Inside the Mind of The B2B Tech Buyer

  • 1,624 views
Uploaded on

This Mi6 briefing draws from first hand experience and recent research reports on the various sources and networks that B2B tech buyers use during the purchasing the decision. …

This Mi6 briefing draws from first hand experience and recent research reports on the various sources and networks that B2B tech buyers use during the purchasing the decision.

This presentation is meant to show b2b marketing and sales professionals what is important in to buyers with respect to what they need to make an informed buying decision.

More in: Business
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,624
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
4

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • Thank you Warren and welcome everyone to this Mi6 briefing entitled: “Inside the mind of the B2B Technology Buyer”. For those of you who don’t know me I’m the founder of Mi6 (nope not the spy agency). Mi6 is a B2B marketing agency and network dedicated to helping hitech companies build their brands and their pipelines. I’m the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the new Hitech “unassociation” Silicon Halton. For those of you in social media land I’m known as B2Bspecialist. To learn more about me just type in b2bspecialist
  • This briefing coversThe key tactics that have the greatest impact on a buyers purchasing decisionThe sources of information buyers rely on when considering making a purchaseThe emerging information sources, including social media, buyers use to inform and validate their purchase decisionsWhat buyers really want out of social mediaAnd finally, a quick assessment of the top 50 Solution Provider's web and social media presences
  • OutcomesThis webcast will provide you with information, insights and some recommendations to help you align your marketing, sales and networking activities with buyersYou are invited to join the new Mi6 b2b hitech marketing Linkedin Group dedicated to helping us all improve our skills and expand our professional networks
  • You’re probably looking at this wall of charts and thinking wow! Well, I’m a bit of chart collector and these are just some of the charts found in various b2b marketing and sales research reports that have been published over the past year. And, there are many more!
  • In fact, all these reports and information can make your head spin! It can be overwhelming and this image comes to mind! It’s like drinking through the proverbial firehose! I mean who’s got the time to read through all this stuff let alone take action on what you learn from it?
  • In fact, I would propose that this is the preferred drink of choice when faced with the amount of information one has to sift through! I know I’ve been tempted!
  • Case in point these four research reports, part of which I’m covering today, consist of 98 pages and slides, tons of data points, charts and recommendations. They are from reputable organizations who have surveyed over 3,000 hitech business and technology decision makers. That’s a lot of great information but a lot of water to drink from that fire hose! But, the information is valuable!
  • So it begs the question! What to do. Firehose or Corona! =)
  • That’s where we’re hoping this briefing series can help. Today, we are introducing this briefing series in an effort to provide meaningful information that can help you and your business use marketing to be successful. While we’d be happy to help you implement marketing programs we’re dedicated to helping professionals like you by offering this complimentary briefing series.The Mi6 briefing series includes a webinar, presentation deck and access to a private Linkedin community where follow up discussions from today’s webinar can take place. So without further delay let’s dive into today’s briefing on the topic “Inside the Mind of the B2B Buyer”.
  • We’ve pulled out key charts and common findings from various reports regarding the key tactics and information the hitech buyer is using in the buying process.
  • This chart from Forrester’s April 2010 Research Report on Hitech buyers identifies the top fifteen sources of influence and information impacting a buyers purchasing decision. 793 business technology decision makers were asked these two questions: The first was: “Which 3 tactics had the greatest impact when deciding your last purchase”. As you can see the top three tactics that had the greatest influence or impact in their buying decision were Peers and Colleagues, followed by Consultants/VARS or System Integrators & their vendor sales person. The second question, asked what were the primary sources of information that had the most impact in their purchasing decision. In this case the same three came out on top…. followed by in-person events, vendor/trade or professional web sites and, industry or main stream publications.
  • This chart from the Information Technology Services Marketing Association or ITSMA research report entitled: How Customers Choose Solution Providers, 2009 asked this question: What are the first three steps you take to identify alternative solutions? As you can see “speak to colleagues for referrals” was ahead of any other step. Web related activities such as search, company websites, content and events were second with speaking to their existing solution provider in third place.
  • Here are the top ways that buyers like to engage with you. You’ll notice that 9 of the 11 programs are not digital or social. These programs primarily focus on customer retention but I recommend you have prospect and customer accounts attend these events. During these activities introduce your customers to prospects and let your customers do the selling for you!
