Demand Gen Report’s new 2018 B2B Buyers Survey Report is out and its findings show that the B2B buying process continues to grow more complex, the process takes longer, and more time is spent on research. The research indicates that buyers expect hyper-relevant content and more informed salespeople. The report further demonstrates the need for B2B marketers to get their content and messaging in front of the buying committee when they are most likely to engage with it.
Of the B2B buyers surveyed, a whopping 61% said that the length of the purchase cycle has increased over the last year. They spend this time on a variety of tasks. Fully 45% of those surveyed said they spend more time researching purchases and use more sources to conduct that research.
Timing is Everything
As B2B marketers, we know that the window of opportunity often seems very small. The DGR report shows that the one- to three-month mark is crucial to getting the buyer’s attention. During this period, 41% of the buyer’s surveyed are busy conducting anonymous research, 42% are collecting preliminary information on pricing, and 46% are evaluating which solutions fit well with existing partners. These are all simultaneous activities.
For the savvy B2B marketer, this is the time to strike. The report shows that content and insight often tipped the scales. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the buyers surveyed said that the winning vendor provided informational content that was easy to consume. Seventy-three percent (73%) said the winner demonstrated a “stronger knowledge of our company and its needs.”
Madison Logic has long argued that the best account-based marketing program is the combination of content and display advertising, and the DGR report supports this. When asked if they noticed ads from the solution provider they chose during the research process, 49% of the respondents said that “Yes we did notice their ads and it positively impacted our view of them.”
Insight is Everything
Over the last few years, data and insights have helped B2B marketers to deliver increasingly relevant content to a prospect account when they are actively conducting research. What’s more, marketers are able to customize that content using that same data. Intent data, research behavior, install base data, all should inform content creation.
Madison Logic argues that sales teams should be as informed as marketing teams. Knowing an account’s research behavior can make for more meaningful interactions. The DGR report also supports this assertion. Sixty-four percent (64%) of the buyers surveyed said that the sales team of the winning company demonstrated superior knowledge of their company and had insights into their problems.
Learn more about how you can better align marketing and sales teams by nurturing prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey.