In an interview with eMarketer, Mike Miller of Google says that B2B C-level executives are watching more and more video, creating a huge opportunity for marketers to reach that segment in a new way.
Miller, director, business and industrial markets for Google, tells eMarketer the data reveals that how-to videos and other thought-leadership video content is especially popular in the B2B space.
“…the products tend to be more complex,” he tells eMarketer. “They might need some configuration, and you want to understand that before you make a purchase…The C-suite indexes very high on using video. So if you’re a B2B marketer and you’re trying to reach the C-suite, video is a great way to go.”
Other trends that are emerging or continuing to grow in the B2B space are search and social. Google research done in partnership with Compete showed what Miller says is a “sea change” in Internet use in this space. From 2011 to 2012, the number of customers using the Internet to research business purchases went from 71 to 88 percent.
Those looking to make purchases aren’t the only ones relying on the Internet to keep them informed about what they invest in. Ninety percent of marketers in the manufacturing and distribution space did online research before making a business purchase in 2012, up from 67 percent in 2011.
Miller points out that the B2B verticals behave differently: While C-level executives gravitate toward video, social is the place to find repeat customers.
“…these are loyal customers, they are still out talking about your product, asking questions about it and engaging with their peers around it. So you want to make sure that you’re targeting your message within the social world.”
As more and more people become savvy e-commerce customers, the buying behaviors seen in the consumer space are beginning to bleed into the B2B arena. The data from Google only backs up the trends we’re seeing, that no matter if you operate in a retail or B2B space, offering cutting-edge, seamless buying experiences online is no longer optional.
As Miller explains, “By the time a B2B purchaser actually engages with a company or with a sales rep from that company, they’re 57 percent of the way through their decision process.”
What B2C strategies are you adopting for B2B markets? Tell us in the comments or tweet is @FutureCommrce.