The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

Here’s a freaky stat: 

The average person spends more time online than TV and all other media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) combined. 

There is even statistical data to back it up, courtesy of Jim Lecinski, Google VP of U.S. sales and service:

Digital time: 5 hours, 38 minutes
TV time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Newspapers: 11 minutes (sad for me, a newspaper guy from back in the day)
Magazines: 10 minutes (again, sad for me as I love my print magazines)

Digital is the new normal, Lecinski said, and that new normal is changing how B2B decisions are being made. 

He referred to a study Google completed in 2014 with Millward Brown Digital, titled B2B Path to Purchase Study 2014, which you can download here. 

The study tracked B2B consumers’ online shopping activity, and Lecinski noted four key takeaways from the study that has implications for marketers and brand building:

1. How are you marketing to a changing audience?

News flash: Nearly half of all B2B researchers are Millenials, or those born after 1980. According to the survey, in 2012, 29% of buyers were from the age 35-44 group. But in 2014, 46% were age 18-34 (while 22% were 35-44). What does this mean? Well, are you considering Millennials as part of your marketing campaigns? And if so, are you looking to target them through the means they consume information, such as video? And if they aren’t buying, the Millennial crowd is certainly part of the decision influencing group – the survey found that 81% of non-C-suite employees play some role in decision-making.

2. Are you winning at the key micro-moments?

Lecinski said the B2B engagement window is widening – there are many purchasing “moments of truth” because people are online all … the … time, something he referred to as “micro-moments.” The survey noted that there are as many as 12 of these micro-moments that go into a purchasing decision, so how do you win each these moments? Are you waiting for prospects to find you, or are you exporting your content to where they area – especially the Millennial audience>

3. Are you delivering mobile-first experiences?

Lecinski said that we shouldn’t fall for the myth that B2B purchasers don’t use mobile. On the contrary, 42% of total B2B searches are via mobile, which prompted his missive that, “Your first job as an excellent B2B marketer is you have to be an excellent mobile marketer.” If your brand and products/services aren’t findable in those 12 micro-moments, and you’re not mobile-ready, you’re not positioned to win.

4. Is your product portfolio digital-ready?

As Lecinski mentioned earlier in his presentation, there’s this idea of a new normal, and buyers like Millennials have expectations – and part of those expectations are to experience your products and services in a Millennial way. 

Think about the behaviors of the 18-34 year old crowd; where and how do they consume information? 

And how can you proactively reach them there with an astute explanation of what you offer them? 

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