It’s an opportunity to adjust what you do and the ways you engage. To stay relevant. To be valued. To be indispensable.
These are the facts, the need to knows, for every B2B Marketer right now.
Brought to you by Earnest.
The buyer journey has changed.
Remote-first, digital-first interaction is the order of the day.
It’s impacting how you reach, engage, sell and service your buyers. Not just now, but seemingly for good.
Experts predict 80% or more of the sales cycle is set to go digital and remote.
Because 3 out of 4 buyers see this new way of doing business as more effective.
It’s also safer, more convenient and saves cost.
And with more than a third of people likely to continue working from home post-pandemic, you need to be sure remote doesn’t mean your brand becoming more distant.
Especially when only 20-30% of B2B buyers say they’ll want to interact with sales reps in person post-Covid.
90% even say they’ll be willing to digital self-serve – end-to-end – to make a B2B purchase.
Are you ready?
So what do you need to know about the changing behaviour of your buyers?
Unfortunately, the crisis is amplifying uncertainty and risk.
72% of businesses are keen to preserve cash.
53% of people are worried about job security.
Decisions are also coming under real scrutiny.
The average buying group now comprises 11 active members and up to 7 occasional participants.
It’s elongating the sales cycle – and making defensive decision-making rife. For too many buyers, it’s not about making the best possible decision for the firm, but the one that is likely to have the least worst-case consequences for them personally.
Ask yourself, is your brand the least risky option?
With more perceived risk, buyers are gravitating to brands they trust.
70% say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past. It’s apparently the second most important factor after price (personally, we think it’s the first).
75% say they’ll stay loyal to brands they trust – even if it’s not the cheapest.
60% say they’re more comfortable sharing personal details with trusted brand – and will pay more attention to their communications.
So how do you build trust?
85% want brands to solve their problems
69% want a dependable provider
64% want a reliable source of information
In short, it pays to be the most front-of-mind, helpful and informative brand at every stage in the buying cycle.
Buyers are doing their due diligence – engaging with more digital content on the path to purchase.
They’re viewing 40% more content assets than pre-Covid.
However, it’s not always helping. Buying groups are spending on average 15% of the buying cycle reconciling different information sources.
Only 17% rate the quality of the thought-leadership they read as very good or excellent.
It’s an opportunity missed – especially when 49% of decision-makers believe thought-leadership can be effective in influencing their purchase decisions.
And 88% believe it can be effective in enhancing the perceptions of their organisation.
It’s time to tune into new buyer preferences and consumption habits, especially with more people working remotely and spending more of their time on their screens.
59% of senior executives say they now prefer videos to text format.
72% of buyers prefer learning about a product or service by watching videos.
Covid-19 may have put in-person trade show on hiatus yet webinar consumption has risen by 293%.
No surprise 93% of event marketers plan to invest in virtual events moving forward.