Commentary

Online Content Sourcing Critical For B2B Buyers

According to a new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and NetLine, only 9% of business buyers approve vendor papers for the value and trustworthiness of their online content, while 67% rate content produced by professional organizations as more usable and relevant. Industry white papers are valued most by 50% of the respondents.

Content Most Valued and Trusted

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Content

% of Respondents Value Most

Professional association research/white papers

67%

Industry group research/whitepapers

50

Customer case studies

48

Analyst reports and whitepapers

44

Product reviews

40

Vendor papers

9

Source: CMO Council, June 2013

BtoB marketers annually invest an estimated $16.6 billion in digital content publishing to acquire business leads, influence customer specification and consideration, as well as educate and engage prospects, says the report. But, despite spending about 25% of their marketing budgets on content creation, most companies lack the necessary strategies, competencies and best practices to effectively engage their markets. And very few have content performance measures and metrics in place to measure effectiveness and calculate ROI. 

87% of the respondents say that B2B online content has a major to moderate impact on customer buying decisions, while 67% also feel that professional association reports or papers have a similar impact. Online content is widely shared with peers and associates, mainly through email.

Online Content Shared With Peers and Associates

Number Shared With

% of Respondents

Over 100

28%

50-100

15

25-50

16

15-25

15

5-10

13

1-3

10

None

3

Source: CMO Council, June 2013

Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, says that “... BtoB buyers are looking for content that’s original, consultative and highly pertinent... vendors are failing these buyers with... promotional and technical content... doesn’t adequately address market challenges and customer needs.”

Characteristics Most Valued in B2B Content

Characteristic

% of Respondents Value Most

Breadth and depth of information

47%

Ease of access, understanding and readability

44

Originality of thinking and ideas

39

Source: CMO Council, June 2013

The report, Define What’s Valued Online, shows that online content plays an essential role in influencing BtoB purchasing decisions. The survey provides a snapshot of BtoB content sourcing behavior as well as how content seekers rank, rate, share and value content online. 

Characteristic Most Disliked in B2B Content

Characteristic

% of Respondents Dislike Most

Too many requirements for download

50%

Blatantly promotional and self serving

43

Non-substantive and uninformed

34

Source: CMO Council, June 2013

The CMO Council’s Content ROI Center concludes that too few marketers have fully grasped the role and value of content in the process of sales lead acquisition, qualification, conversion and closure or its contribution to customer retention and revenue generation. Channel analytics and content testing are needed to further the “precision acquisition” of qualified, actionable leads, opines the report.

For additional information from the CMO Council, and access to the PDF whitepaper file, please visit here.

 

 

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