Thursday, December 20, 2007

Survey Reveals How B2B Purchasers Buy

A survey of 1000 B2B buyers, asked how they research B2B buying decisions online and how this varies by role within a company, and purchase phase. The report provides valuable information on how to market to B2B companies and the individuals who work for them.

The survey identified roles that the respondents played in, in respect to organizational buying decisions. They identified 4 major roles that are typical, the economic buyer, the technical buyer, the user buyer and the coach buyer.
  • The economic buyer is the person who ultimately makes the buying decisions and signs the check.
  • The technical buyer is a person tasked with ensuring that whatever solution that is purchased needs the technical requirements of the company. For technology purchases this would often be an IT professional. For accounting software you would typically be a controller or financial officer. And for sales relationship management software it would be sales manager. While these people usually don't have final financial approval they are integral to the purchase process as they are the ones that ensure the potential solution is the right match with the organization’s needs and requirements.
  • The user buyer is the person who will actually use the product. Often this person identifies the need and is responsible for implementing what is ultimately purchased.
  • The coach buyer is the internal champion who helps move the sales process along and usually has a stake in the purchase of the solution.

The report then focuses on how people navigate from awareness, through research and negotiation phases to the actual purchasing decision. The use of search engines, vendor’s sites, what do they look for specifically, etc.

A surprisingly high number of respondents indicated they made their $1000 - $10,000 purchase online after conducting online researchPublish Post. Almost 47% indicated this as the outcome of their research online. 40% did their online research 1-4 months before the purchase.

Here are my take-a-ways:
  • In all stages of the purchase cycle, weather it be an online of off-line conversion, search engines had the most influence, with the company website coming in a close second.
  • In all purchasing stages the process started with a search engine almost twice as much as the second highest approach, going directly to a company website.

It's a well done report, with lots of segmented graphs. You can download the free b2b buying influence report from Enquiro.

Friday, October 26, 2007

eMarketing Spending to Reach $61 Billion by 2012

According to a new Forrester Research report, interactive marketing spending in the United States will triple over the next 5 years, reaching $61 billion by 2012. The growth is expected to be 27 percent annually. The catagory interactive marketing, 8 percent of all ad spending, is expected to grow to 18 percent of total ad budgets by 2012.

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Shar VanBoskirk, said "As firms continue to make customer centricity a higher priority, they will recognize that maintaining separate marketing teams to manage different sets of channels that all target the same customers makes no sense," ... (as) interactive technologies gradually infiltrate... such traditional paragons as television, billboards, and direct mail... the concept of a separate interactive mark eting organization will disappear."

The survey included 344 interactive marketing professionals and was highlighted decisions affecting display ads, search, email marketing, online video, and emerging media (social, mobile, and advergaming).

The report's highlights include:

  • Search engine marketing will triple in five years. The aggressive use of search marketing will grow the category 26 percent to $25 billion by 2012 due to the increasing paid search costs, new tools and services, and international expansion.
  • Display advertising (Banners & Sponsorships) will reach $14 billion by 2012. As branding being more accepted online, display ads will an important role for all interactive campaigns
  • Online video ads will significantly increase 72 percent to $7.1 billion by 2012 as viddeos become consumed at an increasing rate.
  • Social media and SM optimization will drive emerging channels to $10, a $6.9 billion increase. Emerging uses of social media, mobile, game marketing, widgets, podcasts, were included in this figure.
  • Little is spent today, but mobile marketing is expected to grow to $2.8 billion. People are becoming more familar with hand held mobile devices, and local search intent and proximity will allow targeted local advertising to off line businesses.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

57% of People say Search Engines are More Important than Ever

67% of the online search population is driven to search by offline channels.

In June 2007, iProspect partnered with JupiterResearch to conduct a study of online users about the influence of search titled "iProspect Offline Channel Influence on Online Search Behavior Study".

The report shows that a majority of internet users depend more on search engine listings to find information they are looking for then they did a year ago, even if they know a companies name.

