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Thursday, December 20th, 2012

ITSMA Featured Research: The B2B Social Buyer: Young Senior Executives with Clout

By Dianne Kim


Last year’s How Buyers Consume Information survey revealed a split between two types of buyers: the traditional and B2B social. Because the two groups navigate the maze of solutions information differently, selling to them requires knowing who they are, how they consume information, and what makes them take notice.

This year, we found out more about who the B2B social buyers are. They’re young, senior, and influential, dispelling the misconception that young people fill predominantly junior roles and lack authority to make decisions about adopting new technology. One reason these social buyers have so much say about technology solutions is that a high percentage are in the IT organization as opposed to the business.

Social buyers also spend more time consuming content—an average of 6.5 hours a week (vs. 4.3 for the traditional buyers) keeping up with the industry and/or technology—making it that much more important for solution providers to create and refresh strong thought leadership. While solution provider websites, subject matter experts, and web searches are top sources of information for both types of buyers, social buyers lend less credence to peers and colleagues and industry events or trade shows than their traditional counterparts do. Instead, they’re more likely to tap industry or trade media and social media networks when starting to research solutions.

Social B2B buyers are an empowered and proactive bunch: hands-on, less likely to delegate early in the buying process, and ready to do their own research to find the best solutions and providers.

Marketers, take heed. Make your content accessible, clear, and relevant, and you will get a response.

The B2B Social Buyer

Read Three Trends You Can’t Ignore Results from the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey, 2012 or listen to The Buyer Divide: How to Market to Traditional and B2B Social Buyers

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ITSMA specializes in helping companies market and sell services and solutions more effectively. We work with the world's leading technology, communications, and professional services providers to generate increased demand, strengthen customer relationships, and improve brand differentiation.ITSMA annual program clients include business leaders such as AT&T, Cisco, Deloitte, EMC, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Tata Consultancy Services, among others. Our comprehensive research, consulting, and training on topics including ITSMA Account Based Marketing℠, Brand Positioning, and Solutions Development provide the insight and experience companies need to improve business results. ITSMA is based near Boston, and has offices in London, Mumbai, and Tokyo. Learn more at



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