If you're a marketer who's trying to influence B2B decision-makers, you'll be interested in the results of an International Data Corporation survey, as reported by eMarketer.
B2B professionals said that their most trusted source of information when they research products and services for purchase is "peers and colleagues." The second most important source is "independent content." Third is "vendor websites," followed closely by "public product review sites."
When it comes to the most influential information, close to 40 percent of respondents view their own professional colleagues or professional network as the leading source, followed by industry experts. The third most influential source is "internal influencers," followed closely by "relevant vendor-supplied content."
The implications for B2B marketers could be substantial. The results suggest that word of mouth beats all other forms of information when it comes to making a decision to purchase. This probably means B2B marketers must work diligently to make certain they are penetrating multiple levels within an organization and cultivating relationships with as many key players in the purchasing decision as possible.
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