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And technology brands like yours are a huge part of that. The technological landscape is evolving at a rate of knots and yet, when it comes to B2B Marketing, those same brands are falling behind. In such a crowded tech landscape which has seen martech vendors soar from 150 to almost 4,000 in the last 8 years, your marketing must move with the times. You’ll need a critical awareness of how the current B2B Marketing landscape looks and most important of all, who your buyer is. What are their main concerns? What challenges do they face in getting that deal done? That’s what this blog is all about. So strap yourself in for helpful tips and insights on the constant shifting of the B2B Marketing tides – and how to surf them in style…
The reality is that there are more people involved in each B2B purchasing decision than ever before. In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions . Naturally, this complicates things. You’ve not got one individual to convince, you’ve got seven, all of whom are having multiple meetings outside of your control, influencing one another, their opinions changing all the time.
With so many buyers dominating your average sale, it helps to get a general idea of who the majority of them might be.
As you’d expect in the tech space, buyers are extremely digitally focussed, active both on social media and other channels. 84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions, while 87% of B2B buyers say online content has a major to moderate effect on their purchasing decisions. What’s more, they’re engaging on their mobile devices, with 70% of B2B search queries predicted to be made on smartphone in 2020. The top digital platform by far – and one you’ll need to foster activity on – is LinkedIn, where up to 80% of all B2B leads are said to originate.
With this digital savviness comes a preference for independent, online research before even considering a purchase. 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before engaging with a sales representative, and 44% identify specific solutions before reaching out to a seller. That’s not to say you can’t reach them before this stage: 53% of B2B buyers will read 3-5 pieces of content before contacting the supplier, so if you put the right pieces out there, buyers will interact.
Since your buyers are doing their own research for what they want, it’s not as much a case of chasing them up but of proving your worth. 70% of B2B buyers cite company reputation as the most influential factor when choosing which company to do business with.
And what better way to prove your worth than to position your organisation as experts in your field. 93% of B2B buyers wish companies would educate, rather than sell to them, and 48% of decision-makers say ‘thought-leadership’ has led them directly to award business to a supplier. Burgeoning your organisation’s reputation with a thought-leading whitepaper, for example, can be a great way to demonstrate your prowess.
Not to cause undue alarm, but when things move, they tend to move fast. The most crucial stage in any sale is in the first 3 months, leaving little point of bombarding targets time and again with the same offering, or worse still, cold calling – only 4% of buyers respond positively to cold calls. Better to enhance your reputation in other ways before your point of contact, elevate your brand in the eyes of your targets with hard hitting content and ensure those first couple of months, when they arrive, really hit home.
The B2B Marketing world will always evolve, and so there’s always something you can be doing to improve your appeal to potential buyer(s). Be sure to work on your credibility, hone your organisation’s image and keep your digital profile high. Then, when the time comes for them to make that purchase, they won’t need to think twice. Now, time to get out there and earn those sales!
For more advice or B2B marketing inspiration, why not see some of our other blog posts.