Andrew Gaffney, editor of DemandGen Report, shared some insights into B2B purchasing behavior at a recent BMA-NJ meeting.
He noted that, while 35% of research begins on the company website, this is less than half of the 81% of B2B buyers who initiate purchasing decisions on the web. The good news is that 63% of survey respondents are finding and using more content on the web than in previous years, showing that a focus on Content Marketing may pay off.
The nurturing of web-based leads is also growing in importance. More than 50% of B2B purchasers were first contacted by a Sales Rep after visiting the website, compared to 10% who were cold-called. The point at which your Sales person is brought into the decision cycle is happening further down the funnel, with 51% of companies making contact only after they have assembled a short list of suppliers compared to 26% who initiated discussions at the early stage of research. And, according to Sirius Decisions, the sales cycle has grown 22% in the last five years.
Andrew then moved on to discuss the influence of Content on marketing effectiveness. According to DemandGen’s research, 37% of people treat vendor-generated content as trustworthy, and 25% are getting more content via social media sites than a year ago. Their advice to marketers – Curb the Sales Message (72%); Focus less on Product Specs and more on Value (56%); and Keep the Content Short (47%).
To wrap up, Andrew told the audience that the type of content most likely to be shared is still led by Whitepapers (70%), followed by Case Studies (55% ) and Blog postings (46%); and that Email, LinkedIn and Twitter were the most likely ways to share the material.