  • In each of the reports we’ve studied, networking with peers is the number one source for information and the primary point of influence for buyers during the buying cycle. These networks of peers feed them answers, solution ideas and shared experiences that help solve their business problems. These networks are also channels to connect with peers, thought leaders and influencers that can help them develop and advance their careers.As you can see on this chart, a high percentage of the respondents in the ITSMA report are using social networks to gather information and communicate with colleagues. The reason why networking is moving online, is the cost to do it in the traditional manner (face to face, events, tradeshows etc.) is more costly in terms of time, travel and expense.
  • Whether buyers are on your website, a social network or somewhere else online they clearly are looking for content that helps them solve a problem, improve their skills and level of knowledge. Your marketing and business development efforts should focus on finding out where your target market and accounts participate online and devise a strategy on how you can get involved and add value.For example: can you provide expert opinion in existing discussion forums? Can you start or sponsor a discussion forum? Does it make sense to join some Linkedin groups participate in discussions? Can you implement an “Ask the Expert Program”? Would something like a Unified Communications private wiki help your customers and position you as a thought leader and trusted advisor?
  • If you do provide the content and online interactions that buyers are looking for they will participate and engage. In my conversations with technology buyers I’ve learned that they want answers and they want them on demand. They miss the days where they could login to a chat room and ask a question and get an answer in real time. Consider making your subject matter experts available either on demand or on a regular basis to field questions in social network discussion groups and communities. Couple this with offline events and networking sessions where peers can get together to exchange knowledge, business cards and grow their network.
  • If you’re thinking about going “social” and integrating Social Media into your marketing plans the good news is your buyers are socially connecting with brands and engaging with them online already. A word of warning though. Being out there means being out there! Don’t think you can control “the message” and prevent negative comments. It can and does happen. The best thing to do is acknowledge it, respond and resolve things. You may have some people come to your rescue.
  • Buyingbehaviour is changing so it’s important to adapt your business and market it accordingly. The market is improving so it’s time to prepare. Social media usage has already reached mainstream for tech buyers to assist them with buying and career decisions. Marketing has to add value through online and offline sociall engagement helping buyers get the information they need to make informed buying decisions. Buyers expect you to know what’s important to them, what issues they have and how to fix them. You can use social networks to find this out and to provide expert insights. Marketing should create content and connections that educate and provide rewarding experiences. And finally, but extremely important marketing and sales need to partner and then plan and execute together.
  • Here’s what you don’t want to happen. A disconnect between what information sources buyers will be using over the next 12 months (the dark green bar) and what these 50 tech marketers will be focusing their efforts on (the light green bar).You have two key sources of information to decide what to do. The first are your customers and the second is the information provided to you in this briefing series. Use this information and don’t fall in the trap and do the things these marketers plan on doing. But, balance this information with what you’re trying to do internally to some degree. I’ll show you a blogging example that is working for a company and explain why in a minute.Back to this chart. Many buyers will in fact be on open/public social networks like Linkedin to participate in dicussion forums. Some will be on Facebook and some on Twitter. The easiest thing to do is to go find out where your account contacts are online. Who from your top 10 accounts are on Linkedin and on Twitter? Find this out first before you devise a strategy, set up a Facebook fan page and begin blogging. Use a tool like the Mi6 Social Media Marketing assessment and grid to establish a plan. Set a goal, some objectives and a strategy and then execute for at least one year. And, integrate your social media and social networking plan into your overall marketing plan. Integrate, integrate, integrate. Make sure you have a few people involved from different groups…and make sure they are committed to the execution and successes of your plan. So let’s look at a few examples: Linkedin, a Blog and a Twitter contest.
  • Let’s look at one example of a real network on Linkedin. Here is the Chief Information Officer Network. I am a member of this network and as you can see by the description this group is your target audience. There are over 19,000 members and interestingly enough it was started by a recruiter! I can see who within my network are also members of this group exposing something we have in common. Now there are a lot of groups, some are filled with spam and waterbed salesmen! So you’ve got a dig a bit so let’s do that with the CIO Network.
  • The key thing to look for in a group is how active it is. The number of discussions and comments tells you this right away. In fact, here’s an interesting discussion entitled: “Why do CIO’s hate vendors?”. There are 48 comments in this discussion forum. It’s active!
