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How Buyers—Including C-level Executives—Find You on the Web

Posted by Bill Lee on July 8, 2010 at 09:57 AM

I’ve compiled some stats showing how buyers—including senior executives—are   finding vendors through the Web. This is good to keep in mind as you think through how and where your reference content can be most effectively deployed.

- Siemens PLM Software reckons that 70% of their buyers’ “journeys” toward the decision whether to buy is complete before first contact with their firm. What sources are they consulting pre-contact? The Web, blogs, online communities and research services.

- 58% of B2B buyers first interact with a new vendor through the Internet. By 2015, that number will be more than 70%, according to research by Sirius Decisions.  

- Buyers, particularly in the middle stages of the buying cycle when they are starting to evaluate alternatives, are becoming more likely to regard vendors as a trusted source of information (11.4% buyers regard vendors as trusted sources in 2010  of vs. 3.5% in 2006).  11.4% is not huge of course, but it’s more than triple what it was. Note also that vendors went down as a “least trusted source" by about half, from 40% in 2006 to 21% this year.   These trends likely results from the fact that many more firms are figuring out how to provide useful information on their websites, as opposed to brochure ware.

- A Forbes Insights/ Google study of 354 executives (director level or higher) at firms with revenues greater than $1 billion) found that the Internet is now the chief source of business information for the big company executives. The study found that Internet search engines were considered the most valuable source for locating business information, with 60% of the executives surveyed performing six or more searches per day. And what information are they looking for on the Web? Among the top seven subject areas are: customer trends and marketing trends and strategies (for marketing and sales executives), and technology trends along with product trends and product development (for IT executives). In other words, executives are looking for solutions to their issue on the Internet.

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