The typical B2B marketer faces unique challenges. A long sales cycle is one factor. And the buying audience, depending on their role in an organization, employs a range of decision-making criteria in the purchase process. Marketers that customize their promotional messages to unique decision makers in the B2B world can improve their chances of success.
For the most part, the listed purchase price of a good or service is the top influencing factor for 60% of B2B buyers. However, many decision makers realize that the purchase price is often just the start of a relationship between a buyer and seller. Once the product or service arrives, the purchaser then encounters the total cost of ownership (TCO). Decision makers who consider the TCO before signing on the dotted line are often:
- Senior executives or business owners
- Over age 60
Another key point considered by B2B decision makers when buying a product or service is the potential for process improvement. The vast majority of purchasers, 78%, say that the process improvement factor applies to 60% of purchases. The benefits to customer service also resonated with the decision makers who are most senior in an organization, often over age 60.
The researchers who studied the B2B decision-making process, TriComB2B and the University of Dayton School of Business Administration, also looked at other frequently promoted benefits used to sell to this sector. These benefits included safety features, energy efficiency, and the ‘green’ supply chain for the product. In cases where decision makers are comparing the offerings between 2 vendors, safety features were important in 60% of the purchases. About half of respondents indicated that energy efficiency played a role in about 60% of purchase decisions. Note that energy efficiency was likely considered to be important with respect to operating costs or TCO. Far fewer said that a green supply chain affected the purchase decision.
As B2B marketers develop their campaigns, they should remember to focus on total cost of ownership and safety features, in addition to price. Emphasizing the right details in ad materials that target different decision-making levels in the organization will increase the chances of a sale.[Source: The Considered Purchase Decision. TriComB2B and University of Dayton School of Business Administration. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011]