The rapidly changing B2B marketplace should be serving as a wake-up call for those in the B2B manufacturing industry. In the past few years, we have seen a shift in how B2B buying decisions happen, who the decision makers are in the process, and where these decision makers are getting their information.
Since the advent of the advertising industry, marketers have fed information to customers and customers have made buying decisions based on this information. it was a linear path – people saw an ad, they were interested in the product, so they went to the store and bought it. What’s changed is now, customers are finding information on their own. It is now the marketer’s job to pull that audience in by creating a personalized experience that resonates with the potential customers. The path to purchase is no longer linear – it is a collection of moments that influence a customer to purchase your product.
There’s no question that everyone is online these days, including B2B audiences. In fact, 94% of B2B buyers conduct some kind of online research during the buying process, and 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. Customers are educated and informed, and are looking for vendors who understand their pain points and know about the industry.
Customers are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before performing an action on a website. Customers are being influenced from many different touch-points, whether it’s through your website, social media, mobile campaigns, or traditional marketing methods. That makes it important for manufacturing marketers to reach their audience through a variety of methods well before the audience reaches out to them.