In addition to trade fairs, recommendations and consultations, more and more B2B decision-makers are using the internet as a source for purchasing decisions. Various studies confirm that 85% of purchasing decision-makers have already found suppliers via the internet. The iROI Internet Marketing Strategy has derived three recommendations for marketing managers for company websites from this.
The Internet has arrived in the B2B world in Germany and has integrated itself into everyday working life. This is the conclusion of the study “Web usage of German B2B decision-makers” conducted by Virtual Identity in cooperation with Google Germany. The study was based on 750 telephone interviews with B2B decision-makers. B2B decision-makers use the internet not only privately, but increasingly as an information channel for preparing investment decisions.
This study was based on 750 telephone interviews with B2B decision-makers. The main question was which information channels are used before an investment decision is made. Decision-makers primarily use search engines, supplier sites and specialist sources on the internet to get an overview of the market, offers and suppliers.
The data on investment volume is also interesting. 30% of the respondents invested less than 10,000 €, but 40% invested between 10,000 and 100,000 €. Still, 20% of the respondents spent between 100,000 and 500,000 €, 4% between 500,000 and 1 million €. 6% of the respondents have invested over € 1 million.
Especially in the case of electronic components, the information behaviour is clearly on the internet. In addition to trade fairs, recommendations and consultations, more and more B2B decision-makers are citing the internet in their purchasing behaviour. This behaviour can be seen across the board for all positions, i.e. managing directors, department heads and similar positions that play a significant role in an investment decision.
Results of the study “Web Use of German B2B Decision-Makers
The most important results at a glance; they apply regardless of the economic sector and the investment volume:
- 85% of all respondents have already found a subsequent supplier via the internet.
- B2B decision-makers spend two hours of their daily working time on the web.
- As a source of information for one’s own field of expertise and for creating a market overview, the internet is the most important information medium.
- Above all, search engines and manufacturers’ websites are critical sources of information for preparing an investment decision.
- Already 40% of B2B decision-makers regularly use internet forums for professional purposes. 28% of these actively participate in the dialogues.
Companies can secure a share of this market volume
Despite all the reservations about the internet, companies can now use these facts and figures to consider whether they want to leave this market pie to the faster competitor or secure a substantial part of the market volume for themselves.
The iROI Internet Marketing Strategy has derived recommendations for marketers from this study:
Firstly, it is crucial for your current and future business to be present on the web and easily found by search engines. Your website must be strategically built, optimally serve people and search engines with good content, as well as be accessible by good target group owners (e.g. trade magazines) through links, white papers etc.. This will give you a good reputation on the internet.
Secondly, the rapid spread of social media has not left out the B2B environment and demands an active approach to these platforms.
Thirdly, easy accessibility in the offline world is very important: typically, at some point in the decision-making process there will be a transition from information search to direct contact with the company. At this moment, the potential investor must be quickly offered the right contact person whom he can call or contact by mail. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many B2B websites and the potential customer looks elsewhere.
My recommendation: Keep yourself regularly informed about new developments in these areas in order to be able to act successfully, e.g. in the video newsletter. And if you have marketing and communication responsibilities, then you should definitely use the potential of the internet as well as social media for the success of your B2B company.
Last updated on 7. February 2023