Recently, Think with Google published an article of a study they did for which the results provided some very surprising revelations on the changing demographics and behaviors of the the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace. The data suggests that there has been a shift over the past two years in how B2B buying decisions are made and who is making those decisions.
The following is a short summary of the Think with Google article. The full article can be found HERE
To acquire the data for the study, Google partnered with Millward Brown Digital where they surveyed approximately 3,000 B2B researchers. In addition, Google analyzed 13 months of clickstream from Millward Brown Digital’s desktop panel. The study, which was undertaken in 2014, mirrored research in 2012, which provided the ability to see any shifts that had taken place over the two years. What they found was needless to say, very insightful.
#1 : Nearly half of all B2B researchers are millennials
In 2014, 18 – 34 year olds accounted for almost half of all researchers. That is an increase of 70% from the 2012 research data. These millennials are digital natives and need consideration for the kinds of content they desire and media channels they use.
#2: B2B researchers who are not in the c-suite influence purchase decisions
While 64% of C-suite make the final purchase decisions, so do 24% of non C-suite researchers. In addition, 81% of non C-suite researchers have a say in the final decision.
#3: 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search
The research showed that those involved in the buying process were 57% completed with the path to a buying decision when they perform an action on your site. 90% of researchers who are online use search to research business purchases and on average they do 12 searches prior to engaging with a brand’s site. In addition, 71% start with a generic query, in other words they are searching for a product and not a brand at first.
#4 : Mobile usage is intensifying and researchers are using it through the entire purchase path
The research showed that 42% of researchers utilized a mobile device as part of the B2B purchasing process. And of those using their mobile device, 49% use it for product research while at work. In addition, their purchasing products with their mobile phone at a rate 22% higher then 2 years ago.
#5: B2B researchers watch video during the entire purchase path
70% of B2B buyers and researchers are now watching videos throughout the purchase path; a 52% jump in two years. 48% of the researchers are viewing 30 min or more of B2B related videos during the research process, while 20% watch over an hour of video content.
What does this study mean? Your B2B buying audience is changing. The purchase influencers and decision makers are probably younger than you expected and thus you need to increase your search, mobile, and video marketing efforts and look at the type of content you should be creating and where in the purchase path it best to deliver.