NEW STUDY: “Uncool” B2B Marketing Collateral Ranks Tops with Tech Buyers

B2B BrochureTraditional B2B marketing collateral like brochures and data sheets are viewed by many young marketers as too “old school” for today’s audiences. But not so fast. According to new research published by Eccolo Media, B2B tech buyers ranked these marketing resources as the number one content asset for evaluating a technology purchase.

The 2015 B2B Technology Content Survey was comprised of over 100 respondents who were accountable for influencing or making technology-buying decisions in the six months prior to the survey. Thirty-three percent listed themselves as influencers and 67 percent as decision-makers. 

Specifically, when it came to traditional content like brochures and datasheets, the study revealed…

 “More than half of respondents (57%) said they had looked at product brochures/data sheets from B2B technology vendors in the past six months, the most engagement with any content type.

This may be a shock to marketers who deem social conversations, tweet updates, and LinkedIn connections as the undisputed top methods to influence B2B buyers. But having worked with engineers — from mechanical to software — I know many of them find valuable information in brochures and data sheets. 

Decision makers and influencers in technical B2B sectors often need hard data and specifications to ensure any products they purchase are compatible or adaptable with their current systems.

 You should still include benefits, even on datasheets. But for this kind of audience, I try to avoid using too many adjectives. They can come across as hyperbole, so I stick to low-key verbs. I took this approach for a client brochure selling scientific equipment for pharmaceutical, chemical and petroleum applications:Brochure Bullets

Surprising Stat for Blogs

The top five content assets among the survey respondents were…

Top-Five-Most-Valuable-Content B2B

In this age of social media, how did social content come out as a purchase influencer? Facebook and LinkedIn ranked at  only 34 percent. Twitter was even less, at 25 percent.  This doesn’t mean that social media has no marketing value; just that it’s not as effective as other marketing formats for purchase influence.

 One stat that surprised me is blog posts. They ranked at just 30 percent, below most social content.  Perhaps it’s because blogs tend to be more observational in nature, commenting on state-of-the-industry and trends rather than on product specifics. 

It’s Lonely at the Bottom

I’m sure you’re curious what content channel landed last in the survey.

For least consumed content asset, we have a tie for this dubious honor:  ebooks and podcasts (24%)

The least influential content on buying decisions: ebooks (7 %) and tweets (4%).

I bet if you asked any  B2B marketing consultants about top five content formats, I doubt brochures and data sheets would make their lists.

In the end, I take away from this study that you shouldn’t be too quick to follow experts’ advice on content marketing recommendations without he or she first talking to your customers and understanding their preferred content choices. What works for one B2B sector may not necessarily work in another.

David Coyne

David Coyne

David Coyne is a B2B copywriter and marketing consultant with 25 years experience in the business-to-business sector.

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David Coyne

David Coyne

David Coyne is a B2B copywriter and marketing consultant with 25 years experience in the business-to-business sector.

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