  • As you can see the first response in this discussion is from a CIO. We now have the opportunity to learn how a CIO thinks about vendor relationships and what matters to him. From a marketing perspective this is field research you can’t buy! Use this information to guide your communications strategies, the content you develop and the training you provide your sales and service staff. This is invaluable information. If you were to go to Lance’s Linkedin profile you’ll see he is on Twitter. So, if you have a Twitter account you may choose to follow him depending on your social media marketing strategy and target market.
  • So we’ve share with you some information and insights that confirm that buyers are online, they’re most interested in making connections with peers in places like the CIO network I just showed you. In that instance there is nothing preventing you from joining that network so access to this large group is possible. We’ve learned that buyers will engage with you in real time and online if you provide them with information and access to subject matter experts who can provide them with answers. Buyers are on social networks, they’re reading blogs and reviewing websites as part of their solution seeking and selection due diligence. So with this knowledge in hand Mi6 is conducting a web and social media presence report of Canada’s Top 50 Solution Providers as ranked by ITBusiness.ca. The study will be completed later this summer but here are some our analysts preliminary findings.
  • Over 40 of the top 50 Canadian Solution providers have company profiles on Linked. This is likely to establish a corporate presence for employee recruitment purposes.About 32 of the top 50 have a “current” website. This means that the site has been updated as of March 2010. However most are not using social media and virtually all of them have not integrated social media into their websites. There are three solution providers who are using Twitter and have a large following. However, in each case there has been no integration of their social presence into their sites. Many of these sites are dated in terms of their design, types of content and search engine optimized. It’s too early to tell but it is clear that many of these companies don’t see their web sites as tools to communicate, connect, brand and develop business. This means that there could be a high dependence on sales reps in developing business and there is potentially significant under investment in marketing. This is a very broad generalization however so don’t throw any darts at me! What we do know is that buyers are online, they use the web to connect, gather information and build their professional networks. At some point Solution Providers need to define the role they are going to play online.
  • So we’ve share with you some information and insights that confirm that buyers are online, they’re most interested in making connections with peers in places like the CIO network I just showed you. In that instance there is nothing preventing you from joining that network so access to this large group is possible. We’ve learned that buyers will engage with you in real time and online if you provide them with information and access to subject matter experts who can provide them with answers. Buyers are on social networks, they’re reading blogs and reviewing websites as part of their solution seeking and selection due diligence. So with this knowledge in hand Mi6 is conducting a web and social media presence report of Canada’s Top 50 Solution Providers as ranked by ITBusiness.ca. The study will be completed later this summer but here are some our analysts preliminary findings.
  • Key take-a-waysBuyers network with peers to gather information and validate buying decisionsThey are turning to social networks/media to extend their network and get answersThey consume content created by peers, experts and thought leadersThey use their networks to get answers and advance career aspirationsNetworking, learning and relationship building are key
  • Ask your customers where and how they are networking. Find out what information they find hard to get on a regular basis that frustrates them. Find out if/where they are online. Validate this first. See if your customers are engaged on social networks. Pick your top 10 accounts and see.Take marketing stock by seeing who in your business can/is performing the marketing role. Figure out what you want marketing to do for your business but keep in mind how buyers want to interact and network and what information they need. Design your marketing plan around what you learned from your customers and what you’ve learned about buyers today. Assess internally your marketing capabilities and if you need help talk to Warren. Make sure you have a balanced marketing mix. Devise a plan that includes social media but doesn’t exclude traditional marketing activities. Avoid expensive print advertising and media placement. Create high value intimate networking and learning experiences. There’s more I can suggest but this is a good starting point. Be known as the social and business relationship bridge by helping your customers develop their skills, knowledge and contacts. When I was at UnisLumin one CIO told me that the events we had was a key differentiator for him when making buying decisions because we helped him learn, network and connect with peers.Leverage existing content and programs from Cisco and put some unique context around it though in order to differentiate yourself. Use the content they have on YouTube for example but tie it to a blog post in your “Ask the Expert” blog series where your expert gives his opinion and interpretration of what is covered in the video.And finally, let’s keep the conversation going on Linkedin! If you like to join the Linkedin group just send me an email and I’ll send you an invite. That ends the formal presentation so Warren I believe you want to open it up for Q&A?

