When it comes to digital marketing, most people think of B2C consumers. But B2B buyers are consumers, too. They spend just as much time doing online research and “shopping” as anyone. More-so, even. Identifying these prospects and nurturing them as they move through the buying funnel is critical.
Sad to say, many B2B marketers don’t know the truth about how their prospects find solutions to their problems and what to do with them once they show interest.
In this day and age, it is important to understand buyer behavior, especially online behavior. There are many myths about B2B marketing. It’s important to understand what is not true. In this Digital Marketing Minute, we dispel some of the myths around B2B marketing.
MYTH #1: Millennials aren’t making important B2B business decisions
This is not true. Nearly half of all B2B customers are millennials. There’s been a dramatic shift in the B2B customer demographic. In 2012, there was a pretty even mix across age groups. According to a study in 2014, however, 18- to 34-year-olds accounted for almost half of all researchers, an increase of 70 percent since 2012.
This group is called the millennial generation:
- The oldest members of the group were born around 1980.
- The youngest around the early 2000’s.
- They are the generation that has the most understanding of the digital age because they have grown up with the introduction and changes of its use the most.
- They are a key group you want to be marketing towards.
- Take into consideration their knowledge of and access to digital influences and the social media and content they are most interactive with.
MYTH #2: B2B marketing should target the highest-level executives
False! B2B researchers who are not high level executives influence purchase decisions too. The B2B research process has changed drastically. If you’re marketing only to the highest level, you’re overlooking the people who need to notice you. Only 64 percent of final purchase decisions are executives, 81 percent of other employees have a say in the decision. The best thing to do would be to market to all levels of a company.
- Don’t target just the high level employees.
- You may be losing out on potential purchases the executive may not be the ones buying.
- Don’t miss out because you’re shooting for the stars. Aim towards the whole company.
MYTH #3: Branded searches should be the focus of your online search strategy
Incorrect. 71 percent of B2B customers start their research with a generic search to look for products first, not for your company. That means they aren’t searching for your brand specifically. As a B2B brand seeking new customers, you will want to understand where most of your customers come from and how they found you. When looking for a product, 90 percent of B2B customers who are online use search specifically to research possible business purchases. On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. You will want to make the search more personal and product focused rather than brand.
Generic search tips:
- You will want to focus your search strategy on the category or product type.
- Identify where you can be part of the conversation early on and throughout their searching.
- Make it about them and what they are looking for.
MYTH #4: B2B buyers don’t use mobile
Myth. With the boom of the mobile phone and the increase in its usefulness, the mobile phone has become more vital in many aspects. It has become a basic necessity that almost everyone has and uses. Mobile usage is becoming more popular than ever and B2B customers are using it throughout their entire path to a purchase. Consider the prices they are paying for mobile phones and the voice search additions like Siri that come with it.
- 42 percent of customers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process.
- They are not just using mobile when they are out and about, but rather wherever they are.
- Because of the ease of access when using a mobile device they are able to browse products wherever they have their phone.
While on-the-go or at home, they’re comparing prices, reading about products, comparing feature sets and contacting retailers. They’re purchasing too. So don’t forget that mobile devices are a valuable asset to your marketing campaign. It’s the best target that can reach many potential B2B customers anywhere.
MYTH #5: Video is watched only to gain awareness
This is not true. B2B customers watch videos during the entire path to purchase. Videos are on the rise. They are used 52 percent more than two years ago. According to U.S. YouTube data, over 895K hours of some of the top B2B videos from brands were watched in 2014. This viewing is about products, of how-tos and professional reviews. They are conducting the research process before they make the purchase. Online video is a growing tool that many B2B customers use to decide whether to move further into the path of purchase. Seventy percent of B2B buyers and researchers are watching these videos throughout their path to purchase.
- They aren’t watching for awareness they are watching to gain more knowledge of a product they already are aware of.
- They are interested in your product and have surpassed awareness.
- You need to be producing video content that helps them learn more about, compare and research your products.
Don’t believe all the myths you hear about B2B marketing. They can be misleading and cost you valuable targets and profit. It is very important that you know the myths from the actual truth about B2B marketing. Knowing the correct ways to reach your potential customers and the ways they are searching for you products is essential to understanding your B2B marketing strategy strength and knowledge. Don’t just focus on one group and forget your other potential buyers. The best way to avoid myths is to research your customers and utilize a Marketing Automation software to learn what your customers are looking at and what stage of search they are in. The more you know about your potential customers the better. Remember to focus your content and marketing on the customer not your company.
At Biznet, we are B2B marketing specialists. We know the path to a better B2B marketing experience. Don’t let myths about B2B marketing dissuade you. Check out our Marketing Services page to see all we can do to help you avoid the myths and stay ahead of the game and produce more leads. Or give us a call at 248-560-9000.