LinkedIn has published the latest edition of its annual survey of B2B technology buyers, which looks at key industry trends and notes in order to help tech marketers maximize their performance and outreach.
Over 5, 800 decision-makers from across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific took part in this year's survey, while in the APAC region specifically, which is the focus of this version of the report, 1, 911 decision-makers took part in the study.
And while the report is regionally focused, and aligned with tech buying, there are some important lessons here for virtually all marketers relating to branding, decision making and the broader impacts of the pandemic.
Here's a look at some of the key notes:
First off, the study looks at how the pandemic has impacted tech spending, with around 47% of businesses, overall, looking to either reduce or halt their tech spending at present.
Which makes sense, and would largely relate to most types of large-scale expenditure, given the expanded impacted impacts of the virus. This is crucial point to note, however, because that will also have a major impact on how marketers plan their outreach, especially in relation to branding and establishing connection with prospective future customers.
Which is the next key point of LinkedIn's research:
The data shows that the consideration cycle of most tech buyers is long - up to 2 years in many cases.
That assessment time is also different based on each business type, another important consideration in your marketing process.
The data underlines the importance of branding, and using social platforms to help establish that connection, and build reputation beyond direct response to your campaigns.
As explained by LinkedIn:
"With technology being bought, implemented, and sold in a time of change, marketers must ensure their brand and solutions remain top of mind across the entire buying committee."
Which, again, would relate to many sectors, beyond just tech buyers, with brand and community building now playing a key role in maximizing purchase potential, and establishing longer-term connection with clients.
The emphasis here is on thinking beyond the conversion stats alone, and looking at your broader brand and marketing efforts, and how that's helping to build deeper connection with your potential buyers.
"With less in-office meetings and discussions happening organically, marketers must spark the virtual water cooler by giving their user base not only something good to talk about, but providing fun and appealing ways to promote community and conversation. Companies that understand the value of social proof have already incorporated this approach into their marketing plans, and are adept at elevating their users and turning them into heroes for their brand through digital channels."
Underlining this, the study also looks at which sources tech buyers turn to in order to inform their decisions:
Peer reviews and user experience testimonials are key, helping to boost awareness and provide more reassurance in the process.
You can also see here that while paid ads can help improve awareness, they're not an ideal vehicle for building trust, and it's a combination of these elements that will secure you more business. Which, again, points to the importance of ongoing brand-building efforts, and featuring testimonials and UGC, while also fueling brand community within your broader marketing effort.
These are some key insights to consider in your planning - while the report also highlights the specific elements that buyers assess when considering a purchase.
Price remains the key, but support, reputation, peer reviews - all of these community elements play a big role in building towards conversion.
There's a heap more insights in the full report, which you can download here, while there are also regional versions to get more specific insight into your community.
Definitely worth a look.