Article

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 9 June 2017
Categories B2B, Ecommerce

How B2B Marketing Has Changed in Recent Years

Over the past two years, there has been a drastic change in the world of B2B Marketing. What’s the change? To identify this change and to bring it in the knowledge of our readers and users we conducted a survey among the B2B decision makers about their research and purchasing habits.

Over the past two years, there has been a drastic change in the world of B2B Marketing. What’s the change? To identify this change and to bring it in the knowledge of our readers and users we conducted a survey among the B2B decision makers about their research and purchasing habits.

The results we found interpreted some common disbelief’s that majorly influence the mind of any B2B marketer.

Here we cannot deny the fact that business to business marketplace is evolving timely though this may not be surprising but how things are changing can act as a wake-up call for few brands who are still not aware of the new trends in B2B marketing. Before coming to any conclusion it is necessary to understand why these changes are taking place and how is responsible for them.

 This change was positively understood by the folks at Caterpillar at the launch of their four new videos for their “Built For It” brand campaign.

According to Caterpillar Global Marketing Services Manager Renee Richardson, Caterpillar understood that the B2B audience was now younger and online. Thus, the company set out to make the Cat® brand more human, more approachable, and more relevant.

It’s long known fact now that B2B target audience is mainly found online. During the B2B research process, 89% of B2B researchers use internet even though this is not something big as from 2012 number of people going digital has more or less remained same but what’s happening on behind the curtain hasn’t.

Now the question is what has exactly changed? To find this out Goggle partnered with Millward Brown Digital.

About 3000 B2B researcher were approached to discuss about their research and purchase habits along with their use of internet (specially search, mobile and video.)  In addition, Google studied 13 months of clickstream data from Millward Brown Digital's desktop panel. The study, which was fielded in 2014, mirrors research from 2012, enabling us to see the shifts over the past couple of years.

Let’s start with what has actually changed and what are facts and myths that are widely practiced in B2B marketing strategies.

 

MYTH 1: Millennials Do Not Make B2B Decisions

FACT 1: Most of the B2B Researchers Are Millennials

Since the past two years, the overall change in the B2B researcher demographic is dramatic. If we look back in 2012 there was a fair even mix of age groups but, however, in 2014, the change started to begin the increase of millennial researchers went up to 70%. Falling into the age group of 18 to 34 years old.

B2B Researcher Demographic

1.jpg

(Source: Think With Google)

Generation belonging to this demographic is known as the millennial generation which is much advanced and aware of the modern world. The oldest member of this demographic groups is of 1980 which means that they are not familiar with the world of internet. When the millennials came forward half of the Americans were using the email approach, BlackBerry had hit the market and search engines were used widely in other words millennials are digital geeks.

If you’re still not marketing to this age group, you need to revise your marketing strategies keeping in account all the interests of the millennials.

 

MYTH 2: B2B Marketing Should Only Focus Senior Executives

Fact 2: B2B researcher which are not on the high-level effect purchase decision

B2B marketing strategies particularly target on C-suite or other high-level executives. Previously used strategies won’t be as impactful as they used to be 2 years ago. Reason? The network among the B2B research process has evolved tremendously.

It is noticed 81% of non C-suiters have a major impact on purchase decision. It simply means if you’re only marketing to the senior levels you’re ignoring the people who need to notice you.

Caterpillar identified this loop and realized that this strategy needs to be changed.

"Everything was being done at the C-suite level, but then we found out that new engineers coming on board were just going online and placing orders," says Richardson.

Employee Impact On Purchase Decision

2.jpg

(Source: Google)

 

MYTH 3: You Should Only Target High-End Brands for Your Search Strategy

FACT 3: Studies show that 71% of B2B researchers begin their research with a common search

Studies show that people indulged in B2B buying process are already half way down the path before they actually signup on your portal. As B2B brands pursue new customers it is highly important that they understand what is happening in the present time.

One thing which we are sure about is that researchers are searching. In fact, it is their go to go resource. 90% of researchers use search for their business purchases. Even though this percentage has remained constant but the way they are searching has changed,

On average, a normal B2B researcher conducts 12 searches before engaging on a particular brand site.

According to Richardson

“The point of contact with sales comes a lot later, so we have to be well prepared to present our value story to our customers or potential customers much earlier and articulate it in a much simpler manner."

 

MYTH 4: Most of the B2B Researchers DO Not Use Mobile

FACT 4: Mobile usage is increasing B2B researchers use mobile throughout their process.

According to a research more than 42% of researches use a mobile device while making online purchases. In fact, every day the number of mobile users is increasing and since the invention of smartphones the percentage of mobile queries has grown 3x.

Mobile is not only used when people are somewhere out. Mobile devices are used everywhere. 49% of B2B researchers use mobile at the time of their work. They’re comparing between prices, searching for new products, reading about features etc. Considering the above given facts it is important that you provide your users with a smooth mobile experience.

f4.jpg

(Source: Google)

 

MYTH 5: Videos Are Only Watched For Entertainment

 Fact 5: B2B Purchasers Watch Videos before Making Every Decision

Over the past years video marketing growth is gigantic. More than 70% of B2B buyers watch a video before making any farther purchasing decision. That’s a total jump of almost 52% in past 2 years, and that’s not where it stops.

According to U.S YouTube Data.

Over 895K hours of some of the top B2B videos from brands were watched in 2014. Nearly half of these researchers are viewing 30 minutes or more of B2B-related videos during their research process, and almost one in five watch over an hour of content.

Average Watch Time Of Video

f5.jpg

In the history of video marketing product feature videos are on top of the list along with how-to-videos and most importantly testimonials. They watch videos because it is easy to relate and they find it useful. When asked B2B researchers said after watching a video they discuss it among collogues and most of them visit the brand’s website for getting more information. Clearly videos play a vital role in making purchases.

Conclusion

At this point the most important thing is to realize the changes in the overall market and changes in the audience. B2B market is full of young people you need to advertise your product where they are found. Yes, you need to go digital, you need to create interesting videos, you need to give them an user friendly mobile experience and lastly you need to understand which path to follow to make them purchase.

Pericles Ellinas
Pericles Ellinas

would be also interesting to see the size of the contracts trusted on millennials and if the above study refers mainly to low value deals

Pericles Ellinas
Pericles Ellinas

very interesting

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