According to research published in Pardot’s (now part of Salesforce.com) The State of Demand Generation 2013, almost 80% of B2B buyers start their product research online at a search engine. Four hundred B2B buyers, mostly from small businesses, were part of the survey. While not completely surprising, the results reinforce how the nature of how the B2B buying cycle starts today. From this single point, other assumptions can be made that should affect your marketing and sales processes.
- Priority one is to be visible within the search results through either paid or organic marketing.
- Getting to the top page results requires solid content marketing. Google, in particular, continues its crusade to reinforce good content with each subsequent algorithm update.
- Content is king and context is queen. Buyer’s want to be presented with different, more specific content as they get deeper in the buying cycle with relevance/context to their needs. A web search leads to a product overview, then to a whitepaper, then a webinar, and so on.
- Whether you subscribe to consultative or insight selling methods, your sales force is not there to provide information that can be found online.
- If 80% of buyers start their research online, how many do you think would prefer to complete the purchase online? Does your business offer that option?