The Science of Influence: Insight Into Today’s Technology Purchasing Decisions (Study)

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At long last, B&O has refreshed its B2B Tech Influencer Study—a survey of 807 senior-level B2B technology decision-makers (506 in the U.S. and 302 in Canada) that explored what is most influencing technology purchase decisions across both SMB and enterprise IT buyers.

This highly anticipated study fills a void in the otherwise overcrowded pantheon of marketing-oriented and infographics. This one provides rare and actionable insights into where B2B marketers can B2B picadjust their creative approaches, channel strategies and digital marketing techniques to drive sales more effectively with their elusive buyers.

For years, previous iterations of this study were a mainstay in internal B2B marketing budget discussions. Not only did it validate the role B2B tech marketers played in driving lead generation, it also quantified the impact marketing was having on deal closure and competitive positioning. The most recent study was conducted back in 2012, and so much has happened since, we thought it was high time to revisit many of the most important questions, including:

  • How frequently do B2B tech buyers turn to influential sources of information, such as trade publications, vendor web sites, analyst reports and advice from peers?
  • What is the relative influence of these sources of information when it comes to B2B purchase decisions?
  • What is driving positive word of mouth among B2B tech buyers, and what should technology vendors be doing differently to adjust their approach?
  • At what point in the sales cycles are these information sources having the most influence—lead gen, deal closure, or somewhere else?
  • What role are industry analysts still playing in all this?

An executive summary of the report, which you can read here, indicates a few important trends that should immediately impact how much budget B2B marketers allocate toward their programs and the techniques they use to reach B2B buyers. At first blush, the following trends became immediately apparent:

  • The continued rise of word of mouth among peers as a primary driver of B2B purchase decisions
  • The convergence of peer opinions and expert analyst opinions into a dynamic we call the “rise of the expert peer”
  • The increasing impact of positive word of mouth on both ends of the funnel—lead gen and deal closure—which indicates that great content plus great conversations result in great conversion rates
  • The continued role that an open-ended, provocative question—what we’ve often called the “viral question”—plays in generating positive word of mouth
  • The continued presence of industry analysts as an essential influencer in B2B tech purchase decisions

As a tribe of change agents who are constantly looking for ingenious ways to drive more revenue for our clients, B&O is taking these new findings to heart. In the coming months, watch for even more service innovation and inspirational case studies around how we’re putting these lessons and insights to good use.

And if you’d like to be one of those case studies, or are interested in brainstorming how these findings apply to you, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We love to practice what we preach. We’ve just delivered the content. Now we’d love to have the conversation that leads to conversion—for you.

For more information, and for a full copy of the study, please visit the Blanc & Otus website.