B2B decision-makers almost always have a preferred vendor in mind before a purchase group is established.
That’s the finding from
, carried out by B2B Marketing in association with gyro, into the dynamics of group purchase committees.
The survey of 113 B2B global marketers also found that in 84% of cases, groups that make purchase decisions contain a ‘champion’, who lobbies on behalf of the winning vendor. And more than half the time, the opinions of this champion are considered to be the biggest influence on the final decision.
Simon Mouyal, CMO at Medidata, told the report: “The decision is often made even before the selection process for a new vendor or an RFP has even started. It questions the efficacy of an email nurture programme that kicks off only after a customer has watched a webcast or has downloaded a whitepaper about a specific topic; because by the time you score them it’s just too late.”
B2B marketers must target emotions
More than two-thirds of respondents said content, research and expertise were the biggest influences on them prior to the group’s formation.
Christoph Becker, global CEO and CCO at gyro, said: “Influencing the five-plus people in a B2B buying group requires, now more than ever, the perfect balance of feeling and precision. Decision makers not only need to be targeted correctly using the powerful precision tools of today, they must also feel something. They need to feel a connection with your brand, your offering and your culture. That is the true way to impact B2B decisions.”
By far the most important thing businesses want to experience from a vendor is that they understand their needs (cited by 89%), proving they understand the challenges and problems trying to be solved. And the most successful vendors are those who are clear and frequent communicators.
Paul Snell, deputy editor at B2B Marketing, said: “While companies often form purchase committees to provide a more objective approach, the research proves individuals don’t switch off their emotions when they come together. B2B marketers must engage with the heart if they want to win over the head.”
What influences decision-makers when making B2B purchases? B2B Marketing, in conjunction with gyro, set out to find the truths about today’s group dynamics, and the role that feelings play during these high-risk, high-cost, career-defining moments.