B2B Buyers Prefer Using Web Search to Research Vendors

When it comes to reading content, more B2B marketing professionals prefer to engage in content digitally than in print. So, it’s perhaps not surprising that they are turning to web search to research vendors, according to a report by PathFactory and Heinz Marketing.

Some 88% of the more than 200 B2B leaders surveyed said that web search is the channel they use most to consume information and research vendor solutions. This aligns with where marketers are also putting their paid media dollars – previous research from Gartner found that paid search and organic search were two of the four “workhorses” that account for one-quarter of average marketing spend.

B2B marketers should bear in mind the desktop dynamics of their target audience. Research has illustrated that B2B paid search clicks are still highest on desktop, although paid search clicks on smartphones are on the rise.

Buyers Rely on Email and Social for Information

Roughly 7 in 10 respondents to the PathFactory study said they use email to consume information and research vendor solutions. B2B marketers have said in the past that email delivers the leads with the highest ROI. It’s worth noting that email tends to be again more desktop-heavy for B2B than for B2C.

Social media is also a channel where respondents consume information. More specifically half (50%) of the marketing professionals surveyed get their information from LinkedIn, and about one-quarter (24%) use Twitter for information gathering.

While digital channels make up most of the list of content channels, around one-third (34.4%) prefer the old-fashioned method of getting information over the phone. However, this number seems to drop higher up the chain – the report found that only around one-quarter of C-Suite members are likely to use the phone.

The full report can be viewed here.

About the Data: Data for the report was compiled from survey responses of 204 marketing professionals all with upper management titles ranging from VP, Senior Director or C-Suite with decision-making authority.

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