More interesting is that offline events that generated the thought to learn more, are driving people to search engines instead of following the ad's call to action. As an example 30% of people that responded to a magazine ad did a search instead of using the ads URL. That means that your landing pages need to be indexed and/or linked to from the the resulting search page in order to continue the initial ads conversation.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sometimes a picture is wort a thousand words.

A Search Illustrated post in Search Engine Land called Search Engine Click-Thru Behavior; You've Got To Be In The Top Ten! by Elliance got me thinking -- so what, then I started thinking how could I use this to get more attention internally about the value of search.

We all know the value of being above the fold when viewing the first search engine results page, but it's been my inhouse SEO experience that if you can get 70% of all targeted terms in the top 10 positions people are happy. How can I get more mind share! What if I applied the percentage of top of fold positions for a tight group of terms, against the total number of searches per time period. But instead of focusing on the visibility, focus on the missed opportunity. That would raise fear in the hearts of Product Managers, and get their attention.

I call it, the Missed Search Opportunities Per Month (MSOPM).

(100% - % Number of search terms in the top 5 positions) * the total number of monthly searches = MSOPM

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Saboteurs Of Search -

I love this article in Forbes from Andy Greenberg, but when has trying to win become being a bad looser.... or Negative SEO?

Reputation management is a profession. Tweaking content to rise to the top of SERPs naturally pushes down the others. Dominating the top listings is similar to to taking market share.

Yes, link bowling is Black Hat, but it should be pretty easy to figure out who was doing it, and I would expect to see some retaliation. Great for SEOs, bad for their customers. Spend time providing content and the links and external listings will come naturally.

The article mentions a quote from Matt Cutts, senior software engineer for Google, that while spamming other sites is possible, but they make algorithms to prevent these techniques.

Monday, May 28, 2007 - Online Ad Spending Hits New Record

"US Internet ad revenues totaled $16.9 billion in 2006, up 35% from 2005, according to the "Internet Advertising Revenue Report" from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). "

It is notes that display ad advertising grew at a higher rate than paid search and 2007 projections are $19.5 billion.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Search is where BtoB gets done.

Patricia Hursh of SmartSearch Marketing posed a good article over in Search Engine LandSolving B-to-B Marketers' Problems”.

She discusses the all the things we battle on a daily basis but also reminds us that search is where BtoB awareness and consideration gets done. She wites:

"Do executives and senior managers use search engines? The answer is an unequivocal YES. Several years ago Forbes published a survey entitled A Day in the Life of CEOs Online. The survey looked at Web usage of CEOs and senior-level managers at enterprise companies with 1,000 or more employees. More than one thousand executives participated in the survey. The survey results point to strong C-level use of the Internet and search engines.
  • 49 percent consider the Internet the single most important source of information on business
  • 54 percent conduct online researches
  • 34 percent say they go to the Web first to find information on a product or service
  • 86 percent use search engines "

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

26% of Large Advertisers to Increase Spending on SEM by more than 25%

found in a Media Post Article by Gavin O'Malley, Wednesday, Apr 11, 2007 6:00 AM ET

"A FULL QUARTER--26%--OF LARGE ADVERTISERS in companies with annual revenues of $50 million or more plan to increase spending on search engine marketing by more than 25% this year, according to new findings from Jupiter Research.

An additional 28% of large advertisers anticipate spending increases between 11% and 25%, based on the expectation that keyword prices will continue to rise, Jupiter found.

"Because marketers with large companies anticipate including major search engines as part of their branding campaigns, they realize this tactic could result in additional expenses and are planning accordingly," says Kevin Heisler, Jupiter Research analyst and lead author of the report. "But the additional cost is just one of the challenges faced by marketers today."

In addition to keyword inflation, complex campaign management and methods of tracking the success of search engine marketing activity continue to elude marketers, according to Heisler. More collaboration among company CEOs, CMOs, and CTOs could change that, the report states. "

Monday, March 05, 2007

E-commerce not meeting customer expectations

Eighty thousand online shoppers responded to a Millard Group’s Decision Direct Research - Customer Insight Survey that focused on holiday online shopping experiences.

