Vast Majority of B2B Buyers Say Vendor Content Impacts Purchase Decision

August 1, 2022

B2B marketers are increasing their spending on content this year, and that move appears to be made with good reason: a recently-released study [download page] from Demand Gen Report in partnership with Demandbase finds 84% of buyers surveyed agreeing that a winning vendor’s content has had a significant impact on their buying decision.

When buyers were asked to select their top 5 reasons for choosing the winning vendor over other vendors they considered, the top response was that the winner demonstrated a stronger knowledge of the buyer’s company and its needs (68%). (In fact, lack of knowledge of a company and its needs has separately been cited by buyers as their top deal-killer.)

While it’s logical that vendors should understand their prospects’ businesses, the role of content is also evidenced in this research, with content quality emerging as a key differentiator for winning vendors. Some 62% pointed to the provision of higher-quality content as one of their top 5 reasons for choosing the winning vendor.

Other top reasons that trailed those above by a slim margin were the winning vendor demonstrating a stronger knowledge of the solution area and business landscape (59%) and the vendor providing a better mix of content to help the buyer through each stage of their research and decision-making process (also 59%).

Getting Site Content Right

The top resource that informs buyers about a solution is web search, per the report, suggesting that SEO should be a priority for B2B marketers. But beyond search, vendor websites are the next-most cited resource. When visiting the website of a potential solution provider when making a purchase decision, the three criteria that buyers look for the most are:

  • Easy access to content that speaks directly to their company;
  • Easy access to pricing and competitive information; and
  • Content that speaks directly to and demonstrates expertise around the needs of the industry.

With respect to pricing information, this is a critical piece of the buyer’s consideration, easily topping all other variables when evaluating providers. Trailing distantly, and in quick succession, are reviews, features/functionality, the vendor demonstrating experience with/knowledge of the industry, and deployment time/ease of use. One would expect that the weight given to these various factors differs according to the purchase in question: certainly with marketing technology, ease of use has been found to be a crucial element.

Nonetheless, vendors would do well to keep these preferences in mind amid a changing landscape: the current environment has made buyers almost twice as likely to escalate some purchases due to changing business needs (38% share) as to delay potential purchases due to budget freezes (20% share).

For more, download the study here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 340 B2B executives, 43% at companies with at least $50 million in annual revenues.

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