Boost your B2B Marketing Strategy with Crucial Buyer Insights

The pandemic has reshaped many aspects of the business landscape and as a result, B2B marketers are having to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and rework their strategies accordingly. One of the most integral drivers of a successful marketing campaign is a clear understanding of buyers’ purchasing process

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Jenna Chambers, Partner Account Director at Cyance and Yasmin Wilkinson, Marketing Manager at durhamlane recently teamed up to understand the changing priorities, attitudes and needs of B2B buyers in the B2B Buyer Insights Report and will discuss some of the invaluable insights B2B marketers need to take into account moving forward in this article.


Prior to the pandemic, B2B buying behaviour was already in a state of flux due to the increasing availability of content and burgeoning decision-making units. However, our recent research report suggests that the pandemic has accelerated many changes.

The most prevalent insight is that decision makers are more cautious than ever before as almost half (47%) are at the mercy of budget scrutiny and 60% of purchase decisions are affected by fast-changing business priorities.

But there’s no need to panic. There is hope! Whilst buyers are more cautious, they are not in hibernation. It may feel like they are more likely to be resistant to marketing and sales efforts, as they become numbed by the sheer volume of sales and marketing content (56% consume more material than pre-2020), but in actual fact, over 80% of respondents agreed that they engage with B2B vendors when they are ready to buy. The key being ‘when they are ready’.

So, we’ve collated the insights into 5 ‘golden rules’ for your revamped sales & marketing strategy:

1. Timing is everything

Knowing which accounts or types of organisations to target is one thing. But what about knowing when to reach out to them? The guidance from the responses was crystal clear – almost two thirds (64%) said that B2B vendors do not approach them at the right time.

Add to this that only 21% believe they are given relevant information and it’s a damning indictment of how B2B revenue generation activities are not resonating with target audiences.

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So how do you identify when a company is ready to buy? If there is an ABM strategy in place, perhaps account teams are using social listening, doing desk research and trawling social media to look for hints and clues. But a lot of what’s uncovered is conjecture. And it’s not scalable.

Third party intent data helps uncover which accounts are in an active buying journey. These insights can identify accounts that are consuming content relevant to a vendor’s product or service offering, above the baseline of their normal day to day activities. Increases in research indicate the start of a buying journey and can be tracked from early through to late stage.

2. It’s not a one size fits all solution

Decision making units (DMU) are made up of teams, not just one individual, so when it comes to your sales & marketing outreach what works for one, may not work for another.

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the role of every stakeholder in the customer DMU and treat them accordingly, especially when sales teams engage. In fact, over two thirds of businesses believe that ‘great marketing’ is about educating them on how to overcome their challenges and meet their goals and some 71% believe that ‘understanding my challenges’ to be the most impactful element of a great sales conversation.

Companies should consider adopting an account centric approach, like Account-Based Marketing (ABM), which makes revenue teams think differently about how to engage an account. For example, sales teams may not get the opportunity to speak directly to all stakeholders within the DMU, so having an account-based campaign, in which specific messages can be shown to those stakeholders at various stages of the buying process, can help influence the outcome.

3. Create engaging and relevant content

 It seems that there is currently a disconnect between marketing efforts to create compelling content and how it lands. Only 21% of buyers believe they are given relevant information from vendors, despite the majority spending more time researching their purchases than ever before. Furthermore, the right content not only attracts interested buyers but has the potential to shorten the sales cycle, as 85% of B2B buyers said they share relevant content with others in the DMU.

What was particularly pertinent from our research is that case studies and customer stories are the top content choice while buyers are in research mode, followed by blogs/articles and videos. When it comes to what to cover in these content pieces, intent data sheds light on which topics and keywords are showing the most intent signals from an account, giving content creators insight into what’s going to resonate.

4. Show compassion

As we’ve seen, decision makers are under immense pressure when it comes to budgets and changing business priorities. Yet, our research has shown, understanding and empathising with their frustrations can go a long way when it comes to landing a sale.

In fact, over a third of buyers believe that ‘listening more than talking’ and ‘asking the right questions’ are crucial attributes for marketers and sales representatives to display. To have a great sales conversation, devise high-impact questions and practice deep listening skills that get customers thinking hard about the need to invest in change.

5. Build brand awareness 

In B2B it can be easy to overlook the importance of a brand and see it as the domain of B2C. But as we move beyond B2B or B2C to Human to Human, it’s important to remember the role that brand plays in helping audiences decide which companies to invest time, effort and money in.

Take note that 87% of buyers said they are more likely to consider a B2B vendor if they have a positive impression of the brand before conducting purchasing research, a figure that can’t be ignored. Maintaining a consistent, positive brand perception is especially important when considering that buyers only want to be approached when the time is right for them and there are multiple stakeholders who all need to think favourably of a brand.

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This article was authored by – Jenna Chambers, Partner Account Director at Cyance and Yasmin Wilkinson, Marketing Manager at durhamlane.

Jenna Chambers, Partner Account Director at Cyance
Yasmin Wilkinson, Marketing Manager at durhamlane


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