How B2B Buyers Get Their Vendor Information

As we noted in our last post, the B2B buyer’s journey is a long one that does not include vendor contact until the end of the cycle. So, how do purchasers gather vendor information?

A recent study confirmed unsurprisingly that Web search (56%) and vendor websites (39%) were the most frequent sources in the initial research phase of the process.1 The study reported that once a buyer identified a potential vendor and spent time on its website, there were three major factors that influenced their experience:

  • Easy access to relevant content (65%)
  • Easy access to pricing/competitor information (65%)
  • Content that spoke directly to buyer’s needs and demonstrated industry knowledge (55%)

80% of the respondents indicated a vendor’s content had a positive, significant impact on their buying decisions.

When asked about the top reasons why a vendor was selected, two key answers dominated the responses:

  • Vendor demonstrated strong knowledge of the solution area and landscape (65%)
  • Vendor demonstrated strong knowledge of the buyer’s company and its needs (64%)

Virtually all of the participants said they are demanding and expecting some degree of customization in the form of relevant content and efficient engagement — at all stages of the buying journey.

TW’s Take

This research validates the overwhelming role that search and websites now play in the initial stages of the B2B buying process. It also upholds the contention that the buyer’s consumption of high-value, educational content plays an influential role in vendor selection and decision making. B2B sellers must provide a Web experience that includes buyer/industry-focused architecture and messaging, rich multimedia content, and easy navigation. These attributes will support a search optimization strategy that is focused on your specific target audiences. The goals are to be findable through search, then engagement with knowledge and content.

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Next post: The New Role of the Sales Rep

1 Source: 2021 B2B Buyers Survey Report, DemandGen, June 2021.