In case you missed it – Key ‘B2B Buying Behaviour’ Survey Findings

Each year, BaseOne commission a ‘B2B Buyers Behaviour’ Survey exploring key themes and channels used by B2B organisation buyers to purchase services and products. Here is a quick summary of the key findings in 2012’s report. Enjoy!

What are the top 5 channels used by buyers to get information when purchasing a product or service?

  1. Web searches – 71%
  2. Word of mouth – 56%
  3. Online community sites – 12%
  4. LinkedIn – 10%
  5. Facebook – 5%

Clearly have a user-friendly and highly visible website is key when marketing to the B2B sector but one should not underestimate the growing influence of social media, so often presented as a more B2B-friendly medium.

Which information channels were deemed to be most useful when making a purchasing decision?

  1. Word of mouth
  2. Web searches
  3. Online community sites

As you might expect, word-of-mouth is the most useful means of getting meaningful information, helpful to the decision making process.

What type of information do buyers regard as helpful when making a purchasing decision?

  1. Visited supplier websites – 73%
  2. Articles and info found in industry press – 47%
  3. Relevant supplier emails – 39%
  4. Relevant press advertising – 20%
  5. Direct mail – 19%

How do buyers here about information sources?

  • Most whitepapers and webinars / videos are found through web searches
  • Most seminars are found out about through supplier emails
  • Most blogs are found via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Key changes in channel usage since 2011

  • The usage and importance of supplier websites, word of mouth, web searches and industry press has all increased in the last 12 months.
  • The usage and importance of press advertising, direct mail, online events / webinars, blogs, Facebook and Twitter have all decreased in the last 12 months.
  • The sharpest decline has been in press advertising, direct mail and Facebook.
  • The biggest increase in importance has been around word of mouth.

Social media usage by age

  • 49% of buyers under 30 years of age use social media for information and advice
  • 26% of buyers between 31 and 40 years of age use social media for advice and information.
  • 23% of buyers between 41 and 50 years of age use social media for information and advice.
  • 13% of buyers beween 51 and 60 years of age use social media for advice and information.

What age are the buyers in your target segments? Having this knowledge could be the difference between an effective social media marketing campaign and a costly one.

Which channel / source is most useful at each stage of the buying process?

  1. Identifying the problem and need – Whitepapers
  2. Identifying potential suppliers – Web searches and LinkedIn, with supplier websites and word of mouth just behind
  3. Supplier selection – Twitter and supplier emails

Hope this has given you some food for thought and will prove helpful in your marketing planning for 2013!

To download the full report click ‘Buyersphere 2012 Report‘.

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