B2B Buyers Are Becoming More Like B2C
Like all consumers, B2B buyers are flooded with marketing messages each day. In the digital era, we’re all used to accessing information and making purchases at the touch of a button. Your company only has a micro-moment to make an impression on a buyer before they click or scroll away, moving on to the next thing. This could be your only chance to capture their attention.
To make matters worse, B2B buyers overwhelmingly prefer to spend less time with sales—on average, they spend a mere 5% of their buying journey with any given sales rep. They spend more of their purchasing journey with your content, researching online for themselves to determine if your product is right for their company’s needs—which means your content has to appeal directly to them to convince them to seriously consider purchasing.
Altogether, this means that B2B buyers are approaching the buying process more like B2C consumers. Informed by their experiences in the B2C space, B2B buyers expect a more intuitive and immediate buying experience than ever before. Forward-thinking experts in B2B marketing are already aligning B2B sales activities with their B2C counterparts, using virtual reality and other virtual experiences to reach potential buyers.
To keep up with these rapid changes and design the right content experience for a specific target market, it’s more important than ever for B2B marketers to have a complete understanding of their buyers.
B2B Buyer Types
Different buyers have different buying habits. Some prioritize getting the best deal, while others are more worried about falling behind because they haven’t purchased the latest product. Knowing the differences between these buyer types will inform how you structure your content experience as a marketer.
Below, you’ll find the three main types of buyers in the B2B space.
- Visionaries (or Early Adopters)
Visionaries are constantly looking for a significant competitive advantage, a capability that does not exist yet, a “game-changer” that nobody else has. Improvements have to be in orders of magnitude (5X, 10X). Cost is not the priority. They are willing to accept projected ROI. Perceived gain always outweighs the risk in the buying decision.
- Pragmatists (or Early Majority)
Pragmatists take pride in being rational, practical, and objective in their decision-making process. They accept change as inevitable but do not precipitate it and they don’t believe in “game-changers.” They look for demonstrable incremental improvements, case studies, and quantifiable ROI. Cost is not the primary concern, but it is factored in the ROI calculation.
- Conservatives (or Late Majority)
Finally, conservatives hate to change unless forced to so due to regulation, customer demands, obsolete products, etc. They do not believe that things get better. In fact, they really believe that things are getting worse, more complicated, harder to use, and more expensive. Cost and brand are everything. They typically buy the cheapest of something they already use all the time.
How to Use This Knowledge to Create Content That Converts
Why, exactly, is it so important to know what types of buyers dominate your target market? The answer is simple: your understanding of your buyers is one of your most valuable assets. Marketers have to know who is in their target market, what they want, and how they make purchases.
Knowing this, marketers can design campaigns that appeal directly to their target market. For example, maybe your target market is full of frugal and conservative buyers who prefer to save their money. You can implement this knowledge in your content by emphasizing the cost-effectiveness of your product. Or maybe your target market is dominated by visionary buyers. In this case, you should frame your product as a cutting-edge, innovative game-changer to maximize your appeal. Finally, pragmatists would most likely appreciate a discussion of the objective facts associated with purchasing your product.
Knowledge of your target market’s buyer type not only informs what you include in your content but the type of content you choose to create as well. Conservative buyers would likely be drawn to money-saving content types, like an advertisement for a coupon or a free trial. Visionaries, on the other hand, could prefer a white paper or a webinar detailing the latest innovation in their field.
There are many different ways to approach content creation, but the crux of creating content that converts your prospects into sales is implementing your in-depth knowledge of your target market. This is what makes you stand out from the competition. However, we know that content creation is costly—to do it right, you need a team of full-time employees, which is a huge cost in payroll alone for the average marketing budget.
Instead of hiring an in-house team, consider subscribing to receive the level of creative content you need through a service like SOMAmetrics’ Creative Content River.™ Download this white paper, Content That Converts, for more information on how a subscription works to convert your prospects into sales.