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Pricing information is important to B2B technology buyers when considering a vendor and making a final decision, but low cost claims take a backseat to other characteristics when buyers need to sell or justify their decision to other internal stakeholders or decision-makers. That’s according to a Lavidge study [download page] of 400 B2B decision-makers in the US.

The survey results indicate that a majority of technology buyers prefer claims about the technology product or service’s reliability (68%) and ease of use (64%). Low cost (49%) and ease of integration (43%) are also important factors when buyers need to justify their decisions internally, but are not quite as critical.

There are some important differences when sorting by company size, though. While reliability is tops among larger (>$10 million in revenue) and smaller (<$1 million) companies, those in the middle ($1-10 million) put ease of use on top of their list.

Moreover, for smaller companies, ease of integration is the second-most important claim, ahead of ease of use.

Which Marketing Tactics Do Buyers Prefer?

During the initial discovery phase of a technology product or service purchase, buyers clearly rely on recommendations. Indeed, a majority (52%) said that colleagues and friends are among the information sources that would work best to spark their interest in a vendor.

B2B marketers themselves would agree: a study released last year by Bizible found that word-of-mouth and referrals ranked as easily the leading activity with the most positive impact on revenue.

Peer recommendations are also important during the consideration phase, per Lavidge’s report, though at this point face-to-face meetings with vendors take center stage. Pricing information and vendor presentations also are among the more critical resources used by buyers during the consideration phase. That brings to mind previous research from SiriusDecisions, in which sales presentations emerged as buyers’ most important content asset.

Finally, pricing information rises to the fore as the most important resource for B2B buyers when making a final vendor selection. After pricing, face-to-face meetings, customer reviews and vendor presentations also hold sway when it comes time to choose a vendor.

Customer reviews seem to be most important during this final stage of the buying process. That may be due to their being considered to be more trustworthy than vendor presentations and collateral.

At the least, vendors will know what to pitch during those final presentations: reliability, ease of integration, low cost, and ease of use.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 400 technology product/service decision-makers in the US with a mix of titles and departments. Respondents hailed from several industries, with professional services (19%) and technology (16%) the most heavily represented.

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