How To Integrate Customer Advocacy Into Your B2B Marketing Strategy

When planning your 2017 marketing strategy and budget, you’ve probably covered activities related to online marketing activities, PR and brand building, along with designated time and budget for social media promotion, but have you included the voice of your user or customer in your marketing activities?

According to Forrester, 74% of B2B buyers are doing more than 50% of their purchasing research online. A recent study done by Gartner also revealed that 68% of a customer’s buying time is spent away from the actual vendor.

What type of content are users consuming online, if they are not doing their research on vendor sites?

As you can see in the infographic below, interested buyers are engaging with peer experiences, and product ratings and reviews. While users are spending less time on vendor sites, they are seeking out the experiences of your current customers to hear what they have to say.

peer reviews

Instead of sitting by passively when your users seek out alternatives, B2B Enterprise marketers in 2017 have a unique opportunity to harness this content. Marketers can integrate feedback from happy customers to produce detailed user reviews, testimonials and case studies.

peer reviews

Interested in finding out more about how to create new innovative marketing strategies built upon customer advocacy?

Find the IT Central Station team at The Summit on Customer Engagement, March 6th-8th 2017, Redwood Shores, CA. We will be in the Grand Ballroom Foyer, Table 6.

Why Peer to Peer Content is King for Enterprise Technology Marketing

According to Forrester, 74% of B2B buyers are doing more than 50% of their purchasing research online. A recent study done by Gartner also revealed that 68% of a customer’s buying time is spent away from the actual vendor.

Prior to making a purchase, shoppers and potential buyers look to sources other than the company bio or sales rep to get their product information. This is why peer reviews are the major source of information for most consumers today, and have become the ‘smart shopper’s’ “man on the inside.” Peer reviews enable buyers to get a firsthand view of how a product works, its level of quality, and the various features or components being offered — all without actually buying the product.

Why Peer Reviews Resonate with Enterprise Tech Professionals

Consumers see peer reviews as their filter between what the companies want you to believe and what’s accurate about the products or services being sold. This is particularly true for the technology sector, where services or products can easily be hyped up by a skilled marketer, neglecting the buyer’s need for an accountable assessment of features such as speed, integration, and functionality, each of which can only be accurately evaluated through actual experience.

The Gartner research was conducted with enterprise buyers, and indicates that while the peer review trend may have started in the B2C sector, this reality is now just as relevant for B2B companies, and enterprise buyers are regularly using peer reviews as their major purchasing influencer.

Peer reviews are not flawless, though. More prevalent among the technology industry than in the consumer world at large, customers scrutinize online reviews before accepting the material provided as fact. For this reason, there is a growing demand for peer reviews that come from trusted sources, and represent factual and helpful input.

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What IT Central Station Provides to Software Buyers

In our current data-driven and content-consuming generation, the tech industry is steadily adapting to expectations for information that’s not only available on-demand, but is also filtered and validated before readers start devouring it. Peer reviews written by like-minded, authentic users are well-aligned with the standards had by software buyers today.

IT Central Station is the leading enterprise technology review site, the “Yelp” of Enterprise Technology, with a community of 160,000+ technology professionals. Our user reviews are collected from enterprise tech events, conferences, and one-on-one interviews with tech professionals. With an average of 400 words per review, all reviews and user-generated content are validated by our triple-authentic process, and manually assessed for relevance and usability to the enterprise tech professional.

Enabling Well-Rounded Decision Making

With relevant information, accurate reviews, and concise reports, buyers are more equipped with the tools they need to make a well-rounded purchasing decision.

Additionally, IT Central Station distributes your content across relevant social media channels, forums, and industry blogs where your potential buyers are actively browsing. This way, your products are seen in several places, expanding your reach, increasing brand awareness, and giving each of your reviews/products more credibility in the enterprise tech industry.