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Meet in Person. And Bring a Great Deck.
This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive study that takes the guesswork
out of B2B technology advertising and marketing.
Before we can market technology to B2B technology buyers—before marketing anything, really—it’s crucial to understand purchasing behavior. So, prior to creating an advertising or public relations campaign for a technology client, we must discover industry buyers' preferences. That’s exactly what we’ve done.
Let’s face it. There’s nothing like looking someone in the eye and shaking their hand before doing business together. Despite ever-increasing advances in communication technology and a global marketplace, our survey revealed that 40% of decision makers prefer face-to-face meetings when in the consideration phase for technology purchases—and the larger the business, the more likely they are to base final decisions on what takes place during them.
Although face-to-face ranked highest, colleagues and friends, and pricing information came in close behind, at 36.3% and 34.5% respectively. What happens during those face-to-face meetings matters most among larger businesses.
Vendor presentations at 33.8% ranked fourth overall, but fared significantly higher at 54.1% among larger businesses (more than $10 million in annual revenue) compared to only 22.7% of SMB (less than $10 million in annual revenue) surveyed.
A similar gap existed between smaller businesses and enterprise organizations in the final decision-making phase for face-to-face meetings with a 17-percentage point gap between SMBs' 32.5% preference and enterprise organizations’ 49.5% preference.
The greatest insight, however, comes from a 27-percentage point gap between the small business 23.6% preference for vendor presentations and the enterprise organization 50.5% preference—more than double that of their smaller counterparts.
Another key takeaway is the importance of creating opportunities to meet others. Consider attending or hosting tech-industry events. Participate in meetups or hangouts relevant to your audience. Put yourself in situations where you and your prospects can get to know one another.
Entrepreneur magazine explains why: first, nonverbal cues only possible in face-to-face meetings build trust and lead to long-term business relationships and partnerships; second, prospects can interact 1:1 with your technology; and third—in keeping with trend 2 identified in Technology Vision 2017—it’s more personal.
The preference for face-to-face meetings holds true when controlling for larger companies with more than $1millon in annual revenue. In contrast, smaller companies with less than $1million in annual revenue prefer more impersonal sales tactics when considering technology.
So, get out there, pump a few handshakes, create a killer presentation based on personalized research and put your product or service in your prospect’s hands. Maintain long-term relationships by maintaining targeted customer communication throughout your lead nurturing process. In short, put people first. And keep them in mind throughout the lifecycle of your content strategy. You’ll both be glad you did.
2017 U.S. Technology Marketing Report