to each buying role.
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Your Message Is What Counts
Informed buyers expect and want more than a classic sales pitch when they start investigating solutions for their business. Sales is no longer the next, natural step. Rather, it is rich and informative content. Content that Marketing is responsible for developing and positioning in front of the buyer.
Honing in on the content that matters to your buyers will give your brand a competitive edge. In a fiercely competitive environment where technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Marketers must be ready to respond with the right message at the right time for the right buyer.
Click Here to read the full article, ‘Who Is The Empowered Buyer™’.