A recent study by DemandGen Report found that 9 in 10 business buyers say “when they are ready to buy, they’ll find you.” Unlike consumers who might not be thirsty but will respond to a Coca Cola ad, the business buyer doesn’t have time to be distracted by marketing side shows. The B2B marketer who positions their products at the time the business buyer is actively researching and shopping for them has far greater odds of succeeding than the one purchasing company lists and making cold calls. Here is the latest data on where and how business products buyers are shopping today.

  • 9 in 10 business buyers say they’ll actively research and find vendors when they’re ready to buy.
  • 93% of senior level executives say the Internet is a valuable or very valuable resource for getting product information and 67% of these executives are doing the online research themselves (vs. relying on others and using print resources.)
  • 93% of business product buyers use search engines when beginning their research and buying process.
  • After search engines and visiting vendor websites directly, buyers rate product information sites as the most important during their research process.
  • The top three most important pieces of information that buyers look for when they’re researching products online are: pricing information, product information, and product comparisons.
  • At the beginning of the purchase process, 50% of business buyers say online research is the most important part of their process vs. 19% who say information from other users is and 12.5% who say talking to a vendors is.
  • Marketing spends over the next 2-3 years are expected to increase by 64% in digital and online spending and 67% in social media.

What does this mean for the B2B marketer? Essentially, they need to respect the way their prospective customers are researching and shopping today vs. forcing them into their own buying funnel experience. As the Web continues to dominate as the best way to connect with buyers, B2B marketers must ensure that their brands and products are represented perfectly not just on their own websites, but also in search results, on objective comparison and reseller sites, and social media platforms.

The key is not only understanding where your prospects come from, but how to handle them once you have them.  A solid Demand Generation Program will ensure that all responders are handled in a cost effective and optimal manner, that will lower your cost per sale and increase your overall ROI.