B2B buyers report says marketers are communicating too often and with irrelevant content

B2B buyers report says marketers are communicating too often and with irrelevant content

Business development specialists durhamlane and third-party intent data platform Cyance have launched a report that shows the vast majority of B2B marketers are contacting buyers too often and at the wrong stage of the buying cycle.

The findings, released in their B2B Buyer Insights Report 2021, showed three quarters (74%) believe marketers contact them too often and at the wrong time.

The research paints a picture of disconnection between B2B marketers and buyers caused primarily by the pandemic. The most telling statistic was that 64% of B2B buyers said marketers break one of the golden rules of marketing by not approaching them with the right information and at the right time.

While 56% of B2B buyers are consuming more marketing material than ever before as direct mails increase by 92% and newsletters and social ads volumes also soar (by 64% and 57% respectively), as many as 60% are putting decisions on hold due to increased budget restrictions and shifting business priorities.

“Deluged with messaging”

Steve Russell, Executive VP – Alliances and Partnerships at Cyance, says, “The message coming through loud and clear is that buyers are under more scrutiny and pressure than previously and they are deluged with messaging and communications from vendors who are trying to cut through and keep pipelines moving. But they are not taking the time to understand the prospect and individual in that account and conveying how they can solve the issues they are facing.”

On the positive side, 80% of B2B buyers say they do engage with vendors when they are ready to buy and as many as 88% will consider a vendor if they have a positive impression before beginning their research.

Yasmin Wilkinson, Marketing Manager, durhamlane, says, “The report indicates buyers do want to consume relevant, educational information in easily digestible formats, especially when they are in buying mode.”

Buyer expectations

The report also contains feedback from B2B buyers on what they want from marketers; the majority of which points to greater understanding and empathy for them as individuals and as a business.

The most commonly cited recommendation, by 71%, was that B2B marketers understand their challenges, while 69% wanted to be educated on how to overcome them. Forty percent wanted marketers to listen more than talk, 39% wanted to be asked the right questions and 53% wanted to be provided with resources and information tailored to the current stage of their buying journey.

Interestingly, sales calls following a meaningful engagement with the company were the most likely outreach to get a response as they were mentioned by 70% of respondents.

Steve says that understanding where a company is on a buying journey or experiencing challenges are key to timing communications. He also warns that getting it wrong can be wasteful for vendors.

Advice: reconnect with existing customers directly

As pandemic conditions recede, he advises B2B marketers to start by reconnecting directly with existing customers first.

“Ask them why they bought you, how they are using you and what value they are getting out of it. That will help you message companies that look like them and build a first-party data strategy,” he says.

Yasmin agrees, saying that Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) are evolving.

“With everything that has changed, what you target as your ‘sweet spot’ has almost certainly changed too. This report shows you need to understand how ICPs have evolved and the role of every stakeholder involved in the buying decision process.”