Three Common Facts And Fictions About The B2B Buyer

by Michael Moores

Three Common Facts And Fictions About The B2B Buyer

by Michael Moores

by Michael Moores

In the past 5 years, there has been a drastic shift in the B2B buyer demographic. Back in 2012, there was a pretty even mix across age groups. In 2014, however, 18- to 34-year-olds accounted for almost half of all those researching and buying B2B products, an increase of 70%. Here are three common misconceptions about today’s B2B buyer that we’d like to clear up:

Myth #1: Business buyers have a vastly different buying process than consumers

Traditionally, B2C consumers were perceived as being more susceptible to advertising and maintaining brand loyalty while B2B buyers were perceived as following more concrete procurement processes and not being affected by advertising and brands. That is changing.

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Although formal procurement processes still exist, today’s business buyer is more connected and informed. They are accustomed to social networks in both their personal and professional lives. They actively seek advice from colleagues and business networks, which has increased the number of influencers and decision makers in the process.

How to change your approach:

Recognize that influencers and decision makers will research you and your products long before they engage you directly. Work to educate potential buyers through robust content and pertinent industry thought leadership. Furthermore, recognize that content has different audiences from an executive to a researcher and customize your content accordingly.

Myth #2: Business Buyers just want to buy your product or service

Today’s B2B buyer is looking for insights and information about how their industry is being affected by advances in products and services. They want information on your products or services and how your products or services will meet their needs or solve challenges. The buying process begins with research long before any sales channels are engaged.

Business buyers are also looking for post-sales information, as well. They want follow-up information on your products as well as order management statistics.

How to change your approach:

Educate buyers through robust content and industry thought leadership and facilitate dialogue around your industry to establish yourself as a leader. Provide self-service access to robust product information and cross-channel account history.

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Myth #3:  Business buyers do not use mobile devices

The buying process does not happen at just one moment in time while the buyer is sitting at his or her desk. It is happening at all times of the day and/or night while the buyer is on the shop floor, at a client site, commuting, etc.

According to a study conducted by Google in partnership with Millward Brown Digital, 42% of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process. Of those, there has been an impressive 91% growth in use over the past two years throughout the entire path (instead of just at the initial stages of research). Beyond research, nearly 1 out of every 5 B2B purchases are made from a mobile device.

How to change your approach:

Ensure your content is available on all devices and is optimized for each different screen size.  

Once you have identified just who your B2B buyers are, it’s important to understand how they enter the process of discovery and eventually make a purchase decision. Although there are some similarities to how a traditional B2C customer purchases, certain aspects of your selling process need to cater specifically to the B2B buyer to meet their unique challenges.

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