Which Sources Are B2B Media Users Leveraging For Buying Decisions?

August 6, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Email | Magazines | Mobile Phone | Social Media

ABM-B2B-Media-Users-Preferred-Sources-Aug20133 in 4 B2B media users say they use both digital and traditional media industry sources to learn tips and best practices and to gain valuable information they can use in their work, finds ABM in a new study [pdf] assessing the value of B2B media in connecting buyers and sellers. The report shows that B2B media users are making use of an array of industry sources, ranging from mobile-optimized sites or applications (63%) to e-newsletters (92%) and print magazines (96%). Some sources are more useful than others for buying decisions, though.

In terms of the sources important for new product and supplier information, websites ranked first, at 80% of B2B media users, ahead of product information from the manufacturer (73%) and print magazines (69%). That’s despite print magazines being equal with websites in terms of overall usage, at 96%.

When it comes to the sources deemed important for researching work-related purchases, websites again took top billing, at 65% of users, followed by product information from the manufacturer (62%) and print magazines (48%). Interestingly, while email newsletters were seen as more important than conferences or trade shows for finding new product and supplier information (64% vs. 51%), slightly fewer respondents saw them as being important for researching work-related purchases (41% vs. 43%).

3 in 4 B2B Media Users Are Decision-Makers: They Also Favor Websites

ABM-B2B-Media-Resources-Used-by-Decision-Makers-Aug2013Separately, the study authors reveal that 74% of the business professionals surveyed indicate that they are involved in purchasing decisions or supplier selections.

Among these business media users making buying decisions, there is a clear hierarchy of B2B resources used when researching work-related purchasing decisions or supplier selections. The top sources, each used by a majority of decision-makers, are:

  • Websites (87%);
  • Print magazines (65%);
  • Conferences and trade shows (58%); and
  • Email newsletters (55%).

Further back in the field, 44% are using print newsletters to help them with their decisions, while 37% turn to digital magazines, 33% to mobile-optimized sites, 26% to mobile apps, and 24% to social media. (This particular question, found here, did not gauge the influence of manufacturer info.)

More details on how B2B decision-makers are using social media can be found here.

About the Data: ABM partnered with 7 marketer organizations to recruit survey participants: ANA, the Association of National Advertisers; BMA, the Business Marketing Association; and the Institute for the Study of Business Markets, Penn State.

Eight B2B media companies partnered with ABM to poll over 6,000 readers and users: Divcom, Gil Ashton, Hanley Wood, Lebhar Friedman, New Bay Media, Scranton Gillette, Stagnito and United.


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