While 88% of business technology professionals are using social media for business decision-making, marketers need to better understand buyers’ social behavior, according to a new report.
The study, titled “Insights into 2010 B2B Marketing Budgets and Tactics Mix,” was conducted by Forrester Research and MarketingProfs. It focused on the challenges facing b-to-b marketers this year; what b-to-b marketers should do to maximize the marketing mix given the rise of social media and how do program and budget plans for 2010 compare to 2009 results. The data was presented last week at the MarketingPros Business to Business Forum in Boston.
Although business technology professionals are increasingly using social media tools for several business purposes – creating programs, engaging in (and monitoring) conversation – marketers are still playing catch up with socially savvy buyers. According to the survey, 23% of respondents will increase their spending (10% or more) on discussion forums this year, compared with 2009, and 22% will increase spending on podcasting.
At one session at the meeting Peter Burris, Principal Analyst and Research Director for Forrester’s Technology Marketing Research Team, contrasted the old model of engagement, in which market interactions were based on products and extending offers and waiting for prospects to respond, to the new paradigm, in which interactions are “based on business outcomes” and matching solutions to the needs of the buyer to effectively engage, according to DemandGen Report.
Burris added that solution providers must “demonstrate that you understand the outcome,” and shared the following Forrester data on the key factors buyers cited in selecting a vendor: Fit for a specific need at a specific time (72%); sales person’s ability to understand problem (63%); sales person’s ability to get things done for client (55%) and vendor’s reputation in the marketplace (52%).
The report showed that the budget outlook is improving this year: 42% of respondents said they expected an increase in budget (with an average increase of 40%) while 47% said there would be no change in their budget.
For the full survey, please click here.