Survey Reveals B2B Buying Influences

Survey Shows Sources Buyers Trust Most

Peers, colleagues and independent content are the sources buyers trust most when researching their purchasing decisions. That’s according to a new survey from the International Data Corporation, which further revealed that marketing tactics were lower down the list when it came to influencing buying actions.

The study found that 95% of respondents identify peers and colleagues as trusted sources of information for buying decisions they’re considering. Independent content was the second most trusted source at 86%, followed by vendor websites (81%), public product review sites (79%), vendor salespeople (73%) and vendor-sponsored content (67%).

Asked to identify their single most influential source when making buying decisions, about two in five respondents (38%) pointed to their professional network. Put another way, word-of-mouth marketing is the most influential when it comes to purchasing decisions by B2B buyers today. Meanwhile, 22% of respondents said industry experts, while 16% relied most on internal influencers. Only 14% listed relevant vendor-supplied content, with another 6% identifying published best practices and 4% going with “none of the above.”

Separately, a July 2015 poll by Demand Gen Report showed that more than half of B2B marketers in the U.S. say that lead nurture campaigns performed between 10% to 20% or 20% to 30% better than standard marketing programs. The leads generated from nurture campaigns also outperformed standard program leads throughout the sales funnel, the survey found.