B2B and Buyer Decision Making Process

This article discusses B2B and the Buyer Decision Making Process.

Many companies operate business to business rather than business to consumer and understanding of the buyer decision making process can be important to gaining new or returning business. There is plenty of academic theory about how purchase decisions may be made but businesses want to know what works in practice and don’t always read academic texts.

Buyersphere produced a report in 2013 available at baseone.co.uk.

Whilst some findings reported would come as no surprise e.g. there will be more members in a DMU where a purchase decision is larger and many purchases are made to help a firm increase its productivity or implement desirable technologies. The influence of advertising and social media is much less than businesses in those fields would wish.

The least expert sector was found to be in marketing. This is interesting and deserves some unpicking. DMUs will make decisions for hedonistic reasons and the most popular way of getting information was to go direct to a website rather than through a search engine, with those firms recommended by friends and colleagues being important. Print is still important and infographics were seen as superficial. Even more interesting was 47% of buyers were reported as being against social media. Important were industry forums, Linked In and Google + with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest only getting a mention.

The older the person was the less likely they were to have used social media and only Google plus and industry forums had high influence and high usage.  The largest group of respondents felt social media was not at all useful and its use did not influence the purchasing decision.

Also interesting and in direct contrast to Sir John Hegarty’s view was that creativity was not an automatic winning formula. This does not however underestimate the importance of creativity in getting viewers to pay attention to a promotional message.

Most important was personal contact either face to face or on the phone for almost 90% of buyers so networking is really important and of course selling. Cumbria Business Growth Hub organise many events to facilitate networking and business.

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