Insights from Recent Research, Part 1

Several fascinating studies have published findings during the last two weeks. For the next week or two, we will try to analyze the data and break out the insights we believe are most helpful to owners and marketers for micro-, small, and mid-sized businesses. Today, we examine three reports and try to bring together some insights.

Best platforms for awareness and lead generation

The first insights are from a recent survey from ABM, which asked B2B marketers to “rank the best platforms for reaching customers and prospects to gather information for decision-making. Here is a chart of the findings:

Insights from Recent Research, Part 1 image ABM B2B Marketers Most Successful Platforms Aug20131Insights from Recent Research, Part 1

The first findings of interest to us are the low rankings for traditional media — TV, Radio, and Out-of-home advertising. The second notable result is the absence of social media. This is very surprising in the light of other recent reports (Forrester, in particular) that indicate that social media is used by a vast majority of B2B decision-makers.

It is not surprising to the team at Little Black Dog Social Media & More that face-to-face interaction with prospects and customers is the most successful type of interaction for both creating awareness of products and services and for generating targeted leads. We find the absence of social media as a key platform for creating awareness baffling.

The rankings for content marketing seem accurate or slightly low in our experience (sponsored white papers, sponsored video on B2B platforms, and email newsletter advertising. The ranking for SEO/search are surprisingly low, particularly in comparison with other recent studies.

Before re-building your marketing plan on the basis of this data, please consider that this survey included only 74 people. The study also did not examine the level of usage by the respondents of any of the platforms ranked. Overall, it seems safe to trust the high rankings of face-to-face interaction for both awareness and lead generation. The traditional media rankings are not surprising. It has been a staple assumption of B2B marketers for decades that these platforms are not effecting for lead generation.

How B2B decision-makers use social media

As noted above, the vast majority of B2B decision makers use social media. The question addressed by the next study is how these decision-makers are using social media. This study surveyed 382 business decision-makers in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the UK at companies with more than 100 employees in an online survey.

Insights from Recent Research, Part 1 image social media icons1Insights from Recent Research, Part 1

Survey participants were asked why they visit a range of social media sites. Key findings include:

  • 85% visit “brand-agnostic” communities or forums at least once per month. Only 18% use these sites for business purposes only.
  • 81% visit LinkedIn at least once per month. About one-fourth do so for business reasons only.
  • 81% also visit Facebook at least once per month. However only 2% do so for business reasons only
  • 80% visit vendor support forums or discussion forums related to vendors or brands.
  • 62% visit Twitter at least once per month. Only 6% do so for business purposes only.
  • 49% visit Google+ at least once per month. Only 4$ do so for business only.
  • 32% use Pinterest. Only 2% do so for business reasons only.

LinkedIn users connect with colleagues or peers (88%), participate in LinkedIn groups with brand connections (40%).  B2B decision-makers use the leading social media platforms to consume content and to interact. While 98% classify themselves as “spectators” (consuming content only), 75% classify themselves as “critics” (commenting and posting reviews), and 56% classify themselves as “creators” of online content.

This study indicates that these decision-makers use social media platforms for both business and personal reasons, mostly consuming content or engaging in branded business-related forums.

Who is active on social media platforms?

According to a new study released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, in May 72% of online adults indicated that they have used at least one social networking site. This is a significant increase from the 67% reported by the last study in December 2012. The largest increases occurred in the older age groups.

Insights from Recent Research, Part 1 image Pew SocNet Site Use by Age Aug20131Insights from Recent Research, Part 1

Survey participants were asked why they visit a range of social media sites. Key findings include:

  • 85% visit “brand-agnostic” communities or forums at least once per month. Only 18% use these sites for business purposes only.
  • 81% visit LinkedIn at least once per month. About one-fourth do so for business reasons only.
  • 81% also visit Facebook at least once per month. However only 2% do so for business reasons only
  • 80% visit vendor support forums or discussion forums related to vendors or brands.
  • 62% visit Twitter at least once per month. Only 6% do so for business purposes only.
  • 49% visit Google+ at least once per month. Only 4$ do so for business only.
  • 32% use Pinterest. Only 2% do so for business reasons only.

LinkedIn users connect with colleagues or peers (88%), participate in LinkedIn groups with brand connections (40%).  B2B decision-makers use the leading social media platforms to consume content and to interact. While 98% classify themselves as “spectators” (consuming content only), 75% classify themselves as “critics” (commenting and posting reviews), and 56% classify themselves as “creators” of online content.

This study indicates that these decision-makers use social media platforms for both business and personal reasons, mostly consuming content or engaging in branded business-related forums.

More Business articles from Business 2 Community:

Loading...
See all articles from Business 2 Community

Friend's Activity