The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer: Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey, 2011
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The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer: Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey, 2011

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Where do buyers of large B2B solutions get information on solution providers? For years, the answer was “my peers.” However, according to ITSMA’s “How Buyers Consume Information Survey,” ...

Where do buyers of large B2B solutions get information on solution providers? For years, the answer was “my peers.” However, according to ITSMA’s “How Buyers Consume Information Survey,” peers are no longer the most influential source of information for buyers of large B2B solutions. We are seeing the rise of the B2B social buyer, who consumes information voraciously and from a variety of sources, including solution provider sites, online communities and social media. Yet, traditional buyers still look to their peers and even to print-based marketing materials first.

What’s a marketer to do? Read this report to find out how to most effectively reach and engage with today’s buyer.

ITSMA conducted the 2011 version of its acclaimed How Customers Choose research across four continents. Specifically, the study answers questions such as:

•How are buyers using social media during the purchase process?
•When creating a short list of providers, what sources of information do they use?
•What is the most important criteria used to select solution providers?

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Study Methodology
In Fall 2011, ITSMA surveyed, via the Web, 465 business and IT executives from companies that purchase business or technology solutions for individual contracts over $500,000. These respondents represented larger enterprises, with 60% having $1 billion or more in annual revenue from seven different countries: US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Brazil, and India.

Respondents were interviewed in the following vertical markets:

•Manufacturing (Consumer/Industrial, process/discrete)
•Financial Services (Banking, Insurance (except healthcare), and investments)
•Communications (Telecom, media, entertainment)
•Energy/Utilities/Oil/Mining/Gas
•Government/Public Sector (Federal/State; no local or education)
•Healthcare (Payer, provider, and benefits)

