Most sales and marketeers have heard the following statement in some form or other: “57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even contacts a supplier.” (CEB). It's clear that a key part of driving marketing-led growth lies in the consideration of the full Customer Decision Journey. I came across this insightful research and podcast by McKinsey where one specific (and critical) part of this Customer Decision Journey was examined - the Initial Consideration set of brands by a customer. The research itself was conducted across B2C brands and industries, but I think its findings and relevance can be applied to B2B organisations.
What’s most interesting about this piece of research (and perhaps not surprising) is that out of the 30 industry categories, 27 (or 90%), are dominated by shopping driven behaviours. This means these brands are all vulnerable to their existing customers switching to a competitor from one purchase cycle to the next. Pretty elusive loyalty rates! The key takeaway is that the battleground for these brands to compete in lies in the initial consideration, where a customer first assesses brands, based on their awareness and consideration of the company as a whole.
In the B2B world, there is of course not one single buyer profile to consider, as purchase decisions are often made by multiple functions. For an organisation to reach all these different individuals and earn their initial consideration, they need to consider leveraging multiple channels (website, social etc.) and curate very relevant and targeted content that focuses on the value output for each individual involved in the buying process.