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Why B2B Marketers Are Pissing Off Their Buyers

B2B Marketing

We have a problem – the B2B Buyer landscape is continuing to change and becoming more complex.  The more it changes, the less satisfied buyers are with their buying experience.

How much has it changed?  In Q4 of last year, Demand Gen Report released their latest B2B Buyers survey, Here is a snap shot of the findings from the study:

  • 67% of buyers say they are using a wider variety of sources to research their vendor options – versus 47% of the buyers surveyed in 2011;
  • 55% say they spend more time researching purchases than they did in the past – compared to 47% of the buyers surveyed in 2011;
  • 50% allow more internal team members to provide input into the decision-making process – compared to 30% of the buyers surveyed in 2011;
  • 45% conduct more detailed cost/ROI analyses – versus 34% of the buyers surveyed in 2011;
  • Just 9% say they involve fewer team members in their B2B buying decisions – compared to 17% in 2011.

And perhaps the most alarming –

  • Nearly 56% of buyers rated their buying experience as less than satisfied – this dissatisfaction was largely tied to timeliness of vendor response and relevance of information provided.

According to the study, the dissatisfaction that comes with the vendors is centered around the response time and relevance of content provided.  So while the buyers are becoming more advanced in their buying process, vendors are not keeping up with their changing needs.

One of the reasons that buyer dissatisfaction is on the rise is the way that organizations approach the discipline of Demand Generation.  Most organizations think of generating demand from a very tactical viewpoint, when they should be taking a strategic – buyer centric approach.  The State of B2B Demand Generation makes this point by showing that fewer than 25% of organizations have a defined Lead-to-Revenue Process and fewer than 5% claim every interaction with their buyers are  orchestrated.

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If our buyers are growing increasingly dissatisfied of the vendor’s response to their buying process…organizations have to change.  So in talking about this strategic approach Demand Generation, just what do we mean? Quite simply, strategic Demand Generation is:

  • A perpetual process
  • Involves three stages to Engage, Nurture, Convert your buyer
  • Includes both prospects + customers
  • Is buying-process-driven
  • Involves content that is designed to both educate + qualify the buyer
  •  Is a joint marketing + sales activity
  •  It must be operationalized and continually optimizes
  •  Is designed to drive sustainable revenue and maximize customer lifetime value

The truth is our attempts to capture the attention of our buyers are failing and our buyers are becoming annoyed with our methods. As marketers, we must shift our focus from tactical Lead Generation to strategic Demand Generation.  Our buyers are demanding it and we cannot afford to fall any further behind the maturity of those we are attempting to make our customers. If we don’t change, we risk loss of revenue simply because we are pissing them off! As marketers, we can and must do better than this.

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