Google study offers insights in B2B Marketing

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Following up on the webinar „Social Media for B2B companies – tactics, tools and techniques“ that I held today from South Tyrol, I have promised to share one of the latest Google studies on B2B marketing.

At their event „Thing B2B 2011“ Google introduced the results of their new B2B study. It refers to business decision makers and how they make their way to buying decisions, which tools they are using and which technical platforms influence their purchase process.

The study „Connecting with the Customer“ (video) asked 1.600 B2B business decision makedrs from various industries. The results were then combined with the latest findings of a Compete Clickstream study. The Compete study is tracking website conversion rates of a panel that is based on 2 Mio. consumers.

The study concludes that 30% of conversions on activities like whitepaper downloads, Email, Calls or other pull activity happen after two weeks time, or even at a later stage. It also states that -not surprising- in order to reach B2B decision makers the Internet is the best choice. 57% of the respondents say Internet advertising sticks to their mind versus 34% print. Only 16% say TV ads have a lasting effect on them.

When B2B decision makers are in a purchase process, they make use of the following sources…
– 71% Internet
– 41% Professional organizations
– 39% Tradeshows
– 37% Catalogue
– 33% Consultants
– 31% Direct Mail
– 11% TV

The leading online resources where B2B decision makers go to…
– 73% Search engines
– 51% Brand websites
– 45% Online reviews
– 42% Websites of professional organizations

In the following video Sam Sebastian, Industry Director at Google reviews the most important results of the study „Connecting with the Customer“, and makes clear that Social Media has the best effect if it is connected with all the other marketing activities companies are running. The review is followed by a dscussion between Paul Miller, Vice President of eCommerce at Grainger; Kathy Leech, Director of Brand Communications at BP; Andy Markowitz, Director of Global Digital Strategy at GE. Just watch it…

Spot On!
Business decision makers are a challenging shopper category. However, the study makes clear that the Internet is the place to reach them easily – some website chat software allows you to interact with individual customers in real time. Mobiles and Social Networks are becoming more and more important in the lead generation process, too. One in three B2B clients who searches for information on their smartphones also uses Social Networks for research purposes. Sam Sebastian, Industry Director at Google summarizes the findings in three bullets:
1. The Internet is the new tradeshow
2. B2B customers search early and often across the Web to information
3. Think orchestration, not integration

Maybe I would have chosen a different third point… „Think stimulation, not penetration!“. But that is my view…


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