5 Implications – B2B Buyer’s Decision Making Process is Dead

5 Implications – B2B Buyer’s Decision Making Process is Dead

Today’s Buyer interacts with businesses in new ways. Updating marketing practices for this audience requires companies to mix old methods with new practices.

Today’s buyer is living in a world disrupted by rapid changes everywhere – in technology, healthcare, politics, society, education, the economy, the climate, and culture. The introduction of new technologies — from mobile phones to smart grids — has altered the way we act, the way we interact, and the way we perceive and understand our world in a very short amount of time.

In this changing landscape, businesses have to change their mindsets first as well as their strategies, programs and activities. Today’s consumers see online purchasing as normal as we once considered drive-in theatres. Social media, hyper-networked with friends and peers, and empowered with 24/7 access to information on smart devices, kiosks, and showroom information screens. Companies need to reconsider their marketing and sales approaches to attract and retain this new buyer.

Many go-to-market fundamentals are still essential to success. But to stay competitive, companies need to re-evaluate certain areas such as targeting, product/service portfolios, marketing mix, and customer experiences. This re-evaluation is not just a B2C phenomenon. All types of companies are ‘upping their game’ to identify and understand who the new buyer is and how they can capture their attention. Successful marketing today requires a healthy combination of the old and the new.

Here are 5 areas to consider based on these changes…

  1. Influenced by rapid changes in technology or otherwise known as the phenomenon of ‘software eating the world’, today’s buyer interacts with companies and their offers in new ways, demanding companies offer personalised user experiences via different channels (mobile, in-store, e-commerce) and causing traditional B2B companies to redefine their marketing practices.
  2. The Customer Journey has changed. The traditional B2B multi-step buying pattern for value-based products is outdated. Today’s buyers complete anywhere from 65% – 100% of the purchase phases on their own on a website. Today’s customer journey is controlled by the buyer and has maximum five steps.
  3. With all of these changes, there are many who are still holding on to the idea that the website is a communication vehicle to highlight everything about a company. Given the amount of buying process that takes place online, companies need to see their website as an integral part of their salesforce. If it isn’t selling, it isn’t working.
  4. Social media has opened new channels to and from buyers, but it should not the majority of the time, work in isolation from the sales process. It must be used to find the right buyers and maintain relationships with existing customers to support the initial sale to and life cycle of the customer.
  5. These are not trends, but business model evolutions causing mindset changes in sales and marketing that will be necessary for continued relevance.

Agree? Disagree? Please feel free to share your thoughts here or at Customer.Experience@Alinea-Partners.com