Section one:

Is this the new normal?

In B2B marketing, nothing stands still. Tactics and technologies appear, evolve and die on a regular basis. Every ‘new’ approach is hyped as the only way to market. Established approaches are declared dead (before being repackaged and resurrected the next month).

But for all the hype and bluster, some things are changing for real.

B2B buyers are more in control of the sale than ever. They are able to be more independent in how they make decisions. And today, they can typically do a large proportion of their research before ever speaking to a salesperson.

And then came Covid.

In the wider world, the pandemic has had a magnifying effect on changes that were already in play. Increased digitisation. More widespread remote working. Even greater use of e-commerce.

But how has it affected the way B2B buyers make purchases?

And how are B2B marketers responding?

Are they capitalising on the opportunity or leaving money on the table?

To find out, we commissioned a research study asking decision-makers in companies of over 250 employees about their approach to purchasing B2B goods and services. We then asked senior in-house B2B marketers in 250+ employee businesses a parallel set of questions to discover how well they are meeting customer expectations.

The results show an acceleration in buyers self-serving information. They paint a picture of higher customer expectations when they do finally speak to sales. And they demonstrate where marketers are struggling to keep pace with a rapidly changing environment.

Importantly, these are changes which, far from being a temporary response to a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, are set to become the default for how we do business today and in the months and years to come.

How, if at all has the Covid pandemic changed the way you buy in your organisation? Our decision making process is now:

Much longer

A bit longer

Same as before