The Marketing Strategist:
Digital First? Balancing Online and Offline Marketing (Infographic)
Digital marketing dominates the discussion, but offline programs remain critical to engage with B2B buyers of high value services and solutions. In fact, half the buying process takes place offline even for the most digitally savvy buyers.
ITSMA’s new infographic, based on survey data with more than 400 B2B buyers across multiple industries, highlights the continuing importance of offline marketing initiatives and a balanced online-offline approach to connect with potential buyers throughout the purchase process.
Early in the buying process, the four top information sources that buyers turn to are all people-based, according to ITSMA’s 2015 How Buyers Consume Information Survey: subject matter experts (SMEs) from solution providers, industry analysts and advisors, management consultants, and peers/colleagues.
Human interaction also dominates the later stages of the buyer process, with custom demos, references, solution provider interaction, and in-person events topping the influencer list.
In all, subject matter experts are the most credible source of information during the purchase process, according to ITSMA research.
None of this should undercut the importance of going digital. Indeed, creative initiatives to promote and support SMEs online are among the most important projects companies can take to strengthen both online and offline engagement. But it is an important nuance to keep in mind amid the general push for “digital first.”