The Reality of a Buyer's Decision-Making Process

The buyer’s decision-making process is less straightforward than you might expect. Fortunately, high-quality decision-enabling content can help streamline the process.

Business Decision-Making: How Rational Is it?

When it comes to making business decisions, individuals like to think of themselves as rational thinkers motivated entirely by logic and reason. In order to make the best possible business decisions, it makes sense that B2B buyers want to rely on proven facts and objective information.

However, the reality of decision-making is much more subjective. Buyers may not want to admit it, but their decisions are motivated at the subconscious level by factors that aren’t always rational.

In his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman gives us a framework to understand this process. Kahneman distinguishes between two modes of thinking: System 1, which concerns our fast, knee-jerk reaction to stimuli, and System 2, which is more deliberate and analytical. System 1 refers to the things that come to us effortlessly and without much thought, like the answer to a simple math equation — 2+2, for example. System 2, on the other hand, concerns conscious, effortful thought processes that come into play in more complex situations.

With this knowledge, you might think that System 2 is the primary system at work when individuals are making business decisions. However, the reality is more complicated than that. While rational considerations are undoubtedly important in the decision-making process, System 1 still plays an influential role. 

If you’re only appealing to consumers’ rational considerations, you’re missing a relevant part of the decision-making process. To truly reach buyers, you have to cut through the noise and establish your company as a trustworthy source of information, which is effective on both a subconscious and a rational level. But how do you do this?

Awareness Is Half the Battle

Your prospective clients may not even be aware of the problem they need to address, or they might not be aware of how big that problem is. Some marketers make the mistake of thinking their prospects have a full and accurate understanding of their own businesses — but that’s often not the case.

This represents another complication in the decision-making process. If prospects aren’t aware they have a problem to solve, they won’t actively seek out solutions to that problem. And how do you reach prospects who aren’t searching for solutions?

To address this roadblock, marketers have to create informative content that reaches even the most skeptical of prospects. They need to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their prospects’ world, from the issues prospects are aware of, to the ones they need help identifying. This is where creative content comes in.

The Creative Content River™: A Stream of Marketing Content
B2B buyers are looking for answers online. Before making any big decisions, buyers will thoroughly research their options — and content is a huge part of that. 75% of buyers report that the content of the vendor they chose made a significant impact on their buying decision.

The types of content B2B buyers rely on most heavily when making decisions are white papers, webinars, and case studies. To successfully generate these long-form types of content, you’ll need full-time writers and graphic designers, each putting in hours of work on a given piece.

But the bare minimum isn’t enough. To stand out amongst the deluge of content online, you have to demonstrate your in-depth understanding of the issues facing your prospects. Successful content must provide useful, relevant, and well-researched information to a given audience, or it will fail to make an impact. And to reach consumers who aren’t necessarily searching for answers, you’ll need to generate a lot of it.

This is expensive and time-consuming, to say the least. But you don’t have to devote all of your time and resources to creating high-quality content in-house — instead, you can outsource your creative content production through a subscription. 

By subscribing to the level of creative content that you need, you can increase your flexibility and expand your content output, without increasing costs. In fact, subscribing will save you 55% to 58% of the cost of full-time employees. With the cost savings, you can devote more of your resources to your company’s core functions and maximize your growth.

For more information on SOMAmetric’s Creative Content River™, download this white paper.