Transcript

  • 1. Inside the mind of the B2B Technology Buyer
    Presented to: Cisco Partners
    Presented by: Chris Herbert, Mi6
    Twitter: @B2Bspecialist
    Email: cherbert@mi6agency.com
  • 2. Recorded Version Available
    This Mi6 Briefing was presented on May 20, 2010 for Cisco Canada to members of their Partner Community
    To watch the recorded version contact Chris Herbert via email cherbert@Mi6agency.com
  • 3. This briefing covers
    The key tactics that have the greatest impact on a buyers purchasing decision
    The sources of information buyers rely on when considering making a purchase
    The emerging information sources, including social media, buyers use to inform and validate their purchase decisions
    What buyers really want out of social media
    And finally, a quick assessment of the top 50 Solution Provider's web and social media presences
  • 4. Outcomes
    This webcast will provide you with information, insights and some recommendations to help you align your marketing, sales and networking activities with buyers
    You are invited to join the new Mi6 b2b hitech marketing Linkedin Group dedicated to helping us all improve our skills and expand our professional networks
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. Briefing
    Series
  • 11. Tactics and information the buyer is using in the buying process
    Mi6 Briefing #1: May 20/2010
  • 12. How buyers are being informed and influenced today
  • 13. What they do to find solutions
  • 14. Where they like to engage with you!
  • 15. Social networks now factor in to the buying process
  • 16. The content buyers want online
  • 17. They’ll help you if you help them
  • 18. Buyers are joining/following
  • 19. What’s predicted by ITSMA
  • 20. What’s predicted by Forrester
  • 21. Linkedin Example: CIO Network
  • 22. Linkedin Example: CIO Network
  • 23. Linkedin Example: CIO Network
  • 24. Some other examples
    Yakidoo: ECM 101 Series
    Mi6: Twitter Contest
    Silicon Halton: Linkedin Group
    UnisLumin: Box Events
  • 25. An assessment of the top 50 Solution Provider's web and social media presence
    Mi6 Briefing #1: May 20/2010
  • 26. Top 50 Web/Social media presence
  • 27. Key take-a-ways and recommendations
    Mi6 Briefing #1: May 20/2010
  • 28. Key take-a-ways
    Buyers network with peers to gather information and validate buying decisions
    They are turning to social networks/media to extend their network and get answers
    They consume content created by peers, experts and thought leaders
    They use their networks to get answers and advance career aspirations
    Networking, learning and relationship building are key
  • 29. Recommendations
    Start with your customers
    Take marketing stock
    Balanced marketing mix
    Be the social bridge
    Leverage existing content and partner programs
    Join the Linkedin Group to discuss this more! Send me an email if you want to join: cherbert@mi6agency.com
  • 30. Sources
    Report: Social Technographics: Business Technology Profile
    Date: April 2010
    By: Forrester
    Link: http://bit.ly/bM1H14
    Report: How Customers Choose Solution Providers
    Date: 2009
    By: ITSMA
    Link: http://bit.ly/dhVG1f
  • 31. Sources
    Report: The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks
    Date: February 2010
    By: Society for New Communications Research
    Link: http://bit.ly/cVsvld
    Report: IDG New Media Study
    Date: Fall 2009
    By: IDG
    Link: http://bit.ly/drHms4
  • 32. Recorded Version Available
    This Mi6 Briefing was presented on May 20, 2010 for Cisco Canada to members of their Partner Community
    To watch the recorded version contact Chris Herbert via email cherbert@Mi6agency.com
  • 33. Thank You!/Contact Slide
    Chris Herbert, Principal of Mi6
    905.582.3741
    www.google.com/profiles/B2Bspecialist
    www.Mi6agency.com
    cherbert@Mi6agency.com