B2B Buyers Want More Data and Research in Vendor Content

April 12, 2019

Around three-quarters (73%) of B2B buyers say they have less time to devote to reading and research, per the results of a study [access page] by Demand Gen Report and ON24. So how can vendors make content more valuable when time is limited?

Here are a few actionable points using data from the study.

Strengthen Content with Data and Research

Top of the list for B2B practitioners is for vendors to use more data and research in supporting their content, with two-thirds (66%) strongly agreeing that this would improve content quality. [Tip – if you’re a vendor, check out The Top 20 B2B Marketing Charts of 2018]. The power of using insight in driving buyer journeys has been covered in separate research by Aberdeen Group, particularly if this was focused on new ways to solve problems or coming changes in the market.

Lose The Sales Pitch and Bring on an Independent Voice

A similar proportion (65%) of buyers also strongly agree that they want vendors to curb the sales messages. This aligns with separate data illustrating that the hard-sell is also a turn-off in conversations with vendor reps. As an alternative, vendors may wish to consider using industry influencers – some 60% strongly agreed that they wanted more insight from industry thought leaders/analysts.

But vendors should also look to get the peers of their target buyers on board, particularly if they can share real-life examples. Colleagues and peers ranked most highly among the most valuable sources of information, while case studies were the most favored type of influencer content.

Make Content Easier to Access

Close to 3 in 5 (59%) B2B buyers strongly agreed that they wanted content to be easier to access, such as by having fewer form fills. Separate research from Walker Sands showed that having to provide contact information can turn away potential buyers. For that report, half (49%) of the marketers surveyed said that having to enter personal information at least sometimes stops them from downloading content, including 3 in 10 (31%) who said it always keeps them from doing so.

As such, marketers targeting other businesses might want to consider limiting the amount of data they ask for, particularly given that confidence in managing this data is mixed.

Keep Content to the Point

More than half (51%) of buyers also strongly agreed that they don’t want vendors to overload content with copy. This complaint aligns with findings from PathFactory and Heinz Marketing, which found the same percentage of their respondents considering vendor content to be too “fluffy and jargony”.

Choose Content Format by Stage of the Buying Journey

Finally, vendors should make sure they have content to match the whole buying journey. At the earlier stages, infographics or listicles are among the most valuable formats, while webinars come top for the middle of the journey. At the later stages, the most valuable content is listed as white papers.

All the data for the report can be accessed here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 200 B2B practitioners, most of whom are based in the US.


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