Current B2B Marketing Trends Highlighted in Google/Compete.com Study

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Mike Miller, Google’s Director of Industrial Markets, had some interesting things to say about current trends in B2B marketing in an interview posted to Emarketer.com. Miller’s comments were based on recent data surfaced from a study jointly conducted by Google and Compete.com, a web analytics firm.

Here are some highlights of this study; they should be of interest to anyone involved in B2B (Business to Business) marketing.

Search-based B2B Queries On the Upswing
Internet-based research is increasingly influencing B2B purchase decisions, and this trend accelerated in 2012, which saw a rise in such research from 71 to 82 percent. Search-based research (a subcategory of “Internet-based” research) jumped from 67 percent in 2011 to 90 percent in 2012, validating the proposition that a good content strategy can advance awareness of a company’s goods and services via organic search placement.

B2B Video Content is Hot
“How to” instructional videos, according to Miller, are particularly popular in the B2B space, because B2B products are often complex and difficult to understand without adequate explication. Well-crafted, well-scripted videos are ideal mechanisms to provide such explication, and Miller considers such video content to be a very useful adjunct – if not an outright substitute – for the traditional B2B white paper. Beyond demonstrating the nuts-and-bolts of a particular B2B product or service, video content also provides an opportunity for B2Bs to show thought leadership. As Miller notes, “The C-suite indexes very high on using video. So if you’re a B2B marketer and you’re trying to reach the C-suite, video is a great way to go. ”

Context Matters With B2B Messaging
B2B marketers are making a mistake when they deploy the same kind of messaging for users arriving through very different acquisition channels. Even if a particular style of messaging is effective for a user arriving, for example, via search, this style may fail when deployed against social media or in a video context. Consistency is an important cornerstone value for any brand, but B2B marketers need to think carefully about the context for their messaging as deeply as they do about the message’s content or consistency across other channels. As Miller advises, “you have to think about how you’re structured to take advantage of each new environment and situation.”