What B2B buyers really want - a sneak peak



20th March 2024

~ 3 min read

In business, if one thing is certain, it’s that adaptability is key to survival. Shifting market economies, supply chain disruptions, and changing employee needs are just a few challenges that are pushing companies to reassess their strategies. The focus is shifting away from simply competitive pricing, towards the entire purchasing experience itself - and these shifts have significant implications for B2B brands. 

Recognising the need for deeper insights into the preferences and behaviours of B2B buyers, we worked with ImpactSense to survey over 400 B2B buyers from UK-based companies with 250 or more employees across various job functions including HR, Finance, Marketing, and IT. The report offers valuable findings which can translate into actionable strategies for B2B marketers.

So, what key takeaways does the report uncover?

Don’t underestimate the power of brand awareness in B2B

The report highlights the importance of brand awareness in the B2B landscape, so much so, that a significant portion of respondents indicated a preference for well-known brands when making purchasing decisions. This demonstrates the need for B2B companies to invest in long-term brand building initiatives to stay front of mind among buyers.

(Source: What B2B buyers really want, Croud)

Creativity really does drive engagement

Creativity emerges as an important tool for B2B marketers seeking to make a lasting and memorable impression. Advertising campaigns that strike a balance between entertainment and information tend to resonate well with audiences, setting brands apart in a crowded marketplace. Use cases from Slack, Airbnb, and Upwork showcase how creativity can elevate B2B advertising, capturing attention and fostering engagement.

(Source: What B2B buyers really want, Croud)

Understanding the buying journey is crucial

The report also looks into the intricacies of the B2B buying journey, revealing that purchasing decisions often start months in advance. Content plays a pivotal role in guiding buyers through their research process, with social media emerging as a crucial channel for information discovery. Building trust through genuine connections, community building and valuable content is essential for brands looking to engage B2B buyers effectively.

What B2B buyers really pay attention to

While cost remains a significant consideration for B2B buyers, the importance of proof points such as demos, case studies and testimonials shouldn’t be overlooked. 

On top of this, transparency is crucial when building trust and credibility - this is particularly the case with regard to AI-generated content, which despite being more widely used, continues to be trumped by human interaction and personalised content since buyers still value relationships and authenticity in brand interactions.

Let’s talk sustainability and company values

Today, we live in a world of growing environmental and social awareness - something that’s reflected in the fact that B2B buyers are increasingly prioritising sustainability and ethical considerations when choosing suppliers. Brands that align with customer values and demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility stand to gain a competitive edge, since they’re able to foster deeper connections which leads to a higher chance of brand loyalty.

In summary

The findings of our report offer valuable insights into the evolving landscape of B2B marketing. By embracing the principles of brand awareness, creativity, customer-centricity, transparency, and sustainability, B2B brands can position themselves for success in a rapidly changing marketplace. 

With a nuanced understanding of buyer preferences and behaviours, coupled with strategic implementation of best practices, B2B marketers can unlock growth opportunities in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Download the report to gain access to the full findings.

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