(One of my objectives for the monthly Research Round-Up post is to share research reports and other research-related materials that may be under the radar screens of many B2B marketers. Our February Research Round-Up fits that description nicely. It features a look at B2B buyer preferences by organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, an examination of online B2B buying by Wunderman Thompson Commerce, and recent research from McKinsey about personalization.)
2021 Buyer Preferences Study: Reconnecting with buyers by Korn Ferry
|Source: Korn Ferry|
This research is focused primarily on B2B selling, but the results include several data points that are valuable for B2B marketers. Korn Ferry conducted a similar study in 2018, and the research report includes some findings from the 2018 study. So it’s possible to see how some buyer attitudes and practices have changed over that three-year period.
Respondents were located in North America (43%), EMEA (35%) and APAC (27%). Respondents were from a variety of industries, with manufacturing (43%) and technology (32%) being the largest two cohorts.
The study examined how the pandemic changed the B2B buying process, when buyers prefer to engage with sales reps and what resources buyers use to address business problems and learn about possible solutions.
The research results contain several insights that are relevant for B2B marketers. For example:
- On average, 6.2 decision makers are involved in buying decisions.
- 57% of the survey respondents said they prefer to identify and clarify their needs and identify possible solutions before they engage with sales reps.
- The survey asked participates what resources they turn to for information and insights about how to address business problems and challenges. The top three resources identified by respondents were past experience with vendor (44%), subject matter experts from industry or third parties (41%) and industry/professional online communities/social networks (36%). Only 28% of the respondents cited vendor websites, which was down from 35% in Korn Ferry’s 2018 study.
|Source: Wunderman Thompson|
This is the second edition of Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s B2B Future Shopper research. The first edition of the study – which I discussed in this post – was published in 2020.
- The survey respondents reported making 49% of their purchases online, up from 46% in the 2020 study.
- 93% of the respondents said they expect to keep at least some of the purchasing behaviors adopted because of the pandemic after the pandemic ends.
- 89% of respondents from the US and the UK said buying online is more complicated than buying offline.
- 90% of the respondents said they expect a similar experience when buying on a B2B site as they do on a B2C site, and 72% said they want a better mobile experience from B2B suppliers.
|Source: McKinsey & Company|
This resource is not a formal research report, but rather an article discussing several of the findings from McKinsey’s “Next in Personalization 2021” survey. Some of the data points discussed in the article are also drawn from other recent McKinsey research.