According to MarketingSherpa’s Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2007-08, 80% of decision makers who made a technology purchase believe that they found the vendor — as opposed to the vendor targeting them.
This is an amazing statistic that proves just how much the Internet has transformed B2B marketing. Nobody questions that the Internet transformed B2C industries, such as travel (Expedia), car buying (Edmunds), or house hunting (MLS and Zillow). I wouldn’t think of buying an airplane ticket or car or home without first doing my research online. It is clear that B2B buyers trained to search online for their personal purchases are now using the same strategies for their business purchases.
As a result, the B2B marketer’s job must change as well. Interruption-based techniques where the marketer searches for customers no longer work. What DOES work are techniques which smooth the process of customers searching for you. In other words, since the buyer controls their buying process, the B2B marketer’s job is to synchronize the company’s marketing (and to some extent sales) activities to the buyer’s process.
MarketingSherpa lists some tactics that are now critical to your marketing mix:
- SEO and pay per click management so prospects find you when they search
- White paper syndication on the third-party sites prospects use when researching
- PR, blogs, public speeches, awards – so your brand appears wherever prospects are reading
- Consistent brand awareness efforts so they’re aware of you when they make their short list
- Focus on client satisfaction to encourage referrals and word
To this list, I’d add landing page optimization so you have the best chance of converting prospects when they do find you. I’d also add post-click lead management: if buyers are seeking you out, you’ve got to be able to follow-up with the promptly and accurately.
Download a PDF excerpt of MarketingSherpa’s Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide.
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