In the modern day, where information is plentiful and only a Google search away, the simple task of making a purchase has become quite troublesome. The average person will spend hours researching to find the most immersive speakers or the comfiest running shoes, but what does this information overload mean for enterprise tech companies?
In April 2020, Resonance answered this question by asking 100 IT decision makers where they look for information, what influences them and what happens after they make a purchase. Unsurprisingly, B2B buyers are struggling to adjust to this fast-evolving market, with 77% describing their latest purchase as a very complex or difficult task. For businesses trying to stand out from the crowd, purely pushing out content is not going to do it. Marketers need to understand the process that buyers go through when making a decision, and the barriers therein, in order to effectively impact it.
On recognising a problem, 72% of buyers start their search for a solution in Google where they encounter the first barrier to making a purchase – finding credible information. In this early stage, buyers look to analyst reports, owned content and media to find authenticity. Therefore, it is important that companies build a dependable brand reputation within their market.
In the tech industry, reaching an internal consensus is the primary barrier to making a purchase. On average, one decision involves five people, but our research shows that more than 1 in 10 tech purchases require the approval of eleven or more individuals. This can make decisions incredibly challenging, and so PR and marketing teams must deliver clear, useful content to facilitate this process for buyers.
Nurtured leads on average increase sales opportunities by 20%. To be at an advantage over competitors, educational content from client case studies to blog posts must be evenly spread across all channels and align to produce one core message. By developing lead campaigns, companies will build a consistent message in the buyers’ mind, allowing them to better understand what is on offer and therefore, make a well-informed decision.
Brand positioning is particularly crucial at the final stage of decision-making as this is where 43% of planned purchases fall through. Remarkably, almost a quarter of these are lost due to a perceived lack of credibility among stakeholders, shedding light on the consequences of failing to deliver cohesive information throughout the buyers’ journey.
The final and perhaps most important insight from our research, however, is that all customers desire a continued stream of helpful content after they have made a purchase. Follow-up tips or training on how to use the product for example, will reassure customers that they have made the right decision and increase the likelihood of their future loyalty.
There is no better form of marketing that word of mouth and so staying front of mind in a positive way is crucial to generating happy customers; the ultimate marketing investment.