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The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer: Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey, 2011 The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer: Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey, 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Abbreviated Summary Julie SchwartzSenior Vice President Research and The Rise of the Thought Leadership ITSMA B2B Social Buyer: Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey, 2011
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume InformationAbbreviated SummaryNote: This abbreviated summary highlights some of the significant findings fromThe Rise of the B2B Social Buyer: Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume InformationSurvey, 2011. A more in-depth analysis can be found in the full report.Where do buyers of large B2B solutions get information on solutionproviders? For years, the answer was “my peers.” However,according to ITSMA’s “How Buyers Consume Information Survey,”peers are no longer the most influential source of information forbuyers of large B2B solutions.ITSMA has been conducting research on how buyerschoose solution providers since 1998. In our 2011research, we are seeing major shifts in buyer behavior.Read this report to find out how to most effectivelyreach and engage with today’s buyer.© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 2
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume Information Peers Are no Longer the Most Influential Information SourceSpecifically, the report What were the first three sources ofintroduces the rise of the information you turned to when you began your solution research? (Rank order 1st, 2nd, 3rd)B2B Social Buyer, % of Respondents (N=465)who relies on social media and online Solution provider Websites 31communities during the purchase Solution provider contacts 30 Online communities 27process. At the same time, the data Trade associations 24shows a decline in the mainstay of Web search 22buying process: peer influence. Industry analysts 21 Social media/networks 21Peers, while still important as a source Management consultants 20of referral, recommendations, Peers/colleagues 19references, are no longer the best Industry events/trade shows 18source of information. Industry or trade media 16 Sourcing advisors 13 Universities, think tanks 13 General business media 13 Blogs 11 1st 2nd 3rd Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 3
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume Information We See an Elevation in Solution Provider CredibilitySurprisingly, the data also shows In your opinion, how credible are these sources of information? Mean Rating (N~457)an elevation in solution providercredibility. Solution providers are now Industry analysts 4.3providing significant value to buyers and Solution provider contacts 4.3 Universities, think tanks 4.2are being invited back into the Solution provider Websites 4.2sales process. These changes Industry events/trade shows 4.2are resulting in a revolution Industry or trade media 4.2in the way B2B solution providers Trade associations 4.2 Peers/colleagues 4.2market and sell to buyers. Online communities 4.2They need to create fact-based Management consultants 4.2customer intimacy, Sourcing advisors 4.1establishing a relationship with the buyer Web search 4.1 General business media 4.1based on knowledge and creating a Social media/networks 3.9continuous, coordinated dialogue. Blogs 3.9 Note: Mean rating based on a 5-point scale where 1=not at all credible and 5=very credible. Dotted lines indicate “tiers” of credibility based on statistical testing. Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 4
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume Information The Defining Characteristic of the B2B Social Buyer: AgeThe report also tells more about Age 18-29 21who the B2B Social Buyer is—for the 15 B2B 62 Socialmost part, they are younger than 40; 30-39* 32 Buyer (N=342)they have voracious appetites 40-49* 13 Traditional 25for information; and when 50-64* 5 Buyer (N=123) 28selecting solution providers, they usedifferent criteria than traditional buyers. *Indicates a statistically significant difference. Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011Solution provider thought leadership 56 Criticalis becoming more important, 12and relied upon 40 Important 50What role did the solution providers’ thought Somewhat 4leadership content, such as the research,analysis, and advice often found in reports, Important 29white papers, Webcasts, and articles, play in 0 Of Minordetermining which providers make it on to Importance 5your shortlist? % of Respondents Of No 0 B2B Social Buyer (N=342) Importance 3 Traditional Buyer (N=123) Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 5
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume Information A Bifurcated Market has Major Implications for the Marketing MixWhile it is important for solution Which information delivery channels or formats doproviders to focus on these B2B Social you typically prefer? % of Respondents Social media* 31Buyers, who are investing more 7 Virtual seminars/conferences 25aggressively in technology, they still 23 Research reports 22 32need to keep strong connections with 21 In person seminars 33traditional buyers who look to their Digital magazines 21 12 B2B Socialpeers and even to print-based Blogs* 4 20 Buyer Webinars 19 (N=342)marketing materials first. 19 Mobile content * 18 Traditional 7 BuyerAll of this makes B2B marketers’ jobs 17 Website copy 24 (N=123)more complex than ever. Dealing with Email newsletters 15 20 15both social and traditional buyers Print journals/magazines* 29means marketers must Brochures/datasheets* 14 27 Video 13rebalance the marketing White papers, eBooks 11 13mix, and reevaluate budgets and Direct mail (hard copy) 7 13 17priorities. Sales calls/private briefings* 12 28*Indicates a statistically significant difference. Podcasts 10 2Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 6
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume InformationThis report shows Implement an integrated customer engagementmarketers the best program, coordinated across BUs, and tied to yourways to reach business strategythe social buyers, Lower Extended  Public Website  YouTubeas well as the traditional Community  LinkedIn Goal: Learn  Twitterbuyers, so they can  Professional Associationsdevelop an integrated Customer Community  User Groupscustomer engagement Goal: Network  Conferences with Peers  Customer eventsprogram that is tied to Intimacy Promotersthe business strategy. Goal: Advocate  Private Communities and Influence  Reference programs  Executive sponsorship Inner Circle of Trusted  Advisory Boards Advisors  Councils  ABM Accounts Goal: Co-create HigherSource: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 7
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume InformationStudy Countries Represented % of Respondents Brazil India 6%Methodology (N=465) 7% Australia 9% United StatesIn Fall 2011, ITSMA surveyed, via the Web, 465 United 45%business and IT executives from companies that Kingdompurchase business or technology solutions for 11%individual contracts over $500,000. These respondents Germanyrepresented larger enterprises, with 60% having 11% France$1 billion or more in annual revenue from seven 11%different countries: US, UK, France, Germany,Australia, Brazil, and India. Respondents were What is your company’s primary business?interviewed in the following vertical markets: % of Respondents (N=465) Manufacturing (Consumer/Industrial, 12 Healthcare (Payer, provider, and benefits) process/discrete) 12 Government/Public Sector (Federal/State) Financial Services (Banking, Insurance 14 (except healthcare), and investments) Energy/Utilities/Oil/Mining/Gas 16 Communications (Telecom, media, entertainment) Communications (Telecom, media, entertainment) Energy/Utilities/Oil/Mining/Gas 18 Financial Services Government/Public Sector (Federal/State; Manufacturing no local or education) 28 Healthcare (Payer, provider, and benefits) Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 8
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume Information Respondent Job Role Are you a business, IT, Procure- ment/ Finance Characteristics or procurement/ finance professional? 14% % of Respondents Purchase Involvement (N=465) IT Which of the following best describes your Business 55% involvement with your organization’s purchase 31% of major technology solutions for contracts over $500,000? % of Respondents (N=465) Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011 Influencer: I provide input to help the Job Title evaluators and Which of the following most 51 decision makers closely describes 4% Decision maker: your job title? I have % of Respondents (N=465) Evaluator: budget I researchpotential providers and/or final sign-off 21 for inclusion on authority 14 the shortlist/I 13 88% evaluate the providers 8% Manager Director VP/ Assistant C-level, GM, Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011 VP/ Head President Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011 © 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 9
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume InformationAnnual Revenue of OrganizationsRepresented What is your Female gender? 29%Approximately, what is your company’s annualrevenue? % of Respondents (N=465) % of Respondents (N=465) 20 19 17 15 Male 71% 13 8 8 54 What is your age? % of Respondents (N=465) $100– $250– $500– $1– $5– $10– Over 249M 499M 999M 4.9B 9.9B 20B $20BSource: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011 19 16 11 18–29 30–39 40–49 50–64 Source: ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 10
  • ITSMA Survey 2011 How B2B Buyers Consume InformationTable of Contents for The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer:Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Want to learn more?Information Survey, 2011 Here’s what’s included in the full study Slide Executive Summary 3 Detailed Findings 30 Respondent Demographics 30 Current Environment: Challenges, Budgets, and 38 Priorities Buyer Behavior 43 Epiphany: Keeping Up with the Industry 43 Awareness: Researching Alternative Solutions 47 Interest and Confidence: Evaluating Providers 53 on the Shortlist and Making the Final Decision Marketing Vehicles 61 For More Information Crosstab Analysis: 67 By Social Media Use 67 By Country 101 Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President By Age 149 Research and Thought Leadership By Job Role 186 ITSMA By Size of Company 223 Email: jschwartz@itsma.com Phone: +1-781-862-8500, Ext. 112 By Industry 261© 2011 ITSMA. All rights reserved. Reproduction or forwarding of this document to others is prohibited. www.itsma.com | F020AS | 11