Evolution of the B2B buyer: Part 2

A while ago, I wrote about the evolution of the B2B buyer. The main take out from that blog was this: the new B2B buyer is now consistently 45 and under, extremely tech-savvy, and someone who habitually researches and buys online.

As a result, buying decisions are made with extensive online research. Couple this with the current COVID-19 pandemic which has meant no in-person events, meetings or demo’s and it is imperative that companies create a suite of high-quality content, budget permitting, that meets the buyer where they are in the buying cycle.

SEO and the need for the B2B buyer to come to you

Creating terrific content is only half the battle. You can pay to place that content in front of prospect buyers (here’s a few tips on performance best practice), which will deliver top of funnel leads. However, we know that those same buyers, depending on where they are in the buying cycle, will be scouring the ether for relevant content to consume, providing an opportunity for relevant content to be found organically. Therefore, it is critical to invest time into your website, and ensure it is optimised for organic search so the right buyers can find your awesome content. 

Reputation

Another factor is reputation and experience doing the kind of work your buyer is in the market for. For those companies who can, a peer review from companies as highly regarded as Gartner or G2 can really add value and weight to their proposition. These reviews are neutral and allow buyers an opportunity to see how your company rank against your competitors and give context to their buying decisions from a highly regarded and trusted partner.

Businesses can also collect and share customer reviews, either via testimonials on their own website or social media, or via specialist aggregation websites. According to G2, 92% of buyers are more likely to purchase a product after reading a positive review online.

The world is smaller, and it is much easier to speak to people about their experiences with a particular company than go with your own opinion. Much of the work we do comes from referral where our prospective buyers have reached out to a current client to ask about their experience, sometimes initiated by us, sometimes not. Doing a good job and exceeding a customer’s expectations isn’t new, but online research now means a negative experience, no matter how trivial, could have a knock-on effect for a buyer who is heavily influenced by peer review.

Knowing your buyer’s pain points

Content is everywhere, so how do you cut through the clutter to make an impactful impression on a prospect B2B buyer? Understanding who your buyer is, and what keeps them up at night is a great place to start. Answer that challenge with a solution, and your content or proposition can become incredibly impactful.

Influence the influencers

The number of people actively involved in the buying process is between 6 and 10 individuals. So not only are you trying to influence one key buyer, but multiple buyers across various departments. This creates both a challenge and an opportunity – if one buyer isn’t sold on your solution or product that’s only around 10% – 15% of the buying team. If time and budget allow for multiple content and a holistic approach, then there is a bigger opportunity to target the primary buying team as well as those who might have a quieter voice in the buying process.

What’s next

The B2B buyer has changed significantly in the last decade, which really puts the onus on marketing teams to meet the buyer where they are through agility, preparation and a true understanding of who their buyer is.

To discover more about the B2B buyer, or to talk to us about who your buyer might be, hit the contact us button below and we’d be delighted to talk to you.

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