If you are a B2B marketer trying to win small business buyers, how do you cut through the clutter of other marketing mediums and messages? It turns out, small business buyers demand reviews – third party voices that reduces their risk.
A September 2014 study by The Alternative Board reports nearly half of small businesses worldwide said that when making a major purchasing decision about a new product or service, other business owners using the product or service were the most helpful human source. This was the highest response rate, with employees trailing a distant second.
The vendor was third (10%) with professional associations (7%) and Online communities and industry organizations tied at 4%.
These reviews were favored over many other types of marketing tools, including case studies, an internal video demonstration of the product, an independent article written about the vendor or an independent media interview with the vendor’s CEO. The skepticism of our times has now reached into trade media.
Nearly 70% of respondents said an independent review of a product or service on a vendor’s site would make them most likely to trust the company. Considering that about one-quarter of respondents found information received directly from a vendor distrusting—and just 6% said it was “very” trusting—providing recommendations and reviews can be the difference between generating a lead and never getting a chance to speak to the opportunity.
The study also causes me to wonder how often marketers are delivering access statistics as a part of their overall RoI calculations. A video might not get the most accesses, but may have the greatest conversion to a lead or to revenue. Time to dig deeper for site stats.
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