Only 39% of respondents to the postholiday 2006 survey said they felt that “products met or exceeded expectations.” Thirty-nine percent felt that the item they purchased was “a good value for the money.”

It just goes to show how important it is to communicate thru good descriptions and images, or you can damage your shopping cart brand.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Faster Page Loading only 2nd to Better Prices

AdWords Retail Newsletter - January 2007

Here are some stat's sited from a Questus survey found in the GoogleRetailer Newsletter:

Questus asked respondents what could have made their Valentine’s Day online shopping experience even better. The answer:

  • Better prices (including shipping costs): 46%
  • Faster page download speeds: 30%
  • Easier to locate products: 26%
  • Better product photos: 24%
  • Faster/easier checkout: 23%
  • Better product descriptions: 22%

I think this would also translate to B2B so start reviewing your product photos and descriptions, and streamlining your site code.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - eMarketer's 10 Key Predictions for 2007:
JANUARY 2, 2007

"What to watch for in 2007....
  • Online Ad Spending Will Hit $20 Billion
  • Some Money and Lots of Hype for Online Video Advertising
  • Social Networks Are Set for a $1 Billion Windfall
  • Downloadable Games Will Get Hotter
  • Thirty-Seven Million Strong: A 'Minority' Bigger than Canada
  • Mobile TV Arrives
  • US B2C E-Commerce Will Cruise Past $200 Billion
  • The Retail Power of Word-of-Mouth
  • Broadband Services Will Matter as Much as Speed
  • DVRs Pump Up TV Viewing"

From Research Brief:

"eMarketer, in its year-end overview, writes:
  • Total US spending on Internet advertising will reach at least $19.5 billion in 2007. This is 19% more than total spending in 2006. (Though) this rate of growth is sharply down from the 30% or more that has been the norm for several years, (and) the total US advertising spending projected to grow by 1.4% in 2007, the shift to the Internet is set to maintain its momentum in 2007.

    US Online Ad Spending (billion dollars)


    Online Ad Spend











    Source: eMarketer, December 2006

  • eMarketer projects that spending on Online Video Advertising will total $775 million in 2007, which represents only 4.0% of projected US online ad spending. Although marketers are increasingly keen on including video in their online ad campaigns, they will continue to face a shortage of appropriate premium placements.
  • Worldwide ad spending on online social networks should top $1 billion in 2007, up from an estimated $445 million this year. Fueling this growth will be factors such as international expansion, "niche" networks, and search technology to MySpace from Google.
  • Digital downloading of video games will take off in 2007, and by 2010 this distribution method will account for 22% of all worldwide game software revenues. Video-on-demand (VOD) marketers may find their skills in demand for promoting these platforms.
  • The number of African-American and Hispanic Internet users in the US will rise to 37 million, from 35 million in 2006. This market will continue to grow faster than the total US online population for several more years.
  • Mobile TV took its first baby steps in 2006 with professional content. In 2007 a crucial element will be added to the mobile-TV mix: user-generated content (CGC). Given the impact the Web equivalent of this development has had in 2006, advertisers and marketers are likely to face a dizzying array of new choices.
  • US B2C online sales will comfortably pass the $200 billion mark in 2007, reaching a new record total, which eMarketer projects will be $223 billion. Online retail sales will account for $132 billion of this, with online travel accounting for $91 billion. A significant force driving online travel sales is the demand from relatively affluent baby boomers.
  • A recent study, from market research firm Compete, found that consumers were more likely to be swayed by CGC (consumer generated content) than by information coming directly from brand advertisers and marketers.
  • Now broadband is about value-added services and is driven by providers bundling voice, video and data together. Services such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) are approaching the 30% penetration range. eMarketer predicts that one in four broadband households in 2007 will subscribe to a VoIP service, rising to nearly 40% of broadband households by 2010.
  • More people will watch more TV and video content in the future, not less, in spite of digital video recorders (DVRs) and video-on-demand (VOD). They will just be doing so in different ways: via the TV, the Internet, the PC and their portable devices. eMarketer predicts that VOD will be in 30% of US TV households by the end of 2007 and that DVRs will be in 30% of TV households by 2009."