How Business Technology Buyers Use Search

What content should you have on your website? One way to help you decide is to find out what users search for on the web. The latest research report from MarketingSherpa, B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, gives us some insight. When asked how they use search, the top 3 reasons business technology buyers cited were:

  • to research a problem or technology need
  • to understand a product’s features or specifications
  • to find product reviews.

For every reason given for search, however, content is required to meet the web searchers’ needs. So for researching a problem or technology need, white papers, case studies, research reports, and even e-books would be appropriate sources of content. Product features or specifications can be described in website copy or in downloadable spec sheets or brochures. Product reviews can be reprinted on your website, or you can provide links to the original reviews.

How Business Technology Buyers Use Search

Source: Google/TechTarget, How IT Pros Search Online During Purchase Process.

How Buyers Use Information Resources

The Benchmarking Report also provided useful data on how technology buyers are currently using various resources (both online and off) to gather the information they need to make complex purchases. As we expected, there is a significant increase in the use of web resources, though buyers still use traditional resources like email and newsletters to get valuable information. The largest decline, by far, is the use of face-to-face events and tradeshows.

Use of Information Resources in the Complex Purchase Process

Source: MarketingSherpa and TechWeb Business Technology Buyer Survey.

What Should You Do?

So where do you put your marketing dollars? Where your customers are, of course. It’s always best if you really understand how your own prospects and customers buy, but general research like this provided by MarketingSherpa should help you understand overall industry trends.